The fourth annual Halifax Quality of Life Survey rates Castle Morpeth as having the highest quality of life in the North, 43rd in the UK, with no other districts in the North East appearing in the top 100.
The Survey tracks ranks local performance across key indicators, including labour and housing markets, environment, education, health and even weather. It 408 (ex-)local authority districts drawing on data from a number of sources, including the ONS, DEFRA, the Met Office, the Department for Transport, Department of Children, Schools and Families and Experian.
They don’t add in access to beautiful tranquil countryside and coast, or the availability of local food and distinctive locally-owned shops – or we would have been even higher.
On the other hand, the data is all pre-local government reorganisation, and it could all go much more horribly wrong when the public sector cuts really start to bite from 2011 onwards.