New £190 charge to re-inspect takeaways and restaurants in Wyre planned

A Food Hygiene Rating sticker

Wyre takeaways and restaurants handed poor hygiene ratings following inspections may now have to pay to be revisited.

The council said it plans to charge eateries looking for a fresh visit up to £190, with councillors set to vote on the charge’s introduction next week.

Fylde Council introduced a £120 charge for the service last September, while Blackpool Council charges £150.

Wyre’s head of environment and community safety, Neil Greenwood, said: “This is additional unplanned work for the council and it is felt appropriate that businesses wanting to improve their rating between programmed inspections should make a contribution to this service.

“It is also felt that if businesses have to pay for the re-rating inspection it provides an additional incentive to improve the standards of hygiene.”

The Food Standards Agency wrote to local authorities in March saying they could introduce a fee to recover their costs under the Localism Act (2011).

“These powers allow for fees on a cost recovery basis only, and it is for each local authority to calculate their own costs,” the body said.

And a report set to go before councillors on Monday said firms would be charged £177.15 to apply for a re-inspection online, or £190.52.

In 2014/15, there were 28 such requests, in 2015/16 there were 19, in 2016/17 there were 17, and so far this year there have been 10. Charging would have brought in up to £14,098.

Other charges, including £13.70 for replacement basic food hygiene certificates, and £7.66 for health and safety posters, would stay the same.

The food hygiene rating given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection by the local authority. It varies from zero, the worst possible score, to five, the best.

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