‘BARMY’ claims that 99 ice creams can’t be eaten on Teignmouth’s Back Beach have been scotched.

Tensions were mounting over recent weeks after ‘flake news’ claiming that a council committee had banned 99 ice creams from being eaten on the popular spot did the rounds.

Rumour had it, that after new powers were given to Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) to rein-in anti-social behavior in the town, chocolate which ‘has been used as a drug’ in some parts of the world would be included in the ban.

Town mayor Peter Williams explained: ‘If you see how chocolate is used in some parts of the world... some people have used chocolate a drug.

He continued: ‘It was a misunderstanding, the police needed some new powers to stop problem or anti-social drinkers on the Back Beach.

‘When someone got wind that chocolate “could” be considered a drug, that’s when people started getting worried.’

Teignbridge’s Community Safety and Safeguarding Manager, has now been forced to confirm… ‘the Public Spaces Protection Order does ‘NOT’ ban eating a 99 on the Back Beach.’

Former mayor and councillor Robert Phipps shed some light on the misunderstanding after some people got the wrong end of the stick.

‘I’m pleased the record has been put right,’ he said.

The councillor is well connected with the chilled-snack community: ‘Seeing as I voted in favour of the order – and I sell ice cream on the sea front, it would have been financially suicidal, if the order really did ban them.’

Mayor Peter Williams added that the order is a ‘discretionary power’ which would only be used if there was issues surrounding anti-social behaviour or the person spoken to ‘refused to comply.’

He added: ‘We want everyone to enjoy the Back Beach, sadly we need to have to provide our PCSOs with the authority to prevent a minority causing trouble.’

The mayor explained that the powers would not be enforced too rigidly, and were simply a tool for the police to use to stop disrputive groups.

Councillor Andrew Henderson confirmed too: ‘There is nothing to stop people eating a 99 or having a pint of beer.

He added:‘Robert gives children and young people who help with the beach-cleans a free ice cream which they can – and do – enjoy on the Back Beach.’

The misunderstanding says the council, has now been rectified. It is hoped that this chilling tale can now be forgotten.