The Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA) has announced that Lynda Mitchell has been elected chairman.
Mitchell, the former vice-chairman of the organisation, succeeds Sandra Russell and will take office from September 2011 to September 2012.
A member of LACA since 1998, Mitchell was elected on to the south-west committee in 2005 and again in 2007 before she went on to take the region's vice-chair role followed by the chair position in 2008.
She also joined LACA's national committee in 2008, became the chair of the communications group in 2009 and then LACA's national vice-chair in 2010.
Anne Bull takes over as the new national vice-chair. The head of catering direct services at Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council is also the current chair of LACA's Welsh region.
Mitchell said she was privileged to be elected chair and committed to driving forward the three key strands of LACA's Future Direction programme, including a focus on further raising the profile of LACA, both inside and outside of the industry.
"Currently academies and free schools are exempt from the nutritional legislation and the controls which all other primary and secondary schools adhere to. LACA wants to see a consistent approach to ensure the same standards apply across all schools," she added
"If this does not happen, it will inevitably lead to a significant negative impact on the school meals service, potentially wiping out the years of effort by our members as well as the considerable investment that has been injected into its improvement by Government.
"My personal aim for LACA will be to take our organisation into a new era of development, growth and influence".
By Janie Stamford
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