Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette

Rallying to defend their town

- By ERTAN KARPAZLI @Ertan_Karpazli

HOUNSLOW locals have fiercely defended their town after it was dubbed ‘the worst place in Britain’.

Although many would argue that London is one of the greatest cities in the world, some of the contenders for the nation’s worst place may actually be found in the capital.

There’s plenty of reasons why some of London’s neighbourh­oods might be considered ‘no-go zones’. High crime rates, lack of investment and poor public amenities are often quoted as reasons not to move to certain areas.

In the case of Hounslow in West London, people often complain about the noise from planes landing and taking off from Heathrow Airport. Yet local residents were quick to reject criticism of their hometown after it was dubbed the ‘worst place in Britain’.

Posting on Reddit, one person thinking of moving to Hounslow decided to ask people for their opinions of the area after hearing some negative feedback from a friend.

They said: “I’m still new to the UK and London and moving to Hounslow soon, but my mate says it’s kinda s*** and dodgy. He’s grown up there until like a decade ago. Is it still like that?”

Several comments to the post confirmed the critique given to them by their friend, with one person saying: “It’s safe but it’s a depressing sh*t hole. One of the worst places in Britain.”

Another person described Hounslow as ‘depressing, dilapidate­d, and deprived’, adding: “Not unsafe, but just unpleasant. It’s many decades from gentrifica­tion if ever.”

But these responses irked a number of Hounslow locals who stepped in to defend their town. Despite acknowledg­ing the area as being ‘quite deprived in many ways’, one person argued ‘there are far worse places’ in the country.

They said: “I wouldn’t say Hounslow was, in my experience, any worse than anywhere else in London. Hounslow is a decent hub. It’s cheap and well connected, but it is pretty run down. That said, some parts are far nicer than others. Hounslow is a fairly big place. it also has just about every shop you could want for shopping.”

Another resident, angered by the claims of some, said there were many good things about the borough that really made it ‘worth living in’.

They said: “Something I’ve loved while staying in Hounslow Central was reaching at least four parks within 30 minutes – Lampton, Osterley Park, Inwood Park and Heston

Park and these made for great walks. Additional­ly, Twickenham and Richmond are a short bus trip or drive away which makes for a good trip to the Riverside.”

While admitting the high street can get a ‘bit dodgy’ after 9pm, they said shops around Hounslow East Tube station and the bus station ‘tend to stay open late, making it more lively’.

One person meanwhile said: “I have lived in Hounslow for the past five years. It is absolutely OK to live in, not great but certainly not awful or particular­ly dangerous either.”

Agreeing, another person said that although the borough is ‘far away’ and there ‘isn’t not much to do’, living in Hounslow is ‘alright’. They did however recommend staying away from the high street at night and maybe choosing a nicer part of West London to move to – ‘like Brentford’.

 ?? LISA HASELDINE ?? Hounslow High Street is a hot spot for petty crime according to locals
LISA HASELDINE Hounslow High Street is a hot spot for petty crime according to locals

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