Today Labour leaders in Oxfordshire have written to their fellow council leaders and the county’s Conservative MPs to say the following.

“We are proud of the way our communities, schools and businesses in Oxfordshire have reacted with such speed to plug the gap left by Boris Johnson’s Government not supporting free school meals during the holidays.”

“More than 10,000 children in our county rely on free school meals. This week Conservative MPs (including all of Oxfordshire’s Conservative MPs) voted to deny them, and other children across the country, access to much-needed food over this half term.”

“The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are already being felt; particularly on those with lowest incomes. Sadly the number of children requiring the support of free school meals is rising.”

“Local authorities in Oxfordshire are facing enormous challenges. A decade of cuts have left many services pared to the bone and forced councils to rely on other sources of income to support vital local services, many of which have also been impacted by the pandemic.”

The Labour Council in Oxford City was already supporting children with a school meals voucher scheme and working with many local community groups to supply families with food over half term. However, other councils do not have such comprehensive plans in place. We can do more.”

“In Oxfordshire as around the country, we have seen many individuals and many local businesses (some struggling themselves during this time of economic hardship) step up to take the place of government who have so shamefully failed our children in need. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has offered help. Thank you for your generosity.”

“National government may have abrogated their responsibility to feed our children, but we call on all our councils to step up.”

Oxfordshire Labour leader Liz Brighouse has already written to the Conservative leader to ask Oxfordshire County Council to step up to the plate in the absence of government support.”

As Labour leaders in councils across the County we call on the leaders of all Oxfordshire’s councils, and Conservative MPs in our county, to make feeding children our priority this half term, and follow the lead of Oxford City Council.”

We also appeal to the Government to change its position and extend the free school meals support scheme through half term and prepare for the same at Christmas.”

It is not right that here in Oxfordshire, children are going to go hungry over the school holiday.”

Working together, across party lines and across district boundaries, councils in Oxfordshire can make sure that does not happen in spite of national government.”

And it is not too late for national government, and local Conservative MPs, to change their mind. Let’s do the right thing, support our communities and local businesses who have shown they are willing and ready to help. So should we.”

  • Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council
  • Councillor Liz Brighouse, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour group on Oxfordshire County Council
  • Councillor Duncan Enright, Leader of the Labour & Co-operative group on West Oxfordshire District Council
  • Councillor Mocky Khan, Leader of the Labour group on South Oxfordshire District Council
  • Councillor Sean Woodcock, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour group on Cherwell District Council
The Conservatives Voted To Let Over One Million Children Go Hungry Over The School Holidays
The Conservatives Voted To Let Over One Million Children Go Hungry Over The School Holidays
Link to Instagram Link to Twitter Link to YouTube Link to Facebook Link to LinkedIn Link to Snapchat Close Fax Website Location Phone Email Calendar Building Search