Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has said the county council should stop its “endless grumbling” over free school meals.
Taking a leaf out of Obama’s book, there, Nick? ‘You won’, right?
The Liberal Democrat leader visited Oxford to promote the policy yesterday, and ate breakfast with children from local primary schools and Raymond Blanc at the chef’s Brasserie Blanc restaurant in Walton Street.
I’m assuming that’s not their usual venue? Blimey, if it was, it might account for the spend!
… in September the county council’s cabinet member for education Melinda Tilley called it “absolutely barking” after the council had to spend £480,000 to bring 123 primary school kitchens up to standard.
Mr Clegg said: “I think local council tax payers need to ask the county council why they [Oxfordshire County Council] seem to make such a meal of this.
“Other councils around the country were just doing it with enthusiasm and without all the endless grumbling that we got from Oxfordshire County Council. All the councillors who are grumbling about that, what do they say to the parents who are being saved over £400 per child? “
Maybe they say ‘Feed your own bloody kids!’, Clegg..?
“I think it is time for Oxfordshire County Council to get on board and do what councils have been doing everywhere in the country and enthusiastically back something which is popular with parents, popular with teachers and, most importantly of all, is to the benefit of Oxfordshire children for years to come.”
“Do it! Do it for the cheeeeldren…”
And councils may or may not be doing it enthusiastically, but it’s not going down too well with the people who have to carry it out.
… at Windmill Primary School in Headington some teachers said they had to sacrifice their lunch hour to help in the school dining hall due to increased demand.
I wonder if the NUT will be raising this under EU working hours legislation?
Mrs Tilley said: “I am absolutely seething at Mr Clegg’s comments. He has no idea what he is talking about.
“The Government did not give us enough money. Why with this £1bn did he not trust us and give us that money to help schools in disadvantaged areas with things like after-school clubs?”
Because you might have spent it on things that didn’t work to the glorification of Clegg, of course!
One of the parents at the event at Brasserie Blanc, Kevin Higgs, 43, said the policy was beneficial to families.
Mr Higgs took his daughters Jessica, nine, and Baileigh, eight, who attend St Michael’s School, Steventon, to the event.
He said: “I think it makes a difference with tight finances for a lot of people at this time.”
Yes, it’s great to have kids that someone else has to feed, isn’t it? It’s not sustainable, or moral, but why should you worry about this?
Even those who do have concerns about this policy have bizarre ones:
But mum-of-five Elizabeth Willis, whose four eldest children Susannah, 11, David, 11, Miriam, nine, and James, seven, attend North Kidlington Primary School, said: “My worry is will it make me less likely to cook at home and will family meals happen less often?”
Errr, OK. Why would you let it make you less likely to cook at home? And family meals are surely down to you as a parent?
Unless you think these State-supplied meals will be better than yours?