'Stay away if you're not local'- Dereham features on website dedicated to UK's worst places to live

PUBLISHED: 08:16 17 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:13 17 August 2018

Dereham Market Place. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Market Place. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham's residents have issued a passionate defence of their town after it was heavily criticised in an article written on a website dedicated to the worst places to live in the UK.

Dereham Shopping Centre. Picture: Ian BurtDereham Shopping Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

The article was posted by an anonymous user on the website ‘ilivehere’ and warns people to stay away from the town if they are not local.

The author described Dereham as “creating an emotional malaise that seems to embody all who visit or live there” and advises people to “go to Norwich, it’s more cosmopolitan.”

Former Dereham mayor Philip Duigan, who is a town and district councillor, responded to the article and said: “I’m quite astonished people should think that. We have very good shops compared to other market towns and we have a very modern library.

“People still want to move here and you can see that from the number of planning applications we receive for housing. There are things we want to improve of course but I think it is a great place to come.”

Former Dereham mayor Philip Duigan has spoken in defence of the town.  Picture: Ian BurtFormer Dereham mayor Philip Duigan has spoken in defence of the town. Picture: Ian Burt

The article also targets local residents, stating: “Driving through the town play the following game – spot a happy person. It’s almost impossible.”

TripAdvisor recently named Dereham as a top UK ‘hidden gem’ holiday destination, receiving an average rental review score of 4.9 out of five which was enough to rank second in the list.

Town councillor Philip Morton also responded to the criticisms and said: “I think Dereham has a lot going for it. I’ve travelled around the country and have seen a lot worse places than Dereham.

“It’s got all the major supermarkets, a good leisure centre, a new library and a cinema. I think the town has improved and hopefully it will continue to improve.”

Residents have also leapt to the defence of the town on social media, with Justin Dack commenting in the Dereham Community Notice Board: “Dereham and its people are amazing and I’ve always been proud to be part of this community and get involved with it.”

Helen Frayer also wrote: “I moved here from Essex 14 years ago and love it here, a generally peaceful way of life” and Val Scott added: “Dereham is a lovely place with a lot to offer.”

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