“We therefore urgently call on the Government to properly fund support for all vulnerable people in Devon affected by the financial impacts of the pandemic.”
And a petition urges the county council to provide free school meal vouchers during school holidays.
Cafés, pubs and restaurants are filling the gap left by central government:
There have been other local initiatives:
“A mum has asked the MP for East Devon why teddies and paper plates used in a peaceful protest over free school meals were removed from outside his Exmouth HQ”:
And a petition has been put together:
The Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford MBE’s campaign to extend free school meal vouchers to children in need throughout the school holidays was unsuccessful in parliament yet several local councils have decided to take on that cost and responsibility, as have local businesses and charities. This petition seeks to urge Devon County Council to do the same thing, and look to cover its costs by lobbying central government to cover the subsequent onward costs.
Started by: Cllr Joseph Whibley
In fact, there were calls some two weeks ago in Devon to take action:
The County Council is taking action – of sorts:
Devon pledges extra support to ensure vulnerable children and families do not go hungry
Several authorities have already announced schemes to help out during half-term
… on Monday (October 26), the County Council said it will continue to work with district councils to ensure hardship support is available to vulnerable children and families across the county this winter and pledged extra funding to ensure no child goes hungry…
Cllr John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, said: “We have already allocated £1.7 million this year through a shared hardship fund to ensure that the most needy children and families in Devon do not go hungry… I am now writing to the Government to outline that due to our financial position we are limited in our ability to provide this support beyond the spring. We therefore urgently call on the Government to properly fund support for all vulnerable people in Devon affected by the financial impacts of the pandemic.” …
Devon’s Liberal Democrats had called for the County Council to reverse its “mean minded” refusal to provide free school meals during the holidays…
Independent councillor Martin Shaw had asked the Leader of Devon County Council to provide school meals for children in need of them during the half-term holiday. The response given, Cllr Shaw said, was that the demands on funds were too tight to consider funding the scheme. Cllr Shaw added: “The cost of providing this support at half term and Christmas would not be huge, in the big scheme of things, but there are children in every area of Devon who really need this support.
It has become very politicised:
Even in Devon: