Lancashire

Women's group hit with home baked buns safety ban

Cup cakes
Image caption Homemade cakes are strictly off the menu at the library gathering

A Lancashire women's group banned from taking homemade cakes to their coffee afternoon has branded the decision "absolutely ridiculous".

Members of the Adlington and District Millennium Committee hoped to bake an array of treats for a meeting at their village library on Friday.

But Lancashire County Council said it would breach health and safety rules.

Instead, the ladies are only allowed to provide shop-bought biscuits with the ingredients clearly labelled.

Villagers attending previous events - usually held at a community centre - have tucked into homemade chocolate cake, shortbread and biscuits.

In return they were asked to donate to a charity and on Friday the beneficiary will be Macmillan Cancer Support.

But the group has vowed never to return to the council-run library over the cake row.

Committee member Ann Shires said: "It's absolutely ridiculous. I just think it's over the top. Even my nine-year-old granddaughter is always saying 'Oh grandma, it's health and safety'.

"We have all these elderly people who come along to these things and love having a chat to each other over a nice cup of tea and a piece of cake. Many of them don't bake themselves any more so this is a real treat for them.

"We don't get many children at our events so if a grown-up with an allergy wants to know what the baking ingredients are then they can just ask.

"People are not stupid but these rules are more or less saying that they are."

Julie Bell, head of Lancashire County Council's Library and Information Service, said: "We do everything we can to support the important work of community groups, including providing venues for meetings.

"However, we do not have kitchen facilities where food can be prepared and - though we know home-cooked baking often tastes better than the commercially prepared kind - legal restrictions mean we can only allow packaged goods with clearly labelled ingredients."

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