Cotswold MP defends Cirencester after town is mocked for not being included in list of top South West towns

Cirencester

Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

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LEADING figures in Cirencester have defended the town after it received an online bashing from people who believe it is no longer the jewel in the crown of the Cotswolds.

The negative comments were left on the Standard’s website after it was revealed that Cirencester was omitted from the Sunday Times’ list of the top places to live in the South West.

In fact, among the 15 places included in the list, the only Cotswold town to feature was Nailsworth in the Stroud valleys.

The news caused commotion in the Standard’s online community with many users giving their opinion on why the town was left off the list.

Shortly after the list was published, however, The Times issued another poll of the top 30 places to live in the countryside with Cirencester coming in at number 22.

The national newspaper praised the town's Roman market, music festivals, art exhibitions and independent shops.

Geoff66 wrote: “Cirencester is no longer a fine example of a beautiful Cotswold market town. It has become tired, shoddy and dirty and, as a result, it is failing to attract visitors and shoppers.”

Meanwhile another user, Iansky, said that Cirencester is on a “slow demise” and that the town “will never recover the prestige it once had”.

Despite the criticism, Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said that Cirencester is a “special town” with a lot for its residents to be proud of.

“Its architecture is unique, it has a very special church, a caring hospital, excellent schools and a good range of high quality shops,” he said.

“There is an excellent mix of cultural activities with the Brewery Arts, the Corinium Museum and, soon, a new multiplex cinema.”

The MP also drew attention to Cirencester’s low unemployment rates for which, he said, makes the town “an attractive place for businesses to locate and a town in which to live”.

Last year the Standard revealed that prime rents in Cirencester were up 23 per cent and that the town was currently sitting sixth in a nationwide league table of best-performing retail locations.

Have your say in the online debate by visiting www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk.

Comments (5)

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4:29pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Geoff66 says...

I am sorry to have to say that both our MP and our Town Council's CEO are completely out of touch with the reality of Cirencester.Yes Cirencester should be a lovely town and fine example of a beautiful and historic Market Town, but it no longer is.

For far too long with have had to endure the slow demise of our once beautiful town. A failure to invest in the upkeep of both the Market Place and our key shopping streets, has tarnished the image of our town, and many of our streets are dirty, filled with unsightly parked cars and vans, and the roads and pavements are a patchwork of broken and unkempt and uneven surfaces.

Cirencester's shopping experience, is no longer what it used to be, and we still have empty shops and units, and our once diverse range of shops has become plagued with charity shops, estate agents and coffee shops.

Car parking charges and policies seem to be both anti-visitor and shopper, and this must be having a negative impact upon the long-term financial security of our town, yet alone the success of our town as a major visitor attraction.

The Market Place is devoid of flowers, plants, trees and planters and we continue to fail to make the most of our once beautiful town, yet alone enhance our green environment

The Market is a complete and utter waste of time....and what has happened to Cirencester once golden heritage as Charter Market Town. No longer do we have a Market which attracts visitors and tourists alike, and other towns across the Cotswolds have taken over this mantle.

Our dual carriage-ways are unsightly and utter disgrace along with our roundabouts. Why are we not looking to maintain these to encourage people to stop and stay, and why can't we do something like Tetbury which has made a real concerted effort to make its town and approaches so attractive?

Future "housing needs" are now totally unrealistic and Cirencetser is set to grow in size by over 40%, and yet, are our council's looking at the long-term future and needs of our town and it's residents. Plus do they have in place long-terms plans and strategies needed to secure the long-term sustainability and financial security of our town? Well there is no Local Plan in place, so clearly not, and why is Cirencester having to pick up the sack in the total housing numbers required across the Cotswolds, when other villages and smaller towns clearly are not prepared to see any development, yet alone address local affordable housing needs?

Cirencester is a great place to live, but it could and should be so much better, and we really should have been on this list of the best places to live in the country, if not at the number one slot!!

