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Surprise as Newry ranked ‘second worst’ place to raise a family.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Surprise as Newry ranked ‘second worst’ place to raise a family. thumbnail NEWRY is said to be the second-worst city in the UK to raise a family, according to a survey by MoneySupermarket.com.

NEWRY has been named as the second worst city to raise children in the United Kingdom.

The city sits only behind London, while neighbouring city Armagh was placed third on the Money- SuperMarket survey.

The survey, which has created a storm on social media, looked at schools, parks, burglaries, jobs, house prices and income in 35 cities in the UK.

While Newry does not boast a park, the city is home to some of the top schools in the country including Our Lady's Grammar, St Colman's, Sacred Heart and St Joseph's.

SDLP Newry councillor Gary Stokes, took exception to the survey's findings and said: "You would have thought we would have scored quite highly as we have some of the best schools in the country, if not the world." However, Councillor Stokes did acknowledge that there is work to be done by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council in order to see through the Albert Basin Park plan and attract more well paid job opportunities to the city.

"There are jobs but there are very few if you take away the likes of First Derivatives," he said. "Income levels in Dublin are twice as much as they are in Newry.

"Another issue, which is close to my heart, is parks and again there is a big issue with the lack of green space in Newry.

"There's a couple of things there the council can do. One is getting this Albert Basin Park done because of the huge demand, and can we look at getting more job opportunities and better paid jobs into Newry? "Let's get this park built, let's get it open and let's look at getting higher paid, better jobs into Newry.

"If we do that, the next time they do the survey we'll be top!" Meanwhile, Independent Newry councillor Davy Hyland, expressed his surprise at the survey and pointed out that more people are moving to the area to raise a family.

"Every town and city has its drawbacks but most people that I know in Newry are very content and very happy with the city," he explained.

"The number of new people moving to the city would suggest that they are also quite happy living here and getting employment here .

"Newry probably has some of the best schools in the whole of the north, which makes it even more surprising.

"In a recent survey of house prices, it says that house prices in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area are the third highest in the north so why would people be paying large sums of money for housing if they felt the area was such a let down?" The 10 worst cities to raise children, according to the survey, were London, Newry, Armagh, Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Glasgow, Kingston upon Hull, Brighton and Hove and Birmingham.

The 10 best cities were Newcastle- upon-Tyne, Derby, Wolverhampton, Southampton, Bath, Nottingham, Coventry, York, Oxford and Portsmouth.

MoneySuperMarket spokesperson Kevin Pratt explained that the survey was created "to guide parents" looking to "future proof their next move".

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