THE assertion that people living in the South enjoy a far higher quality of life than families living in northern parts of the country, including Yorkshire, will rekindle – once again – the debate about links between health and wellbeing. Yet, while poverty, social mobility and quality of life are important concepts worthy of serious consideration, it is difficult to take seriously a survey which ranks Hambleton as this region's top location – and Britain's 78th best place to live.
For, while rural North Yorkshire does, indeed, have poverty hotspots, the same equally applies in the South where affluence is far more fundamental to a comfortable lifestyle. Rather than just accepting such nonsensical survey results, perhaps this county's leaders need to devote more time in 2011 to talking up Yorkshire and the lifestyle on offer.
Yorkshire's magnificent national parks and coastline offers a welcome contrast to the hustle of urban life, a luxury denied to the South. And, more contemporaneously, this region's airports stayed open, in the main, during the big freeze – unlike the international embarrassment that was Heathrow Airport.