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Gedling Borough Council has announced it’s throwing its support behind Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign after MPs rejected the measure in Parliament last week.

Gedling has joined town halls up and down the country now pledging to fund meals for eligible pupils over the October half term.

Gedling council leaders Councillor John Clarke and Councillor Michael Payne last night vowed not to let any child in the borough will go hungry over half term.

In a joint statement issued last night (October 23) they said: “We understand just how difficult the past few months has been for local families.

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“Following the government’s decision not to extend the free school meal scheme for the coming school holidays, we are pulling out all the stops to ensure children in Gedling Borough don’t go hungry over next week’s half term.

Gedling leader John Clarke, left and deputy leader Michael Payne, right. (Credit: Joseph Raynor)

“Next week we will be distributing food packages to families in our borough who need our help.

“We also extend our thanks to local businesses and community groups who are stepping up and showing the very best of our community spirit to ensure no child goes hungry in the school holidays.

The added: “We are also calling on Nottinghamshire County Council to act urgently to play its part in providing free school meals over half term and during the Christmas break.”

There was outrage on Wednesday night after 322 members of parliament voted against the proposals, which suggested that the most disadvantaged children should receive food vouchers worth £15-a-week during the school holidays between now and Easter.

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Only local MP Nadia Whittome voted in favour of the campaign, which was supported by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford.

A petition set up by the footballer calling for a national food strategy had more than 600,000 signatures on Friday night.

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  1. I think feeding the children is an absolute basic we should be doing as a country and we should be embarrassed to have a government who could vote against this. It’s also a shame our MP, Tom Randall is so out of touch with his constituents and the people he represents that he voted against providing food for children who need help.


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