Town praised as best place to live

Garstang High Street
Garstang High Street
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Months after being nominated as a Crap Town for a book of the same name, Garstang has now been recognised as one of the 101 best places to live in Britain.

The Sunday Times accolade comes after data on crime rates, house prices school performance as well as local knowledge were scrutinised.

Although none of the top 101 were given rankings, Garstang was praised for having a “cosmopolitan feel” being the world’s first Fairtrade Town.

Critics also liked that it is close to the M6 and the Lake District, how council tax has been frozen for four years, that there is a youth council, a “lively” high street, and that property prices rose by 5.6 per cent in the last year. They even complimented the local Garstang Blue cheese.

Summarising why they loved the town, judges wrote: “It’s a community with a conscience.”

County Councillor Sandra Perkins said: “I absolutely agree with them on this, Garstang is a little gem of this island, and for a Yorkshire girl to say that is something.

“I first came here eight years ago when my husband was becoming ill with dementia and this town took us under its wing. People looked after Alan and supported me; they are unbelievably kind.

“It’s also a beautiful place with artesian shops, wonderful pubs, a canal, marina, and of course it was the first FairTrade town. I was once in a roadside chemist in Goa and the man there knew of Garstang because of that.”

Damian Carr, jeweller and spokesman for the Garstang Chamber of Trade, said: “It really is a lovely place. We are blessed to live in an Area of Natural Beauty and there is a really good community spirit.

“It’s also a wonderful place to have a business, the vibrant centre has different offerings while still being good value.

“I think that this carries a lot more weight than the Crap Towns survey.”