A NEW study claims Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle are amongst the six worst places to live in the North West of England.

The survey for the Your Housing Group by former Treasury economist Chris Walker places Ribble Valley as the fourth most attractive borough for home seekers.

The report ranks 39 council across the North West by house prices, rental costs, unemployment rates, position on the national index of deprivation, quality of schools, availability of homes to rent or buy, the ease of getting and cost of mortgages, and wage rates.

According to the new Liveability Index, published this week, Blackburn with Darwen comes 38th of the 39 local authority areas and Pendle is 34th.

Oldham comes last and is named the ‘most challenging’ place to live in the North West.

Rossendale comes at 19, Burnley at 25, and Hyndburn at 27.

Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley said: “These surveys come along regularly.

“In some the borough does badly and in others it does well. We are just getting on with moving Blackburn with Darwen forward.”

Cllr John Slater, leader of the council Tory group, said: “This is not surprising. It is a sad indictment of the borough’s leadership. They are building the wrong houses in the wrong places.”

Cllr Stephen Atkinson, leader of Ribble Valley Council said: “Ribble Valley is a beautiful place where we put residents at the heart of council policy.

“There has not been too much intervention which has helped preserve its beauty as a place to live.”

Pendle Council leader Paul White said: “We’re all too aware young people tend to move towards city life. Whilst housing is affordable, we need to work much harder to make Pendle an exciting and vibrant place for young people to live.”

The top three places to live are South Lakeland, Copeland and Fylde.

The index reveals the areas where people on average incomes are most likely to struggle to ‘get on’ and identifies the North West boroughs where more affordable homes need to be built.

It follows a survey last year covering 72 council areas in the North of England which placed Blackburn with Darwen 70th, Pendle 68th, Rossendale 38th, Burnley 30th, Hyndburn 56th and the Ribble Valley fourth.

Brian Cronin, chief executive of Your Housing Group, said: “This important research shows where we need to see the development of more affordable homes.”