Maidstone and North Kent are the tenth worst place to live and work according to the Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index.
The shock revelation was made in a joint report by political think tank Demos and multinational accounting firm PwC. The Index ranks the county town and neighbouring North Kent — which includes Sheppey, Sittingbourne, Medway, Gravesend and Dartford — as the tenth worst area for growth.
The index rates the UK’s 39 largest urban areas according to employment, health, income, skills, housing affordability, commuting times, environmental factors and income inequality. The first four of these categories are judged by the public.
According to the report, which uses figures from 2012 to 2014 and compares them to the period between 2011 and 2013, Maidstone and North Kent’s overall score fell, with only 11 places’ ratings decreasing by more. The two areas are grouped together as they are considered a Travel to Work Area (TTWA) by the government. A TTWA is an area where the population commute to a larger town.
Reading and Bracknell tops the list and is joined by Oxford, Edinburgh, Cambridge and Aberdeen. At the other end of the spectrum Wakefield and Castleford is last, with Middlesbrough and Stockton, London (boroughs only), Sunderland and Liverpool also performing badly.
The report concludes in order to boost growth and living standards around the country power should be decentralized, giving local leaders greater ability to control areas such as transport and housing.by