Highland school meals reassurance
3rd March 2017
Highland Council has issued reassurance on the provenance of ingredients in its school meals following recent national media reports this week.
Cllr Drew Millar, Chair of the Council's Education, Children and Adult Services Committee said: "Our catering service is proud to provide good value meals using quality ingredients carefully sourced.
"Quality ingredients are carefully sourced for Highland school meals including local supplies of beef, lamb, venison, free range eggs, and organic carrots. All beef, lamb and pork sourced from Munro the butcher are all Quality Meat Scotland products as well as being local. Seasonal local fresh fruit and vegetables are supplied as much as possible from Swansons Fruit Company, Inverness."
Highland Council currently serves around 18,000 lunches per day in 173 primary and 29 secondary schools.
Menus are updated every 6 months and the Council consult with pupils and staff to improve the food choices and recipes. The menus offer a choice of freshly cooked, nutritionally balanced meals and include favourites such as macaroni cheese, fish and chips, chicken korma and healthy home baking.
Seasonal meals are offered where over 75% of the menu is freshly prepared with ingredients that are GM free, with no undesirable E numbers or hydrogenated fats.
All food and drinks served meet the requirements of the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) (Scotland) Act 2007 and all Highland primary schools have been awarded the bronze Food for Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association with five schools awarded the Silver mark.
Leader of the Highland Council, Margaret Davidson has moved to reassure communities about forthcoming budget decisions. She said: "No decisions will be made until the Council meets on 15 February.
At Highland Council work has been ongoing for some months to prepare a Revenue and Capital Budget for 2018/19 and beyond, with the anticipation of a significant cut to available funds. The Scottish Government's proposed grant settlement was announced on 14 December 2017.
Around £3 million of funding has been agreed for a ground-breaking Highland project that could transform the lives of people with complex health needs as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal. The business case for the ‘FitHome' assisted living project was approved in November last year with £3m funding from the Scottish Government.
An article in the Press and Journal today 9th January 2018 highlights the cuts in staffing levels across Scottish councils with Highland being one of the highest. In 2009 Highland had 9953 Full-time Equivalent Staff and in 2017 it had dropped by 21% to 7838.
Highland Council Trading Standards team has recently seen an increase in scams targeting Highland businesses. The most common scams reported by businesses relate to marketing and publishing but other frauds such as those involving demands for payment for unsolicited goods sent to businesses (such as ink cartridges which were never ordered) are also on the rise.
Cognitive improvements to be included in Blue Badge scheme The disabled person's parking badge pilot, which was launched in April 2016, has been made permanent by the Scottish Government. The eligibility criteria were revised and extended under a pilot to allow carers and relatives of people who pose a risk to themselves or others in traffic to apply for a disabled person's parking badge, provided they meet the criteria.
People looking to pick up a New Year bargain in the sales on the internet, by mail order or on the high street are being encouraged by The Highland Council's Trading Standards team to be aware of their consumer rights and to stay safe online from scams and fake websites that try to dupe inexperienced online shoppers trying to buy a bargain. Consumers have extra protection when they shop online.
The British Hospitality Association secured a major victory today (21 December2017) as the Scottish Government confirmed that any plans for a ‘tourist tax' in Edinburgh - or any other Scottish cities - are firmly off the table. The BHA has been campaigning consistently for over six years against the implementation of any such additional and uncompetitive tax and is delighted that the Scottish Government has recognised our reservations.
Chief Executive of The Highland Council, Steve Barron said: "The Council is continuing to do all it can to support employees who lost their jobs following the change in contract for the processing of recycled waste. Evanton-based William Munro Construction laid off the staff after Highland Council transferred a recycling contract.
The Highland Council has successfully prosecuted a food business after discovering unsafe hygiene practices in the transportation of food. An investigation by officers of the Council's Environmental Health Team discovered that N E Meats Ltd of Newcastle had been transporting and delivering foods from the North of England to the Highlands without any temperature control measures.
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