Labour councillors furious with the Government’s refusal to support vulnerable children by providing free school meals over half term and Christmas are demanding an emergency debate in Hertsmere.
They are requisitioning an extra-ordinary Council meeting where they will ask the Council to provide funding for the approximately 1800 children within the Borough who currently receive free school meals during term time at the rate of £17 per week for all school holidays up and including Easter 2021.
Deputy Labour Group Leader, Cllr Christian Gray, who will propose the motion said: “‘I was bitterly disappointed when the Tory government had voted down the motion on extending free school meals. Amidst a devastating global pandemic that has unleashed incomprehensible suffering on the most vulnerable in our society, I truly believed that the Conservatives might see beyond ideology and join the opposition parties in ensuring that the poorest kids in the country would not go hungry this winter. This was clearly too much to ask. Preventing over a million kids from going without food should not be political. Our children deserve better.”
Continued Cllr Chris Myers: “Today Cllr Gray and I spoke to opposition colleagues to try to come up with an effective and viable way to feed our local kids: 1800 of whom are vulnerable to facing food insecurity in the forthcoming school holidays. We submitted a cross party motion and requisitioned an extraordinary meeting of the Council to do just that. I urge my Conservative colleagues to not only vote with their conscience, but to vote with their heart; put the politics aside, and join us to ensure that all children in Hertsmere are guaranteed food on their table this winter.’
The motion has also been supported by the Liberal Democrats and was put forward following Wednesday’s House of Common defeat when Hertsmere MP, Oliver Dowden, voted with the government to deprive children of extra help.
The extra-ordinary meeting must be called within seven working days.