Girvan going down in Carbuncle odds

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THE prospect of an unattractive award for Girvan draws closer as the announcement of the Carbuncle Awards 2012 winner approaches.

But in the three months since Girvan was put forward – on only the second day that entries were being accepted – the Carrick town has failed to attract any more nominations.

Established in 2005 by built environment magazine Urban Realm, the Carbuncle Awards recognise the most dismal places in Scotland.

And in October last year Girvan was nominated in the Plook in the Plinth category, marking its second time on the shortlist since the accolades began seven years ago.

Girvan’s nomination comes from an anonymous source who claims to have its best interests at heart.

He or she describes the Carrick town as a ghost town of charity shops, dog-mess littered pavements, and crumbling infrastructure. “It breaks my heart to see it going to rack and ruin,” the mystery nominator says.

Girvan was shortlisted alongside Ayr town centre, which was previously nominated in 2009 and 2010 and lost out to Glenrothes and Denny respectively. Ayr remains the only other South Ayrshire entry.

But where attacks on Ayr’s aesthetic on the Carbuncle Awards online nominations forum have increased, further gripes about Girvan’s grisly appearance have not been forthcoming.

Ayr attracted six Plook in the Plinth nominations before entries closed on December 31 for reasons including the “civic incompetence” of the pedestrianised High Street and its “dreary, dirty, boarded-up shop fronts”.

Additional comments also describe Ayr as “unquestionably the dreariest town on the West Coast of Scotland”, “disgustingly dirty”, and “full of dog mess, general litter, drunken louts and filthy empty buildings”.

In October, Girvan councillor John McDowall, also South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment, slammed Girvan’s Carbuncle nomination as an injustice and a disservice to the town and its people.

He recently told the Carrick Gazette: “The people of Girvan and South Ayrshire Council recognise that major improvements to the built environment and infrastructure are required, and this is what we are striving hard to do in partnership with South Carrick Community Leisure, the Town Team, the Harbour Users Group and other community organisations.

“This will take time to achieve but no one is being complacent, and I think it is much better to emphasise the positive work that is going on rather than concentrate on the negative.”

Urban Realm editor John Glenday insisted that, far from being discouraging, the awards intend to catalyse redevelopment.

“The Carbuncle Awards are an antidote to the decline which has hit our towns since the onset of recession in 2008, acting as a doorstop for decay and a springboard for future prosperity.”

The award ‘winners’ will be selected in March and are expected to be announced on April 8.