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Letter to David Warburton

Dear Sir

Copy of a letter sent to David Warburton MP

Dear Mr. Warburton,

What is your response to the Government’s refusal to fund free meals for children in holiday time?

Do you believe that families have more money to spend on food when the holiday arrives?

 I am aware that a sum of money (£63 million has been mentioned) was available to local councils for support of vulnerable people. However, if this was shared out equally between each of the 343 local councils in England, it would give each £183,673.50. Given the level of debt in many councils in England, it will have been very difficult to fulfil all the social requirements, even with this additional pot of money. I doubt that this was equally shared, as there has been no explanation of how access was granted to this fund.

 Further, this money was allocated 12 weeks ago and was planned to last 12 weeks…….what next?

 Why was the funding for free holiday meals not ring-fenced for each council? Is it because the government did not give time or consideration to calculate the individual requirements for each council? 

This suggests that – rather than allow the simple existing system, that everybody understands, of issuing vouchers – the government prefers to ask 343 administrations in England to decide how much money they can afford and how much staff time they can afford to organise the help needed to feed children in poverty, 12 weeks after allocating money that lasts 12 weeks. Is this not disingenuous for the government to claim it is suitable for the half term emergency food programme?

 Are we to assume that this will be the future for the scheme, and that vouchers will not be issued by schools in future during term time, rather councils will be required to sort this out is their own (variable) way?

 I note you voted against the recommendation to give free meals in half term. Was this purely ideological, as it was the Labour party which put the motion to the house? How sad, if it was. To misquote a famous John Lennon lyric – how do you eat at night?

Steve Ehrlicher,

Frome. 

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