Being an ex-marketing person I know the promotional value of providing survey results at the end of the year. The press and media love reflecting on the past year and predicting events in the future.
Nothing wrong with that. But, when your survey results are in their sixth year, as they are with the Halifax Quality of Life Survey, consistency in their calculation is assumed. Not so with the Halifax survey. Here are the top three places to live over the last six years of the survey [links to the most recent surveys are shown]:
- 2007: 1-Wokingham, 2-South Bucks, 3-Surrey Heath
- 2008: 1-Elmbridge, 2-Mid Suffolk, 3-Horsham
- 2009: 1-Elmbridge, 2-East Herts, 3-Surrey Heath
- 2010: 1-Elmbridge, 2-Hart, 3-Wokingham …. Surrey Heath 9th
- 2011: 1-Hart, 2-Elmbridge, 3-Wokingham
In the Quality of Life Survey for 2011, Surrey Heath does not appear in the top 50 of places to live, nor do previous top three place holders, East Herts, or South Bucks. How odd. It seems to be down to the vagaries of broadband speed, as that is a new evaluation factor for 2011, along with the new house price to earnings ratio.
Surrey Heath remains one of the safest places to live, as it does having one of the most healthy populations. It all goes to show that it’s the choice of evaluation factors that produces the result. Obvious, I know. But, it still odd. I’m thinking that it would be good to see the whole of the data, but by then I’d have lost the will to live.