1. ITV Report

Council spends £3,000 sending out guide to cooking chips

Jan Simpson has been frying chips in Cheltenham for 40 years. Photo: ITV News

There's nothing worse than soggy chips. But should a council really be spending £3,000 visiting takeaways and restaurants, handing out six-page leaflets explaining how to cook them properly?

Jan Simpson has been frying chips in Cheltenham for 40 years.

"It is a lot of money and I am sure a lot of people will think it is a lot that the council are wasting on chips when that information is available to anyone who is interested enough to find out."

Jan's son-in-law, James Ritchie, explains how they get the best results.

"We heat our oil to 170 degrees. We throw in a bucket of chips. We fry them for about 6-7 minutes. And that makes a perfect chip for us."

Do you need somebody coming around with a guide, to tell you how to do it?

"Personally I don't think we need it. I can see that some people may benefit from this. I have gone out of my way to find the information myself. However I do support the notion of helping takeaways to make a healthier product, but again I am not sure we need to spend money on that."

Cheltenham Council has spent £3,000 on the "Tips on chips" guide Credit: ITV News

Cheltenham borough councillor Rowena Hay, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles, says the £3,000 information campaign is money well spent.

"It's about support from our local businesses in poorer areas of Cheltenham. It is purely voluntary, a one to one chat about the whole process, the oils they use. It's about education and support, which makes a difference to health inequalities in poorer areas."

Chip shop customers are not so sure.

"I think it's a waste of money because people will decide what they think is a good chip anyway."

"Three grand? Cook chips? I don't think that's on, do you?"

But chip shops don't have to wait for a visit from Cheltenham Borough Council. The Information on how to cook healthier chips can be downloaded from the Food Standards Agency...for free.