Miserable Croydon ranked near bottom of happiness table

It’s official: Croydon is one of the most miserable places to live in London.

Cheer up Croydon: the London happiness map, from last week's Evening Standard

Cheer up Croydon: the London happiness map, from last week’s Evening Standard

Well, when we say “official”, we actually mean that the Evening Boris says so. But they did get their source statistics from the Office for National Statistics, so there might be a grain of truth in it all.

The capital’s evening paper reported last week that Croydon is the fifth least happy place to be of London’s 32 boroughs, with Greenwich and our neighbours to the north, Lambeth, being the chief miserablists.

Perhaps Croydon needs one of its most famous sons, Captain Sensible, to do some more of his “Happy Talk”.

Apparently, Redbridge was ranked the happiest borough to live in, followed by Richmond-upon-Thames and Newham.

The paper reported: “The data provides a half-decade picture of Britain’s changing well-being levels for the first time and lays bare parts of the country which are the happiest, most miserable, anxious or have the highest and lowest levels of life satisfaction.”

One passage of the newspaper report, about the ONS’s figures for the nation as a whole, might be seen as encapsulating some of the tensions in Croydon’s north-south divide: “Figures showed those living in rural areas feel most satisfied with life while people in London report the highest levels of anxiety.”

The newspaper’s website also offered infographics to illustrate some of the findings.

For happiness, Croydon rates 7.24/10.

For anxiety, Croydon is 3.12/10, with neighbouring Sutton rated among the highest London boroughs, on 3.59.

For the feeling of being worthwhile, Croydon residents rated 7.45/10.

As a whole, London ranked lower than the rest of the country for satisfaction and finding their lives worthwhile. But it’s even grimmer up north: Chorley in Lancashire returned the lowest levels of overall happiness with an average of 7.00/10.

“This will help individuals, communities and local authorities to look at well-being locally alongside other traditional measures of progress,” the report quoted an ONS official as saying.

Cue Gavin Barwell and Mario Creatura rolling out one of their Tory online campaigns, asking Croydon residents to rate their happiness levels before the 2018 local elections, in an effort to prove we’re more miserable now…

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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4 Responses to Miserable Croydon ranked near bottom of happiness table

  1. Ros Jesson says:

    It seems nothing much has changed since Croydon ranked so badly in the 2008 edition of ‘Crap Towns’!

  2. Pingback: Miserable Croydon ranked near bottom of happiness table | LondonBiz WordPress Blog

  3. Lewis White says:

    I live in Coulsdon, and am a Chartered Landscape Architect.

    When I worked at The London Borough of Lewisham in the 1980s a certain area of Deptford -Silwood Street–was one of SE London’s fly-tipper’s “dump of choice” until we put in some giant concrete boulders (Crane weights) and tank traps. I did a landscape project which cleaned the area up– 2000 rubber tyres and hundreds f cubic metres of assorted fly tip, corrugated iron, and lumpms pf concrete, from one small area of the waste ground. Once cleaned up, I protected the area against further attack by installing some concrete tank trap features–nicely finished concrete blocks like rectangular icebergs with a huge amount under ground so they couldn’t be knocked over.

    With a huge acreage of open space, Croydon now seems to be being targetted, whether by travellers or other members of the community.

    It is really difficult to protect the perimeters of enormous areas like the Purley Way Playing fields. Low earth banks are a possibility, but they don’t come cheap.Some parks have smaller vulnerable perimeters, and it would be sensible if such areas could be protected with well designed landscape features rather than metal tubes filled with concrete-an effective but ugly solution.

    I feel very sorry for Croydon Council officers in this time of ever reducing budgets, who have the task of trying to stop such tipping outrages.

    For anyone interested in stopping the continuing erosion of investment in parks in the UK as a whole, The Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) report State of UK Public Parks 2016, was published on 7 September. It surveyed park managers across the country and revealed that although an increasing number of people are using local parks (57% of adults use a park at least once a week), funding for park maintenance is decreasing, and is expected to decline even further over the next three years.

    Lobbying is one way–and if you have the time, join your local Friends of Parks group– there are many in Croydon.
    Maybe residents could help by reporting any tipping, if the council responds quickly to safeguard the area.

    Lorry confiscation and big fines are a good way of discouraging fly tippers– hit them where it hurts–in the pocket.

  4. Lewis White says:

    Some further thoughts–it’s very interesting to see that Redbridge and Newham–probably some of London’s more deprived areas, income wise, and green environment wise, seem to be happier than our own dear Croydon!.

    It would be interesting to know the ward-by-ward profile of our own Borough’s happiness, anxiety etc etc. It could be revealing–would it turn out that the good folk of leafier areas such as Coulsdon and Purley are more miserable and anxious, relative to people on less income in wards in North Croydon where incomes are probably less.?

    Looking Norf of the River — could it be that outer East Enders, in East and West Ham, and ex East Enders who moved out a bit to Redbridge, retain their Cockney optimism, and exhibit the glass-half-full (and more) outlook, whereas we outer Surrey border suburbanites are more of the glass-half-empty brigade?

    Of course, there are statistics and there are …………………….. as someone said.

    Strike a light Guv, cor’ blimey, and no mistake, yeah, you wouldn’t catch me movin’ dahn Sarf to Croydon, not on me Muvver’s life Gord Bless ‘er !! Not wiv them miserable golf club geezers and their la-di-dah lady wives and a time share on the Costa del b…..n Sol !! All of ’em on at least 80k a year, but b…….n un’appy! No way Ho-zay!

    ‘Ere– Mehmet– can you make that ‘ot chilli sauce with that large Doner?. Fanks– lots of sauce –yeah. Luvverly job, your’e a diamond.! You’re what makes livin rahnd ‘ere so nice.! See ya mate!

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