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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Scottish towns in 'crap' list
Cumbernauld
Cumbernauld was nominated by residents
A new town and an historic university and golfing centre have been ranked among the top 10 worst places to live in the UK.

Cumbernauld, in North Lanarkshire, came second after Hull, while St Andrews, in Fife, followed Liverpool in seventh place.

The pair have secured the dubious honour of inclusion in a book called "Crap Towns: The 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK", which is published on Saturday.

The book was compiled after Idler magazine invited nominations on its website and co-authors Dan Kieran and Sam Jordison said they were overwhelmed by the scale of the response.

"People really got behind the idea. The response was really positive - everyone's got a sense of humour," Mr Kieran said.

HAVE YOUR SAY
Aberdeen. Try walking around Union Street without getting depressed. It's grey - not just the buildings, but the weather, the people, the sea - all grey.
Mick McTavish, UK

It is two decades since Cumbernauld was given a touch of glamour by hit film Gregory's Girl, yet the positive press St Andrews has received from the presence of Prince William did not seem to save it from its detractors.

Cumbernauld was described as a place town planners visit to see what not to do.

Mr Kiernan told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme that he has had his own bad experience of the new town.

He said: "I think it's an absolute tragedy that anybody has to live somewhere that bleak in modern Britian, it just looked like the fallout after a nuclear war.

"It just seemed there was no imagination, no effort to improve the lives of people that lived there."

One resident commented: "I shudder to think what the town that's worse than Cumbernauld is like, I'm not gong there on holiday."

10 'WORST TOWNS'
1 Hull
2 Cumbernauld
3 Morecambe
4 Hythe
5 Winchester
6 Liverpool
7 St Andrews
8 Bexhill-on-Sea
9 Basingstoke
10 Hackney
David Porch, director of planning with North Lanarkshire Council, said he thought the title of worst in Scotland was unfair.

"I don't know what proportion of the local community took part in this particular internet survey, but I'm sure this view is not representative of the majority of residents, and it's not good for the people living in the area to have it maligned in this way.

"There are lots of people who like living there and I hope we'll overcome this in due course because I think it's getting an unfair press.

"Real progress has been made in the redevelopment of Cumbernauld, and this year alone significant investment has been made by the council."

On St Andrews, one contributor to the book criticised the "Tobys and Tabathas... fond of rugger, parents queuing up to deposit their vile offspring three times a year".

But the president of the University of St Andrews students association, Derek MacLeod, said: "If the people who wrote the book had visited St Andrews they would see it was nothing like the picture they seem to have painted of it."

Though readers' votes were weighted in accordance with each town's population, to allow smaller nominees a chance at the top 50, the authors of the pocket-sized guide are the first to admit the list is unashamedly unscientific and biased.

Hull takes first place - decried by a former resident as "a sad story of unemployment, teenage pregnancy, heroin addiction, crime, violence, and rampant self-neglect".


WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Scotland's Alexandra Mackenzie
"Cumbernauld was second only to Hull"



SEE ALSO:
What's it called? Cumbernauld
21 Nov 01  |  Scotland
Cumbernauld wins carbuncle award
21 Nov 01  |  Scotland
Hull fights to defend its image
31 Jul 03  |  Humber
Belfast 'best place to live'
01 Oct 03  |  Northern Ireland


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