A Powys Councillor has criticised a list that ranked Powys towns such as Welshpool and Newtown in the bottom third of the UK's best places to live.

Cllr Graham Breeze, who represents the Welshpool-Llanerchyddol ward on Powys County Council, responded to a list of the best towns to live in the UK, which named Newtown in the bottom 10 per cent towns to live in, while Welshpool was in the bottom third.

The list was compiled by Garrington Property Finders, who added that their intent for the list was not to reflect the worst places to live.

Cllr Breeze however, criticised the nature of the ranking, saying: “I’m very against this kind of survey, which seems based more on garnering publicity and arbitrary factors, with little scientific metrics or specific data in who was questioned or consulted on it.

“Simply ranking a number of towns feels as if it’s misrepresenting the people within it who live there and continue to work hard towards improving their areas.


“I understand that businesses on our modern high streets face struggles, but that’s a countrywide issue, not specific to Welshpool or Newtown, and the last thing business owners in difficult situations need is that kind of dismissive publicity.”

Garrington claimed that they based the ranking on their analysis on ‘Natural Environment’, ‘Wellbeing’, ‘Heritage and Culture’, ‘Schools’, ‘Employment and Connectivity’, ‘House Price Quality and Value’ and ‘Average family home cost’. Ultimately they listed Newtown at 1,321 out of 1,429 towns analysed, whilst Welshpool came in 1,183rd.

Cllr Breeze added: “I have lived in Welshpool for my entire life, so I am inclined to speak up for it, but I genuinely think it’s a wonderful place.

"Many other towns across the country would like to have the kind of businesses and community to be found here.

“We have a bustling array of businesses and several unique shops, as well as an ever growing social scene. I would have to say the same for Newtown as well, that it’s better than some arbitrary position on a list.

“As I said, I think a simplistic sliding scale of grades is incredibly dismissive to the people who occupy towns like Welshpool and Newtown and make them what they are. Ultimately, I wouldn’t call this list something to be taken seriously.”