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Hertsmere is the UK's home of misery

    Hertsmere, home to the second largest Jewish community in the UK , is the most miserable part of Britain, according to official figures.

    The Hertfordshire borough, where nearly 15 per cent of residents are Jews, had the lowest happiness rating in the annual Office for National Statistics survey into the nation’s wellbeing.

    Asked “how happy were you yesterday?” respondents living in Hertsmere were shown to have the lowest happiness score in the country at 6.87 out of 10 — down sharply from 7.8 in 2015-16.

    Life satisfaction in the region, which includes the Jewish enclaves of Borehamwood, Bushey and Radlett, also dipped to 7.2 — an equal low with the London borough of Lewisham.

    Taken on the data for the year to the end of March, Hertsmere scored the lowest happiness rating.
    Rabbi Jonathan Hughes of Radlett United Synagogue joked: “The Office for National Statistics must have conducted their survey in Hertsmere on a day when Spurs lost at home.”

    Robert Voss, the first Jewish Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, said: “I was very surprised to read of the apparent unhappiness of the people of Hertsmere as I have always found that part of Hertfordshire to be a vibrant dynamic and place.

    “I don’t know what criteria were used to reach this conclusion — but I’m sure the vast majority of Hertsmere residents if asked again would  disagree.”

    Donald Graham, the chief executive of Hertsmere Borough Council, said he was “surprised” by the findings, adding: “Our last independent residents’ survey found that when asked about the area as a place to live, 90 per cent of residents were satisfied, of which 53 per cent were very satisfied.

    “Hertsmere is a diverse borough with easy links to London. We have a strong sense of community with committed local partners and engaged residents, alongside a dedicated borough council.”

    The ONS found that despite political upheaval and fears over leaving the European Union, Britain is a more upbeat place than it was, with life satisfaction at its highest level since records began in 2011.

    The survey saw 150,000 people aged 16 and above asked four questions on the quality of their life over the past year to March 2017.

    The ONS gives a breakdown for the results across local authorities, although it warns the data must be viewed over several years to get an accurate picture. 

    Although the ONS warns that “simply ranking local authorities by their numerical scores can be misleading”.

    The borough of Craven in the Yorkshire Dales came top in the rating at 8.30, up from 7.5 the year before. It was followed by the Orkney Islands on 8.24, Mid Suffolk on 8.18 and Suffolk Coastal on 8.16. 
     

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