Chip shop owner defends deep-fried Mars bar banner after council intervention
A chip shop owner has said she has no intention of taking down a banner hailing it as the home of the deep-fried Mars bar after she was asked to do so by the local council.
The Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, advertises itself as the ''birthplace of the world famous deep-fried Mars bar'' with a large sign on the side of the shop.
Owners say it attracts thousands of tourists from around the world to try it every year b ut the local council wants the banner to come down as part of a plan to "improve the look" of Stonehaven.
However the council appears to have backtracked after the story sparked headlines today.
The Carron owner Lorraine Watson said the official who sent the letter about the banner had phoned her to discuss the matter today.
She said: "My banner is in immaculate condition and I've got no intention of taking it down and I think he agreed that he could see my point of view.
"The banner has been on the building since 2006 and I think something that's been there for nine years warrants keeping its place. It's not doing any harm and locals are in agreement that it's not unsightly.
"People come from all over the world to visit Stonehaven and going to the chip shop is another of those things that you do. People stand outside under the banner and have their picture taken to show when they get home."
The deep-fried Mars bar has become synonymous with the negative stereotype of the unhealthy Scottish diet and is often mockingly referred to as one of the country's other national dishes, after haggis.
In 2012, Mars wrote to the owners of the chip shop seeking a disclaimer to distance itself from the recipe.
Mars said it was "against its commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles".
Mrs Watson said she was happy to put a disclaimer on the main menu but she is refusing to remove the banner.
Aberdeenshire Council said it did not want to stop the owners promoting their business and that the council is " happy to have discussions" regarding the banner.
A spokesman said: "Together with a range of community organisations, we have been looking at ways to improve the look of Stonehaven for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors.
"An action plan has been created in conjunction with the Stonehaven Town Partnership, Community Council, Stonehaven Business Association and the Horizon Group.
"As part of the action plan we have asked some owners in the area to consider making alterations to their properties. This included asking the owners of The Carron Fish Bar to consider removing their banner.
"We do not wish to prevent the owners from promoting their business and we would be happy to have discussions with them regarding the banner."