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Is Coventry the worst place to live in Britain?; CRITICS HAVE OUTDATED VIEW OF CITY SAYS PROMOTIONS WORKER.

Byline: Jonathan Goode

COVENTRY has come in for a panning on a website which aims to uncover Britain's worst town.

The city has been nominated for being "dirty, grey and grim" in the survey by London-based magazine The Idler, on www.idler.co.uk

The nomination means Cov-entry could feature in a book of Britain's 50 worst places to live which is due to hit the bookshelves later this year.

Other destinations vying for the unlikely accolade of most hated include Hull, Birmingham, Portsmouth and even London itself.

Nominating Coventry, Phil Graham writes: "After being totally and utterly bombed in the war (the cathedral and one street are all that remain) it was rebuilt with the 'great on paper' idea of putting a ring-road around it for ease of travel.

"This does provide a quick travel around the city, but, unlike the M25, it has about a couple of miles circumference so the massive dirty elevated road can be seen from virtually anywhere in the city centre.

"Under the ring road they built loads of car parks and the rest of the rebuilding consists of large, square, grey, tower blocks.

"As my tutor at university said 'The best thing about Coventry is that it is easy to travel out of'."

Another nomination comes from Stuart Whyte who simply says: "I would suggest twinning Coventry with its grim ne'er-do-well southern brother Watford."

But Hilary Hopker, of the city centre promotions and management company CV One, has leaped to Coventry's defence.

She said: "I think the people who made these comments have not been to the city for a while.

"They are rather outdated views and the city has moved on a lot in recent years. We actually have three cathedrals and our ring road makes us one of the most accessible city centres in the country.

"Developments such as the Lower Precinct and the forthcoming Phoenix Initiative are transforming the centre of Coventry and I would invite these people to come back and take another look."

CAPTION(S):

FAB OR FOUL?: A popular event in the revamped Lower Precinct (above left) and (right) Watford, described as Coventry's "grim, ne'er do well southern brother"
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Aug 4, 2003
Words:362
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