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Home   Medway   News   Article

Gillingham country park cafe charges Rochester mum Gemma Cawte for a jug of hot water

06 June 2014
by Lynn Cox

A mother was told it would cost her 80p to heat her baby’s bottle – after she had spent nearly £10 at a council-owned cafe.

Gemma Cawte asked for a jug of hot water to warm baby Jack's milk at Riverside Country Park in Gillingham.

But she didn’t have enough money left to pay the 80p they demanded. She had to give the child his milk cold. He promptly threw it up.

Gemma Cawte and 5-month-old son Jack

Gemma Cawte and 5-month-old son Jack

Ms Cawte, 31, and her partner Stuart Boyle, from Chattenden, took their children Bella, five and Jack, five months, to the park in Lower Rainham Road.

Ms Cawte, who is on maternity leave and Mr Boyle, 32, who is the chef at Horseshoe and Castle pub in Cooling, were shocked when after spending £9.60 on lunch, staff said they did not have milk-warming facilities.

She then asked for a jug of hot water to warm the bottle, but was told there was a charge.

Ms Cawte said: “I was told I would have to pay 80p, the same price as a cup of tea. We had only taken £10 out with us.”

“The park is a family-orientated place where lots of young children go with their parents and lots of people use the cafe so it should have some sort of facility, most places do.”

 

Riverside Country Park

Riverside Country Park

Medway Council spokesman said: “The cafe is run under a lease agreement and the council has no control over what they charge.

"Since this has been brought to our attention we have contacted the cafe and asked them to reconsider charging for the warming of baby bottles.”

Ms Cawte added: “I am pleased to hear that the council has asked them to stop charging as they should have a free bottle-warming facility.”

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