Medway Labour and Cooperative Group have started a petition demanding Medway Conservative administration reverse their decision not to provide Free School Meal Vouchers to Medway’s children over the summer holiday period.
Under the administration’s decision, Medway school children who are entitled to free school meals will only receive a meal during the holiday if they attend one of the holiday activities laid on by the council.
During previous holidays, children who did not attend one of the holiday activities were entitled to a voucher to cover their free school meal entitlement. This was funded by the government’s Household Support Fund. The decision was made by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, under urgency provisions, which means it was not open to scrutiny, in April. The decision was reported to council only on Thursday 21st July.
Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Cooperative Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said:
“We have been contacted by a number of local residents who are shocked by this callous decision and who want to show their support for Medway families who are struggling. It is also clear that residents are having difficulty accessing Medway Go, the council’s holiday activities scheme due to a limited number of places.
“I urge everyone to sign our petition and put pressure on the council to change this damaging decision. There are now 10,000 young people in Medway entitled to free school meals. The Council is rationing food to children. It has the money to feed them. It is, callously, choosing not to. This decision is appalling and underscores not only the administration’s financial incompetence but their lack of understanding of what life is like for Medway families. The council needs to change this terrible decision now.”
For further information: Clive Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org 07802872592