CABINET CALL: By Coun Anthony Casson of South Holland District Council
As some of you may be aware, my portfolio responsibilities changed recently and I now have the privilege of looking after public protection matters.
This is an exciting new challenge and I’ve tried to hit the ground running by getting to know all about the relevant council services.
These include Food Safety, Environmental Health, Licensing, Health and Safety and the Dog Warden/Pest Control.
I recently accompanied one of our Food, Health and Safety officers on a night time inspection visit to three restaurants in the district.
This was to give the businesses new Food Hygiene Ratings, which is a nationwide scheme run by the Food Standards Agency to make the public aware of safe places to eat.
Ratings are determined by officers and run from zero (urgent improvement necessary) to five (very good).
They are displayed on green and black stickers and show how well a business is doing overall, but also take account of the level of risk to people’s health.
On our visit, two businesses which had 3 ratings retained their scores and one which previously had a 3 was upgraded to a 4.
The overall standard of ratings in South Holland is excellent. Latest figures show that businesses in the district with 3 star (satisfactory) 4 star (good) and 5 star (very good) ratings is now 98.2%.
And you’ll also be pleased to hear that there are no businesses with zero ratings.
I think our Food, Health and Safety team does an excellent job supporting local businesses and working with them to ensure they get good ratings, they leave no stones unturned in their work.
Watching them at work certainly gave me plenty of food for thought (no pun intended!)
Last week I also accompanied the Food, Health Safety team on a visit to Gosberton Clough and Risegate Community Primary School.
This saw the team and the council’s non-smoking mascot Big Cig (whose identity is a closely-guarded secret) talk to children about the dangers associated with smoking.
This was a highly enjoyable afternoon and I think the pupils learned some very valuable information.