IF at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again.

This inspirational message has been handed down through the generations to many people who prefer an alternative philosophy — give up before losing becomes too embarrassing.

Both sides of the argument come in to play now that Bolton Council has decided to make a fourth attempt to secure city status for our fair town.

We missed out in 1992 (Queen’s 40th year as monarch), 2000 (Millennium) and 2002 (Queen’s Golden Jubilee).

Heroically undaunted, our civic representatives — Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat — are united in the belief that Bolton deserves to be the one UK town elevated in this way when the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

Rivals such as Blackpool, Perth, Wrexham, Middlesbrough and Reading will be equally determined to gain this honour.

Bids need to be with the Cabinet Office by 4pm on May 27 in order for them all to be considered ahead of an announcement early next year.

There can be no doubt that the council team involved in this exercise will tackle the challenge in a professional way and I expect our submission — supported by the presence of a Premier League football club and a developing university — to be extremely competitive.

Conscious of the current austere times, the Government is doing its best to make the process simple and cheap. I remind myself at this stage that great numbers of Boltonians do not really care if they live in a town or a city.

They will regard it as “nice” if we win and shrug their shoulders if we lose for a fourth time.

Local authorities, no matter how grand they sound, will never gain widespread approval if bin collections are missed, potholes are not mended and other essential services are not provided to everybody’s satisfaction.

But, in spite of the gloomy reality and earlier reservations, I find myself firmly in favour of this new attempt to redefine Bolton’s image.

There is a desperate need for more investment and business opportunities.

Designation as the UK’s newest city would help to catch the attention of companies who have no current reason to give us a thought.

Winning would not do us any harm and might just do us some good.

Go for it, I say.

The City of Bolton would join the cities of Manchester and Salford as one of the more important components of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority due to be created on April 1.