Labour’s “party political spin” on kosher meals talks

Conservative councillor Eva Greenspan says London Assembly member and councillor Anne Clarke may be “overplaying her part” in negotiations with City Hall

City Hall - the headquarters of the Greater London Authority
City Hall – (Credit – GLA)

This comment is in response to yesterday’s article on possible funding for kosher catering in Barnet’s state Jewish primary schools, following an announcement from Sadiq Khan.

For months a group of Barnet Council officers, Cllrs Greenspan, Mire, Thomas, Zinkin, Prager, Cohen, J Conway and Clarke worked alongside representatives from the Jewish schools community waiting with bated breath and in anxious anticipation for the Mayor of London to provide guidance and support for our schools.

After several meetings and pressure put on the GLA from myself, Cllr Clarke and Headteachers such as Rabbi Joel Sager of Pardes House our group were able to get something out of the Mayor’s office.

So it was with great shock and disappointment to read in the Barnet Post that Cllr Clarke did not fully acknowledge the work of colleagues, officers, headteachers and parents in getting a response from the mayor, albeit very late. 

It’s further shocking that in the article on the Barnet Post Cllr Clarke claims that “intensive” conversations were had with the mayor’s office and that she was fully apprised of the developments, when in our meetings she told us that she had heard nothing nor had she had any information on the matter. In the face of Cllr Clarke’s “there’s not much I can do” attitude, I attempted thrice to get a meeting with the deputy mayor for education but was summarily hindered.

Is Cllr Clarke overplaying her part in getting the extra monies from the mayor’s office or was she lying to parents and teachers when they were desperately asking for more information so they could plan ahead and ensure that those children eligible had the food they deserve?

Suffice to say that the statement in the name of Labour is nothing but party political spin and credit taking for something that is and has been beyond party politics and with the hard, sad reality that for a lot of these children this will be their only hot meal of the day.

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