Catch me if you can
Petersfield residents have received assurances that despite problems with illegally parked cars, that continue to remain unchecked by Petersfield Town Council, the Olympic torch will make its way through the town next year.
News for people living between Petersfield and Portsmouth was, however, far less positive.
The torch is set to be carried from Portsmouth to Brighton on July 16, 2012, day 59 of the mammoth relay.
The start of the journey is set to see the torch carried from Portsmouth straight to Petersfield without visiting Leigh Park, Havant, Rowlands Castle, Waterlooville, Horndean or Clanfield despite the fact that it will be coming within yards of each of them.
Immediately after gracing Petersfield the torch will visit settlements as small as Rogate, Midhurst, Easebourne, Tillington, Petworth and Duncton.
Lord Coe has been approached by Chantell Fewdont a representative from Havant, Rowlands Castle, Waterlooville etc. or as it known Greater Leigh Park, pleading that he change his mind and slightly alter the route of the torch to take in some more of these built-up areas.
Lord Coe was unequivocal in his response: “Not a chance” he said.
“We did give this matter serious consideration, and one of our major goals in planning the route was to reach out and meet as many of the population as possible, where possible in deprived areas, but this would be a risk we are simply not willing to take.
“You need to realise that much of this journey will be broadcast across the world and if anything were to go wrong, well it doesn’t bear thinking about.
“My advisers tell me that ‘torch’ has its own meaning in Greater Leigh Park, and the last thing we want is for a wanton trail of destruction to follow the runner, because the locals think it appropriate.
“In addition, this torch is golden in colour. It’s not real gold, but I have been warned that the locals will almost certainly not realise that and that a runner carrying gold would be like a scene from the pied piper of Hamelin.
“No we will not be diverted; Greater Leigh Park is a flaming nuisance.”