Louth hits back being longlisted for new ‘crap towns’ book - Council labels Louth’s inclusion ‘ludicrous’

St James's Church in Louth.
St James's Church in Louth.

The publishers of a book identifying the ‘crap towns’ in the UK have placed Louth in the longlist of 100 for their newest work, but local voices have begun to hit back.

Louth has appeared in the top 100 contenders of worst places to live alongside Liverpool, Blackpool, Belfast, Luton, Merthyr Tydfil, and Slough.

Nearby Boston, Lincoln and Grimsby have also made the list.

The 100 will be whittled down to the final 50 which will appear in a book entitled Crap Town Returns in October 2013.

People can have a say over the shortlist of towns - which are nominated by the ‘natives’ according to the authors.

East Lindsey District Council’s Coun Adam Grist said Louth’s inclusion was ‘ludicrous’ and urged people to save it from being destined for the book.

Earlier this year Louth was named among the 30 ‘coolest place’ as well as one of ‘the best’ places to live in Britain by The Times, and was also named as UK’s favourite market town by BBC Countryfile Magazine.

Louth is famous for its independent local shops, its popular market, Hubbard’s Hills, its Greenwich Meridian line which crosses Eastgate and its host of famous sons and daughters which include poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, explorers Edward John Eyre and Sir John Franklin, NASA astronaut Michael Foale, sailor Captain John Smith and musician Robert Wyatt.

The authors of the book revealed one of the positive quotes sent to them about Louth.

It said: “Louth is a pleasant quiet little town. And yes, that is a nice way of saying it’s as dull as a sermon, but gentleness really is nothing to hold against the place.

“You could even probably admire the way the local high street has held out against the bland chain store makeover, still has a local identity and still doesn’t have a McDonalds. Oh and it’s even quite pretty...”

A statement on the Crap Towns website said: “Are you incandescent with rage and dispute your town’s inclusion within this list? Good! Or perhaps you want to kick your town when it’s down? Even better!

“Either reaction suits us. And now you can maybe influence whether or not the town makes the final cut. And have fun doing it.”

Coun Grist said: “To find out that Louth has even been considered for inclusion in the ‘Crap Town Returns 2013’ book is ludicrous.

“Just last year Louth was voted as the UK’s Favourite Market Town by BBC Countryfile Magazine by its readers – people who live, work and visit the town.

“And in the past 12 months Louth has also been named both as one of the top 30 Coolest Places to Live and one of the Best Places to live in Britain by The Times.

“These accolades directly contradict the suggestion that the town could make it into the ‘Crap Town’ guide.

“Here we have a traditional market town which has stood the test of time, providing a town centre full of unique independent shops. It has a vibrant market three days a week and we have seen some fantastic events as part of the Zero degrees festival and the SO Festival and are now looking forward to the Wolds Words Festival in October.

“Louth also has sports facilities and clubs which are the envy of many larger towns in the region and just last week hosted the county’s largest football tournament as well as an international cricket match.

“Throughout the year Louth will be the venue for many county sporting events.

“It is exactly this unique and wonderful appeal mixed with vibrancy and culture that makes Louth great – a great place to live, a great place to work and a great place to visit.

“I would therefore urge people to make their feelings known – share their thoughts on all the good things about Louth. Tell people why Louth is a great place and prevent it being destined for inclusion in this book.”

The book’s website suggests Louth was nominated due to it being home to the British Sprout Growers Association.

Louth Town Partnership chairman, Jerry Gale, said: “It is a shame that Louth has been nominated for this book just because it is home to the British Sprout Growers Association.

“Of course, not everyone enjoys sprouts, but it seems unfair to victimise a town because of this.

“Louth’s rich agricultural heritage is something to be celebrated, which is what we will be doing at the Louth Food Festival this weekend.

“Louth has some great things to shout about so we would like to encourage residents to let the editor of this book know that Louth is far from a crap town!”

Readers have also been having their say on our Facebook page this morning. Here’s a look at what they had to say:

Kiri Mills: “I have lived in worse places, I like it in Louth.. think its to be taken with a pinch of salt, it’s hardly Kabul is it?!”

Duncan Rossiter: “Louth made Top 30 coolest & Top 100 best places to live in The Times 2013, so I would put too much faith in the lists complied in national newspapers. #inconsistant”

Andrea Plaskitt: “Who cares what the opinion is of those who dont live here. If people are shallow enough to believe such tosh then they wont come which will be no great loss and if people who live here dont like the place, then there are several roads out to choose from.”

Peter Cooper: “No, I think it would be pretty hilarious to be the only(?) town to both be in the “top coolest” and “best places to live” lists AND the “crap towns” list. Truly a town of contrasts. Only one question though.. how did Immingham get away with not making the list!?”

Ema Leese: “haha..ahh..so it made crappy and best in the same year..I like louth. .good for small kids...not so great for teenagers or young adults...and if you don’t have a car.its not so great as shopping is limited. ...and days out are too..and public transport is rubbish round here”

Annie Thomas: “I now live in Orlando Florida, Work at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom. BUT to me Louth will always be my home and a Beautiful place to live. i cant believe this is even on the list, i know of a lot of place that should be in the book but Louth is not one of them...”

Andy Fahy: “Louth is a lovely place to bring up your family. An undeserved consideration for a ‘crap town’. However; not ideal for aspiring individuals as local infrastructure, and local businesses are backward to say the least.”

Visit the Crap Towns website to have your say - both positive and negative - and post your comments below whether you think Louth deserves to be in the list or not.

You can also join the debate on our Facebook page.

Other towns in the list are:

Aberdeen

Antrim

Bacup

Banbury

Barnsley

Bedford

Belfast

Bicester

Blackburn

Blackpool

Boston

Bradford

Brighton

Broxburn

Burnham Market

Bury St Edmunds

Calais

Camberley

Castleford

Chipping Norton

Chorley

Coventry

Craven Arms

Crawley

Croydon

Dagenham

Derby

Doncaster

Dudley

Dufftown

Dundee

Dursley

Easington

Felixstowe

Fort William

Four Marks

Garstang

Gateshead

Gibraltar

Glastonbury

Great Yarmouth

Grimsby

Hackney

Hartlepool

Hatfield

Haverhill

Haworth

High Wycombe

Hull

Huntingdon

Ilfracombe

Jarrow

Jaywick

Kilmarnock

Leamington Spa

Lewes

Lincoln

Liverpool

London

Loughborough

Lowestoft

Luton

Maidenhead

Medway towns

Merther Tydfil

Milton Keynes

Morecambe

Newhaven

Newquay

Newton Stewart

Nuneaton

Oxford

Peterlee

Plymouth

Pontefract

Poole

Portsmouth

Rhyl

Scarborough

Sheerness

Sheffield

Slough

Southampton

Southport

Stafford

Staines

Stockton-upon-Tees

Stoke On Trent

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Swansea

Thetford

Thurso

Tilston

Warrington

Woking

Woodstock

Worksop

Wrexham

York