Cirencester needs to change for the better and we need to ensure that the town can grow and develop over the years, for the betterment of its residents. Why have our local council's failed to act before this?, that is the question which we need to be asking, and why does our MP and Council Chief's seem to permanently have on their rose-tinted glasses. Surely it is time to act NOW
I am sorry to have to say that both our MP and our Town Council's CEO are completely out of touch with the reality of Cirencester.Yes Cirencester should be a lovely town and fine example of a beautiful and historic Market Town, but it no longer is. For far too long with have had to endure the slow demise of our once beautiful town. A failure to invest in the upkeep of both the Market Place and our key shopping streets, has tarnished the image of our town, and many of our streets are dirty, filled with unsightly parked cars and vans, and the roads and pavements are a patchwork of broken and unkempt and uneven surfaces. Cirencester's shopping experience, is no longer what it used to be, and we still have empty shops and units, and our once diverse range of shops has become plagued with charity shops, estate agents and coffee shops. Car parking charges and policies seem to be both anti-visitor and shopper, and this must be having a negative impact upon the long-term financial security of our town, yet alone the success of our town as a major visitor attraction. The Market Place is devoid of flowers, plants, trees and planters and we continue to fail to make the most of our once beautiful town, yet alone enhance our green environment The Market is a complete and utter waste of time....and what has happened to Cirencester once golden heritage as Charter Market Town. No longer do we have a Market which attracts visitors and tourists alike, and other towns across the Cotswolds have taken over this mantle. Our dual carriage-ways are unsightly and utter disgrace along with our roundabouts. Why are we not looking to maintain these to encourage people to stop and stay, and why can't we do something like Tetbury which has made a real concerted effort to make its town and approaches so attractive? Future "housing needs" are now totally unrealistic and Cirencetser is set to grow in size by over 40%, and yet, are our council's looking at the long-term future and needs of our town and it's residents. Plus do they have in place long-terms plans and strategies needed to secure the long-term sustainability and financial security of our town? Well there is no Local Plan in place, so clearly not, and why is Cirencester having to pick up the sack in the total housing numbers required across the Cotswolds, when other villages and smaller towns clearly are not prepared to see any development, yet alone address local affordable housing needs? Cirencester is a great place to live, but it could and should be so much better, and we really should have been on this list of the best places to live in the country, if not at the number one slot!! Cirencester needs to change for the better and we need to ensure that the town can grow and develop over the years, for the betterment of its residents. Why have our local council's failed to act before this?, that is the question which we need to be asking, and why does our MP and Council Chief's seem to permanently have on their rose-tinted glasses. Surely it is time to act NOW Geoff66
  • Score: 13

8:04pm Sun 30 Mar 14

Oraacle says...

A "news" article about people grousing anonymously online? Really, Wilts Glos?
A "news" article about people grousing anonymously online? Really, Wilts Glos? Oraacle
  • Score: 0

6:20am Mon 31 Mar 14

Crispin Mount says...

Why does our part-time house flipping MP spend so much time in Norfollk at his Gresham Hall estate if Cirencester is such a "special town" ?
Why does our part-time house flipping MP spend so much time in Norfollk at his Gresham Hall estate if Cirencester is such a "special town" ? Crispin Mount
  • Score: 3

9:39am Mon 31 Mar 14

Iansky says...

Where was this MP when areas of Ciren were flooding with sewage - he was out hunting on his country estate!

Where is he when we need support to stop the debacle of the A417, a quick "grip & grin" then back to his G&T no doubt while accidents / injuries / deaths and delays mount up!

Ciren is a shambles and as Geoff66 clearly pointed out, high rents / parking charges, pavements that are a trip hazard, roads full of potholes, dirt & debris all help in keeping visitors away form what was once a lovely town to visit now fast falling into the abyss!

We have small family run businesses closing on a regular basis (my wife is now going to close after 8yrs as trade has diminished to the point of no longer being viable) - again, there are too many empty shops so no incentive for people to visit.
Where was this MP when areas of Ciren were flooding with sewage - he was out hunting on his country estate! Where is he when we need support to stop the debacle of the A417, a quick "grip & grin" then back to his G&T no doubt while accidents / injuries / deaths and delays mount up! Ciren is a shambles and as Geoff66 clearly pointed out, high rents / parking charges, pavements that are a trip hazard, roads full of potholes, dirt & debris all help in keeping visitors away form what was once a lovely town to visit now fast falling into the abyss! We have small family run businesses closing on a regular basis (my wife is now going to close after 8yrs as trade has diminished to the point of no longer being viable) - again, there are too many empty shops so no incentive for people to visit. Iansky
  • Score: 0

10:21am Mon 31 Mar 14

Electricbiker says...

It is fact that Cirencester has become an average Cotswold Town, anyone visiting are greeted with un-kept grass verges and litter, roads throughout town covered with pot holes which are rarely repaired and expensive parking charges. That is why we should not be listed in the top 20 as we do not deserve this honour anymore.
It is fact that Cirencester has become an average Cotswold Town, anyone visiting are greeted with un-kept grass verges and litter, roads throughout town covered with pot holes which are rarely repaired and expensive parking charges. That is why we should not be listed in the top 20 as we do not deserve this honour anymore. Electricbiker
  • Score: 6

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