The Labour Council administration has taken a major step to delivering on its Free School Meal (FSM) pledge.
The Council Executive recently approved the creation of the York Community Fund (YCF). YCF will be a ground-breaking new fund for the city, designed to deliver vital community projects, drawing on the financial support of businesses, non-profit organisations and residents who share the aspiration to make York a more equal and affordable city.
A decade of cuts to local government funding means the council cannot fulfil residents’ aspirations on its own. However, at a time when living costs have soared and child poverty is at its highest level in years, Labour believes it is vital the council shows leadership.
The Fund will hold £100,000 of seed funding to support the Free School Meal project. In this year’s elections, York Labour promised to mobilise the City to deliver free school meals for all Key Stage 2 pupils in York, and this decision represents a major milestone towards that goal.
Cllr. Bob Webb, Labour’s Executive Member for Children and Young People said:
“I’m pleased we’ve taken the next step towards delivery against our pledge to the people of York. In the past we have seen little political ambition for tackling the big problems our communities face from the old Liberal Democrat-run administrations, but we are changing that. We said we would mobilise the City and the creation of this Fund means we can begin to encourage organisations and individuals to contribute to realise this ambition, helping ensure all our young children get the food and nutrition they need to learn and achieve”.
The YCF will be used to draw in the funding necessary to deliver this, starting with the initial rollout of the pledge.
Details of the first pilot project for FSM will be announced at November’s Executive meeting, signalling the start of delivery of the pledge on the ground.