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's scheme to provide 5-7 year olds with free school meals.

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 Ilford News Stories

3 minutes ago
Goodmayes Primary School is closed today (Credit: Google Maps)

Goodmayes Primary School has been forced to close today because it has no heating.

29 minutes ago
Floral tributes left for the woman who was knocked down by a lorry while trying to cross the Southend Road at Charlie Brown's roundabout.

The leader of the council has vowed to continue to pressure Transport for London (TFL) to bring forward construction work at Charlie Brown’s roundabout.

Cllr Lloyd Duddridge, Redbridge Council chief executive Andy Donald, Cllr Jas Athwal, Cllr Hugh Cleaver and Cllr Paul Canal attended the local forum yesterday

The council was put under pressure yesterday afternoon as residents pushed for further enforcement against fly-tippers in the borough.

Roy Webb, Simon Pitts and captain Paul Evans hold the cheque at Woodford Golf Club on Monday.

A golf club raised more than £500 in honour of a former member who sadly died of cancer eight years ago.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Are you in need of a new kitchen? Try our competition and you could win a brand new one!

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

MyOffers H&M Competition

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now