A DAMNING report has criticised a council's food safety inspection record.

Following a critical inspection in early 2000, the Health and Safety Executive and the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) recommendations were not passed on by a group manager.

Three years later the same agencies discovered none of their recommended improvements had been made and, in some cases, services had deteriorated.

After the problems were discovered Lewisham Council bosses implemented changes and a new action plan for food safety and health and safety was voted through by the council.

Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor Mark Morris told the meeting he believed the report was under-played and said blaming middle managers was just passing the buck.

Councillor Andrew Brown, cabinet member for the environment, said: "It is disturbing that, in recent years, we have not done what we should and it was not brought to the attention of officers or members."

But he reported positive changes to the service and added that plans by the FSA to take over the borough's food safety department have now been shelved after it received a positive assessment.