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

Radical cleric Anjem Choudary, of Hampton Road, Ilford, will appear at the Old Bailey today, charged with inviting support for Isis.

Radical Islamic preacher Anjem Choudary will go on trial in the New Year for allegedly encouraging support for Isis.

08:22
The fire was in the three-storey flats in Chalford Court. Picture: Google Maps

Firefighteres were forced to evacuate 50 people after a fire damaged a block of flats in the early hours of the morning.

There will be congestion in Redbridge due to roadworks on the North Circular until September 20.

Repairs to the junction of the North Circular (A406) and the M11 will cause congestion in the surrounding roads, from now until September 20.

Karina Jemmott has been crowned Miss Deaf Europe 2015

For Karina Jemmott, the moment she won the Miss Europe beauty pageant was one she will never forget.

Most read news

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder