Dursley rejects "Crap Towns Returns" label as Gazette speaks to author Sam Jordison
DURSLEY has been included in a book listing the crappest towns in the UK – despite the author admitting he has never visited the area.
The town has been condemned as one of the worst places to live in the publication, called Crap Towns Returns, which hit stores on Monday (October 7).
Community leaders have hit back, claiming over £200million in investment and its setting in the beautiful countryside made it far from “crap”.
The town was nominated on the book’s website by a contributor named “Laz”, which included this excerpt: “The name says it all. The town is as wrong as it sounds. Once a pretty rural village, Dursley has been left to decay, like one of the Queen Mother’s teeth.
“The old market place has become dominated by concrete and vacant charity shops. The new Sainsbury’s supermarket has left a 10-foot wall and acre of paving that recalls the best of 50s planning design, where the drabness of the locals’ tweed jackets is echoed in the fusty beige of the concrete slabs.”
Speaking to the Gazette, co-author Sam Jordison said that because Laz’s comment was “so funny” and “well-written”, it had received plenty of reaction on the website and thus merited being in the book.
He added that the town’s name being used in the Harry Potter book series was also a factor.
“It’s not very scientific process and I do not want people to make too much of it,” he said.
“It got an awful lot of attention. People sent more than a few emails so I got a lot of feedback that doesn’t go on the site.
“We did visit a lot but didn’t visit every town. I do get the impression it is turning the corner and hopefully this will be the last time it is included in the book.”
Leader of Stroud District Council and former Dursley mayor, Cllr Geoff Wheeler, said it was “a travesty of judgement of Dursley”.
“Dursley is a very lively town with many active people, good local facilities and surrounded by beautiful countryside. What more could you want?” he said.
“If he writes such things about us he really should come for a visit.”
Long-standing trader John Durcan from DIY store Durcan PJ and Son on Parsonage Street said people were too easy to criticise.
“The town looks more modern and trendy then it did three or four years ago, and there’s far more options of where to eat in the town,” he said.
“I do not think there is one empty shop on the high street now. We are not thriving but everyone is making a little bit.”
MP for Stroud Neil Carmichael said the selection should not be taken seriously.
“If you can’t be bothered to visit, your opinions are null and void,” he said.
“There’s a fantastic pool, I love the Old Spot, there’s great shops and there’s great topology. Above all, the people of Dursley are fabulous. I am very proud of my constituency and Dursley is a critical part of it.”
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