Thursday, 21 January 2010

Mail picks up Lewisham 'No Fry Zone' story

Lewisham council has the dubious honour of being mentioned in the Daily Mail today. The Mail says that Green councillor Ute Michel, pictured, is proposing a 'No fry zone' (good pun) around schools to ensure that kids can't get their greasy hands on burgers and chips during the school day.

Some of the comments at the site ask why councillors don't know that primary schools don't let their kids out at lunchtime and other such 'political correctness gone mad' comments. Sadly not many of the comments question whether the story itself is accurate, which is surprising as it appears in the Daily Mail.

If you want an accurate version of the story you can always go direct to Lewisham Green Party's press release here which explains that far from being on the brink of some sort draconian measure shutting down local businesses we are rather more modestly *talking* to the Mayor about whether it would be inappropriate to allow *new* junk food outlets to set up shop next door to schools as a measure against childhood obesity.

I know a 'no fry zone' sounds really exciting, kudos to the person who thought of it, as "writing a special town planning policy" is a bit less funky but when you have commentators screaming that the council wants to 'ban frying' or 'Don't ban food. Ban the nanny state instead.' I wonder how helpful this Mail article has been.

Councils make zoning decisions all the time about what kind of premises is appropriate where, and schools are an important factor in that. It might be nice to have some kind of local diversity rather than a host of new chicken places to cater for the school break rush, however, I'm not quite sure it's the equivalent of banning food though.

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