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Cllr Chris Irvine has dismissed plans to restrict takeaways in Medway as "nannying fussbucketry"

20 March 2014
by Chris Hunter

Plans to restrict takeaways near schools have been dismissed as “nannying fussbucketry”.

Cllr Chris Irvine slammed the plans, which affect new hot food outlets within 400m of schools and are designed to combat childhood obesity, “as illiberal, Draconian, authoritarian and, perhaps ultimately, pointless.”

Should pupils get a burger ban

Should pupils get a burger ban?

In a speech to Medway Council’s business support overview and scrutiny committee, he said the proposals were “an attack on jobs, an attack on businesses, an attack on our local economy, and an attack on our freedom to choose.

Cllr Chris Irvine

Cllr Chris Irvine

“I did not stand for election in order that I could stop the old-age pensioner from having fish and chips for his lunch just because his nearest takeaway is located in one of the exclusion zones which this policy is seeking to create. I support efforts being taken to educate people on how to make healthy choices but that is where we should draw the line.”

And he urged caution over claims of a current obesity crisis adding: "common sense, using our own eyes, tells us otherwise. I undertake the school run and, believe me, our streets and schools are not being over-run by fat little children." 

Last week, Olympic legend Sir Steve Redgrave raised doubts over the plans, during a visit to Rochester, when he said he had eaten “all sorts of rubbish” in the past and that promoting exercise was a far better way to improve people’s lifestyles.

The committee looked at a guidance note, which would, if adopted, help planners decide new takeaway applications.

The Business Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed public consultation and stated the need to consult with a wide a group of people as possible; including the Black Ethnic Minority Group (BME), Federation of Small Businesses, Medway Ethnic Minority Forum, Schools, School Council, Government bodies, Medway Youth Parliament, Students, Public Health England and Clinical Commissioning Group
The outcome of consultation is to be reported back by July 3 2014.

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