Preston made the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week as it was branded the unhealthiest high street in Britain by public health experts.Advertisement
Everyone had a view and expressed it very strongly in the comments on our site and also on our Facebook page.
We took to the national media to defend Preston, with Ed Walker writing for The Guardian to say the city should not be underestimated.
Alan Raby said: “Middle class liberals from down south, decoding what an unhealthy high Street looks like. Utter tosh. It’s a street, it has shops on that people use. The same shops every town in England has.”
Tes Slater thought the council should shoulder the blame. She said: “I blame the Council for this ! If the business rates weren’t so high then such high turnover places like payday loans & pawnbrokers and large chains wouldn’t be the only ones that could afford to be there.”
Blog Preston contributor and local filmmaker Daniele Baron said more needed to be done to foster an independent spirit in the city:
“I rarely comment on stories about Preston but I can see why it would be at the top or near the top of a study like this. There is hardly any investment from local businesses into the city centre. Whether this is the council or not I don’t know but at the moment there is a lot of money being spent on new paving and fancy trees. We need independent organisations / businesses growing in the centre across a wide range of sectors not just hospitality.”
There was the usual disbelief at being ranked worse than Blackpool.
Lisa Jackson said: “What rubbish, clearly the people that ran this report haven’t visited Blackpool?! The centre has improved slightly recently.”
Gloria Harris said: “The city centre looks very seedy these days”
Andrew Bamber felt the city was being judged too much on its business merits, and not other factors.
He said: “People seem to judge a city by its ability to make money and which shops it contains and whilst I agree that shops and trade are obviously important I also think that what makes a city enjoyable to visit is one that is dedicated to art and culture. Preston’s problem in my opinion is that in a bid to try and become the next Manchester it has demolished a lot of the older architecture in favour of bland identikit buildings such as the new holiday Inn. Whilst old mills aren’t exactly gaudí they are a part of our history which is becoming more and more forgotten.”
What did you make of the unhealthy Preston high street news? Let us know in the comments below