Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The following Motion was withdrawn by Councillor Symington:
Feeding Hungry Children
1. This Council notes:
a. That numbers of pupils entitled to Free School Meals are rising fast.
b. That every child who is entitled to Free School Meals is a sign of a family under significant financial pressure.
c. That this picture of increasing child poverty is supported by the rapid rise in the number of families dependent on food banks.
d. That children who are hungry are less able to learn and thrive at school.
e. That the extension of the school meals voucher scheme (campaigned for by Marcus Rashford) to cover the period of the summer holiday was incredibly important and valuable to families in food poverty.
f. The very welcome commitment from Education Minister in the Welsh Assembly, Kirsty Williams, to guarantee free school meal provision for school holidays until at least Easter 2021.
2. This Council recognises that the second lockdown will lead to further increases in child poverty and
a. supports the calls by the Child Food Poverty Task Force, supported by Marcus Rashford and many leading food suppliers and producers, for the expansion of free school meals provision to every child whose family is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent, or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.
b. calls for the provision of food vouchers to cover school holidays and periods of lockdown for all families in receipt of Universal Credit or with low-income and no recourse to public funds.
c. asks that Healthy Start vouchers should be increased in value to £4.25, and expanded to be made available to all those in receipt of Universal Credit or with a low-income and no recourse to public funds.
3. Therefore this Council resolves to write to the Secretary of State for Education and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to call for
a. extend eligibility for free school meals to every pupil whose parents or guardians are in receipt of Universal Credit
b. food vouchers for every one of those pupils in every school holiday and during any period of lockdown in which schools are closed
c. extended eligibility for free school meals to pupils from low-income families whose parents or guardians have no recourse to public funds or who are destitute asylum seekers under s4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Report author: Councillor Ron Tindall
Publication date: 26/11/2020
Date of decision: 18/11/2020
Decided at meeting: 18/11/2020 - Council