SURVEY: How happy is your Lancashire town?

Forest of Bowland,  Ribble Valley

Forest of Bowland, Ribble Valley

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Ribble Valley is the second happiest place to live in the UK, according to figures released by Office of National Statistics.

But the same survey revealed Preston to be positively pessimistic ranking 403rd out of 439 boroughs in the whole of the UK in the happiest stakes.

Ribble Valley residents said they were 8.21 on average when asked: “Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday? Where 0 is ‘not at all happy’ and 10 is ‘completely happy’”.

Preston town’s people rated themselves just 7.22, meaning the borough is one of the unhappiest.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst it was easy to see why residents in the borough are so happy.

“These figures confirm what we already know,” he says. “That Ribble Valley is a happy and safe place in which to live and work.

“Although only a small rural authority, the council has an excellent record of success, enjoying a level of customer satisfaction that is the envy of neighbouring authorities, as well as healthy reserves and one of the lowest council tax rates in the country.

“We are delighted with these figures and we might have been first had it not been for the weather.”

According to official statistics, Ribble Valley is the safest place in Lancashire and one of the safest in the UK, with around 28 crimes recorded annually for every 1,000 residents, which is significantly below the national average and the lowest in Lancashire.

Councillor Hirst said some of the main reasons for the statistics were Ribble Valley being one of the UK’s premier food destinations, a popular wedding destination and recently hosting Stage 2 of the Aviva Tour of Britain, one of the country’s biggest sporting events.

How other Lancashire towns fared in ratings

Out of the 439 boroughs in the survey, here’s how other boroughs in Lancashire rated. South Ribble was 41st, Chorley 44th, Fylde 46th, Pendle were 71st, Lancaster 148th, Wyre 230th, Blackpool 369th and West Lancashire were a lowly 434th, only five places from bottom place Bolsover, Derbyshire. The happiest place in the UK was Fermangh and Omagh in Northern Ireland.