17/08/2016 13:44 BST

Barking And Dagenham Borough Voted The Unhappiest Place In The UK

'They must be having a giraffe'.

Barking and Dagenham has been voted the unhappiest place to live in the UK, with residents saying their neighbours are unfriendly and rude.

Walsall in the West Midlands was the second most miserable, closely following by London boroughs Newham and Brent.

It is the second year in a row the area was named the unhappiest in the country by participants of a Rightmove survey, which asked nearly 24,000 people.

The results were dismissed by the local authority, with a council spokesman using classic cockney slang to say Rightmove was “having a giraffe”.

Jens Koenig via Getty Images
Barking and Dagenham has been voted the unhappiest place to live in the UK. (File image).

A Barking and Dagenham council spokesman told The Evening Standard: “In fact a recent twitter survey puts Barking and Dagenham residents as the happiest in London at breakfast time - so maybe Rightmove got out of bed the wrong side.

“Barking and Dagenham, as your article ‘Barcelona on Thames’ in last week’s paper notes, is east London’s most upwardly mobile borough.

“And as the borough is London’s growth opportunity with tens of thousands of homes and jobs in the pipeline – our horizon, like Barcelona, is blooming beautiful.”

Torquay was voted the fifth unhappiest place to live, followed by Salford, Crewe, King’s Lynn, Oldham and Grays. 

Results showed that living by the sea seems to do wonders for people’s happiness, with Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex, voted the happiest place in the UK.

Second place went to another seaside town, Troon in Scotland, where residents said feel they can be themselves and feel safe.

The study asked participants to rank twelve factors about their local area.

The twelve factors in the study range from how friendly the neighbours are and how much people feel that they can be themselves, to how good the local services are.

The picturesque spa town of Harrogate has come top for the past three years, and although it’s been knocked off the top by the lure of the seaside, it has still made it into third place this year, with its beautiful green spaces helping its happiness ranking.

Rightmove’s Research Manager Abiola Oni said: “Well it seems the saying that we do like to ‘be beside the seaside’ is true, whether you’re down in the East of England or up in Scotland.

“Obviously what ‘happy’ means to different people can vary greatly, but when you compare the factors which score highest in the happiest areas, it shows just how important having friendly people in the local community area is, alongside the services and amenities, which is something buyers often tell us when they are looking in new areas to live.

“Space is also one of the most important things when people are looking for a new home, so it’s not surprising that places with open spaces such as beautiful parks and beaches have featured in the top ten.”