Serving up healthy lunches at North Cerney Primary School

A 2013 study, written by the Insitute for Fiscal Studies, the National Centre for Social Research and the Brysom Purdon Social Research, showed that universal free school meals “had a significant positive impact on attainment”, as well as easing the pressure on household budgets.

Packed lunches are less likely to meet nutritional standards, according to a 2010 study commissioned by the Food Standards Agency, which found that just 1% of packed lunches met the nutritional standards set for school lunches.

This month saw the 25th National School Meals Week.  Organised jointly by the school meals industry and the Soil Association’s Food For Life campaign, it celebrated all that is great about school food. 14 November was also Roast Dinner Day.

As part of the Silver Jubilee activities, Cllrs Paul Hodgkinson and Jenny Forde were invited to North Cerney Primary School on Wednesday to join the pupils for a roast lunch they themselves prepared.

Speaking at the lunch, Cllr Hodgkinson (Gloucestershire County Council, Bourton and Northleach) said:

“I was delighted to be invited to join the students at North Cerney Primary School for a delicious roast dinner.  Eating a nutritional lunch – either prepared by the school, local caterers or homemade – is shown to be critical for a child’s educational attainment and for tackling the growing challenge of childhood obesity.

“The introduction of free school meals for all children, in reception to year 2, in 2014, highlighted the values of the Liberal Democrats in government – of ensuring that every child has the best possible start in life.”

Cllr Jenny Forde (Cotswold District Council, Chedworth & Churn Valley) remarked:

“It’s no surprise that there’s a direct link between inadequate nutrition and low concentration levels, often the school lunch can be the only sit-down meal that children get. What we put in their bellies is almost as important as what we put in their heads!”

 

Reverse the recycling centre cuts!

All county-run recycling centres are now closed one day a week on the following days:

  • Tuesdays: Fosse Cross (Cirencester) and Oak Quarry (Coleford)
  • Wednesdays: Pyke Quarry (Horsley near Stroud) and Wingmoor Farm (Bishops Cleeve)
  • Thursdays: Hempsted (Gloucester).

The centres have also had their opening hours reduced by more than three hours a day. Previously they were open from 9am to 6:15pm, however this has now changed to 10am-4pm – a reduction of more than 35 per cent each day!

All this has been decided with no consultation with the public or with the six district councils.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson and Cllr Jenny Forde think reducing access to recycling facilities is wrong and will only serve to frustrate those trying to do the right thing by recycling their waste, who turn up to find their local centre closed.

WE WANT TO MAKE THE CONSERVATIVES REVERSE THESE RECYCLING CUTS! 

Sign our petition below to help us reverse this decision in next year’s budget:

https://www.gloslibdems.org.uk/recycling_petition

 

Extra buses get thumbs up

Extended times to a well used bus service has been given a warm welcome by residents in the Cotswolds.

Paul Hodgkinson with Jenny Forde (centre) and Isobel Walker at one of the stops on the route

Paul Hodgkinson with Jenny Forde (centre) and Isobel Walker at one of the stops on the route

The 51 route from Cheltenham to Cirencester and onto Swindon attracts alot of customers. Linking villages like North Cerney, Rendcomb and Coberley to the towns, it has previously run in daytimes only and not on Sundays.

Now, after lobbying over a number of years, bus bosses have announced an improved service.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Churn Valley) has been an advocate of more buses to link villages to the towns:

“This is a good service, but residents have told me often that they wanted to be able to get to the towns in the evenings and on Sundays. I’ve called for an extended service and now it’s happened!

“At a time of cuts, this is really good news.  People can now leave work later if they want to or shop in Cheltenham or Cirencester on a Sunday and get the bus home. This kind of new flexibility is a real bonus, especially for those who rely on public transport.”

For full details of the new bus times, go to: http://www.stagecoachbus.com/uploads/51.pdf

 

 

‘Bin the school waste charges’ campaign kicks off

A campaign kicked off this week to throw Cotswolds primary schools a cash lifeline.

Paul Hodgkinson with Jenny Forde.

Paul Hodgkinson with Jenny Forde.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for the Cotswolds) is calling for primary schools to be included in Cotswold District Council’s waste collection service.

At present, all primary schools are classed as ‘businesses’ and have to pay for their waste to be collected by private contractors.

Cllr Hodgkinson (CDC, Churn Valley) believes the time is right for the Council to be flexible:

“I have previously asked the Leader of the Council to be bold and generous on this issue but it fell on deaf ears. His administration currently doesn’t collect waste from primary schools in the district. However, small rural schools like Chedworth, Southrop and North Cerney pay as much as £1,000 each year for this – when their budgets are very stretched.

“At the moment a school like Temple Guiting has to pay for a private waste lorry to come into the village especially to pick up one or two bins of rubbish. That doesn’t make any sense from a green or cash perspective.

“Given that CDC’s domestic waste lorries literally drive past the schools every time they collect rubbish from residents and could easily pick up their bins, I feel the Council should throw a lifeline to our small schools by including them in waste collections. This would save schools much needed cash.”

Now, Cllr Hodgkinson has joined forces with North Cerney Primary School Governor Jenny Forde by writing to all 44 Cotswolds primary schools asking them to back the campaign. Ms Forde, who lives in Bagendon, feels that schools work hard to make small budgets go a long way:

“Every single penny makes a difference to our children’s education. I think it would stick in most people’s throats if they knew they were paying twice for waste collection – through their council tax and through public money that goes towards our state schools.

“This solution seems like common sense to help our schools out so they can put taxpayer’s money to better use to educating our children.”

Once they have heard from all primary schools in the area, Cllr Hodgkinson will present the responses to a Cotswold District Council meeting with Ms Forde.