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Newham launches all new Canteen Culture

13 February 2020 in Council and democracy
Newham Council has launched its latest project to protect workers, support the Community Wealth Building agenda, encourage health and well-being and take action on Climate Change.

The contract to run the canteen in the council’s head office at 1000 Dockside, Beckton was awarded to the Juniper Ventures Ltd, the Council's own catering, school meals and cleaning service provider. 

The canteen opened with a new look, new menus and a brand new ethos on Monday February 3 2020. 

The news is particularly welcome for former canteen staff who were employed by the previous contractor, many of whom have transferred to Juniper. All staff working in the restaurant and coffee bar will now receive the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour as a minimum, and have a local government pension scheme available to them. Many of these staff are Newham residents and the wages boost will have a positive impact on individuals and the local economy.

Newham Council Chief Executive Althea Loderick said; “I am particularly pleased that many of the staff who transferred over, who are largely Newham residents, will now receive fair pay and conditions, including entitlement to sick pay. We are absolutely committed to ensuring all our staff receive decent pay because all workers deserve that right.” 

Yeda, a Newham resident who works in the canteen said; “I am so happy to work with Juniper and be a part of these changes.  The team have been so lovely in the process making us feel valued, secure and respected.   

“The London Living Wage, the good pension and the sick pay will make such a big difference to all of us who work here.”

Newham Council is committed to working to reduce any impact on the environment and this is reflected in the new service which is removing plastic, reducing food miles and improving waste management. 

There will be some immediate changes:
  • To reduce plastic, takeaway food and coffee will be served in compostable packaging made from plants
  • Food waste will be collected and turned into commercial compost as part of a full lifecycle approach 
  • Reusable water bottles and coffee cups are available to purchase. There will be a discount on all coffee to customers who bring their own clean cup or mug.
  • Councillor Terrence Paul, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, whose responsibilities includes facilities management  said; “This exciting new offer will be an ongoing collaboration with teams from across the Council ensuring we deliver on health, climate change, waste and environment priorities for the council. 
“The Juniper Ventures team have worked closely with Facilities Management and the Public Health Food Team to develop this innovative new offer. We want to make sure everything about the operation will become an exemplar.”

Michael Hales, Managing Director Juniper Ventures said; “We have made a number of immediate changes for the launch with a big focus on improving the quality of food and service.  As we progress the goal is to make the space everything it can be, not just in terms experience for everyone who uses it, but also as an exemplar of Community Wealth Building, action on Climate Now and waste reduction and Health and Well-being.”