Hampshire Town One of Best For Families
Chandlers Ford in Hampshire has made it into the top ten of places in the UK to bring up a family (it came 10th).
The poll looked at things like quality of schools, childcare provision, cost of living and crime levels. Wokingham in Berkshire came top.
The rest of the top 20 towns are dominated by counties in the south east and south west, according to Family Investments which commissioned the survey.
The complete top 20 is: Wokingham, Berkshire; Chulmleigh, Devon; Lightwater, Surrey; Shebbear, Devon; Oakham, Rutland; Bromley Cross, Lancashire; Bingham, Nottinghamshire; Chinnor, Oxfordshire; Yarm, Yorkshire; and Chandlers Ford, Hampshire. These are followed by Bloxham, Oxfordshire; Malmesbury, Wiltshire; Wendover, Buckinghamshire; Bradninch, Devon; Topsham, Devon; Twyford, Berkshire; Dunnington, Yorkshire; Guildford, Surrey and Llangammarch Wells, Powys.
Kate Moore, head of savings and investments at Family Investments, said: "Wokingham's place at the top of our table reflects its combination of excellent school results, relative affordability for young families and low crime levels.
"Everybody has different ideas about what makes a great location to start a family and bring up a child and we have tried to be as comprehensive as possible in gathering information on the factors parents have told us are most important.
"Of course we do recognise there are some factors that can't be measured, such as the valuable support provided by family and friends that live close by."
Wokingham, which according to records held its first market in 1219 and was famed for bull baiting in the 17th century, is nowadays well-equipped with facilities including private and state schools, churches and art galleries. According to Family Investments, its good transport links to London and the nearby M4 make it an attractive town for business, leading to the relative affluence of the area with an average salary of £33,544.
The factors considered by the study included key stage two and four results, school inspection outcomes, quantity and quality of early years care, affordability of childcare, local crime figures and property affordability. It also considered the availability of an existing population of parents with young children, parks and green spaces, leisure centres, zoos and farms and museums and theatres.