Notice of motion – Food banks
Notice of motion – Food banks

A notice of motion regarding food banks was submitted by Walsall Labour and was proposed by Cllr Matt Ward (Blakenall), and supported by Cllr Aftab Nawaz (St Matthews), Cllr Khizar Hussain (Pleck), Cllr Rose Burley (Bentley & Darlaston North) and Cllr Lee Jeavons (Birchills Leamore).

The motion states:

“This Council:

  • Notes that 41% of children that live in Walsall are living in poverty and that the number of people having to use food banks has dramatically increased since 2010 with over 3 million food parcels handed out in 18/19.
  • Notes and thanks the many volunteers and organisations across the Borough that run and manage food banks to help those in need.
  • Expresses great concern at the growing reliance on food banks across the Borough, particularly by families with children.

We call upon the Council to:

  • Follow other local authorities and introduce Food Collection Points at the Civic Centre and other Council owned civic buildings.
  • Request its partners across the public sector to introduce the same at their buildings.
  • Write to all supermarkets in the Borough to ask them to donate any unsold food at the end of the day to local organisations that can help feed those in need.”

The notice of motion was debated by council, and after discussions by councillors an amendment was put forward by Leader of the Conservative Cabinet Cllr Mike Bird (Pheasey Park Farm). The amendment read as follows:

This Council:

  • Notes that 41% of children that live in Walsall are living in poverty and that the number of people having to use food banks
    has dramatically increased since 2010 with over 3 million food parcels handed out in 2018/19.
  • Notes and thanks the many volunteers and organisations across the Borough that run and manage food banks to help those in need.
  • Expresses great concern at the growing reliance on food banks across the Borough, particularly by families with children.

We call upon the Council to:

  • Write to all supermarkets in the Borough to ask them to donate any unsold food at the end of the day to local organisations that can help feed those in need.
  • Set up a Task Force to examine ways to assist in reducing food poverty.

The amended motion was put to a vote of councillors and was passed.

While councillors were debating the motion, Leader of the Conservative Cabinet Councillor Mike Bird said that in areas such as Palfrey, where child poverty is higher than other parts of the borough, families tended to have larger families which they could not afford.

Following the conclusion of the council meeting Walsall Labour Group Leader Cllr Aftab Nawaz said:

“I feel the country is rich enough to feed its children.

“The fact that someone has more than one child, doesn’t mean that we as a society haven’t got the money to feed them. I think we have.

“It shames us all but I’m happy we will come together and look at the issues. We as a council must do all we can to alleviate that.”

 

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