Monmouthshire school breakfast club charge defeated

School breakfast club charge defeated

School breakfast club charge defeated

First published in Gwent news
Last updated

MONMOUTHSHIRE councillors yesterday agreed not to charge £1 for childcare provision in school breakfast clubs.

The motion proposed by the Labour leader Councillor Dimitri Batrouni was to support the Welsh government’s free school breakfast policy and to not charge £1 for childcare provisions during school breakfast clubs.

The report for breakfast club charges was on the cabinet agenda earlier this month but was pulled at the last minute.

Cllr Batrouni, member for St Christopher’s, said: “The Welsh government brought in this policy, our concerns are that the Conservative group are jeopardising this policy by proposing charges for childcare instead.

“We have had increases in charges of school meals and cuts to school transport. This would be an unnecessary barrier for parents of the 1,000 children who use the club.”

Councillor Peter Farley, member for St Mary’s said: “It is about health and nutrition of our children.

“What next? Will we be paying for playground use or paying for the role of pastoral care for teachers?”

The clubs are currently free and are held between 8am and 9am every school day. The Welsh government, who provided grant funding for the clubs until April last year when money for them was transferred to the local government settlement, does not allow charging for food at the clubs.

Cllr Debby Blakebrough, member for Trellech United, said: “My first reaction was the huge impact this would have on low income families who tend to be single parent families who tend to be women. It will hit this group hard.

“One pound a day doesn’t seem a lot but with two children together this would be £40 a month. This will put strain on an already tight budget.”

The council’s leader Peter Fox said that the report was pulled to get more information and to go towards the scrutiny committee to consider the proposals before the idea was taken any further.

He said: “I support the first part of the motion but cannot support the untruths in the second part of the motion.”

Cllr Liz Hacket Pain, member for schools and learning, said: “The priority is the nutritional side of breakfast that is the most important part of it. This (charges) are not going to happen that was why it was pulled.

“The fact that it was pulled shows we were not happy with it.”

Councillor Bob Hayward, member for Dixton with Osbaston made an amendment to the motion which disregarded the statement ‘disappointed the Conservative and Liberal groups want to introduce a charge for the childcare element of it’.

He said: “The Conservative group have said they will vote against this motion because of the second part of the motion. The motion can now be supported by everyone in the room.”

Comments (6)

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10:05am Fri 27 Jun 14

On the inside says...

Batroni has done a great job for working families here.
Batroni has done a great job for working families here. On the inside
  • Score: -2

10:09am Fri 27 Jun 14

Poolerkev says...

Well done MCC LABOUR GROUP. it's surely not a one man band though?
Well done MCC LABOUR GROUP. it's surely not a one man band though? Poolerkev
  • Score: -4

10:57am Fri 27 Jun 14

BassalegCountyFan says...

Good work Cllr Batrouni and MCC Labour, common sense has prevailed here
Good work Cllr Batrouni and MCC Labour, common sense has prevailed here BassalegCountyFan
  • Score: -1

9:16pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Limestonecowboy says...

Totally disagree what's happening here children going to school ... for breakfast?
Totally disagree what's happening here children going to school ... for breakfast? Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 4

9:59am Sat 28 Jun 14

Ystwythgirl says...

If Breakfast Clubs were set up and funded to help vulnerable children then this should remain. The same way as Free School Meals are provided for those is need. However, I would say the majority of BC have been taken over by working parents who use it as free childcare, to enable them to get to work on time, or earlier. These people should be made to pay a £1. If schools can manage dinner monies and FSM then this should be straight forward to work out. It is outrageous for working parents to expect free childcare. Make them pay.
If Breakfast Clubs were set up and funded to help vulnerable children then this should remain. The same way as Free School Meals are provided for those is need. However, I would say the majority of BC have been taken over by working parents who use it as free childcare, to enable them to get to work on time, or earlier. These people should be made to pay a £1. If schools can manage dinner monies and FSM then this should be straight forward to work out. It is outrageous for working parents to expect free childcare. Make them pay. Ystwythgirl
  • Score: 2

2:06pm Sat 28 Jun 14

Limestonecowboy says...

This is the 21st Century & parents can't afford breakfast !
This is the 21st Century & parents can't afford breakfast ! Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

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