A reader has asked us to post this response received from a senior caseworker in Sally-Ann Hart’s office in response to enquiries about not providing free meals to schoolchildren during school holidays.
Thank you for your email.
Yet again the press has a lot to answer for in stirring up emotions with little attention given to the facts and even less accuracy.
Sally-Ann is an extremely principled and honest person who has always stood up for what she believes in and has voted against the government on a number of occasions in the short time she has been in post.
Free school meals is an emotive subject and Sally-Ann voted with the government because she believes residents should be helped to look after their children, not have that responsibility taken away.
Sally-Ann prioritises the needs of children on every level – financially, educationally & emotionally.
As a magistrate on Hastings Family Court for 15 years and a former Rother councillor, she is painfully aware of the circumstances of many young people in this constituency.
She has also seen first-hand that, sadly, many parents in this constituency cannot or will not prioritise the needs of their own children.
As recently as this summer, numerous constituents wrote to us complaining that school meal vouchers were being openly sold in Hastings and this office has seen evidence of a significant rise in local cases of child neglect and abuse by their own parents.
The facts under this government:
- free school meal eligibility has been increased to a further 50,000 children
- £9 billion has been added to the welfare system
- £180 million has been added to help those struggling with rent
- £63 million has been given to councils for local welfare
In summary: Labour believes in state decisions and state responsibility and Conservatives believe in personal freedom and responsibility.
Parents should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own children and then helped and supported through the welfare system if they cannot manage either financially or emotionally.
State dependency takes away our freedom and our pride and turns the welfare state into a way of life rather than a safety net.
Sally-Ann wants more than that for the residents of Hastings and Rye.
Image Credits: UK Parliament https://members.parliament.uk/member/4842/portrait.