We’re smiles better than you think!

Photo Neil Cross
South Ribble Mayor Linda Woollard unveils the areas latest 'gateway' feature, a Leyland tractor, with Coun Phil Smith, Howerd Booth, Jamie Rigby, Alistair Woollard and Coun Jane Bell
Photo Neil Cross South Ribble Mayor Linda Woollard unveils the areas latest 'gateway' feature, a Leyland tractor, with Coun Phil Smith, Howerd Booth, Jamie Rigby, Alistair Woollard and Coun Jane Bell

You’re having a laugh . . . South Ribble has hit back after it was dubbed an unhappy place to live following a new survey.

The findings came from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), but the borough says it is nonsense.

And neighbouring Chorley was not amused when it was said to be the unhappiest place in the UK.

The ONS figures had been misread, leaving red-faced media organisations, including the BBC, somewhat glum after releasing the error.

They reported to show that people in South Ribble and Rochdale were also among those who revealed the lowest levels of overall happiness.

The findings were from the ONS annual population survey of adults over 16.

But South Ribble residents find plenty to smile about as they are actually among the happiest in the North West.

When asked how happy they had felt the previous day, those surveyed were unanimous in their answers, making the borough second only to Fylde when it comes to being happy.

When compared with the populations in neighbouring boroughs, South Ribble residents came out joint top along with Fylde for how worthwhile they felt, scoring an impressive 8.02 out of 10, and second for happiness with a score of 7.68.

Mayor of South Ribble councillor Linda Woollard, said: “It’s no surprise to me that we have such happy residents.

“We have great schools, one of the best parks in the country, beautiful countryside and a City Deal that will deliver thousands of jobs as well as new infrastructure. Happiness isn’t just about how you feel now but also about how you feel about your future in terms of opportunities and your environment.

“We’re confident that South Ribble can meet those expectations and that our residents will still be smiling in years to come.”

South Ribble residents also came out next to the top when compared with those in neighbouring boroughs in terms of how satisfied they were with their lives, clocking up 7.73 out of 10, just below Fylde with 7.87.

When questioned about anxiety, South Ribble scored a low and healthy 2.69, putting it among the three boroughs showing the lowest levels among its residents.

Earlier this year, Leyland was chosen for a special initiative to make folk happier – with the backing of the Dalai Lama.

An eight-week new course that said to be proven to leave people happier and more likely to help others called Exploring What Matters, took place in Leyland to help people discover how to live a happier and kinder life.

It was backed by the Dalai Lama, who said: “As patron of Action for Happiness I am delighted to see the work being done by members of this movement to create a happier and more caring society.

“I wholeheartedly support the Exploring What Matters course and hope that many thousands of people will benefit from it and be inspired to take their own action to help create a happier world.”