A quarter of people in the UK feel negative about the area where they live, according to research for Legal & General carried out by cross-party think tank Demos for the creation of our new Place Satisfaction Index. The index maps people’s everyday priorities against what is actually on offer in their communities and will help to inform investment decisions and the levelling up of the UK economy as we build back better after the pandemic.
To discuss all the issues raised by the research an expert panel came together in a live online debate. Moderated by Demos CEO Polly MacKenzie, it included: Legal & General CEO Nigel Wilson; Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick; former Burnley MP and Demos Chief Economic Advisor Kitty Ussher; and Terra Allas CBE, Director of Research and Economics at McKinsey & Company in London.
Kitty led the research to develop the index and its associated report, Everyday Places. She explained that 20,000 people were questioned in a nationwide poll, while focus groups were held in the north and south of England. She explained: “We wanted to track how places perform against the stated priorities, not of some expert group or Whitehall, but of people’s own subjective priorities for their area.”
While the research found that a quarter of people felt negatively about amenities in their communities it also found that negative opinions were particularly concentrated in the coastal areas of east and south west England and the south west of Wales. It also showed that the most highly valued amenities were good quality shops and access to fresh air and nature, along with public transport, which was seen as particularly important in rural areas.
If you missed the event, you can watch it here.