A NATIONAL newspaper feature on Ross-on-Wye has provoked a fierce debate on the good and bad points of the town.

The Guardian asked anyone living in Ross to join an online discussion following a travel feature in its Saturday magazine.

According to the paper, Ross is the gateway for countless pleasure boats, craning necks and sharp, middle-class elbows and has a “strange, old-fashioned air”.

Reporter Tom Dychkhoff claimed the town is the granddaddy of Ludlow, Burford and “all of those over-cute market towns lusted over in Country Life.”

He also states that Ross could do with new blood and there is a lot of mediocrity in the town, although tearoom Pots and Pieces was commended for having good cakes.

“Several customers came in over the weekend as a result of reading the article to try the cakes out for themselves and they all agreed they are a bit special,”

said Pots and Pieces proprietor David Bruce.

Other businesses which were commended were organic store Field Fayre and Nepalese restaurant Yaks and Yetis, but according to the paper, there are too many charity shops.

The article led to a number of people commenting on The Guardian’s website, with a mixture of views expressed.

Sam Punn said that she had lived in Ross for nine years and that its lovely mixture of small independent and mainstream shops, affordable mix of housing and a “brilliant” secondary school make it a great place.

But Stephen Thomas Hall said that he was dreading moving to the town soon, while Itchkistitchpipes said that Ross is a “hideously boring town”.

The debate saw councillors Andy Atkinson and Richard Mayo take to their keyboards to stick up for Ross.

Coun Atkinson wrote that it is the perfect place to bring up children and that he would recommend it to anyone for a visit, while Coun Mayo, who runs Truffles Delicatessen, claims that 99 per cent of people love the town.

“Yes we could do with a bigger sports facility, yes we might not have the perfect mix of shops to suit everyone’s shopping requirements and yes we do have the occasional rowdy Friday night,” he wrote.

“But if that is all the criticism that can be levelled at Ross then we’re doing pretty well.