Comparison platform B.heard works on a Dependability Index, which is based on a wealth of data points from a variety of regulatory sources and includes crime rates, schools, fire services, planning and health.
The remaining regions making up the top 10 include Dorset, North Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Surrey, Cheshire, Northumbria, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Cumbria.
The unique B.heard study is the first to combine nationally published stats on essential public services with the results of public opinion surveys, comparing people’s perceptions with statistical information used by the government.
Clare in Suffolk has been chosen as one of the top rural locations. The Suffolk town made it into the top 20 places on a list of 50, compiled by the Sunday Times in association with Zoopla.
At number 13 in the list, the town was described as having “period properties and rich history – without the coach trips”.
Cllr Alaric Pugh represents Clare on St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “It is very exciting news and totally understandable”.
“It’s a real community, and we have a thing called a ‘Clare moment’ where you can go out for around two minutes to buy a loaf of bread and you’re never out for less than half an hour because of meeting people to chat to them.”
Clare was praised for its 50 minute drive distance from Cambridge, and regular train service to London Liverpool Street from nearby Sudbury station.
Its pubs, cafes antique shops and schools were also recognised – as was its museum, which is in one of the town’s “many medieval houses”.