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LACA announces appointment of Anita Brown as new chair

21st Sep 2023 - 07:00
LACA chair Anita Brown
LACA, the school food people, has formally announced that Anita Brown has taken over as its new national chair after immediate past chair Brad Pearce completed his time in office.

Judith Gregory has taken up the position of national vice chair and will be working closely with Anita over the next 12 months. Michael Hales, managing director of Juniper Ventures, has been named as the vice chair elect.

Commenting on her appointment Anita said: “I feel very privileged to be in the position of LACA national chair for the year ahead, but first and foremost I must talk about the amazing achievement and outcomes that Brad Pearce has made in his year. 

“The amount of political engagement he has had, along with a whole host of radio and tv interviews, meetings, media involvement has been incredible. He is a fountain of knowledge and the introduction of the ‘If not now, when?’ campaign which Brad championed, has shown his commitment and loyalty to the school meals service that we are all part of.

“Brad has been a great mentor and I look forward to working alongside him in his new role as immediate past chair, a huge thank you to Brad for a great year as national chair.”

Anita set five aims including:

  1. Prioritise and continue with the ‘If not now, when?’ campaign, with the focus being the huge differences in funding across the four nations.
  2. Campaign to increase UIFSM and FSM, which should actually link with the current inflation rates.
  3. Continue the focus with Government, on offering free schools meals to all families who are in receipt of Universal Credit.
  4. Visit all regions, to offer updates, help and support.
  5. Champion all that LACA has achieved and is continuing to achieve, both on the political stage but also delivering the support for all the teams and staff that deliver a fantastic service in these difficult times on the front line.

In her day job, Anita is service manager at Stockton on Tees Borough Council. Anita started as a school cook in the days of endless budgets and no standards. Over the years Anita has seen lots of changes through Best Value and Compulsory Competitive Tendering (CCT).

Stockton on Tees Borough Council provides school meals to 50 schools & academies across the borough meeting the needs of their diverse communities. 

Anita added: “This is my 25th year as a LACA member and I am committed to supporting the great work of our frontline services. We are still in difficult times with the cost of living crisis, problems with recruitment and added pressures coming from our food supplies are all still impacting us, day in day out.

“I will continue to call for increased funding to at least match across the four nations in order for us all to deliver the great school meals provision to all pupils. Knowing the amazing achievement of the many chairs who have gone before me, I know I have plenty of support in the chairs role moving forward and will do my very best to represent LACA at all forums on the national stage to the best of my abilities. I look forward to meeting colleagues new and old as I carry out my duties.” 

Written by
Edward Waddell