The West Berkshire and Newbury Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent West Berkshire Council debate on filling the gap left by the government’s refusal to extend free school meals over Christmas.
On Wednesday (21st October), Tory MPs voted to deprive the most vulnerable children in society from free meals throughout the school break. Newbury MP Laura Farris was among those voting against the Opposition Motion, while Liberal Democrat MPs, Conservative rebels and MPs from all other parties voted for it.
The local Liberal Democrats have now launched a petition calling on West Berkshire Council to debate funding these meals locally, in order to ensure that the 1645 children currently on Free School Meals in West Berkshire don't go hungry this Christmas.
Lee Dillon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on West Berkshire Council said:
“By refusing to vote to support the extension of free school meals, Laura Farris is condemning children and their families to experience a harsh and difficult Christmas. We can do something about that on a local level. We have today launched our petition for the allocation of council funds to plug the gaping hole left by our MP.”
“Here in West Berkshire there are currently 1645 children who will be going without this Christmas unless we take action. We cannot simply stand by and watch this unravel. We are taking the action needed to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
The government won't feed you, but we will. We are petitioning West Berkshire Council to allocate the funds needed for our own Free School Meal provision. We are working together for a brighter future for everyone. It is an absolute travesty for children to go hungry at any time of year, but at Christmas, a time of goodwill, we need to make a difference. We can and will do better for the people of West Berkshire. Families are struggling and we are in a position to make a difference. Let’s do it.
Let’s work together to get support to those who need it most.”
Sign our petition here.