Anger at our Vale of Glamorgan’s MP’s decision to vote against the extension of free school meals through Half-Term and Christmas, has resulted in a series of protests.
Whilst one graffiti artist spent the weekend dubbing the walls of our town, most have protested by joining the empty plate protest sweeping the town, and UK.
It has been well-reported that MP for the Vale, Alun Cairns, was one of the Conservatives who voted against extending the free school meal scheme in England.
Belinda Loveluck-Edwards, who stood against Cairns in the last General Election acted as spokesperson for the people laying plates outside his office in Hood Road, Barry.
She said many people in the Vale were disgusted at Cairns’ claim that the attempt to give children the free school meals in the holidays was a political stunt. “The claim that the issue was a political stunt casts a dark shadow over the values he and his party claim to stand for,” said Mrs Loveluck-Edwards.
“Laying plates in front of his office is hugely important as lunch is not a luxury in school holidays. Children do not determine how their lives are shaped in their early years.
” No child should ever go hungry, no child should ever face the burning shame of searching bins for scraps of food,
Mrs Loveluck-Edwards said the matter was not going to “fizzle away” and more people would be leaving plates with messages through the coming weeks.
Sue White, who started the Protest said: “I have seen for myself how much some children rely on free school meals. I was a journalism tutor at an English comprehensive school and there was one boy who I found rummaging in a waste bin for food scraps before free school meals were arranged for him.
Since then I have helped on school trips and seen hungry children anxious to start eating their packed lunch given to them in lieu of their school dinner.
I am disgusted that MPs like Mr Cairns turned their back on children like these. It is nothing short of heartless, soulless and totally lacking in any compassion. I cannot understand how he, as a father himself, can act in this way.”
Another person taking part was Sue’s husband, John Carroll, a retired aeronautical engineer.
He said: “I find it disgraceful that, in 2020, that the Conservative Government should deny hungry children sustenance in these very difficult times. This is one of the richest countries in the world and it is inhumane that those in power can allow hungry and vulnerable children to be denied one of their very basic needs to survive — food.”
Sue Vincent-Jones, writing as Mrs SVJ, is a Barry born journalist, editor, and communications specialist. She blogs about Barry – and her life in the wider world, through the eyes of a, quirky and queer, local girl done good.
#CommSpirit is where Sue, mixes up news and views to showcase some of the movers and shakers in our town. And promotes those lush locals who are putting our very own stomping ground firmly on the map.