GMB welcome Newham Council proposed investment in free school meals scheme
GMB welcome Newham Council proposal of £6.3 million invested into free school meals scheme
It will be some relief going into Christmas, that the council is planning to carry on feeding Newham’s children in the face of the Government’s Scrooge like budgets, says GMB London
GMB have welcomed a proposed £6.3 million investment into Newham Council’s ‘Eat for Free’ school meals program. The proposed investment was announced after Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and her Cabinet members agreed the 2019/20 budget proposals. [See notes to editors for Newham Council press release]
A review of the ‘sustainability’ of the free school meals program had been recommended in a previous Mid-Year Review of the 2018/19 Budget and Overall Financial Position to 2022/23, however the proposed investment would secure the future of the program for years to come. [See notes to editors for previous GMB press release]
The Eat for Free scheme provides over 16,000 Key Stage 2 pupils in Newham with access to a nutritional free school meal, saving parents over £440/year per child. Access to healthy and nutritious school meals has benefits for children’s health and development, and is crucial in tackling childhood obesity rates as well as instilling healthy eating tendencies for later life.
Gordon White, GMB Regional Organiser said:
“I am really pleased that the council propose to maintain the Eat for Free scheme. We are pleased that the council have listened to the community, GMB and indeed reason, in protecting this much valued scheme.
“It will be some relief going into Christmas, that the council is planning to carry on feeding Newham’s children in the face of the Government’s Scrooge like budgets.
“We are, of course, concerned that other opportunities and benefits continue to be at risk. Ultimately this proposed budget is proof that austerity isn't over and the people of Newham will continue to feel the pinch.”
Contact: Gordon White 020 84574137 or GMB London Press Office 07970 114762
Notes to Editors
Newham Council Press Release
“Mayor and Cabinet members agree 2019/20 budget proposals” (11 December 2018)
Previous GMB Press Release
“GMB call on Newham Council to rule out axing free school meals and collect uncollected council tax/non-domestic rates” (23 Oct 2018)