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‘Chippy on the C&*p Towns list: what a load of rubbish’
Buy this photo » The Blue Boar in Goddards Lane, Chipping Norton. Picture: OX60454 Simon Williams
IF you thought Chipping Norton was all David Cameron, horses and high life, think again.
The Cotswolds town has been put on a shortist of one of the worst 100 places to live in the UK.
A decade on from the controversial book Crap Towns which saw Oxford nominated, a further volume of the book is being put together.
This time around Didcot, which featured in the 2003 edition, has been left out.
Crap Towns: the 50 Worst Places to Live in the UK was dubbed the “Domesday Book of misery” upon publication.
It sold more than 100,000 copies and sparked fury in Didcot, leading to a visit from co-author Sam Jordison.
A 100-strong list has now been compiled for the follow-up, ‘Crap Towns Returns – Back By Unpopular Demand’.
Oxford appears in the long list of 100 again, as does Banbury and Bicester.
They will jostle for a place in the top 50 alongside Croydon and Staines.
Most surprising place is Chipping Norton, home of Witney MP and Prime Minister David Cameron, TV star Jeremy Clarkson and other celebrities known as the Chipping Norton set.
Oxford, in 20th place was rated worse than Reading and Slough, which was declared by poet Sir John Betjeman as unfit for humans.
The nomination has not gone down well in Chipping Norton. Wild Thyme Restaurant owner Sally Pullen, 41, said: “I don’t agree. We moved to Chipping Norton five years ago and chose this town to start our restaurant.
“We looked around a 60-mile radius and we chose Chipping Norton as it is lovely.”
Deputy leader of Oxfordshire County Council Rodney Rose also likes the town.
He said: “Load of rubbish. I grew up in Chipping Norton and went to school there. It’s great. “Maybe it gets a bad press because of the Chipping Norton set? It certainly used to be a lovely place to live.”
Mr Cameron declined to comment. However, Didcot’s omission from the list has been greeted with joy.
Karen Dodd, assistant town clerk at Didcot Town Council, said: “I’m delighted to hear that Didcot is no longer in the list. It shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
“There have been a lot of improvements in Didcot in recent years including the arrival of the Orchard Shopping Centre and the Cornerstone Arts Centre.”
The search for the worst towns began when Idler magazine invited nominations on its website in 2003, sparking co-authors Dan Kieran and Sam Jordison into action.
Mr Jordison said: “Inclusion is mainly decided by vote but because every town is different in size, we have to weight them a bit according to population. “There’s also the fact that the best entries attract the most attention so in a way appearing in the book is a compliment.”
The number of votes have not been made public. The book is set to be published later this year.
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