Tay Cuisine for school meals

Councillor Caroline Shiers, Convener of Lifelong Learning, has today issued a statement in relation to coverage of the Tay Cuisine kitchen for school meals discussed at committee earlier this week.

Councillor Shiers said: "I was disappointed to read inaccurate coverage in yesterday's Courier (31 January 2019) about the impact of the centralised Tayside Contracts Tay Cuisine for school meals on jobs in Perth and Kinross.

"The reality is that only 9 posts out of 280 are actually being removed in Perth and Kinross.This is because while 50 jobs are impacted by the centralisation of school meal preparation, the increase in demand for meals for nursery pupils who can receive full day placements through the roll out of 1,140 hours of funded nursery provision a year, means that there are 41 new posts being created. Those posts mean that staff can be matched straight into the new roles.

"While that leaves a shortfall of 9 posts these will be managed through natural turnover, for example people retiring. If there still remains anyone at risk of not having a job from this group then the Council will work with Tayside Contracts to explore if the expansion of the Council's workforce required to deliver 1140 hours of early learning and childcare might be of interest to them.  

"It is unfortunate that the Courier has misrepresented the position and potentially caused unnecessary upset and concern amongst Tayside Contracts staff.

"I was pleased that members of the Lifelong Learning Committee were able to taste the pre-prepared meals for themselves before the meeting on Wednesday, and I'd like to thank Tayside Contracts for providing that opportunity. It was good to hear positive feedback about the variety and quality of food on offer.  

"Tayside Contracts will be working with schools to arrange further tasting sessions, so that pupils and parents can try the pre-prepared and cooked from frozen food for themselves before this is rolled out."