Labour Party

Catherine West, Leader of the Labour Group in Islington is a rising young star. She has written to me about Labour’s campaign in Islington to save school meals. At Islington Council’s budget meeting on Thursday 26 February, Islington Labour will be proposing free school meals for all children at primary school and nursery, as well as a £100 targeted council tax discount for pensioners. Sounds an excellent programme to me. The Liberal Democrats aren’t listening. Instead they want a council tax policy that would do little to help any but the wealthiest households in the borough.
You can make a difference. Send Islington’s Liberal Democrat Council a message to let them know what you think by following this link.

Do any Liberal Democrats want to explain what the difference between Islington Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party is?

The Liberal Democrats are trying to block Islington Labour’s free school meals campaign. Instead of supporting children, they want a tax plan to benefit the most wealthy, and they want to keep some of the highest executive councillors’ salaries in the country.

In a PR stunt, they have said they want people to email them and tell them which they prefer. Not very democratic is it? Many pensioners will not have email, nor will many of the poorer people in Islington. Most people do not have school age children so how credible will this “consultation” exercise be?


  1. the liberal democrats…..frankly sounds more like yourselves – it took a celebrity chef in the first place for you to even care about school meals. Why the sudden fuss now i wonder?

    You seem to have a bit of a gripe against the lib dems, maybe its because your ideologically defunct and your jealous of a party that actually stands by its morals.

  2. And in response – all i have to say in response to your apparent sticking to your morals are two things




  3. I admire much of your work, like your support for women in general, but on this issue I am sorry Mary you have got it wrong.

    School meals in Islington are not under threat (I was until very recently a school governor in the borough). There is a proposal to increase the council tax to pay for universal free school meals, including for children of some of the very wealthy families who now use Islington’s better performing primary schools.

    I do not believe it is right to increase council tax on poorer people with or without children to give the richest children a free lunch. My particular concern is that if the proposed tax increase does not cover the full cost of the school meals, then other parts of the education budget will be cut.

    I also think your assumption that poorer people do not have email is patronising. It is true that many pensioners do not, but as they do not have school age children, you seem to object to them having a view. I work with job seekers many of whom have access to email. Email and social networking use is very common among young Londoners of all backgrounds. And of course the poorest households already get free school meals.

    Several of my clients and their families are terrified of any of their bills going up. A tax rise to fund free meals for their richer neighbours, or for my well-fed son, is quite wrong.

    Keep up the otherwise good work, but please take a more balanced position on this issue. I would like to be able to vote for you again!

  4. At the meeting of Islington Council to set the budget the Lib Dems abandoned the 0% plan and were supporting a 1.85% increase, so the difference was very small.

    However their budget spent more on councillors allowances, hiring conference centres and glossy PR than school meals and rebates to pensioners.

    Barry Edwards
    Labour Councillor for Holloway ward

  5. Angela on school meals I appreciate Barry’s comment and I am glad if there was only a very small difference between the parties. I confess I do not have your detailed knowledge on Islington school budgets, so will watch with interest how things develop.

    On poor people having less access to the internet my source is the Child Poverty Action Group’s digital divide evidence here

    I know it is an old report but all that I pick up campaigning is that this is still an issue. I agree with you that age is a significant factor. thank you for your kind comments.

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