Is Bradford the UK’s worst place to live?

The leader of a council in Yorkshire branded the worst place to live in the country has said such surveys should be “treated with scepticism” and said his district was a “great place to live.”

Bradford city centre. Picture by Tony Johnson
Bradford city centre. Picture by Tony Johnson

Bradford has been labelled the worst place in the country to live, with Hull languishing in second place, in quality of life rankings which also placed York in the top ten areas in the country with Edinburgh topping the poll as the most desirable part of the UK to live.

Researchers assessed 138 local areas on 26 different factors including employment rates, house prices, crime rates, life expectancy, average gross incomes, hours of sunshine and other factors.

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Low crime rates, affordable living costs, high salaries and fast broadband all helped to propel Edinburgh up the charts to become the best place to live, however those living in Bradford and Hull were found to have low disposable income, low rates of employment and high rents.

Today the findings in the annual Quality of Life index, which were collated from a number of public sources, were questioned by Hull Council and also dismissed as an “advertising survey” designed to promote a company by the leader of Bradford Council.

“As such, its selective findings, published for no other reason than marketing purposes, should be treated with scepticism rather than as legitimate social research,” Coun Dave Green, the leader of Bradford Council added.

“Surveys like this are often contradicted. A survey published by the Office of National Statistics survey published in September this year said: ‘People living in Bradford have higher levels of life satisfaction than the national or regional averages and the highest level in West Yorkshire,’” he said.

He said the Bradford district was a great place to live with globally successful businesses, a dynamic young population and a world-class cultural offer. “We also have a family friendly city centre, with the multi-award winning City Park and the imminent opening of the new Broadway shopping centre,” he added.

A Hull Council spokesperson said: “These figures are from a range of sources and most appear to be at least a year old. They do not appear to recognise most recent figures, including those for employment, and as such we would question the reliability of this collection of data.

“A recent similar survey by the Sunday Times which looked at factors including house prices and investments highlighted Hull as one of the best urban places in Britain to live.”

According to the survey Blackpool and South Teesside were also placed in the bottom ten regions in the UK Quality of Life Index while Hertfordshire, Northumberland and Solihull were all placed in the top ten regions in the country. York was the only area of Yorkshire to feature in the top ten places to live, coming in at nine on the index.

According to the research people in Bradford have among the lowest gross disposable household incomes at £13,654 a year. However researchers found it was not all doom and gloom for Bradford with residents paying low prices for essential costs such as energy, food and council tax and house prices were cheaper.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at said: “What this report reveals is the vast differences in the quality of life that many people across the UK are experiencing.”