The Labour Party in Surrey has called the county’s MPs ‘heartless’ for all voting not to provide free school meals for children in the holidays.
As many as 15 000 children in Surrey could have benefitted from the scheme, supported by the Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford and proposed by Labour MPs in the house of commons.
All of Surrey’s Conservative MPs voted against the plan, apart from Dominic Raab who was absent.
‘This is so desperately disappointing from our locally elected representatives,’ said Surrey county councillor Robert Evans.
‘Over the summer holiday the government provided vouchers for some of the poorest families to ensure that youngsters did not go hungry, but now they won’t extend it for one week at half term,’ added Cllr Evans.
Labour group leader in Waverley, Cllr Nick Palmer agreed, “As we head into a dark winter, it would cost so little to give children who need help a little light. The town councils across Waverley are doing all they can, but we need Government action to make sure no child goes hungry over the holidays.”
Cllr Kate Chinn in Epsom and Ewell slammed local MP Chris Grayling who took to Facebook to try to explain why he voted against providing food to children this half term.
‘There is no acceptable excuse,’ said Ms Chinn. ‘We are just grateful that in Epsom and Ewell and across Surrey, food banks are working with the local communities to ensure families do not go hungry, stepping in where the government has failed.’
Cllr Arran Neathey, of Runnymede Council said he was saddened and shocked that not one of the County’s members of parliament could stand up and vote for their most vulnerable constituents,
‘For all our MPs to vote the same way just shows how heartless a group they are,’ claimed Mr Neathey.
‘It’s also a dreadful indictment of ten years of the Conservatives at Westminster that we even need foodbanks in Surrey,’ he added.
For further information Cllr Robert Evans 07785 290546 (Surrey CC)
Cllr Arran Neathey 07874 745007 (Runnymede)
Cllr Kate Chinn 07775 725818 (Epsom and Ewell)
Cllr Nick Palmer 07767 755255 (Waverley)