New group aboutDereham has its say on article criticising the town

Dereham Shopping Centre. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Shopping Centre. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A new community organisation in Dereham has had its say on a much-debated article criticising the town which was written on a website dedicated to the worst places to live in the UK.

We have previously reported how the article was posted by an anonymous user on the website 'ilivehere' and warns people to stay away from the town if they are not local.

The author described Dereham as 'creating an emotional malaise that seems to embody all who visit or live there' and advises people to 'go to Norwich, it's more cosmopolitan.'

The article also targets local residents, stating: 'Driving through the town play the following game – spot a happy person. It's almost impossible.'

Amongst those defending Dereham were former town mayor and current town and district councillor Phillip Duigan, who said: 'I'm astonished people think that. We have very good shops compared to other market towns and a very modern library.

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'People still want to move here and you can see that from the number of planning applications we receive for housing. There are things we want to improve of course but I think it is a great place.'

Mike Webb, chairman of aboutDereham Partnership, recently established to represent community organisations, said: We fully support all that town councillor, Phillip Duigan, says in the article.

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'Dereham has loads to offer residents and to visitors. It has a great community spirit. It has a very good shopping offer with a range of nationals and independent shops.

'As well as the leisure centre and the library, the Dereham Memorial Hall provides a year-round programme of arts, music and entertainment.

'Dereham has hundreds of clubs and societies offering every sport and leisure activity you can think of from canoeing to photography and more. The biggest issue is that organisations don't know much about each other and often work in isolation from other groups. That is one of the things that aboutDereham has set out to rectify with our new website'

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