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Neat streets: How is the council doing in your new neighbourhood?

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With UK house prices seeing the fastest growth rate in January for 17 years, the pressure is on when it comes to finding the “right” location for a new home.

In addition, with flexible working here to stay, buyers may not have the need they once had to stick to major cities.

While proximity to “the office” may not be as crucial as it once was, a range of other factors come into play when deciding where to live, such as schools, retail options and things to do and see.

Potholes are among the more common complaints.

Neighbourhood issues

Another factor is how well the area is cared for by the local authority, and website FixMyStreet records neighbourhood issues, such as broken street lights and potholes, and reports when they’re fixed.

Sofa company Swyft Home looked into more than 14 years’ of data logged on FixMyStreet to help buyers decide where to move to in 2022.

Problems included abandoned vehicles, miscellaneous damage, flooding/drainage issues, graffiti, noise pollution and issues with paths, parking, public toilets, street cleaning, road signs and lighting.

Flooding and drainage were among the issues listed in the analysis.

In the past 14 years in Aberdeen, 1,289 issues have been logged on FixMyStreet and of these, 21% were logged as having been fixed by the council.

This put Aberdeen in seventh place for the least number of issues fixed with the main concerns being road signs and road lighting.

To put that into perspective, the place with the highest percentage of issues fixed was Lincoln, at 58%.

Complaints

Among the issues reported in Aberdeen were “a 1m wide, 20cm deep recess on the A96 eastbound before the petrol station entrance” and “several potholes outside the Sports Village”.

Another report stated: “Street light attached to No 3 Spital Walk has been broken for two years and has been reported many times.”

Parking was another issue mentioned by homeowners.

When issues are reported on FixMyStreet, the reports are sent to the relevant council. Swyft looked into which councils were the most responsive to complaints and got the most issues fixed.

Going by the least number of issues logged, five out of the top 20 places to live were in Scotland and in order were: Stirling, Perth, Ayr, Dundee and Inverness.

In the Highland capital, 21% of issues were reported as fixed, with the main complaints to do with refuse and street cleaning.

A council worker cleaning Union Street paving in Aberdeen.

Surprisingly, the City of London came in at third place (after Belfast and tiny Ely in Cambridgeshire) for the least number of issues logged.

The Swyft report said: “This could be because it’s made up of more commercial buildings rather than residential ones, however, a very low percentage of issues were actually fixed, with zero being marked as solved.

“The main issues in the City of London are refuse and street cleaning, people discarding old office chairs in the street, and disruption caused by people on nights out. One report even mentioned horse manure!”

The best overall UK city to move to based on the least number of issues logged, most issues fixed and most affordable average house prices was Hull, followed by Perth, then Durham.

Key findings

  • The cities with the least number of issues logged – Belfast, Ely and City of London.
  • The UK cities with the most number of issues logged – Bristol, Bath and Oxford.
  • Where do the UK councils fix the most issues – Lincoln, Bath and Bristol.

Read more…

House prices in Scotland: Track the property values in your area

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