Council cafe to close in wake of budget woes

Coppice cafe, South Ribble Council
Coppice cafe, South Ribble Council

It was with regret last week that South Ribble Council announced it will definitely be closing its commercial services function, including its Coppice cafe in Leyland, in the face of financial difficulties.

The cabinet committee unanimously voted through the proposal to put an end to the catering department, but only after expressing disappointment at the situation.

Coun Phil Smith, cabinet member for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “This is something we look at in great detail every time we look at the budget.

“It’s a very sad situation, but now we have got the bare bones of what we had years ago, and it always loses money, unfortunately.”

Stopping catering for mayoral and civic events will save £177,000 a year, and the move will also mean that the six employee posts currently filled within commercial services will be ‘deleted’, according to a council report.

Discussions are now set to take place with the staff over their futures.

The move will see the Coppice Restaurant close down, which is open to council staff and the general public at the Civic Centre in West Paddock.

The function of room hire will be migrated to Gateway, and other essential functions - elected member teas and mayoral and civic events - will be undertaken by external catering providers.