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Cardenden nominated for Carbuncle Awards

Local councillors have defended the former mining community of Cardenden after it was nominated for the title of Scotland's most dismal town.

Local councillors have defended the former mining community of Cardenden after it was nominated for the title of Scotland's most dismal town.

The town has been nominated for Architecture Scotland's Carbuncle Awards 2009, which recognise, "The very worst in town planning".

Those short-listed for the country's least attractive village and town award have been posted on the Carbuncle Awards website.

According to the site: "Cardenden is struggling to forge a distinctive identity under the shadow of larger neighbours and the loss of the coal mining industry which sustained it.

"A lack of ambition has seen a wealth of natural and geographic opportunity squandered. This should be promoted for Cardenden to embrace the future with confidence, not surrender to suburban sprawl."

Cardenden Councillor Mark Hood told the Dundee Courier: "The people are some of the most welcoming and friendly people in Scotland.

"The community spirit in the town is amongst the strongest of any community in Scotland, and for this reason alone it is ludicrous to suggest Cardenden is the most dismal community in Scotland."

Judges for the Carbuncle Awards are due to visit all the nominated locations next month.

Mr Hood and fellow Councillor Ian Chisholm have invited the judging panel to meet community representatives during their visit.

Mr Hood said: "Undoubtedly, the community will be expressing the need for new socially-rented housing for the town--a long-standing issue in the area--and we would welcome the comments of the judges on this issue."

Mr Chisholm said: "I'm not saying the town has any great architectural icons but it's a very pleasant wee town with a great community spirit. There is much more to a town than bricks and mortar and I accuse the judges of journalistic laziness."

He pointed out the positive points of Cardenden such as well-tended gardens, friendly residents and well-behaved children.

Mr Chisholm continued: "Like nearly every town in Fife and Scotland our manufacturing and engineering industries have gone south or east and we are reliant on the service industry for jobs. However, Cardenden is well placed on the motorway and rail routes and many of our citizens do the daily commute to where the jobs are.

"We have a great community spirit here in Cardenden. I'm sure that the unfounded criticisms of a few architects from the leafy suburbs of Edinburgh will be water off a duck's back to our community."

Motherwell and Glasgow's Nitshill have also been nominated for the award.

A Carbuncle Awards spokesman said: "This is not about slagging places off. There is a positive aspect to the awards and that is recognising how places can be improved and coming up with solutions."

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