CLIVE SMITH: Who ate all the pies?

Is Portsmouth really a junk food paradise?Is Portsmouth really a junk food paradise?
Is Portsmouth really a junk food paradise?
Portsmouth has just been given the dubious honour of becoming the fast food capital of the south-east.

This comes hot on the heels of another '˜accolade'  '“  Portsmouth being the easiest place for a pub crawl because it has more pubs per square mile than any other city.

So, it's easy to get steaming drunk and then you can afford to be picky over the where to buy your kebab. I can't imagine why everyone is

walking about with beer bellies.

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Councillor Matthew Winnington said: '˜When you look at the data, a lot of seaside resorts have a high number of takeaways. That is a key part of being a tourism destination.' That's a nice political answer.

The tourist places in Portsmouth are mainly around Southsea seafront and Old Portsmouth. I've never thought these places were particularly overrun with takeaways. But perhaps I've been walking around with my eyes closed.

When you think of fast food you think of North End, Fratton Road, Cosham High Street. No tourist would ever come to Portsmouth to take in the wonders of Cosham. Not one. 

These places exist for residents to stuff their faces. Just strolling down these roads you can feel your arteries furring.

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There are always plenty of sound bites released when these things come out, revealing all the '˜great' work and services available around the city to combat obesity. It doesn't really paint an area in a good light to be thought of as a junk food paradise.

A start would be for the council to put a halt to all these places popping up in the first place. But on the other hand it isn't the council's responsibility for people to display a bit of self-control.

People get fat because they are greedy and lazy. That's not the council's fault '“ it can't have a Healthy Food Officer on hand with a calorie counter and whip forcing people to lose weight.

On the 70th anniversary of the NHS, with that great institution crying out for funding, perhaps it needs to start charging people for diseases related to unhealthy lifestyles.



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With England getting further into the World Cup, bank balances are getting low which is bad news for the staff at Poundworld after the company fell into administration putting more than 5,000 jobs at risk.

Not all is lost though. To cheer staff up they are being given a free sandwich!

There's no need to worry about paying rent and buying birthday presents for the kids when you can have a free egg mayo. Some meal deal that is. Sandwich, can of Fanta and a P45. Sounds like something from the David Brent school of management.

One year where I work we were given a badge at Christmas because of our good health and safety record. If only Father Christmas could bring presents that good. I wear it proudly at every opportunity.


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Forty schools in England have banned girls from wearing skirts to accommodate transgender pupils.

It's 2018 for god's sake. We should be cloning dinosaurs or creating human-robot hybrids, not worrying about this sort of rubbish.

Things like this make me think we are sinking further into the abyss.

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Surely gender equality means we all have the same freedom, not we all have to be the same. Can't a school have a shorts/trousers/skirt policy and leave the child to choose from that list?

There seems to be a constant obsession with school uniforms which largely reflects issues affecting society as a whole. Just leave them alone.

My girls don't like wearing trousers. I'd not be happy if they were forced to wear something they didn't like just to please others.