The usual bate of local councillors and Prominent Members Of The Community have all had their say. And it's all so very predictable. I can only imagine that there are model answers to questions in some handbook for thick provincial civic leaders. Councillor Donkeyhanger's response is typical:
"What a lot of poppycock! Just a couple of minutes out of town you've got some of the best hill walking in the country."
And more in the same vein at length. They all do it. When Middlesborough got a pasting recently they said: "Just out of town is the North York Moors." Oldham and Rochdale copped for it last year and they both said: "Just out of town is the plangent beauty of the Pennine landscape," more or less.
What they're all saying is: "Our town is shite but it's lovely once you've left it."
Quod erat, of course, demonstrandum.