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Gloucester hits back at Channel 4 online poll hammering

By The Citizen  |  Posted: November 02, 2012

Gloucester Cathedral

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IT has been derided as "horrid" and a dowdy relation to its upmarket cousin Cheltenham.

But community leaders in Gloucester have come out swinging from the city's corner after it was listed among the 10 worst places to visit in the UK on a Channel 4 website.

The online Relocation Relocation poll, which invites visitors to vote on the best and worst places to live, has ranked Gloucester the seventh worst location in the UK.

Reviewers blogging on the site posted a series of derogatory comments, claiming it has "little or no history" and is "overrun with betting and charity shops".

However, those who really know said there was more to the city than may meet the eye.

Paul James, leader of the city council, said: "Gloucester is a great place to live.

"To say it has little or no history is laughable. We have got one of the finest Cathedrals in Europe and a very large number of listed buildings."

He added that Gloucester should not be seen in competition with neighbouring Cheltenham and that the two places had different qualities to offer.

"We've got some things in Gloucester that you don't get in Cheltenham and vice versa," he added.

"We should be working together to attract people to the county as a whole."

Independent traders spoke up against the charity and betting shops barb, saying the city was full of quirky shops you would not find anywhere else.

Dr George Haynes, manager of the Beatrix Potter museum, in College Court, said: "There are an awful lot of unique shops and we've got so much history too. It's really important that we plug these aspects of Gloucester and encourage people to come and visit."

Bosses at Marketing Gloucester pointed to Gloucester Docks and Kings' Square as up-and-coming areas which could attract investment into the city.

Digital marketing director Ben Hau said: "Gloucester is a fiercely proud city with so much going for it.

"I would challenge anyone making negative comments about the place to come and see it for themselves."

To see the online poll go to Channel 4 Best and Worst.com.

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  • waitamo  |  November 12 2012, 12:18PM

    Try these 2 I found - maybe C4 read them, they sum it all up really...... null http://tinyurl.com/bbrbug3

  • lewipaul  |  November 08 2012, 10:00AM

    When will Paul james and his cronies take the blinkers off and start listening to what people are saying. It is this attitude of complacency that everything is fantastic in Gloucester that keeps the city thev dump it has become. Their policy of building new shopping complexes on every square inch seems to be their only answer,but of course these do not belong to Gloucester but to large property developers that charge extremely high rents so that small shop keepers cannot afford them, hence they are given to charity shops. The cathedral is the only remaining tourist attraction now that the docks has been turned into a housing estate, such a shame when Gloucester did have so much to offer.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 08 2012, 9:41AM

    cheltm2012 - invasion, conquest, migration - call it what you may - humans have been spreading throughout history by any means available to them, often at the mercy of the host communities, suffering discrimination/persecution. Ethninicity, race, etc, are all fluid concepts, change with time. Nation States are a feature of the past hundred or so years, most countries and national borders as defined today have been formed one way or the other in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, as also governance systems. All this is continually evolving and at times accelerated by opening up new undeveloped territory, conquests, Wars, and revolutions. So picking on this or that definition meaningless.

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  • cheltm2012  |  November 08 2012, 8:59AM

    @chav townley: you suggest that romans and normans are migrants! i think you will find that they are invaders! so by your logic we have been invaded in the 90s upto now by immigrants. a view far more racist than mine and timmys!

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  • Bonkim2003  |  November 07 2012, 8:19AM

    Urban decay is a feature of many cities with the better-off living in outlying housing estates - Gloucester's employment locations are also outside the core city. Not counting Roman Glostrium or the middle ages Barons, Gloucester has been a working city - a working dock, flour mill, matches, railway carriage, and other engineering works close to the city and aircraft and chemicals, etc, on the outskirts - so what is new? Unless wealthier people move to near the city centre and the run down areas gentrified, those living close to the centre will continue to be from the poorer neighbourhoods within walking distance. One thing missed out in the report is the curse of car parking charges - most people coming to town centres are local people - not wealthier out of town visitors. For people living in the various estates around Gloucester, shopping centres connected by the main roads lead to out of town centres where parking is free. We used to visit Gloucester quite often, visit the Library, the market and the many stores when parking was unrestricted, and motorists always found a place to park any time of the day. Now we have stopped going to the town centre. You can only visit the Cathedral or the museums and Library once or twice paying parking charges, and walking from the car parks; take out the traffic-free central area, increase on-street spaces, and abolish the parking charges or make it free for two or three hours and people will flock to the centre again.

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  • gloscityguy  |  November 07 2012, 7:25AM

    If someone from the council happens to be reading this, one simple way to make the city centre nicer would be to get Primark to clean up the outside of its store. Even the Primark sign is dirty, but it is their wall down Clarence St, by the bus stops that is beyond dirty, spit and grime covers the walls and is just unpleasant to be anywhere near. I encourage the readers to have a look next time you are down that way. It just wouldn't be acceptable in any half decent city centre. Is it not Primarks responsibility to keep it clean?

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  • Chas_Townley  |  November 07 2012, 5:54AM

    Timmy0811 there appears to be a tone of anti-democratic intolerance in your posting -'shut up' for example. I'd recommend that you read a book 'Bloody Foriegners' by Robert Winder which is described as 'The story of immigration to Britain from the Romans to asylum seekers. * A moving and inspiring history which chronicles the remarkable stories of immigration that founded and defined a nation.'

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  • timmy0811  |  November 07 2012, 12:41AM

    Chas_Townley - Get real, who cares about about 1066. Try asking all migrants what happened in 1066? Would they know? The Royal Family are migrants. I'm not a racist as you say, but what I am saying is what I have already. Have you not noticed the change we have had in the last 10 years? The first question asked on any job app is do you have a valid visa...shut up.

  • omorley  |  November 07 2012, 12:24AM

    I lived in Gloucester for most of my life, and now live in Edinburgh. When I go back on occasion to see my family, it really depresses my how dirty, shabby, run-down, boarded up, tacky and soulless Gloucester still is, when it has so much to offer. As people have said, the city has such good assets, and the place is not as pretentious or as snobby as Cheltenham. The cathedral is one of the best in the country, they need to focus on that area, as that's where people want to visit. Get nice shops back into Westgate Street, as someone suggested clean up the area between there and the docks, knock down the courts and the prison, create a nice riverside walk (another great asset) where the Quay road is now, bring in some trendy bars, restaurants in this area too, and as people said, be proud of and highlight the nice buildings that Gloucester has. The other areas will follow. Maybe a new image like that may not seem to "fit" Gloucester, but the city centre needs to attract affluent people who are prepared to spend money. At the moment it attracts people who go into town and spend a £1 in the poundshops - not enough.

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  • Chas_Townley  |  November 06 2012, 10:28PM

    I'm incandescent with rage, the problems are gloucester are many (and therefore unsurprising that it doesn't do well in national polls) but for people like Timmy and Chelt2012 is blame the problems on ethnic minorities is just out and out racism. Generation after generation people have been immigrants to this country since way before 1066 and generation after generation have made a positive contribution to our community. And long may it continue to be so. For example: What did the Romans do for us? (immigrants from what is now Italy) Gave us Gloucester? What did the Norman's do for us? (immigrants for what is now France) Gave us the Abbeys of Gloucester.

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