Express & Star

WATCH: Is Walsall really the most miserable place in the country?

Walsall has the worst community spirit of anywhere in the country, according to a national survey.


The poll, on behalf of online estate agents Rightmove, also ranked the borough bottom in terms of where people felt like they could be themselves.

The survey used 12 different factors to determine which was the happiest place to live in Britain.

Overall, Walsall came 205th out of 206 places, while Essex-seaside town Leigh-on-Sea was crowned the happiest place to live.

There were mixed fortunes for other West Midland towns and cities in the survey.

Cannock ranked as the 188th happiest place, followed by Birmingham in 161st, Wolverhampton at 144th and Stafford placed at 91st in the list.

Stourbridge was the happiest ranked Black Country town at 65th while Lichfield reached the lofty position of 11th. Sandwell did not feature in the poll.

Of the 12 different factors used to measure happiness, six of the categories were around how people felt about their home.

Walsall ranked 206th (bottom) for community spirit, last again for where people can be themselves, 205th for friendliness, 191st for a 'sense of belonging' and 189th in terms of a place for people to earn enough money to live comfortably.

The town ranked second in the category about where people often felt unsafe.

It faired slightly better in the remaining six factors, which were concerned with what is available in the town.

The borough ranked 202nd for art and culture, 198th for opportunities to develop and the same for nature and green spaces.

It also ranked 163rd for sport and recreation, as well as non-essential amenities, including restaurants and shops.

Its best position was 127th for local services including schools and doctors.

Walsall North MP David Winnick said he was not taking the results of the survey seriously. He said: "I don't take much notice of all of this. If one looks at industrial areas up and down, I am sure we do not come out any worse than most. I look upon this as a bit of snobbery.

"The impression it gives is that the best places to live never had any industry.

"If that had been the position over 150 to 200 years Britain would never had been an industrial country." Responding to the borough being second for people feeling unsafe, Mr Winnick added: "I don't accept that.

"As the police will say there has been a marked reduction in the number of a lot of crimes.

"I don't want to give the opposite impression that everything is marvellous and it is almost paradise. But I think it is a safe place to live, it is pleasant."

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.