Rules putting curry in crisis
THERE can be no doubt that Tony Chaudry always had a hefty fine coming his way.
He employed illegal workers at his Indian restaurant in Cheltenham and he should not have done so.
Now he has to pay a £15,000 fine after he breached immigration laws by employing four staff at Shezan in Montpellier Street who simply should not have been there.
Two had stayed on beyond their visas and the other two had entered the UK illegally.
The case highlights an issue first raised in the Echo more than two weeks ago.
Hard-and-fast regulations applied to immigration in this sector is actually putting the future of Britain's much-loved curry trade in jeopardy.
Curries – hot and not so hot – have become such a part of our culture that it has been said that chicken tikka masala is now our national dish.
But the immigration restrictions have put such pressure on restaurants and takeaways that they are struggling to staff their kitchens.
With quality chefs becoming so hard to find, they are opening for shorter hours and there are concerns that some may be forced to close.
We should not lift all restrictions on people with this expertise coming into the UK, but perhaps the Government does need to look again at whether a special case needs to be made to protect a very popular industry.
IT'S one of our most popular annual promotions.
And we want to make Baby and Toddler of the Year 2013 the best so far.
We're featuring some of the first entrants today and we know there will be some of Gloucestershire's cutest faces being photographed over the coming days.
The great thing about the competition is that, with four age categories, from new-born to five-years-old, there is plenty of opportunity for families across the area to get involved.
You know your son or daughter has a winning smile so don't miss out on the chance to share it with the rest of us.
The free photo sessions will run at The Brewery in Cheltenham all week and then at The Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury next Thursday.
We'd love to see you and your little ones there.