No free meals at 48 schools
‘Super hub’ should be running soon
FORTY-EIGHT schools did not provide free hot meals at the start of term, according to the county council.
From this term, all four to seven-year-olds in statefunded infant schools in England are entitled to a free hot lunch under plans announced by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.
But Bucks has not been able to introduce the programme everywhere, with almost one-third of 167 eligible schools missing out. Deputy cabinet member for education and skills Bill Bendyshe-Brown said Buckinghamshire County Council aims to have the remaining 48 involved next month.
He added when the policy was announced 66 schools in Bucks had no provision to provide hot meals. The £1.3million grant was ‘not enough’ for Bucks to set up a sufficient number of hubs and satellites in time for the start of the new term.
Little Spring, in Greenway, Chesham, was one of the schools unable to make the change, as its kitchen is not big enough.
Office manager Annie Frite said: “It has been a difficult transition. Our old supplier has stopped providing for us and the new one can only provide cold meals at the moment.
“We have done our best
It’s great to provide the
free, hot nutritious meal, but it does mean more work and planning”
but it is going to be a struggle, it is early days.
“We don’t know when we will be able to have hot food yet.”
Twenty schools opted to find their own solution, despite the council creating a ‘super hub’, due to be ready by half-term, with the capacity to provide about 5,000 meals a day.
St Joseph’s Catholic Primary, in Chalfont St Peter, provides hot meals for seven schools and cold lunches for another.
Chef Paul Jefferys said: “It is hard, we have had to set up a marquee to make sure we have room to work, and logistically we have had to plan this ever since it was announced.
“Some schools don’t have facilities. It’s great to provide the free, hot nutritious meal, but it does mean more work and planning.” POLITICIANS in the House of Commons received a lesson on HS2 from the Bucks Examiner on Tuesday.
MP for Chesham and Amersham, Cheryl Gillan, waved the newspaper in front of her colleagues as she talked about the controversial project during a debate.
Mrs Gillan used last week’s headline ‘HS2 wi cost the Chilterns £170m’ to illustrate how the train line is still a contentious topic among our readers.
The new report revealed the scale of the economic impact which HS2 could have on the Chilterns, claiming the estimated cost to the area will be at least £170.4m.