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‘Depressing’ poll angers locals

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By Christie Breen
Annan and Eskdale
‘Depressing’ poll angers locals

ANNAN and Gretna are among five towns in Dumfries and Galloway to be nominated as Britain’s ‘most depressing’ in an online poll.

But local leaders are hitting back and have defended the royal burgh and border wedding capital.

The annual survey by iLiveHere.com asks the public to nominate where they think is the most ‘bland, boring, soul destroying’ place to live. While normally the questionnaire aims to uncover the ‘worst’ place in the UK, this year it’s specifically seeking the most depressing.

There are currently 153 nominations in total for the not-so prestigious title, including Annan, Dalbeattie, Dumfries, Gretna and Newton Stewart.

A statement from iLiveHere said: “Bland, boring, soul destroying mediocrity with a gaping cultural void. This is what our new poll is about. This year we are ditching the usual suspects to focus on those towns throughout this septic isle that give you an almost-terminal case of ennui. The towns where you just exist rather than live.

“From home counties commuter dormitories that close down at 10pm to seaside resorts that are ghost towns in winter, this poll is about them.”

However Annan’s nomination has not gone down well with the town’s community council chair, Allan Weild, who yesterday said: “I don’t think it’s depressing at all, you’ve just got to look at all the groups that work to make Annan better and make it look nice from the history town group to the rotary club.

“I don’t think it’s justified at all, plenty of people are looking to move here as well, and you wouldn’t move somewhere if it’s depressing. It might be a bit rough around the edges but what town is perfect these days.”

Also defending Annan was businessman, fundraiser and deputy lord lieutenant for the area, Hardip Atwal. He said: “This is terrible and not true at all. Annan has a great community and is full of people working hard to make it a better place.

“There’s lots going on and I am proud to call it my home.”

Meanwhile, Gordon Davidson, community councillor for Gretna and Rigg (GRCC), has also hit back on behalf of his neighbourhood.

He said: “The GRCC are doing their very best to brighten up Gretna and the surrounding area, ranging from tidying up the welcome signs and flower beds, alongside various other projects we have been and are planning to do.

“Gretna has always been very famous for its weddings, and is a popular destination for tourists to visit because of that fact, which has allowed the town to grow exponentially over the past decades.

“I have lived in Gretna for 51 years and have seen it double in size and popularity, such as the shops on the high street getting better and other facilities such as Caledonia Park being added.

“I do not believe that our town is depressing or run down in the slightest.”

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