Portsmouth scores high in happiness survey

Portsmouth sunrise with the silhouette of the Spinnaker Tower  Picture: Paul Jacobs
Portsmouth sunrise with the silhouette of the Spinnaker Tower Picture: Paul Jacobs

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IT’S official – Portsmouth is one of the best places to live and work in the country.

The city has come fourth in a list of the best – and worst – places to live in terms of how the local economy is shaping up, and how happy residents are.

It was compiled by consultants PwC and think-tank Demos, which put the top five cities as Oxford, followed by Reading & Bracknell, Aberdeen, Portsmouth and then Southampton.

The results have been welcomed by city leaders.

Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development Mike Hancock said: ‘I’m delighted that we’ve achieved this landmark distinction, of being in the top five cities nationally.

‘It’s a great reward for all those people dedicated to putting Portsmouth on the economic development map.

‘It’s also a tribute to all those businesses who have stayed in Portsmouth and those who have come here.

‘There’s been a great collective effort involving the council and a great partnership across Portsmouth to deliver good news for the city.’

Portsmouth scored above the national average for high levels of disposable income, low levels of people not able to work because of ill health, and an above-average availability of jobs.

The city also scored well for having lower levels of carbon emissions per head than the national average.

But report co-author chief economist at PwC James Hawksworth said: ‘What we tend to see from all of these cities higher on the list is the flip side of success – longer working hours and a bigger discrepancy between income and housing prices.’

Director of regeneration at the council, Kathy Wadsworth, said: ‘Our vision for Portsmouth is all about bringing in investment – whether it’s local companies expanding, outside companies coming here, or businesses starting up here.

‘There are already lots of exciting new developments in the pipeline for the city, and this report, from very authoritative sources, will reinforce the message that Portsmouth is the place to be.

‘It’s a great place to do business, because of its facilities – and also a great place for employees and their families to live, because of its quality of life.’