Quality of life 'best in Suffolk'

IT has attractive market towns, quaint villages and a laid-back lifestyle the rest of the country can only dream of.

Anthony Bond

IT has attractive market towns, quaint villages and a laid-back lifestyle the rest of the country can only dream of.

So it comes as no surprise that the Mid Suffolk district finished second out of 408 local authorities as having the best quality of life for its residents.

But the good news did not stop there for Suffolk.

The Halifax Quality of Life Survey also judged the St Edmundsbury district - with Bury St Edmunds at its heart - to have the 12th best quality of life. And with its picture-postcard villages of Kersey and Lavenham, the Babergh district was voted 23rd.

The survey looked at a number of factors including the environment, education and health.

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Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said it was great news for the district.

“I think it is tremendous. We have 122 parishes, which is the most of any district in Suffolk, and that gives people a sense of community and place. And with village life you get to know quite a few people and that helps a lot, particularly in rural areas.

“The location has good connections to London and with Stowmarket we have connections to the west of the country. There is also the A14 corridor and A12 so it is accessible yet far away enough to preserve the tranquil nature.”

Mr Passmore also pointed towards towns and villages such as Eye, Debenham, Stowmarket and Needham Market as being places to cherish within the district.

Ron Walters, chairman of Debenham Parish Council, said the village had everything to make it a thriving community.

“Debenham is a reasonably-sized community where most people at least recognise each other if they do not know each other. We have both a high school and a primary school so we have the education for the children in the community - that brings all the community groups that fit with that so you can build a community spirit within the village and that is the key to all that creates a good quality of life.”

The survey found that the districts of Babergh and St Edmundsbury - along with South Norfolk and Rochford, in Essex, - offered the best value for money with property.

Fifteen of the thirty local authorities with the best quality of life are in the South East of England.

According to the survey, residents in Elmbridge in Surrey have the best quality of life in Great Britain.

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