Anger as meals are moved from new site

An energy consultancy company which advises businesses on how to reduce their carbon footprint has been accused of double standards.

Utilitywise took up new premises on Cobalt Business Park earlier this year but has agreed a deal with an outside company for staff meals to be driven in from eight miles away – putting jobs at risk.

Meals had been prepared on-site at its former offices in South Shields, but now breakfasts and lunches are prepared and cooked in Cramlington as there are no facilities at the new state-of-the-art site.

But head chef Steve Heddon, who has to make a 16-mile round trip to deliver the dishes, says the move has put his job at risk after his contract was transferred to P&A Food Management Services.

Mr Heddon, from North Shields, said: “This is a company that helps others reduce its carbon footprint, but I am making trips from Cramlington to deliver breakfast and lunch every day.

“That can’t be doing much for their carbon footprint?”

Mr Heddon added: “There were assurances when the move was taking place that everyone who wanted would be able to transfer to the new offices. But these new premises don’t have a kitchen. Utilitywise have washed their hands of me.

“I feel like I have been let down and treated very badly.”

A spokesman for Utilitywise said: “Ahead of the relocation to Cobalt Business Park, all the catering staff were transferred over to the employment of P&A Food Management Services.

“P&A Food Management Services manage the resourcing of the food and general catering for many businesses in the surrounding area.”