A JOURNALIST who wrote in a national newspaper that Ellesmere Port smells has further insulted the town by likening it to a 'decomposing tramp'.
Rod Liddle made the claim when the Pioneer asked him to justify his first comments, made in The Sunday Times on March 21.
Offering advice to people trying to sell their homes in the paper's property section, he wrote: 'Roasting coffee beans in the oven to make the house smell nice and inviting is a waste of time.
'What is more, it is an especially bad idea if your three-year-old child has, unbeknown to you, placed his plastic bunny rabbit on the top shelf of the oven and you haven't noticed.
'If that happens, your house will smell like Ellesmere Port, which is a Bad Thing.'
The article incurred the wrath of Ellesmere Port MP Andrew Miller, borough mayor Graham Smith and Mike Whittaker, head of environmental health services at the borough council.
The civic leaders said Mr Liddle was pandering to an outdated cliché, and that environmental tests proved the Port has cleaner air than many other UK towns.
At the time we published Mr Liddle's comments we contacted The Sunday Times to ask him to defend his views on the town.
He wasn't there, but a colleague said: 'Rod is known for doing things like this. It's just a fun column.'
Last week Mr Liddle e-mailed us. He apologised for not responding sooner as he had been on holiday.
He said: 'The last time I was in Ellesmere Port, about five years ago, the place had the smell of a decomposing tramp. But maybe that was just bad luck.'
He added: 'I didn't do any environmental tests.'
Does Ellesmere Port deserve to be criticised in this way? Send your views by e-mailing email@example.com.