More than 3,000 people have signed a petition to halt the introduction of frozen school dinners across Perth and Kinross.
The document, demanding a reversal of the decision to have school meals prepared at a Dundee mega-kitchen before being blast-frozen and delivered to lunch halls for reheating, has now been delivered to the council.
It was started by SNP councillor Dave Doogan, who said the volume of signatures showed the strength of “public hostility” towards the Tay Cuisine initiative.
Perth and Kinross Council has said the plans will be discussed at a full council meeting later this year after ongoing consultancy reports are completed.
Mr Doogan said: “I have worked closely with the council’s leader, Councillor Murray Lyle, in recent weeks to ensure the strength of public hostility towards this proposal, demonstrated by over 3000 signatories, is fully acknowledged by the council’s most senior leader.
“Councillor Lyle has received our petition and following this the council is currently undertaking a review of the previous decision in respect to school meal production for our young learners across Perth and Kinross.
“We may accept that the current school meal system may need reviewed and investment to deliver future demand in a sustainable way and we will positively contribute to this exercise.
“However I and my colleagues on the council will never accept exporting jobs out of Perth and Kinross and neither will we accept that Perth and Kinross cannot feed our young people in our schools.”
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A spokesperson for Perth and Kinross Council said the executive director of education and children’s services was expected to report on the outcome of the detailed consultancy work later in 2019.
“The outcome of the detailed consultancy work will be brought before the September meeting of full council, rather than lifelong learning committee.”
Fifty jobs are affected by the Tay Cuisine initiative, which is also .
Perth and Kinross Council says most of the roles will be diverted, resulting in only nine job losses.
Schools in Dundee and Angus will also be supplied with frozen dinners from the Tay Cuisine kitchens.
The petition has been backed by SNP Education Secretary John Swinney who said: “This job-killing proposal was forced through without the consultation of parents, pupils or kitchen staff.
“It is as poorly conceived as it is damaging.”