Conservatives have welcomed a commitment from the new Chief Executive of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust – Matthew Kershaw – to work with the Council to improve local sourcing of food at the city’s hospitals and in other public sector organisations.
The commitment was made as a result of a Conservative Group Notice of Motion that was agreed at a Full Council meeting in March. The Motion highlighted the benefits of sourcing food locally to patient health, the local economy and to the environment through reduced food miles.
In his response to the Motion, Mr Kershaw said: “I would be interested in entering into a discussion with our partners in the public sector about how, acting together, we can achieve the aims set out in the motion to council – perhaps one of the city-wide groups which are being re-energised could address this issue which could harness the collective food sourcing requirements of the wider public sector and other major employers.” Mr Kershaw also confirmed that the Trust is currently discussing “the potential to increase local sourcing” with their contractors – Sodexho.
Patcham Ward Councillor Carol Theobald, who proposed the Motion, said: “I am delighted with the positive response to our motion from Matthew Kershaw. I think we are all agreed on the principle of using more locally sourced food – we just need to get together now and talk about the practicalities of making it happen.”
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, added: “I want to see the collective purchasing power of the local public sector in Brighton & Hove used wherever possible to support employment in the local economy. Using locally sourced food is a great opportunity to help our excellent local farmers, growers and suppliers and I shall be pressing the Council’s Chief Executive to take this forward as a matter of priority.”