The Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group at Horsham District Council has asked HDC to work alongside West Sussex County Council to stop children going hungry.
In light of the decision by government this week not to support the provision of free school meals over the October half term, Horsham Liberal Democrats’ District Councillors have asked Horsham District Council to work alongside West Sussex County Council to provide support in the coming week to the families in our District who rely on free school meals.
In an email to Cllr Ray Dawe, Leader of Horsham District Council (Conservatives), Cllr Frances Haigh, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Group said: “We believe that through a combination of funds available and the District Council’s existing program we can step in with speed to provide an effective solution to support those hardest hit in these challenging times.
Our colleagues on West Sussex County Council are already in discussions with their leadership to see how this can happen but it will need the support and contribution from local District and Borough Councils to show full leadership across West Sussex.”
The MPs for Horsham, Jeremy Quin, and for Arundel & South Downs, Andrew Griffith (Conservatives), were both among the MPs who last Wednesday voted against the motion to extend free school meals to the most disadvantaged children.
Cllr Morwen Millson has written to Jeremy Quin. “I was delighted that the Government responded positively to Marcus Rashford's campaign to continue with the school meals vouchers through the summer holidays. However, just because half term, Christmas and Easter holidays are shorter, it does not mean that it doesn't make a difference to a family's budget to have to feed the children at lunch time for one or two weeks. Children should not be going hungry in a civilised society and doing so is very bad for their long term health.”
Cllr Millson commented “I am shocked that our MPs have chosen not to support the provision of vouchers over the holidays. There has been a huge impact locally with many jobs lost at Gatwick during the pandemic. The vacuum left by the Government is being filled by many fantastic local businesses and charities who have offered meals, food parcels and other support to help families during half term. I expect that many families will continue to struggle as we go through a difficult winter and more support will be very much needed.”
Liberal Democrats’ MPs at Parliament voted in favour of the motion to help put an end to Child Poverty.