You’re having a laugh . . . folk in Chorley were not amused when the town was dubbed the unhappiest in the UK.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) had been misread, leaving red-faced media organisations, including the BBC, somewhat glum after releasing the error.
In fact, it’s nowhere near the unhappiest town even in the North West.
The new figures were also reported to show that people in South Ribble and Rochdale were also among those who reported the lowest levels of overall happiness.
The findings were from the ONS annual population survey of adults over 16.
But cheery Chorley folk have hit back.
Councillor Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “We couldn’t believe it either when we read the story and it has put a smile on our face telling people about all the great things in Chorley.
“We’re putting lots of investment into making Chorley a place people want to live, work and visit and you can see from the many events we host from the hugely popular Chorley Flower Show to Chorley Live, which is coming up on 7 and 8 October, there is plenty for people to enjoy.
“I know myself as I travel to many places through work that we’re lucky to have what we’ve got in Chorley whether it’s the beautiful countryside, our unique independent traders and famous Chorley Markets or the beautiful floral displays that brighten up the borough.
“It looks like the Chorley cakes will be on the BBC!”
ONS statistician Dawn Snape said: “We have seen personal well-being improving on a UK-wide basis over the past five years.
“But today’s data paints a richer picture, enabling people to explore what’s been happening in their local area.
“This will help individuals, communities and local authorities to look at well-being locally alongside other traditional measures of progress.”
The reports of unhappiness did not go down well in the town - especially on the Chorley Then and Now Facebook page
Comments included those from Gareth Booth, who said: “Happy to live in Chorley.
“Lucky to be so close to penine hills, canal and towards Southport. Quite a strange comment given house prices.”
Brian Derbyshire said: “Never heard such rubbish in all my life – absolute tosh!’
Andrea Elliott Denham added: “Chorley isn’t that bad, I’ve lived in worse. I’ve always found people here fairly happy.”
While Lynn King commented: “Load of rubbish...I’m from the north east but lived in Chorley for 7 years now. I love it.”
In the happiness poll, whicgh was scored out of 10, North West results included:
Chorley 7.46, Preston 7.10, South Ribble 7.68, Blackburn with Darwen 7.43, Wigan 7.65, Blackpool 7.37, Fylde 8.03, Burnley 7.07, Lancaster 7.46 and Bolton 7.37