Northumberland among top 10 places for families to live

Beadnell Bay. 
Picture by Jane Coltman
Beadnell Bay. Picture by Jane Coltman
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Northumberland has been named the eighth best place to raise a family in the UK, according to a new report.

The first Better Family Life Index from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, ranks the UK’s 138 local authorities on 33 aspects important to family life, including health, housing, crime, childcare, sleep, sunshine and time spent with family. Based on government data and new consumer research, it creates a comprehensive study of modern family life in the UK.

And the Index ranks Northumberland as the eighth best place for families to live. It even came top for one of the measures – cleanest air.

The study shows that life can feel pressured and hectic, with almost half of parents (49 per cent) considering moving to improve their circumstances and over four in ten (43 per cent) worrying they are not giving their family the best start in life.

Money is very much on the minds of British families, with more disposable income (57 per cent), cheaper cost of living (53 per cent) and cheaper bills (52 per cent) the top three things that parents believe would enhance their quality of life.

Interestingly, the fourth most important influence is better weather, with more than four in 10 parents (43 per cent) believing this would improve their lifestyle. So it’s no surprise that the East of England – the sunshine capital of the UK – is the best performing region in the study, taking more than a quarter of the top 20 spots.

This report shows that life is far from equal for the nation’s 19 million families. As the UK enters a period of increased uncertainty after the vote to leave the EU, the Better Family Life Index provides some simple measures for families to bring greater certainty and stability to their finances.

In collaboration with chartered educational psychologist, Dr Kairen Cullen, it recommends steps that both public and private organisations could take to further improve the quality of life for the UK’s families, including:

• Better financial education for adults and young people;

• Community and private sector playing a greater role in childcare;

• Increased government focus on family housing requirements;

• Further investigation around parental stress levels across the UK.

Read the full report here.