Friday, 25 November 2016

York is the UK city with the best community spirit

How does your city rank?

York is the UK city with the best community spirit – and Wolverhampton has the WORST, according to new research.

Hull was voted the second most neighbourly city, ahead of Hull, Belfast, Derby, Plymouth, Wrexham, Newcastle, Swansea, Cardiff and Glasgow. While at the other end of the friendliness chart, Wolverhampton was followed by Portsmouth, Preston, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Southampton, Cambridge, Liverpool, Oxford and Lincoln.

The survey of 4,000 people was conducted by Bisto to mark the launch of Bisto Open Door Sunday this Sunday 20th November, a project encouraging neighbours to get together. The poll revealed that over a third are not satisfied with the level of community spirit in their neighbourhood and 43 per cent would like to see more of it.

Only half of Brits know their neighbour's name and only 29% say hello to them. Just over a third do not meet with local friends or family regularly and 39% do not engage in any social activities in their neighbourhood.

Bisto teamed up with Dr Stephanie Alice Baker, Lecturer in Sociology at City, University of London, to assess "social and civic attachments".

York communities were unveiled as the friendliest: 42% have a neighbour they could call for help if they lost a key, compared to just 32% in Wolverhampton.

A quarter engage in social activities in their neighbourhood (25%) or check in and offer help to vulnerable neighbours (26%), compared to 16% and 13% respectively in Wolverhampton.

Dr. Stephanie Alice Baker said: "There's a significant body of literature in sociology that discusses the decline of community in the twentieth century.

"Arguments of this kind have been intensified by the proliferation of digital devices and social media platforms in the twenty-first century. Our findings suggest that technology is not solely responsible for a decline in community spirit. A series of social and cultural factors have contributed to people's lack of engagement in their community, including longer working hours, commute times and moving house frequently.

"Trust and friendship is generated by repeated, meaningful social interactions. To increase community spirit, we can start by taking the time to get to know those around us and engaging with them on a regular basis by simply saying hello or sharing a meal together."

Helen Touchais, Brand Director at Premier Foods, Bisto, said: "Whilst the research shows that community spirit across the UK is low, it is encouraging to see that many people want to improve it.

"We have been bringing families together around the table for over 100 years, and now we're encouraging communities to partake in Bisto Open Door Sunday to get to know their neighbours over some good food."

The top 10 UK cities by community spirit:
1. York
2. Hull
3. Belfast
4. Derby
5. Plymouth
6. Wrexham
7. Newcastle
8. Swansea
9. Cardiff
10. Glasgow

And the 10 UK cities with the worst community spirit:
1. Wolverhampton
2. Portsmouth
3. Preston
4. Milton Keynes
5. Nottingham
6. Southampton
7. Cambridge
8. Liverpool
9. Oxford
10. Lincoln

Where does your city rank on the best or worst list? Let us know on Twitter @theladymagazine

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