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'Elf 'n' safety strikes again: Now women's group not allowed to cook cakes for their own coffee afternoon



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 12:21 PM on 22nd September 2010



Stunned members of a women's group hit out at health and safety chiefs today after they were banned from baking homemade cakes for their own coffee afternoon.

The Adlington and District Millennium Committee planned to entice the public to a meeting at their local library later this week.

But volunteers nearly choked on their speciality scones when they were told their cakes were a health and safety hazard.

Adlington Library has told members they can only sell produce bought from a shop.


article-1314246-0B4C7720000005DC-241_468x363.jpg Shocked: Jeanette Lowe and Edna Woodrow outside Adlington Library. They have been banned from baking homemade cakes for their own coffee afternoon


Jeanette Lowe, secretary of the committee, said: 'It’s absolutely ridiculous. We’ve had no problems with this before. It’s health and safety gone mad.'

The problem arose after the committee organised a coffee afternoon at the library, in Adlington, Lancashire, and were told they could only provide shop-bought cakes and biscuits.

Miss Lowe, from Nightingale Street, Adlington, whose speciality is chocolate cake, added: 'We have to leave the packaging out so that people can check for nuts. But shop-bought cakes just don’t have the same appeal.

'It really encourages people to attend these sort of events when they know they’ll be greeted with a nice homemade scone.'

The group, which consists of 10 retired female volunteers, usually uses community centres to hold fundraising events, where no such restrictions apply.

They have now vowed not to use the library again.

One member, Rita Ward, 72, from Adlington, said: 'It’s a sad state that we’re in when someone at the top says no, and we have to fall in line like a stack of dominoes. That’s how I feel. It’s just beyond belief.'

Another of the committee’s members who worked in the health and safety sector for 20 years before she retired, termed the decision a 'sign on the times'.

Ann Shires, 63, from Heath Charnock, said: 'It’s nothing like it used to be now; it’s horrifically going wrong.

'As a grandparent, I’m now more aware of all these rules. It’s a sign of the times.'

Edna Woodrow, from Rawlinson Lane, Heath Charnock, who makes the group’s millionaire’s shortbread, was shocked to discover she could not bake for the event.

'I was really taken aback. I could understand if they didn’t want any food in the library, but to say we can only have shop-bought products is a bit over the top,' she said.

A member of staff at Adlington Library, which is abiding by rules set out by Lancashire County Council, said: 'It’s a shame, but I can understand that local authorities have to be careful.'

And she said shop-bought items where the packaging had been opened had to be thrown away.

Julie Bell, head of Lancashire County Council’s Library and Information Service, said: 'We do not have kitchen facilities where food can be prepared, and though we know home-cooked baking often tastes better than the commercially prepared kind, legal restrictions mean we can only allow packaged goods with clearly labelled ingredients.'

The coffee afternoon is being held on Friday between 2pm and 4pm.



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1314246/Elf-n-safety-strikes-Now-womens-group-allowed-cook-cakes-coffee-afternoon.html#ixzz10H3eszvq

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