New schools have to pay to get rid of snack machines

A NUMBER of newly built schools trying to enforce healthy eating have been forced to pay compensation to developers to remove vending machines.

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A NUMBER of newly built schools trying to enforce healthy eating have been forced to pay compensation to developers to remove vending machines. A NUMBER of newly built schools trying to enforce healthy eating have been forced to pay compensation to developers to remove vending machines.

The five schools, built as part of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, the National Maritime College and the Cork School of Music, all gave the developers rights to install vending machines and claim profits from them.

However, as part of a national move towards more healthy eating, a number of the schools have sought to replace the vending machines with more healthy options.

The schools have learned that, because of the deals agreed between the Department of Education and the various developers, they have to pay the developers compensation to remove the vending machines.

The department has since changed the rules for any future PPP school building, giving the school full autonomy to determine its own policy on vending machines.

The details emerged during parliamentary question time in the Dail.

“It is an absolute disgrace that a school should have to pay compensation to developers to get rid of vending machines. All this talk of promoting healthy eating by (Education Minister Mary) Hanafin is a joke. Terrible mistakes have been made and while they have been corrected, they show up the lack of thought within government,” according to one TD.

The department has refused to comment on the situation, other than to say that in future projects of this nature, the right of refusal on vending machines will ultimately rest with the schools.


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