And so this is Christmas …

Today the Tory administration at Surrey County Council used its own amendment to vote down a Lib Dem motion that would have prioritised child food poverty in Surrey. If approved, the original, proposed by Cllr Fiona White and seconded by Cllr Will Forster, would have committed the Council to taking the small, albeit valuable steps of ensuring the availability of breakfast clubs in Surrey schools as well as the lobbying of central government for changes to the welfare system.

Instead a lengthy amendment, which set out largely the strategic actions already being taken by the Tory Council, was supported by its own group members, who currently enjoy a huge majority, although it was opposed by those from other political parties. In order to get the motion through, most of those who voted against the amendment voted in favour in the second round.

Following the recorded votes Cllr White said: “I am very pleased that we initiated a discussion on child poverty in Surrey. While it’s disappointing that we had to support the Conservatives’ watered-down version of our original motion to get it through and that the Tories removed most of the more robust actions we proposed, it is at least better than nothing. So many fellow councillors spoke powerfully on this issue and recognised that while there is some good work being done in the background, what we as Lib Dems were looking for was some practical steps that would have an immediate impact on Surrey’s children in need.”

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