Tuesday, 2 November 2010


A month or so ago it was reported that the barbaric and ritually slaughtered halal meat was being served to our children and young adults at their places of learning throughout the borough of Wigan & Leigh and this without any prior consultation or simple discussion with their parents, guardians or indeed the individuals themselves.
See this earlier WiganToday report:
School Meals Storm Brewing.

You will have read in the above report that a Wigan Council owned company namely Metrofresh supplies all the necessary catering requirements to our school's, colleges and rather unnervingly throughout all of Wigan & Leigh council owned/ran establishments it seems? You may want to pay particular attention to their boast that:
"We constantly seek to improve our services through close liaison with our clients, customers and consumers."

Now, just where is this close liaison with clients, customers etc....they so speak of? Did you know about it? I for one certainly didn't!

So, this leads me on to ask just how many of our places of learning (sic) in Wigan Borough have been supplied with this horrendous and barbaric halal meat then?

The number of Wigan & Leigh schools are as follows:
104 Primary Schools
20 Secondary Schools
6 Special Schools
3 Colleges.

Surely it can't be them all can it? Well, I submitted a Freedom Of Information request to our council to find out a little more about the supply of halal slaughtered meat to our children
- and here's their response:

Dear Gary

I am writing to respond to your freedom of information request which we received on 20th September 2010.
Your request was as follows:

1) Can you please supply me with details of all the school's and/or places of learning which includes all age groups within the borough of Wigan that supplies or offers Halal meat to their pupils/students or others be it advertised on the menu or not.

2) If no schools are currently supplying Halal meat in the Wigan borough area - how many hours have been spent previously by certain council departments on the possibility of introducing Halal meat to the borough's schools menus and other places of education."

B) 1) Metrofresh provides catering in all primary and special schools in the borough and 18 out of the 20 high schools - St Edmund Arrowsmith and St Mary's High Schools have private sector contractors providing the schools meals service.

Metrofresh use halal and non halal meat and meat products, this is not detailed on the menu that the meat dish or product may be halal.

2) No additional time is spent on reviewing whether or not to use halal meat, this is not featured in the procurement process, the tender is based on best quality and value for money as per the statutory obligations.

If you are unhappy with any aspect of this response, an independent senior officer will review this decision. Please let me know if you would like to arrange this.

You can also complain to the Information Commissioner, who is the regulator for Freedom of Information. His website is www.informationcommisioner.gov.uk and his helpline number is 0303 1231113.

His staff may ask you to exhaust our internal complaints procedure if you choose to complain to his office now.
I apologise for the delay in responding to this request, this is due to the high volume of requests that are currently being received. If you need any further information please do not hesitate in contacting me.

Yours Sincerely
Sharon Crippin
Assistant Data Protection Officer
Business Support Services
Wigan Council
Town Hall

So there you have it! We have just two schools throughout the whole of the borough that are not supplied food or more importantly halal meat by Metrofresh because they - St. Edmund Arrowsmith and St. Mary's both use private outside contractors or is it more of a coincidence that these two schools are indeed both of the Catholic faith?

Our local campaign against the supply of halal meat across the borough is growing stronger by the day and we will be in the very near future protesting at certain points across the borough, but, we need more of you to come on board! I'm also currently in the process of setting up a Facebook account designed solely for this protest against Wigan Council.

Please keep coming back for updates

And here's a couple of links from quite a number of earlier post on the subject here:



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