After resisting for weeks, we’re glad to hear of the government u-turn on extending the free school meal voucher scheme this summer. Over 1.3 million children who rely on free school meals faced going hungry over the school holidays, 5,491 of them in this borough. But thanks to an incredible public campaign; work with unions, campaigners, and MPs; and in particular a powerful intervention from England Footballer Marcus Rashford, we’ve forced the government to change their approach. This u-turn is a victory for fairness, decency, and common sense.
This makes it all the more disappointing that Westminster Council refused to join that campaign. Westminster Labour wrote to Westminster Council Leader Rachael Robathan about this on 8 June, asking her to lobby the government (letter below).
But the council responded that they would not campaign to extend the scheme, claiming “…better and more targeted interventions would be more useful and less costly”.
It is deeply disappointing Westminster Conservatives failed to show the moral leadership Marcus Rashford did on this crucial issue. This shouldn’t be about party politics; it should be about doing what’s right.
We need a council who show leadership and stand up to the government – for the good of our residents and people who need help.
"I trust you will join me in efforts to protect our most vulnerable children from going hungry this summer" Councillor Tim Roca's letters to the leader of Westminster Council