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Minister for Europe says he ‘hates’ Hemel town centre

David Lidington MP

David Lidington MP

Conservative MP David Lidington, who is the Minister for Europe and represents near neighbours Aylesbury, has said he ‘hates’ Hemel Hempstead’s town centre.

The politician made the admission when welcoming plans to improve footfall in Aylesbury, the first stage of which is a £15million restaurant development.

But the minister singled out Hemel for criticism when saying how important is was for Aylesbury to improve its offer to potential customers.

He said: “I hate Hemel town centre, but when you look at the shopping malls they actually have a wider range of shops than in central Aylesbury.

“This development is a serious effort to change that.”

The comments do little for Hemel’s reputation after it was labelled one of the UK’s ‘ugliest’ towns last year. The town centre has also been suffering at the hands of the long-running Old Town works saga, which according to town centre businesses, has led to a decline in footfall locally.

Mr Lidington’s comments could land him in hot water next time he bumps into fellow Conservative MP Mike Penning, who represents Hemel Hempstead.

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