Critics rap survey claiming Blackburn folk aren’t satisfied with their lot (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Critics rap survey claiming Blackburn folk aren’t satisfied with their lot
A £2 MILLION happiness survey championed by Prime Minister David Cameron has found people in Blackburn with Darwen are among the least satisfied in the country.
But the study has been blasted by critics for being unscientific and council leisure chief Damian Talbot said the investigation pointed to ‘high expectations’ among local people more than anything else.
An Office of National Statistics survey found people in the borough rated their ‘life satisfaction’ at 7.10 out of 10, with only Thurrock and the West Midlands lower at 7.09.
Lancashire, covering rural Ribble Valley as well as Accrington, Burnley and Colne, comes in at 7.48 compared to the national average 7.41. Orkney and Shetland was the highest at 8.1 out of 10. However the ONS survey admits things like being in work, owning your own home, whether your are happily married and being a highly-paid doctor or lawyer all affect happiness.
Critics, including Blackburn with Darwen Tory leader Michael Lee, said the whole survey was a waste of time while the number of people taking part was too low to be accurate. In total 858 people in Blackburn responded and 1,563 in Blackburn. Coun Lee said: “Filling in forms makes people depressed anyway, especially when the weather is bad.”
When it comes to how ‘worthwhile’ people’s lives are, Blackburn rated 7.41, Lancashire’s 7.78 and the national average 7.66.
Asked “how happy were you yesterday?” Blackburn rated 7.02 out of 10, Lancashire 7.34 and the national average 7.28.
For yesterday’s anxiety levels Blackburn’s 3.33 out ten was worse than Lancashire’s 3.02 and the national average of 3.14.
ONS statistician Lucy Tinkler maintained the figures were ‘robust’ despite admitting their was an error margin with all statistics.
Blackburn with Darwen’s executive member for leisure Damian Talbot said he sceptical about the results. He said: “I just think people in Blackburn have high expectations and that’s reflected in this survey.”
And the views of the famous
Carl Fogarty, Blackburn-born superbike racer
“I am obviously happy otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I was born here. My family is from here. It is my home town and I love it. If anybody said anything bad I would jump down their throats. I am so proud of where I am from.”
Jack Straw, Blackburn MP
“I love Blackburn. The best bit is the people. I travel the country and I can see the town is more vibrant than any other. It has a fantastic countryside, its schools have improved and crime is relatively low. And of course there’s Rovers too.”
Gary Aspden, fashion designer, from Darwen
“Growing up in Darwen, I loved Bold Venture Park, Pickup Bank music festival, acid house parties and there were loads of good looking girls.”
Jim Bowen, comedian
“I was happy there in the ‘70s. It was a nice, decent area, the people were nice. But I wouldn’t like to live there now, it is not nice with the recession. The area’s suffered.”
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