4 April 1997

School dinner decision delay

BEEF is unlikely to be back on the menu in Shropshire schools before the autumn term after the councils education committee delayed a decision on the issue.

Shropshire NFU chairman Lloyd Jones said he was extremely disappointed the committee had again delayed a decision despite independent advice from Shropshire Health Authoritys consultant in communicable diseases.

He said Shropshires beef industry was continuing to suffer simply because a committee were using beef as a political pawn and could not make up their mind.

"I am appalled at the political manoeuvring which appears to have gone on at the meeting to ensure the motion, which was to reintroduce the use of beef products in the schools meals service could not be heard," he said.

Instead the committee reverted to a recommendation made six weeks ago by full council to consult parents of primary and secondary pupils throughout the country.

"All along we have been in favour of parental choice and this can best be given through reinstating beef and allowing parents and their children to decide for themselves," added Mr Jones.

The consultation would mean parents were unlikely to get a choice until at least mid-May, after the election, and it was unlikely that beef would be back on the menu before the autumn term, he said. &#42