Surrey Liberal Democrats call on the County Council to step in and provide help with Free School meals
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems
Last week the Conservative Government voted against extending free school meals for children in need during the holidays, including Angela Richardson, MP for Guildford, Cranleigh and our Villages. This means that during October half term, the Christmas holidays and beyond, there will be many parents struggling to feed their children.
Not only have the Conservative Government taken this action, which has shocked many, but they have also been condemned by many members of the public for their response to the criticism. Just one reaction was that of Paul Scully, who is a Conservative minister, was to say "Children have been going hungry for years".
In Surrey, 9% of children live in poverty, despite one or more of their parents being in work and Surrey Lib Dems argue that free school meals are an essential lifeline for many, especially with the further difficulties faced by all due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Liberal Democrat County group leader, Chris Botten said:
" Suggesting that families need support because their parent(s) spend their money on non-essential items is dangerous and harmful. It is clear the Conservatives are out of touch and hold great contempt for large sections of our communities, this is unacceptable. We cannot allow children to suffer as a result."
"That is why Liberal Democrats across Surrey are calling on the County Council to use their powers to show compassion, take responsibility and step in."
Surrey residents can sign the petition calling for an extension to free school meals in Surrey here: http://bit.ly/PetitionSCCFreeSchoolMeals
Zöe Franklin, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Guildford, Cranleigh and our villages backed the petition and added:
"This Conservative Government are failing Surrey's Children's and their parents with their vote last week. That is why we are calling on the County Council to step up and fill the gap left by their colleagues in Westminster.
However, there are so many determined to help families at this time. As well as congratulating the brilliant campaigning by Marcus Rashford, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank those businesses and members of the community who have come forward to help ensure as many children as possible have access to free meals during half term."