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“No food with Anood” – Southwark Liberal Democrats to scrap free, healthy, school meals for Southwark primary school children

01 March 2012
Cllr Anood Al-Samerai Leader of Southwark Liberal Democrats, Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, will scrap Labour’s free, healthy, school meals for Southwark primary school children should the Liberal Democrats win control of the Council.

With childhood obesity in Southwark at a record high and living standards being squeezed, Southwark Labour made free, healthy, school meals for all primary school children its key manifesto pledge at the 2010 election.

The programme is already delivering real results and proving popular with children, parents and teachers. Southwark Lib Dems, however, argue that the money is being wasted on “wealthy families”, despite the fact that a child whose familiy’s household income is £16,200 a year (ie £8,100 for each parent) would be ineligible for Government free, school meals.

Cllr Al-Samerai has also said “there is no evidence to show that extending free school meals to every child will significantly reduce obesity” contradicting her own mentor, Simon Hughes MP, who backs Labour’s claim that healthy school meals can tackle childhood obesity. Speaking in 2004, Mr Hughes said:
“[School meals] can really help in producing a healthy balanced diet… Healthy eating is vital given the dramatic increase in obesity rates among children. School meals can contribute significantly to healthier living.”

Peter John, Labour Leader of Southwark Council said:
“First Margaret Thatcher, the milk snatcher. Now no food with Anood. The Tories and the Lib Dems are looking more alike each day.”

“Rather than opposing Labour’s free, healthy, school meals, Cllr Al-Samerai should reassure parents in Southwark that Liberal Democrats will not take away their children’s free, healthy, school meals should they win control of the Council.”


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