Councillor column: community at the heart of everything we do

Finchley Church End councillor Eva Greenspan on community and Kosher school meals

Eva Greenspan, a Conservative councillor for Finchley Church End ward in the London Borough of Barnet
Cllr Eva Greenspan – Conservative, Finchley Church End

Over the last couple of months, colleagues across Barnet’s political divide have been writing in the Barnet Post about the work they do in their local community and what drives them.

There is indeed a set number of duties that a councillor must do, and most of it, if not all, is for their communities and the residents they have been chosen to serve. It is that sense of community that, as you will have seen from all the articles before mine, is the core and the drive of your local councillors. 

It is that same sense of community that has been at the forefront of my work as a councillor in what was then Finchley now Finchley Church End Ward since 1990. 

Just this year Barnet’s Jewish schools faced a crisis in their provision of Kosher and Kedassia meals for students when Kosher Kitchen service collapsed. This sharp and sudden closure left a lot of schools in a position of insecurity in providing the required meals for our young people, this issue did not only affect us in Finchley Church End Ward, where a third of our residents are Jewish, but also across Barnet. This was nothing short of a crisis on our doorsteps.

As a Jewish councillor, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and former governor of a Jewish school I have experienced the two ends of the need for Kosher and Kedassia meals. I set up a cross-party group of councillors along with teachers, officers, and parents to find solutions to the crisis we were facing. 

Within the course of our discussions, it was apparent that a huge effort needed to be taken to find a solution, especially with the advent of the Mayor of London’s mandatory free school meals for the next academic year, and doubly to ensure that no child goes hungry. 

The mayor recently announced that children with specific and religious dietary requirements will be getting £3.50 to alleviate the high cost of providing these much-needed meals. This still leaves some monies to raise to help our schools meet this demand.

Myself, council colleagues and the affected schools are actively finding avenues and solutions to provide these meals for our young people. We are looking to set up a charity to help provide more funding to meet these needs. If you are interested in helping out please do contact me at [email protected]

If you need any assistance with the council do contact me or your local councillor and we’ll endeavour to help you out.

Eva Greenspan is one of 3 councillors representing Finchley Church End ward, along with Jennifer Grocock and Daniel Thomas (also Conservative).

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