Children's Secretary Joins Twyford School Fast Food Row

But Chicken Cottage owner pleads not to be put out of business

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The Children's Secretary, Ed Balls, has joined the opposition to a fast food franchise due to open near Twyford Church Of England High School.

The issue was originally raised by Ealing North MP Steve Pound after he received a flurry of emails from parents and local residents angry that Chicken Cottage on the Uxbridge Road had been granted planning permission. They say fast food outlets have no place next to schools.

Twyford Headteacher Alice Hudson commented:

"Twyford prides itself on being a healthy school. As a community we are dismayed at having to deal with having this outlet so near to the school. Also more than a little disappointed that this was allowed to happen five months after the Government issued guidance saying that fast food outlets should not open in the near vicinity of schools.

Ed Balls, recently visited Twyford and says he is disappointed that the council gave approval:

" Local authorities should use their planning powers to control more carefully the number and location of fast food outlets in their local areas.

"We know that there is no point in banning junk food and raising quality of lunches in schools, if teenagers can simply go to eat unhealthy food from neighbouring takeaways. We want to make sure local authorities are taking this seriously and have ordered a cross-government review looking at how health and social care is currently embedded in current planning policy and we will act on the findings."

Meanwhile Mandeep Bassi, franchisee of Chicken Cottage says the planning application was granted in May 2008 before new guidelines about take away outlets near schools were published.

He argues that there are a number of other fast food outlets locally and thinks his shop is being unfairly targetted.

"I strongly believe that the blame should not lie with me as I am an honest person who is simply looking to earn a crust in the current climate. Please do not try and kill me or put me out of business before I have even started.

"I really do not think that one more fast food outlet will damage Twyford's good work.''


Fast food outlets close to schools? What do you think?

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