District tops poll
North Kesteven boasts one of the best qualities of life
North Kesteven has been highlighted as one of the best places in Britain to live.
The District has emerged in 36th place in the Halifax bank’s list of the top 50 district areas, judged from all local authority areas on a number of criteria relating to quality of life.
It is the only area of Lincolnshire included and one of only four which are away from the south or east of England in a table topped by the Hart area of Hampshire.
The table recognises North Kesteven’s low incidence of burglary, ease of traffic movement, good employment rate, small primary school class size, housing size, quality and cost, low population density and high academic achievements at GCSE.
These factors are so strong that they outweigh poorer ranking for Broadband speed and gross weekly earning, which are areas of priority economic development action going forward into 2012 for North Kesteven District Council.
Councillor Mrs Marion Brighton OBE said: “North Kesteven’s ranking of 36th is a strong reflection on the work of NKDC and its partners in delivering high quality services which improve the lives of District residents.
“Those of us who live, work and enjoy leisure time in North Kesteven already know what a great place it is, but to have that quality of life recognised so strongly and promoted so widely by the Halifax is a strong endorsement.
“The District Council is committed to enhancing all aspects of life in North Kesteven and where it is not directly responsible for this it plays an active part in any partnerships, initiatives and ways to achieve this.”
“While we welcome the findings as a reflection on North Kesteven as a great place to raise a family and do business, the study doesn’t take account of our beautiful countryside, cultural heritage and strong community cohesion, which all combine to enhance our District even further.”
The report is based chiefly on quality on jobs, the housing market, education, health and crime.
- The work of the Community Safety Partnership is key to the low burglary rate recorded as 17.4 crimes per 10,000 population (which is the 8th lowest of the 50 areas).
- The District is in mid-table position with its employment rate of 75.8% and has one of the healthiest ratios of earnings to house prices at 5.7, with only nine areas having more affordable housing.
- Housing is among the largest with only two other areas having more than an average of 6.9 rooms in a house.
- At 894, the traffic flow per square kilometre in North Kesteven is the lightest of all 50 areas.
- Only 10 of the other areas have lower average broadband speeds than NK’s 73% rate having more than two Megabytes per second, which is an area in which NKDC has been working hard to increase local coverage.
- Only eight areas have lower carbon dioxide emissions per person than the 2.1tonne level in North Kesteven, reflecting the success of NKDC’s emphasis on sustainability and education and enabling residents to take ‘green’ action.
- Only Rutland has lower population density than NK’s 115 people per square km.
- Only five other areas score higher than the 83.6 per cent of students gaining five or more A-C grades at GCSE.
“One media commentator has referred to North Kesteven as ‘one of only four oases of civilisation outside southern and eastern England and that is exactly how we like to think of the District,” said Cllr Mrs Brighton.