London Councils slam Government over Free School Meals


Following the Conservative Government’s shameful refusal to ensure the capital’s most vulnerable children will be fed over the half-term holiday, it has fallen to Liberal Democrat councils in London to step up to the plate and make sure these children won’t go hungry.

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council said:

“We are working up plans to support those families and children most in need in our borough. It is right that Councils look to provide extra support during a pandemic, where families have lost significant income, but the Conservative Government is failing in its duty here to protect people in Sutton who are suffering considerable hardship. We simply cannot standby whilst children go hungry – we must act.”

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council said:

“It beggars belief that the Conservative Government have failed to address this issue. Hard pressed local councils have already suffered millions of pounds in cuts but we will always do the right thing when it comes to vulnerable children and their families. I am pleased that we are able to set aside funding here in Richmond that will protect those who are struggling and in need of help through no fault of their own”.

Cllr Caroline Kerr, Leader of Kingston-upon-Thames Council, said:

“The Council is stepping in to provide resources and support to vulnerable families and children in Kingston. No child or family should go hungry in London and it is our job as local community leaders to step up when required. I’m very proud that Kingston will be playing its part to support those in our community who need extra help but it is our Government that should reflect on its failure to listen and act.

Cllr Luisa Porritt, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London said:

“I’m so proud that every Lib Dem-run council in London has stepped up to provide extra support to the most vulnerable children in their boroughs. Alongside other councils, thousands of small businesses and many community-led organisations across the city, they have stepped up where the Conservative Government has failed them so that together, we will make sure that no child goes hungry.

“London has the second-highest percentage of children in need of Free School Meals in England. Those families are facing the greatest hardship during this pandemic. The Government’s failure to support them is a dereliction of duty at a time of national crisis.

“Marcus Rashford has inspired an outpouring of generosity, proving that in his words “the superstars of this nation lie in local communities”. I’m proud that Londoners have lived up to our long history of standing together in tough times.”