Why Woodley is a great place to bring up a familyBy Jon Nurse
October 15, 2012
Families praised a vibrant community spirit they feel proves Woodley is one of the best places in the country to raise a family.
The town was last week named the second best place in England and Wales to raise a family.
The Family Friendly Hotspot report analysed 2,400 postcodes and looked at more than 60 factors, including how much people earn, the amount of crime, and the average Key Stage Two score.
Jacquie Martinez, 41, of Brandon Avenue, has six children aged from four months to 12.
“It’s got everything,” she said. “I grew up in Woodley and it has a whole lot to offer. There are plenty of play areas and school activities.
“Everything is in walking distance and the pedestrian area in the precinct is ideal. I don’t have a worry about cars and my children.
“The people in Woodley are very friendly, too.”
Juliet Sheratt, 42, of Woodley, added: “I can see why it’s got it. There’s a lot of community spirit and the facilities are pretty good. But then, we do pay the most council tax [in Wokingham borough].”
But report, by Family Investments, did surprise some people.
Richard Ennis, 53, of Sellarfield Way, added: “There is a nice community atmosphere – there’s almost a village feel to Woodley.
“I’m a bit surprised to hear it’s second best. I’d have thought there would be other places in the country with better shops and schools.”
The average salary earned by Woodley residents was £26,341 while the average price of a two-bedroom property was £202,550 and crime per capita was 0.06.
Woodley came second to Wokingham in the survey, which also claimed the town’s average Key Stage Two score was below the national average.
Rachel McCabe, 43, of Butts Hill Road, said: “I have three children all at Woodley schools and I think the education provision is fantastic.”
Woodley mayor Cllr Ray Duncan added: “We are very pleased to hear this news. Woodley has a lot to offer.
“It’s a vibrant community with a lot going on.”
Reporter Jon Nurse spoke to more people in Woodley for their views on why it's such a good place to bring up a family.
Tony Mason, Howth Drive, 65.
“I’ve lived in Woodley since the 70s. The centre is great now with the markets and there’s always a nice friendly atmosphere. I think the facilities are good, but like everywhere there could be more.
“The schools were great when my children were growing up and I have a grandchild in a nursery here.”
James Sullivan, Orville Close, 36.
“There are lots of young families here. We have everything we need.
“There are good parks and lots of activities for the kids to take part in.
“I’ve lived here for nine years with my wife Jo
and our girls do music, dance and ballet in the town.
“I’m really happy with the schools here.”
Ann Brown, Western Avenue, 65.
“I’ve lived in the same house since 1970 and it’s been a good place to raise children. My son went to Waingels and he has gone on to do very well in his career.
“We are lucky to have lots of clubs and activities and a decent library too. You don’t feel frightened when you walk round here and you don’t see much vandalism.”
Mary Miall, Lower Earley.
“I am really surprised with the results. I would have thought raising a child in the country is preferable to being in a big town.
“It is nice here though. I love Woodley. That’s why I still come here, it’s very friendly with an eclectic group of shops. The town has real character and the market is fab.”