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Lib Dems and MK Council Condemn Decision of MPs Who Voted Against Free School Meals

by Richard Greenwood on 26 November, 2020

A Liberal Democrat motion that called on the Council’s Cabinet to publicly condemn the decision of MK’s MPs to vote against an extension of free school meals was passed last night.

At Wednesday evening’s Full Council, the motion was passed by councillors unanimously.

The motion means the leader of the Council will write to MPs Ben Everitt and Iain Stewart to convey the disappointment and anger over their vote against an extension of free school meals on 21st October.

Since then the government have U-turned, investing in the Covid Winter Grant Scheme and extending the Holiday Activities and Food programme to the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays next year.

However, as these are temporary solutions, the motion also urged Cabinet to lobby for permanent change, including:

  • Free school meals to every pupil whose parents or guardians are in receipt of Universal Credit
  • Food vouchers for every one of those pupils in every school holiday and during any period of lockdown
  • Free school meals to pupils from low-income families whose parents or guardians have no recourse to public funds and destitute asylum seekers under s4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
Cllr Jane Carr

Liberal Democrat Councillor Jane Carr, who proposed the motion, said the success of the motion was “a victory for compassion and kindness”.

“The government have since U-turned on their decision not to extend free school meals, but it remains that our MPs voted against the free school meals extension back in October.

“It is only right that Milton Keynes Council calls them out on this. With 7,269 children in Milton Keynes eligible for free school meals back in the Spring, our MPs voted heartlessly to take away a safety net for many families.”

“Passing this motion was the right and decent thing to do. I hope our MPs and the Conservative government listen to pleas for a more permanent solution to holiday hunger.”

The Liberal Democrat Group also brought a successful motion on affordable shared ownership housing. Both can be read on Milton Keynes Council’s website.

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