In The South

Scrapping free school lunches will cost city dearly

Besi Besemar May 29, 2017

Liberal Democrats claim scrapping free school lunches will waste over £500,000 spent upgrading kitchens in Brighton and Hove.

Plans by Theresa May to axe free school lunches would waste the £517,577 invested in the City to upgrade school kitchens, according to the Liberal Democrats.

Goverment figures reveal 5,459 children in the City are set to lose out under the proposals.

When in government, the Liberal Democrats invested £160m nationally upgrading school kitchen facilities to enable them to prepare hot lunches.

Carrie Hynds
Carrie Hynds

Carrie Hynds, Liberal Democrat candidate for Hove and Portslade said: “The Liberal Democrats in government invested £160m to give schools the kitchens they needed to ensure that no infant would go without lunch. This policy was extremely successful and guaranteed that local children received at least two of their five a day.

But now Theresa May is threatening to throw that money down the drain.

“A Conservative measure designed to save money will waste money. Not only is it heartless, it is bad economics.

“I challenge my Conservative opponent to say whether, if elected, she would vote against her own party to ensure that children in Hove and Portslade receive a decent lunch.

Emily Tester
Emily Tester

Emily Tester, Liberal Democrat candidate for Brighton Kemptown, added: “The Liberal Democrats will protect free school lunches for infants and ensure all primary school children can get a healthy, free lunch every day.”

“The Liberal Democrats introduced free school meals when in government and have committed in their 2017 manifesto to extend free school meals to all primary school pupils as well as to restore school funding generally and to increase the money available for the highly successful Pupil Premium, a LibDem introduction under the coalition.”

Simon Kirby
Simon Kirby

Simon Kirby the prospective Conservative candidate for Brighton Kemptown, responded: “Free school lunches will remain for those who need them. We are not scrapping free school lunches – we are means testing them. We don’t think it is right to spend precious resources on subsidising school meals for better off parents. So instead we will give that money to headteachers, to spend on pupils’ education instead. We will make sure all those who need it most still get free lunches – and will offer a free school breakfast to every child in every year of primary school. So the most disadvantaged children will now get two free school meals a day rather than one.

“And while we can debate specific policies, the most important issue for our children’s future is getting the right Brexit deal. That is why local people need to vote for me, Simon Kirby, standing with Theresa May on June 8. A vote for anyone else risks Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street, propped up by the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, calling the shots on Brexit – remember, all it takes is 6 seats to be lost for Theresa May’s Government to lose its majority.”