by timpickstone on October 29, 2012
Many thanks to the residents who got in touch to raise the problems in the supply of milk to primary schools in Bury in September and October.
My colleague Cllr Donal O’Hanlon has been following this up, most recently with a formal written question to the Labour Council Leader at the most recent full meeting of Bury Council.
It turns out that there were problems with the supply of milk at the beginning of the current term when no milk was delivered to Bury schools on both the 6th and 7th September. Further delivery failures occurred on 13th and 28th September and 3rd October.
School milk is purchased via a Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation contract from Fresh Pastures CIC, a Wakefield-based producer. Fresh Pastures supply to a large number of local authorities and they have been our supplier for the past 4 years. The initial cause was attributed to machine breakdown at the supplierâ€™s production plant, but it later became apparent that the main issue was the reduction in milk available to Fresh Pastures from their usual suppliers and their inability to secure alternative supplies as a result of the general tightening of milk supplies nationally.
We raised very significant concerns that it simply cannot be acceptable for delivery failures to happen over such a prolonged period of time, and that the Council – either itself of through the ‘Purchasing Organisation’ did not have contingengy plans that could have been brought into action.
As a result we have been assured that in addition to working on resolving the issues with the current supplier the Council has commenced the procurement process for an alternative supplier.