Wakefield Council to charge takeaways for food hygiene checks

County Hall, Wakefield
County Hall, Wakefield

Businesses in Wakefield will soon have to pay for professional advice provided by the council.

The local authority has introduced charges for consultations on food hygiene, health and safety, noise, air quality and contaminated land.

Previously, the council had made visits to businesses to offer help in these areas for free. But a warning that the services would have to be cut unless they could be made self-sustainable has brought about the change.

It means that the likes of takeaways trying to improve their food hygiene and developers wanting to make checks on a potential housing site will now have to pay for the council's expertise.

The advice services are provided by Wakefield's environmental health team.

A council report, which went before the Cabinet on Tuesday, said: "Market research carried out during the autumn of 2017 confirmed that businesses would be prepared to pay for professional and technical services and recognised the value of the council and environmental health as a trusted source for such services."

Other environmental services offered by the council are already charged, such as pest control.

The council's portfolio holder for the environment, Maureen Cummings, said: "If we don't do this (introduce charges), it means that we have to find the money elsewhere and the services that we provide could no longer be provided."