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

PUBLISHED: 12:22 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 19 December 2017

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

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

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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.

Uttlesford is the best place to live in the East of England, according to the latest Halifax quality of life survey.

The rating, which considers factors such as residents’ health and life expectancy, plus wellbeing, employment, crime and weather ranked the district eleventh nationally and top in the region.

Other places in the top 50 included Suffolk Coastal, St Edmundsbury, Babergh and Maldon. 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.

The leader of Uttlesford District Council, Councillor Howard Rolfe, said: “We are delighted that Uttlesford has been 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 spirit and community support that is a feature of the district.”

Councillor Danielle Frost, Mayor of Great Dunmow, and mother to two primary school aged children, who has lived in the town for 15 years, said: “I love where I live. “There is a strong sense of community spirit in the district. We have countryside, amazing swathes of green and smiling people. I’ve lived all over the world and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. We have our issues, like every town, times are hard and people are getting busier but it’s a nice place to live.”

Councillor Richard Freeman, Mayor of Saffron Walden said: “I can only really speak for Saffron Walden, but it does tick all the boxes.

“It’s a victim of its own success in that respect. “You can get to London and Cambridge quite easily, there are train services and a motorway.

“The town itself is very small and attractive, the small is important because it means you can spend your Saturday in the town centre and you don’t have to walk very far.

“There are all sorts of things, places to eat and drink, a decent library, quite a range of shops and some decent brands too.

“Saffron Walden is interesting and engaging, you can wander around for several hours and not get bored. There’re plenty of places like that but they are bigger, harder to get into and out of.

“We have events on the Common, Saffron Hall is great for live music and Saffron Screen for film and live theatre, and there are lots of societies to get involved with.

“People say hello to you in the street, and most places are not like that.”

Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax, said: “Many areas in southern England score strongl

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