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CHIP SHOP STROP; Headteacher claims boss is targeting kids.

Byline: MIKE LOCKLEY

A HEADTEACHER is embroiled in a 'batter' healthy eating row after a nearby chip shop opened with the same name as his school.

Cardinal Fish Bar is even using the colours of Cardinal Griffin High in Cannock, Staffordshire, on its shop signs.

But chippy owner Kyri Varhava said the rumpus was a complete red herring.

Cardinal is the name of an endangered fish found off the coast of Indonesia, he claimed.

But headmaster Michael Burrowes says the fish bar flies in the face of the school's healthy eating policy. He is concerned locals will think that the chippy is affiliated with the school.

''When we saw the sign of the fish bar, eyebrows were raised," he said.

"It is called Cardinal Fish Bar and the sign uses the same colours as the school uniform - red and black.

"In all fairness, it isn't just the staff at the school who were concerned with the chip shop. Even students have been offended by the name and the use of colours on the sign. They feel they have been taken for a ride."

Plans for the fish bar were first mooted last year, and met with concern from staff at the Cardinal Way school. But the proposals were given the green light and the chip shop opened in January.

Mr Burrowes added: "Our concerns, when plans for the chip shop were announced, was that locating a fish and chip shop so close to a school would send mixed messages to pupils about healthy eating.

"We had concerns over pupils crossing the busy Stafford Road to get to the shop.

"Concerns were also raised about the levels of litter the shop might bring.

"As a headteacher I still have concerns over health and safety issues with pupils crossing such a busy road.

"Opening a chip shop so close to a school does throw up contradictory positions on healthy eating."

But Mr Varhava said the colours of the sign were 'just a coincidence' and he defended his menu."I own five fish and chip shops in the area, and all the signs are of the same colour - it's just coincidence,'' he said.

"My shop opened in January, and there have been no fatalities or accidents involving youngsters crossing the Stafford Road.

"There is no excessive litter, and we have no problems with children congregating.

''The school offers food including hotdogs, pizza, burgers and chips, so I don't see how our chip shop is offering unhealthy food in comparison to them.

"There is a recession on and we offer good value for money. I would offer kids healthy food for 99p if they were allowed to leave the school premises.

"My business is doing really well, I won't let the headteacher's concerns affect that."

But he added: "I blame Jamie Oliver for all this!"

CAPTION(S):

WAR OF WORDS: Fish Bar owner Kyri Varhava claims the clash of names is a coincidence.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Aug 22, 2010
Words:489
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