Where are the best places to live in Suffolk and Essex?
PUBLISHED: 00:00 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 10:27 31 January 2020
Districts across Suffolk and Essex have been named among the best places to live in the UK in the annual Halifax Quality of Life Survey for stunning wildlife, vibrant economies and hot spot locations.
The nationally recognised survey compares local authority areas looking at employment, earnings, housing affordability, health and wellbeing, education and crime rates - and Maldon, Bury St Edmunds and Babergh all made it into the top 10.
Leader of Maldon District Council, Adrian Fluker, was delighted to hear the town was ranked fifth in the survey.
He cited the low rainfall and pleasant climate as one of the reasons the town had been chosen, saying: "It is easy to see why so many people have fallen in love with the Maldon District and why it is such a great place to live."
Babergh District Council leader John Ward said that the announcement that the area was eighth on the list was "wonderful news" - the area was 27th on the list last year.
He said: "It's little surprise though, when we have such stunning areas of natural beauty and market towns each with unique character.
"According to the Halifax, the survey is based many things, so it's about more than just nice views and pretty towns it's about actually supporting our communities so they can thrive and be proud of where they live and work."
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St Edmundsbury was ranked the ninth best place to live and Bury St Edmunds mayor Peter Thompson, who moved from Liverpool to set up home in Suffolk, said it was because the area has the feeling of a small town or village but had all the modern commodities residents crave.
"The historical and cultural legacy of the town is something that people find attractive," he said.
"The vibrancy and variety of independent businesses is astonishing and it's a great place to start a business, we have a lot of entrepreneurial spirit in the town and St John's Street in particular is a hotbed for it."
The Forest Heath and Suffolk Coastal were among the 50 top place to live in the UK.
Steve Gallant, leader of East Suffolk Council, said that it was no surprise to the people of Suffolk Coastal that their "unique" home had been chosen.
He said: "We have an excellent mix of fantastic food and drink, beautiful beaches, stunning coastlines and delightful market towns as well as a vibrant economy and social scene."