24th October 2020
Dear Councillor Bird,
I am compelled to write to you due to the most difficult and stressful circumstances that many of our parents of vulnerable children will be facing during this half term and during a time where the Pandemic has impacted so massively on those who are most deprived. The fact that many children in Walsall may go without food is very concerning to me and I am sure that you will be troubled by this prospect also.
The Government refused to support the provision of meals for children on free school meals during the half term holidays. It was a disgraceful decision by the Government and the fact that our two Conservative Members of Parliament, namely Eddie Hughes and Wendy Morton, voted against providing children on FSM with a meal will mean children across Walsall going hungry and cannot be seen as anything other than a total disregard for the children of Walsall.
This is why I now appeal to you to follow the example of Birmingham and Wolverhampton to provide children on FSM with the provision of food or vouchers to obtain the food that these most vulnerable children need. I understand that there are very difficult financial decisions ahead for the Council but surely our duty to our most vulnerable children trumps any concerns about future financial positions.
It is the duty of a Council, and a Government, to ensure the welfare of all our children and if we do not provide for their basic needs then I believe that we fail, as the Government has, in this most important and fundamental duty.
The two conservative members of parliament have let the people of Walsall down and particularly the most vulnerable children in our communities. I ask that you take a different path and ensure that your Council show a level of basic care and conscience lacking in the two MP’s, by ensuring it provides food for our FSM children.
I assure you of my personal support and the support of every single Labour Councillor in Walsall on this decision. I am sure that the people of Walsall would also support a decision to feed our FSM Children. If there is a will there is a way and I believe that there is a way the only question is whether there is a will in your Council.
Together we can ensure that our most vulnerable children do not go hungry at this most difficult time, so I implore you to do the right thing and follow Wolverhampton and Birmingham in providing food for our children.
Councillor Aftab Nawaz