The small county of Rutland – which we spent about 30 years thinking was a joke place invented for a sitcom – is raging against the possibility of a branch of McDonald's opening within its boundaries for the first time.
The town of Oakham is the target of the burger chain's expansion into the county, with planners currently deciding on an application to site a drive-through restaurant on the edge of the town nearer the no doubt smaller and even quainter setting of Barleythorpe. The BBC quoted rival local restaurateur Gaz Ali, who's firmly on the Leave/No side of the argument against having a McDonald's in town, and is already suffering from visions of teens banging Darude out of Vauxhall Corsas as they pick up their processed treats at 3:00am. He said: "It's such a small town to have a McDonald's. And at the end of the day it's going to bring riff-raff."
We randomly pulled out one letter from the public that's been attached to the application, only to find to our horror that it was a positive one. Local Michell Pugh said: "I think it would be great for the local area in terms of creating jobs (many as well that would be suitable for teenagers in the town) and would save a lot of people from travelling out of town to visit the nearest one. This may also mean they will do their shopping in Oakham too, as many people combine a trip to McDonald's with a shopping trip!"
So we had another look and managed to find an outraged one, sent in by Mrs Els, who said: "...this type of establishment will bring unnecessary litter to our streets along with potentially becoming a teenager hangout. I feel that if people really want McDonald's they can travel 8.2 miles to Melton or 12 Miles to Stamford. Please don't do this to our beautiful county, let's stay the only county without one of these." [BBC]