RESIDENTS have slammed their town as an eyesore and the worst in the UK with even Poundland being closed down.
Locals labelled Crewe town centre “disgusting” and an “eyesore” after it was compared to a bomb site in Hiroshima in a leaflet.
The “insensitive” leaflet was posted to households by political group Putting Crewe First.
It shows a picture of the building site at the Royal Arcade with the caption “Crewe town centre 2022” next to an image of Hiroshima in 1945.
Many residents on social media reacted angrily, saying it was wrong to compare the site with the devastation caused by a nuclear bomb that killed tens of thousands of people.
But locals have also called for more to be done to improve the town centre and halt what they see as a steady decline.
Many shops are now located in a nearby retail park, and Poundland is even among the chains that have decided to shut up shop.
Amy Beswick, 24, from Crewe, said: “A lot of shops have closed and most shoppers go to the retail park now.
“I always used to come into the town centre when I was younger but I don’t really bother now.
“Even the Poundland store has closed, which says it all really.”
She added: “The building site is an eyesore to be honest.
“And I don’t understand why the care park is being built first. I can’t see the point if shoppers don’t want to come into the town centre.
Mother-of-two Tanya Holdcroft, 37, from Crewe, said that while Crewe had many positives – particularly for young families – the town centre “just looks like a construction site”.
She said: “The problem is a lot of shops have closed and others – such as Marks and Spencer – have moved to the retail park.
“I think a lot of smaller businesses were driven out after the shopping centre closed and the new ones that opened are just generic.
“We’ve got a Costa and a Starbucks but you’ve got them everywhere.
“The town centre just looks like a construction site at the moment. It used to be a nice, busy, friendly place but it’s no longer like that.
“It’s just such a shame because there’s really good things happening elsewhere in Crewe.”
Tanya added that comparisons with Hiroshima were “completely over the top”.
Rosie Mason, 27, who lives in nearby Nantwich, slammed the length of time it was taking to improve the town centre.
She said: “Many shops have just closed over time, so it the town centre isn’t as inviting as it used to be.
“I remember plans to improve it when I was still in college – that was ten years ago.
“It’s frustrating everything seems to take so long.”
Jane Rothrie, 66, from nearby Wistaston, said she disliked coming into Crewe and only did so to visit the bank.
She said: “Crewe isn’t a very enjoyable place to shop and parts of it look disgusting.
“I remember coming to the market hall with my mum and dad and it the town centre was always lively.
“There’s nothing now and the quality stores have been replaced with charity shops.
“It just seems to have gone downhill and shabby looking.”
But other residents said it was unfair to call the town centre an “eyesore” and the council was making improvements.
Dennis Mason, 71, from Crewe, said: “They are trying to improve the town centre.
“It won’t be a building site forever. You have to judge work when it’s finished.
“It’s ridiculous to compare it to Hiroshima.”
Matt Shoreland, 47, from Nantwich, said: “It’s just such bad taste to compare the town centre to Hiroshima.
“The town centre is dying, but they’re trying their best to breathe some life into it.
“It takes time and Covid will have slowed things down, and we’re also living in the middle of a cost of living crisis and perhaps the council are struggling with their budget.
“Overall, I’m quite positive about the future.”
Putting Crewe First’s leader, former Cheshire East Council deputy leader Brian Silvester, defended the comparison, saying many people “refer to Crewe town centre as a bomb site”.
The criticism was echoed Labour’s Cllr Connor Naismith, who represents Crewe West on Cheshire East Council, who called it “desperate and insensitive”.