They’re puzzling folk, the good burghers of Budmouth. You’d think they’d be celebrating that their children are so slim they can be trusted to make their own food choices. But no, the head teacher of the town’s sixth-form college is outraged that a chip shop is to open opposite his premises.
Local authorities often try to deliver overweight children from the temptation of fried foods by banning their retail within 800 yards of schools whose catchment areas contain too many obese children above the national average. In this instance, though, the kids are so rosy-cheeked and lithe of limb that Weybridge Council is powerless to act.
Which is no bad thing. The tactic of banning fast-food outlets from school neighbourhoods has already been rigorously tested in the US, where it was revealed to be 100 per cent ineffective.
It may hurt the health police to acknowledge it, but they can quite often be completely superfluous to requirements.