Lib Dem MP gets Tony Blair to look at Essex School Meals Crisis

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Bob Russell

The Lib Dem MP for Colchester , Bob Russell, asked the Tony Blair about the Essex School Meals crisis at Prime Minister’s Question Time this week.

Bob Russell (Colchester) (LD): Will the Prime Minister join me in condemning the decision by the Conservative-controlled Essex county council to abolish the school meals service from April? For many children, it is the main meal of the day, and for some children it is the only hot meal of the day. Will the Prime Minister engage ministerial colleagues in seeing what can be done to change that decision? For a start, will he revoke the Government’s 1999 order behind which the Tories are hiding for their dastardly deed?

The Prime Minister: Of course, in the end such decisions are for local authorities, but we believe that the provision of school meals for pupils, especially from the poorest backgrounds, has a beneficial effect on their education. Unfortunately, some of our youngsters go to school without having had a proper meal. It means that they do not learn or pay attention in their lessons as well as they should, and it is for that reason that we are deeply committed to ensuring that the funding is there for local authorities to provide that service. I will look into the point that the hon. Gentleman raises.

So let’s see if Mr Blair takes some action.

By the way, Bob Russell has the best attendance record of any opposition MP in the country. You can find out more here