Survey shows drop in Redditch's quality of life

By Ian Dipple Friday 11 January 2013 Updated: 11/01 09:28

THE QUALITY of life for Redditch residents has fallen over the past 12 months according to a national survey.

Redditch has slipped from the 89th best place to live in the UK to 114th according to research carried out by the Halifax bank.

The borough also fell from second place in Worcestershire to fourth and is now ranked eighth on the quality of life index for the West

Midlands, down four places from 2011. Neighbouring Bromsgrove is now the best place to live in the county and Solihull in the region.

The research ranks council areas on a range of indicators including jobs, the housing market, education, health and crime as well as weather, traffic flows and broadband access.

But the figures show a mixed bag when it comes to the quality of life enjoyed by borough residents. Redditch is top in the West Midlands region for employment with 81.5 per cent in work, but it is third bottom of the table for wages, with the average worker's weekly pay just £507, compared to £748 in Solihull.

Houses are also among the most expensive in the West Midlands, costing on average 5.9 times the average yearly wage.

But the research shows over 97 per cent of households have access to broadband speeds of a last 2mbps, the best in the region, over 92 per cent of the population is in good health with an average life expectancy of 78. The number of pupils achieving five GCSEs at A* to C is also among the highest in the West Midlands at over 86 per cent.

Coun Bill Hartnett, leader of Redditch Borough Council, said they were already aware Redditch was a low wage economy but other aspects of the report were 'bizarre'.

"It's disappointing we have slipped but we are still in the upper quartile," he said.

"It's not the list of indicators I would have chosen but we have got some good things on there to be proud of but the fact we are a low wage economy is probably the one that dragged us down.

"It makes the funding settlement the council got from the Government even less fair as this shows we will need the money."

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