Hart celebrates 'most desirable place to live' tagBy Stephen Lloyd
January 04, 2013
HART is celebrating after being named the UK’s most desirable place to live for the second year.
The quality of life study by the Halifax took into account factors such as jobs, housing, health, life expectancy, crime, weather, traffic and house prices. Hart beat previous four-time winner Elmbridge, in Surrey, into second place.
The study found Hart residents can expect to live longer than the average Briton, with the average life expectancy at 81.7 years for men, compared to the national average of 79.
Employment in the district is at 78.6%, well above the national average of 70.2%, and crimes rates are among the lowest in the country.
Fleet trader Kevin Whibley said the result was ‘really great news’, adding: “It is the wonderful diversity of the district and the low crime rates that make Hart such a pleasant place to live.
“Town, village and country living is all available with estates new and old bringing about a real mix. Our countryside is also a great advantage and is so accessible for residents to enjoy.”
Mr Whibley, who chairs the Fleet Business Partnership, said it was easy for people to be cynical of such awards.
“From afar, people will believe their area is better and so they should as we should all be proud and happy of where we live,” he added.
“It is easy for people to question how we won the award, bringing up the negatives and moaning about what we do not have.
“But these surveys and awards are not given lightly and we should all remember how lucky we are to live in Hart.
“We should all celebrate the fact – a little bragging is good.
“I do remain surprised however that when we won this last year the council seemed to totally ignore the fact.
“What business would not shout from the rooftops if it won an award of such magnitude? I would like to see every town and village welcome sign changed to celebrate this achievement, and the council website and literature should quote this award as a strapline at every opportunity.”
Hart District Council leader, Ken Crookes, said: “The results will come as no surprise to our residents who have long appreciated our beautiful environment, our strong economy, our high educational standards, our good health facilities and all the other things that make Hart a great place to live and work.
“The council would like to thank everyone, our excellent public sector partners, our very strong voluntary groups, our socially conscious and active businesses, and last, but not least, our residents, for bringing this about.”
Halifax economist Martin Ellis said: “While not necessarily being the leading district across all measures, Hart comes out on top because it scores consistently highly across nearly all indicators.
“In particular, Hart residents enjoy good health, high employment, low crime, and high quality schooling.”