Mehmet Yilmaz has been running his First Class Diner van in Warneford Lane, Headington, Oxford, since April.
But in May the headteacher of nearby Cheney School, Jolie Kirby (Ed: Was there ever a more inappropriate moniker?), complained to Oxford City Council that he was selling “unhealthy and inappropriate food” .
Her complaint was followed by 32 others from teachers, parents and nutritionists.And - well, would you really expect any different? - the response of the council was not to say 'Look, just get on with nose-wiping and worrying about your next OFSTED visit, this is nothing to do with you.'
Why, no. Of course they immediately reviewed the man's license. I mean, it's not like this is a free country, is it?
Last night, the city council’s licensing committee told Mr Yilmaz he could carry on running his van but he could not sell fried food before 4pm.
Committee chairman Mary Clarkson told him: “We have decided to attach a condition to your licence in line with your own suggestion that there will be no fried food before 4pm because of the concerns raised, with effect from September 1.
“You can continue your normal operation until then to give you a chance to use up your stock.”*sighs*
The van owner didn't really help himself, mind you, being less interested in robustly defending his business, and more interested in rolling over to display his belly, tail tucked between his legs in supplication...
The Turkish-born vendor said he spent £40,000 setting up his operation in Oxford, including the £7,490 licence.
None of the people who complained about Mr Yilmaz turned up to the meeting. He said:
“It is the same as McDonald’s or Burger King, it is not up to them to decide. But you can’t cross the school – I am a parent myself.
“Business is getting better every day at the moment and if my working hours had been dropped down I wouldn’t make any money.”Mr Yilmaz, if we all take the attitude that 'we can't cross the school', then we might as well never leave school in the first place. We might as well let sanctimonious prigs like Jolie make all our decisions for us. It'd be her dream come true.