The results are in, and what was originally thought to be a close contest turned out to be nothing of the sorts – the winner was clear! This not only gives bragging rights to local residents, it also shows that exit polls in the UK cannot be trusted for anything!
Local residents who took part in the survey were contacted directly late last week and are delighted with the results. Dozens of major cities, towns and villages took part in this year’s survey, with the full results table to be released later this week. Though a casual survey (which was independently organised and undertaken), the result goes to show how much the area has developed over recent years, especially with a view to community activities and interaction.
The main features of the winning area are as follows:
- 62% of those surveyed locally said they would be happy to leave a key with a neighbour in case of emergencies.
- 36% engaged in community activities, sports or social clubs in the local area.
- 42% would offer to check in on or help out elderly or vulnerable neighbours if they believed it would be helpful.
- 24% of local residents had invited at least one of their neighbours for tea in the past year.
The 2017 “UK’s Friendliest Place To Live” survey was conducted earlier this year, and the results are significantly different from those in 2016. Many have speculated that the “Brexit-effect” has affected people’s perceptions of their local area and how friendly they deem their neighbours. This was particularly evident in areas where the Leave-Remain vote was very close, suggesting that contention over the issues that underpinned Brexit have negatively impacted how people see each other locally.
The criteria considered such factors as community spirit, neighbourly interactions and the likelihood people would help strangers. Additional points were awarded to areas that had implemented community schemes such as food banks, charitable events and other similar community-focused activity.
The Effect of Technology
Earlier this year Dr. Stephanie Alice Baker from University College London commented on the concept behind the survey. Dr Baker said: ‘Technology is not solely responsible for a decline in community spirit. A series of social and cultural factors have contributed to people’s lack of engagement in their community, including longer working hours, commute times and moving house frequently. Trust and friendship is generated by repeated, meaningful social interactions.’