KILMARNOCK is one of the “crappiest towns” in the United Kingdom according to a new book.
Crap Towns Returns, published by London based Quercus, lists the Ayrshire town as the worst place to live in Scotland.
The new alternative guide to the UK has branded Kilmarnock a “post-industrial wasteland” and claims that visitors should prepare themselves for the towns violence, drug addicts, binge-drinkers and urban decay.
Despite being famed for its links to Robert Burns and Johnnie Walker whisky, the book states that Kilmarnock is “leading the charge for our latest foray into recession.”
Critics have dismissed the book, and claim that it is hugely insulting to the town’s 45,000 residents.
The book describes Kilmarnock as: “Once an industrial powerhouse, famed internationally for its carpets, Kilmarnock is now a post-industrial wasteland, with much of its once handsome town centre bulldozed. The main shopping drag is a grim, litter strewn wind tunnel with nary an outlet that isn’t a pound shop or a pawnbroker. The town is ringed by a growth of dirty grey, pebble-dashed flats of unspeakable misery.”
One contributor to the book described Kilmarnock as: “a truly crap town…where heroin addicts and stabbings, as well as football violence and pound shops, are aplenty.”
Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley MSP Willie Coffey jumped to the town’s defence.
The SNP MSP said: “Folk in Killie are getting sick and tired of these stuck-up types who want to run us down. First we had those who made The Scheme and exploited the chaotic lifestyles of addicts, all of whom are worse for appearing in a fabricated piece of documentary rubbish.
“These Champagne Charlie types don’t seem to care about the damage they do.
Kilmarnock has seen a huge transformation in recent years with major investment in the town’s buildings and heritage.”
Former Scottish education and justice minister Cathy Jamieson now Labour MP for Kilmarnock and Loudon said: “I’m proud to have been born and brought up in Kilmarnock and to call it my home town. We have our share of problems, but there is a real spirit of generosity in the town which would be hard to match.”
An East Ayrshire council spokesman said: “We are working hard to improve the townscape of Kilmarnock with a number of completed and ongoing regeneration projects all aimed at improving and celebrating our architectural heritage.”
In 2010 BBC documentary The Scheme gained Kilmarnock UK wide notoriety with its graphic depiction of drug abuse, anti-social behaviour and violence.
Critics branded the programme which was shot on the Onthank estate as no more than exploitative “poverty porn.”
Editor of the book, Sam Jordison, said: “It wasn’t entirely scientific, but it does feel right.”
The book is the sequel to the 2003 best-seller Crap Towns, which named Cumbernauld as the second worst place to live in the UK.