Thursday, August 11, 2005

Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK

Did you see that program on the television 'The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK'? Labelled as property gurus, Channel 4 wheeled out Luvey Doveys Phil Spencer and Kirstie Allsopp who claimed to have toured Britain to find the most and least desirable place to live. Fink it might ave sumink ta do wiv livin in London guv. Most of the the places our Hoorah Henries chose that were favourable were south of the great North South divide and a high proportion were within easy striking distance of London.

Claiming to have taken into account factors which include crime, education, lifestyle and environment they managed to come up with a hotch potch list of what they regard as desirable or hip places around the UK in which to live.

Under favourable and trendy places to live that were further away from London than Stratford upon Avon the duo selected Harrogate as the third best place to live in the UK and labelled it as 'Northern Posh'.

Taking into account the worst places to live Phil and Kirstie ventured further afield and only listed Hackney in London as one of the worst places in the UK to live. Everywhere else on the list was miles away from London and the home counties. These two really should get out more.

This so called survey is also based on what you can get for the average UK house price of £180,000.

So, in their opinion, for what its worth, what are the worst and best of Britain?

The Best
1.Epsom and Ewell in Surrey
2.Westminster London
3.Harrogate Yorkshire
4.Ashford in Kent
5.Stratford upon Avon
6.East Hertfordshire
7.South Cambridgeshire
8.Mole Valley East Surrey
9.Guildford Surrey
10.West Oxfordshire

The Worst
1.Kingston upon Hull
3.Strabane Northern Ireland
4.Hackney London
6.Mansfield East Midlands
7.Blaenau in Gwent Wales
8.Merthyr Tydfil Wales
9.Salford Gtr Manchester
10.Easinton Co Durham

So what can we deduce by all of this? Well, Hackney is expensive and with a high crime rate. Middlesborough was described as a place that stinks with violent crime and a football, fag ends and Friday night kind of town. Mansfield was an urban jungle and Blaenau in Gwent was boring and rainy with Merthyr Tydfil, also in Wales being a place where 20% of the population are on the sick. Nottingham is all guns and gangsters and Kingston upon Hull upon the muddy Humber is the worst place for crime in the UK. Described as the capital of lard it has our fattest folk and more chippies than anywhere else. It also has the worst education statistics.

By comparison West Oxfordshire has only 1% on benefits, South Cambridgeshire has extremely low crime and Ashford in Kent is the sunniest place in the UK in which to live. It is also the largest UK wine producer.

Flawed by plainly ridiculous statements and a haphazard scoring system the whole program seems to have been compiled on a whim and slanted towards the fact, which they make clear, that 1 in 8 of our population live in and around London.

Why didn't I like this program? Well for a start where the hell was the West Midlands? I mean East Hertfordshire scoring 6 with its Stansted Airport and Beckhams house? Kinell could we not have done a little better than this?

These two are plainly suited to each other. I imagine they even took their passports with them when they crossed over the M25 and ventured into the badlands that is the rest of the UK north of Watford Gap. Woe betide them if they turn up un announced in Hull at some point in the future. Best they stay in London. Clearly its London where they belong.