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Suffolk and Essex among UK’s best places to live in Halifax survey

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:04 18 December 2017

Suffolk Coastal, with its picturesque towns such as Woodbridge, is among the UK's best places to live. Picture: STEPHEN SQUIRRELL

Suffolk Coastal, with its picturesque towns such as Woodbridge, is among the UK's best places to live. Picture: STEPHEN SQUIRRELL

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Parts of Suffolk and Essex feature strongly as some of the UK’s best places to live in an annual quality of life survey.

Aldeburgh in Suffolk Coastal, is another attractive place to live. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARYAldeburgh in Suffolk Coastal, is another attractive place to live. Picture: ARCHANT LIBRARY

The survey, which considers factors such as residents’ health and life expectancy, wellbeing, employment, crime and weather awarded top 50 places to Suffolk Coastal, St Edmundsbury, Babergh, Maldon and Uttlesford, which also topped the East of England regional chart.

In Suffolk Coastal, which was ranked the UK’s 24th best place to live, district council leader Ray Herring said: “It won’t be news to local people that Suffolk Coastal is one of the best places to live in the country. We have a fantastic mix of excellent food and drink, great places to visit in the countryside and on the coastline, as well as a vibrant economy and social scene. Basically, everything that adds up to an area which, in my humble opinion, has a quality of life second to none. I am proud that this is being recognised nationally and of the active role Suffolk Coastal plays in developing and maintaining our unique environment and culture.”

In Uttlesford, which came in at number 11 – the highest listing for the East of England –council lead Howard Rolfe said: “We are delighted to be recognised as the best in the eastern region and one of the best in the country for quality of life. This recognition is a testimony of the spirt and community support that is a feature of the district.”

St Mary The Virgin Church in Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, which is the East of England's best place to live. Picture: PETER BASHSt Mary The Virgin Church in Saffron Walden, Uttlesford, which is the East of England's best place to live. Picture: PETER BASH

In St Edmundsbury, which came in at 22 on the list, John Griffiths, leader of the borough council said: “We know that St Edmundsbury is a great place to live and work and we are delighted to see this reflected in the Halifax survey.

“It’s great to be in the top 25 but even without the survey we know that St Edmundsbury has quality services, award winning parks, good schools and world renowned companies making their home here.”

Councillor John Ward, Babergh’s cabinet member for economy, said of the district’s placing at number 40: “From the silk mills of Sudbury to the marinas of Shotley, Babergh has something for everyone.

Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. St Edmundsbury was placed 22nd on the list. Picture: PETER BASHAbbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. St Edmundsbury was placed 22nd on the list. Picture: PETER BASH

“We’re lucky to live in some of the most beautiful countryside with some of the most vibrant and thriving communities in the country.”

The overall winner in the Halifax Quality of Life Survey was Hart in Hampshire.

The Orkney Islands in Scotland took second place, followed by Rutland in the East Midlands, Wychavon in Worcestershire - and last year’s winner Winchester in fifth place.

Russell Galley, managing director, Halifax, said: “Hart seems to have been offering residents an unrivalled mix of living standards for five of the last six years, seeing employment rates, average earnings and ONS personal wellbeing rankings bounce back after falling from the top spot last year.

“Along with Hart, many areas in southern England score strongly in categories including the labour markets and health.

“Northern areas tend to perform well on education and benefit from more affordable properties with lower house prices to earnings.”

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