Taking the Initiative Party publicly shames local MPs for voting against free school meals
Taking the Initiative Party have launched a WTF!? campaign in Croydon and Sutton, encouraging people to register to vote
“How can we possibly live in a society where someone could vote against a child having food?”
Simone Watts, mother of a 7 year old pupil at a Croydon primary school says. Her words came in response to the news that Croydon and Sutton MPs Chris Philip and Paul Scully had voted against providing free school meals in the recent parliamentary debate on the issue.
Mrs Watts continued: “My child has been a victim of this disgusting decision making…he is getting bullied at school for going with a limited packed lunch while other children, whose parents can afford school lunches, are eating well. I need the help and so does my child. It’s absolutely inhumane and disgraceful to vote against this.”
Her words were also echoed by local headteacher Mark Jordan of Parallel Learning Trust: “In my opinion, it should be a national priority to ensure all pupils have access to free school meals, thus allowing them to achieve their true potential. The impact on providing free school meals for pupils cannot and should not be underestimated. A government study into this in a pilot showed pupils in key stages 1 & 2, made between 4–8 weeks’ more progress than primary aged pupils not part of the pilot. This research only serves to underpin what we all know and feel is right, which is that a child that is fed regularly and healthily will be able to concentrate and focus more.” *
Despite Marcus Rashford’s efforts to extend the Free School Meal plan in October 2020, the government remained unsupportive of continuing the aid and refused an extension. The rejection of the plan was followed by comments such as: “extending freebies are a sticking plaster not a solution” made by Ben Bradley, the MP for Mansfield. Rashford stated, in despair of this matter: “A significant number of children are going to bed tonight not only hungry but feeling like they do not matter because of comments that have been made today”. **
Taking the Initiative Party have launched a “WTF!” campaign in Croydon and Sutton, encouraging people to register to vote in response to recent political decision making.
Charles Gordon, a founding member of Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP), who have launched a series of outdoor advertising boards in and around Croydon calling out the two local MPs for their voting record on free school meals said: “Taking the Initiative party believes that no child should go hungry. It is a sad state of affairs, in a civilised society, when a government can vote against a child having access to food. Our government should be protecting our youth and supporting our communities, not sabotaging their growth. This is why we’ve launched the Win The Fight! (WTF!) billboard campaign. We want people to get more engaged with local democracy and we’re encouraging the people of Croydon to ensure they are registered to vote. Change happens when local voices are heard. Together we can win the fight.”
TTIP currently runs a food larder every Wednesday, led by Sasha Johnson – a member of TTIP’s Executive Leadership Committee, in and around Croydon to provide food to those in need as part of their commitment to their local community. *** The party was founded by a group of British business people, some from working class backgrounds, who felt politically homeless and wanted to make a difference. They passionately believe that there is a gap in the political scene for true representation from and for locals, like Simone Watts and her son, who care about the communities they serve. They plan to field candidates in the elections to the London Assembly to ensure the diverse community of Croydon is represented when it comes to decisions affecting the borough and its residents.
Taking the Initiative can see a brighter future for the UK, where everyone has a chance to make a difference and to thrive.
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