Southwark welcomes breastfeeding

17 January 2019

Last year there was an unfortunate incident at one of our council offices, when a security guard asked a mother not to breastfeed. The council apologised at the time, and took action to ensure this one-off error does not happen again.

However, it has been picked up by the media, and the council is keen to make it clear that the security guard did not speak for Southwark, and that breastfeeding mothers are welcome in all our council buildings. We are very sorry for the distress caused to the mother concerned, and would like to reassure residents that Southwark Council supports breastfeeding and is working with businesses across the borough to make sure this is the case across Southwark. Our media statement is as follows:

Cllr Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for community safety and public health said: “This was an utterly unacceptable incident, as a mother of a young child myself, I totally understand the upset that this may have caused Ms. Zaccaria, and for that I am sincerely sorry. Soon after this incident occurred I understand that Ms. Zaccaria met with our service point manager who directly apologised for this incident and assured her that we are working to ensure that this doesn’t happen again to other customers.

"I understand that the security guard in question has also been spoken to about how to handle this type of enquiry in the future. I want to reiterate that I am sincerely sorry that this happened. This incident does not represent council policy and we have spoken to staff to remind them that mothers are, of course, welcome to breastfeed in all council buildings.”

Page last updated: 17 January 2019