Posted on Monday 11 December 2017
Gateshead Council’s School Catering Service has been singled out for the second year running as the UK’s top performing school meals provider by the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE).
The council, which employs a team of a 350 staff to prepare and serve more than 11,000 hot meals every day, was compared with 50 other UK school meals providers and was again judged to be delivering the best quality, cost and productivity in the UK.
To win an APSE Performance Network Award, the performance of individual local authorities are measured and benchmarked against dozens of their rivals. The winner is the local council that has proved to be performing better than all the rest.
Michael Lamb, Facilities and Catering Manager for Gateshead Council, says:
“To win one of these prestigious awards, you have to prove you are the best at almost everything. To win one once is achievement enough, but to be declared the winner twice is fantastic.
“We have a growing reputation within the UK catering industry. Of course, our customers already tell us on a daily basis how much they appreciate both our food and the service we provide, but winning this award just confirms our own belief in the quality of service we offer.
“What is especially pleasing is that this award isn’t judged on the basis of a glossy brochure or a slick video presentation, but on our day-to-day performance. It shows that we are clearly doing something right.”
APSE Chief Executive Paul O’Brien says:
“The winners and finalists of these awards are stunning examples of what local government is capable of achieving. That is not to say austerity is not hitting councils hard because it's is, however these winners and finalists are proof that in spite of the challenges local councils are using innovation and efficiency to continue to deliver superb local services"
Gateshead Council provides more than 11,000 nutritionally-balanced meals every day in 80 primary and secondary schools across Gateshead and beyond. Its team of 350 staff are fully trained in nutrition, food safety, catering and cookery skills.