A survey by Readers Digest has voted Scotland one of the best places in Britain to raise a family, with three areas - East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire and West Lothian - rated highly for quality of schools, low crime and affordable homes. Daily Telegraph.

Reading in Berkshire is regarded as the worst place to bring up children with its low-achieving state schools and high crime. Oxford is 10th worst, because of expensive housing and high burglary rates.

The report concluded: 'if a single thread runs through the fabric of all these places, large and small, it is the golden one called "community" - the concerned neighbours, teachers and community groups that stand behind safe streets, strong schools and thriving towns.'

Ten best

1. East Dunbartonshire 2. East Renfrewshire 3. Forest of Dean, Gloucs 4. Vale of Glamorgan, Wales 5. Hambleton, North Yorks 6. Fareham, Hants 7. West Lothian, Scotland 8. South Gloucestershire 9. Ribble Valley, Lancs 10. Uttlesford, Essex

Ten worst

1. Reading, Berks 2. Waltham Forest, London 3. North-east Lincolnshire