St Andrews is a dump and Fife Council needs to do more for the town, St Andrews Community Council heard this week.
The attack came from recent council member John Jardine who claimed: “If you don’t golf in St Andrews there is nothing for you to do.
“I would dig up the golf courses and put carrots in.”
Fellow community councillors listened in stunned silence as Mr Jardine went on: “We are supposed to be world class– we need some action and I feel very strongly about this – we are forgotten about.”
Ruing the failure to go ahead with a visitor centre at West Sands last year, he continued: “We came close to getting a centre on the West Sands, but the money has gone and people have to start again.
“As a community we should be standing up and saying we need facilities on the West Sands.
“In St Andrews we have restaurants and bars, but you can’t buy a pair of trousers –the shops are gone.
“I despair of things,” he concluded.
Mr Jardine was critical of the look of the streets in the town criticising the state of the pavements, the rubbish littering the streets and the clutter of bins.
Fife councillors were quick off the mark to defend the town: “I think St Andrews is a fantastic place to live,” Cllr Brian Thomson asserted, “and there are opportunities for all of us – music, theatre, rugby, football, athletics to name just a few.”
“Craigtoun Park, Kinburn Park,” Cllr Dorothea Morrison listed, “with the facilities for the whole family.”
She added: “We can go to the council and say we don’t get enough money – but they will say we get more than anyone else.”
It’s not just Fife councillors who love the town – visitors do to, and they bring money in to the town.
St Andrews attracts more than 666,000 visitors a year from around the world, spending £98 million in the town.
St Andrews Partnership has carried out regular visitor surveys, and say Mr Jordan’s comments do not chime with their findings.
It’s not just golf that attracts visitors. In a survey published last year by the St Andrews Partnership and Scottish Enterprise, just 19 per cent of visitors said they had come to play or watch golf.
The majority of visitors, around a third had been attracted by the beauty of the town and surrounding scenery, while another 21 per cent had come for the beach and 22 per cent for shopping.
An earlier 2013 visitor survey revealed that 98 per cent of visitors agreed that the town centre was “well looked after”.
St Andrews had not just met, but exceeded, the expectations of 88 per cent of visitors.