A councillor has hit back at a scathing review that landed a “depressing” Wiltshire town on the list of worst places in the UK.

Melksham has found itself, alongside Trowbridge, on town review site ILiveHere.com’s 2024 list of 153 nominees for the “most depressing” place to live in the UK.

The town was nominated after a searing review by a resident labelled it a “boring, decaying, grimy and downright depressing hovel.”

They added: “Melksham is sadly another example of how decades of decline and social issues have transformed many Wiltshire towns into rundown relics of a bygone era.

“The town has never been the nicest place to live, but the past decade has seen a steady decline in appearance, with the town centre resembling a dying mess of salons, barbers, kebab shops, antique dealers, and the obligatory pound shops.

“Do not visit this place at all, there is nothing of the slightest interest here.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Melksham town centreMelksham town centre (Image: Trevor Porter)

The disgruntled local, who claims to be leaving for Devon, lamented the loss of Cooper Tires, which shut last year sparking the loss of around 350 jobs.

They believe the “uninspiring” town centre and lack of development has turned the area into a “breeding ground for anti-social behaviour.”

But Cllr Phil Alford, the Wiltshire representative for Melksham Without North & Shurnhold who also sits on the town council, has refuted this view.

He said: “People will always moan about the town they live in, but I’d argue against it.

“Melksham is a brilliant place to live, it’s got loads of open public space, it’s got high quality housing and it’s a fantastic community.

“The people here really rally around and support each other, there are a lot of community groups that are really active and work together to deal with issues.

“People are moving to Melksham in their droves, we’ve seen investment taking place as well… it’s a town on the up in terms of what’s coming but at the moment it’s a great place to live.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Melksham town centreMelksham town centre (Image: Trevor Porter)

One site of potential investment is the former Cooper Tires factory site, which is expected to be sold by the end of February.

Councillor Pat Aves has previously suggested the “exciting” possibilities for development, including riverside improvements, could “bring Melksham into the 21st Century in style."

Cllr Alford was also full of praise for the town’s independent and larger businesses.

He added: “It’s got a strong business community, there’s a lot of successful independent businesses but we’ve got businesses with a national footprint who are keen to stay too.”