Food bank criticism
Councillor apologises for ‘drug problems’ tweet
A COUNCILLOR has faced criticism after claiming food banks are only visited by those with ‘drug, alcohol and mental health problems’.
Mark Winn, who until recently held a position on Buckinghamshire County Council’s health scrutiny committee, commented on BBC’s Casualty on Saturday night.
In a Twitter post he dubbed it “the BBC doing Labour’s bidding”.
The Aylesbury councillor was angered by a storyline involving a young mother who was suffering from malnutrition, though the team had suspicions she was using drugs.
The woman’s son is injured crossing the road prompting nurse Charlie Fairhead, a character in the show to tell her: “You’re not a bad mother, it’s the system that’s wrong, it’s unforgiveable.”
While some commended the show for tackling the issue, Mr Winn criticised the programme calling it “propaganda for food banks” and “rubbish”. He tweeted: “The people visiting food banks are those with drug, alcohol + mental health problems.”
Since the Winn has uproar Mr deleted the tweet and suspended his account. Chiltern Foodbank has spoken out against the comments.
Dave Worrall said Mr Winn was “both ill informed and out of step” with the county council and the work it was doing.
“I just hope that no donor actually believes what councillor Winn says. Fortunately Bucks County Council works with foodbanks and other social action organisations to help alleviate poverty within the county.
“Councillor Winn is probably ignorant of the work that is being done by the council he represents.”
He added in his experience the majority of people using Chiltern Foodbank are working families with low income.
In a statement Mr Winn said: “I wish to apologise if I caused offence to people with my remark on Twitter regarding food banks. I fully appreciate the need for food banks for the use of people in need whatever their personal circumstances and I salute the work that staff in them do.
“I will be privately visiting a local food bank in the next couple of weeks to see for myself the work they do.”
What do you think about Mr Winn’s comments? Email bucksnews@trinitysouth. co.uk.