It’s official – good health, low unemployment and below-average house prices make East Cambridgeshire the best place to live in rural Britain.
The district scooped top spot in the Halifax’s annual rural areas quality of life survey, published today, beating South Cambs, which won last year but is now in third place.
High life expectancy, good average earnings and low carbon emissions helped to push East Cambs up the rankings from ninth last year.
Do you agree? What is good (or bad) about living in East Cambs, and are any other areas of rural Cambridgeshire better. Post a comment at the bottom of this article.
Residents enjoying the sun in Ely city centre yesterday agreed with the assessment.
Marianne Clarke, who grew up in the city and returned to retire more than a decade ago, said: “Ely is a pretty lively area and there is always something going on, like art groups, singing groups and a lot of other different clubs.
“It is nice to walk through the parks and go down to the river. It has changed a lot, but I can see why people are very happy living here.”
The survey found 93 per cent of East Cambs residents reported general good health – life expectancy is the joint best in the UK, four years longer than the national average.
The employment rate is 79 per cent and average incomes are also relatively high, at £707 a week.
Domestic carbon dioxide emissions are the lowest of all rural districts and the average house price is 5.3 times annual earnings, below the rural average of 5.9.
Cllr Peter Moakes, leader of East Cambs District Council, said: “East Cambridgeshire is a great place to live.
“From our fantastic countryside to our healthy lifestyles and strong economy, living in our district is a wonderful thing and I count myself very lucky to be an East Cambridgeshire resident.”
Jean Hunter, chief executive of South Cambs District Council, offered her “heartiest congratulations” to the winners and said staying in the top three was “fantastic news”.
The Worcestershire district of Wychavon took second place, with other local rankings including Uttlesford in eighth, Huntingdonshire 11th, St Edmundsbury 26th, and Forest Heath 28th.