Rutland County Council is standing firm against proposals to make the display of food hygiene ratings compulsory in England, claiming local businesses are opposed to the scheme.
Displaying the ratings is currently done on a voluntary basis in the UK, with the scores available to the public on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website .It is set to become compulsory in Wales this week (28 November).
The small central England county of Rutland is objecting to a move to make the scheme mandatory in England, which could potentially see the plan de-railed. Without approval from all local authorities, which will have to enact the law, the FSA says it won't press ahead, reported www.thisismoney.co.uk.
"After careful consideration and consultation with local businesses, the council decided against signing up to the new ratings system introduced by the Food Standards Agency," a Rutland County Council spokesperson said.
"The council is fully supportive of the FSA and has not taken this decision lightly. However, after weighing up the resource required to comply fully with the scheme it was decided it was not realistic for Rutland, being such a small local authority, to participate.
"We have consulted local firms and the overwhelming feedback was not to support the scheme. The council takes food hygiene very seriously and will continue to work closely with the FSA on other initiatives."
Every local authority in Wales signed up before the Welsh law was passed, and all authorities in Northern Ireland and Scotland have also joined or indicated plans to do so.
Rutland's view is supported by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), which is campaigning against a nationwide move because it believes the system isn't being fairly implemented across the UK, leading to some businesses receiving too low a score.