The Echo reports on a survey by the Halifax bank:
ROCHFORD has been rated the seventh best place to live in the UK in a nationwide quality of life survey.
The district, which also includes Rayleigh, has a higher percentage of homeowners and more hours of sunshine per week than any of the other council areas in the top ten, which include first-place Elmbridge, in Surrey.
The survey, by high street bank Halifax, found in Rochford, 86 per cent of people own their homes, average earnings are ?614 a week, compared to ?1,047 in Elmbridge, and the average price of a home is ?161,298.
The survey takes into account all these measures and more to calculate quality of life.
Leader of Rochford Council Terry Cutmore said: ?This is wonderful news. We?ve always known Rochford is a good place to come and live.
?We have the lowest measures of crime in the East of England, 80 per cent of the district is green belt, and the people of Rochford all say good morning to you.
?I?m not saying it?s problem free, but it?s better than most and this survey shows it.?
Castle Point and Basildon also ranked in the top 150 areas to live, at 79 and 135 respectively, but Southend and Thurrock didn?t make it on to the list, which scored all 410 of the UK?s local authorities.
Castle Point residents take home an average of ?592 per week and a massive 89 per cent of residents own their homes, the highest proportion in the country.
In both Castle Point and Rochford life expectancy is 79.3 years.
In Basildon, which includes Billericay and Wickford, the average life expectancy is 77.5 years and people earn, on average, ?612 per week.
Homeowners make up 71 per cent of residents, but there are three and a half times as many burglaries in Basildon than in Rochford and more than twice as many as in Castle Point.
Interesting that a high level of owner occupation is seen as contributing to happiness just as much as a long life expectancy and a low crime rate. But then gain, the Halifax wants to sell mortgages!
The Daily Telegraph reports on the survey here, but sadly doesn’t mention Rochford.