While we're proud in Essex of our wonderful cities, towns and villages, not everyone seems to appreciate everything the county has to offer.

A number of places in the county have been shortlisted for the title of Britain's “most depressing place to live in” for 2024.

Five areas in south Essex have been put forward by residents for iLiveHere’s annual search for the worst places in the UK.

The scathing town reviews site has changed the emphasis for this year’s contest and wants to find the most depressing towns, rather than just the worst place to live.

So far, 153 towns and cities are on the shortlist.

Among them are Basildon, Southend, Grays, Tilbury and Canvey.

The website said: “Bland, boring, soul-destroying mediocrity with a gaping cultural void. This is what our new poll is about. This year we are ditching the usual suspects to focus on those towns throughout this septic isle that give you an almost-terminal case of ennui.

“The towns where you just exist rather than live. From home counties commuter dormitories that close down at 10pm to seaside resorts that are ghost towns in winter, this poll is about them.

“Tourist traps like Padstow that have been expunged of locals to make way for weekend AirBnBs or places that exist solely to part Americans from their money like Edinburgh and Canterbury.

“This poll covers the length and girth of Great Britain taking in Scotland and Wales for the first time. So get voting and take a big steaming dump on the Sunday Times Best list and estate agent’s cheap-suited dreams.”