Search

Free school meals: Redbridge Council reveals it will make up shortfall in government funding

11:17 02 September 2014

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg meets pupils at Clapham Manor Primary School in south west London, where he officially launched the government

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg meets pupils at Clapham Manor Primary School in south west London, where he officially launched the government's scheme to provide 5-7 year olds with free school meals.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Children, aged between five and seven, across the borough will receive free school lunches from the beginning of the new academic year this week.

Government ministers claim the move will save families £400 per year as well having health benefits for children.

However, Wes Streeting, the deputy leader of Redbridge Council, tweeted this morning the local authority had not received enough funding to pay for school improvements.

He later confirmed the council would have to make up the shortfall of £323,755,000 from their own budget.

He said: “It is frustrating because although it is great to see people benefitting from free school meals, once again the local government have been short changed.

“This is part of a continuing pattern of behaviour from this government where they have given greater responsibility to local government but without the funding. It is frustrating to see ministers claiming the good work.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg first announced the major new initiative to fund free school meals in 2013.

Cllr Streeting, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, admitted improvements had to be made to cooking facilities at certain schools across the borough to enable them to provide meals for pupils.

He added: “Thanks to the hard work of the local authority in doing this, every pupil will now be able to receive a free school meal.”

A Local Government Association survey found of the 75 councils across the country, 47 per cent did not receive enough funding from the Department of Education (DfE) to pay for both the improvement work needed and the meals themselves.

The results of this survey were released just weeks before the initiative started on Tuesday.

Are you a parent whose child is eligible for free school meals? We want to hear your thoughts on the initiative. Please call the newsdesk on 0208 477 3825.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

09:00
Randy and Stephanie Masoner are set to release a book on their love story.

A Chippendale and an “Essex girl” are set to share their whirlwind love story in their debut book.

Yesterday, 12:00
Scouts setting off on their journey to Japan. Picture: Maureen Gosling

The latest news from Redbridge’s clubs and societies.

Yesterday, 10:01
Children enjoying an afternoon out at Foxburrows Farm Hainault. Madeline Miall enjoying a donkey ride

Not sure what to do with the family this summer? We’ve rounded up a few of the events happening in Redbridge over the next few weeks.

Fri, 16:00
Five Oaks Lane, Chigwell. Picture: Google Street View

A fire damaging an outbuilding in Chigwell is now under control.

Most read news

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder