Northumberland has been declared the sixth best place to live in England.
It has also been named the sixth best education region, with the highest proportion of Ofsted-rated outstanding schools, and made it into the top 10 places in the country for GP satisfaction.
The placings follow the results of a study by B.heard, which combines nationally-published statistics on essential public services with the results of public opinion surveys, comparing people’s perceptions with statistical information used by the Government. It includes crime rates, schools, fire services, planning and health.
It says Dorset is the best place to live in England, followed by North Yorkshire; Gloucestershire; Surrey; Cheshire; Northumberland; Hampshire; Hertfordshire; Cumbria and Warwickshire.
Dorset scored highly across the board, including the third best GP satisfaction score and the fourth greatest proportion of schools receiving Ofsted’s top rating, outstanding.
North Yorkshire was found to be a close second in the overall rankings, with England’s lowest crime rate and highest satisfaction with GPs. However, it was shown to be a potentially dangerous place to be caught in a house fire, coming 24th out of 38 regions for the number of fire staff per household intensity, and 16th for its schools.
Humberside was found to be the worst region to live for essential services overall, ranking second worst for schools and third worst for number of fire staff.
Northamptonshire, Essex, the West Midlands, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire, Kent, London and Lincolnshire make up the remaining 10 worst places to live.
Londoners are most at risk of becoming a victim of crime, with 84 offences per 1,000 people, while the capital also had the lowest rate of patient satisfaction with GPs and ranked second worst at providing for homeless people. London’s schools were its saving grace, with the greatest proportion of schools receiving Ofsted’s highest rating.
B.heard CEO Oscar Vickerman said: “B.heard is about giving people the full picture – whether that’s how dependable their bank is or how efficient their local council is. This latest study builds on our work to gather all available data from regulators and government bodies and turn this into transparent, useful information for us all.
“The majority of people believe they simply don’t have a voice when it comes to how their local services are run. The first step to address this is to give everyone a clear picture of the standard of service they are receiving.”