Banbury Labour councillors see motion on food poverty win Cherwell support

The growing cost-of-living crisis has seen two of Banbury’s Labour and Co-operative councillors win support for urgent action on food poverty.
Cllr Perran Moon proposed the motion to declare a food poverty emergency.Cllr Perran Moon proposed the motion to declare a food poverty emergency.
Cllr Perran Moon proposed the motion to declare a food poverty emergency.

A motion to declare a food poverty emergency was unanimously passed by Cherwell District Council at its full council meeting last week.

Cllr Perran Moon, one of the Labour and Co-operative councillors for Banbury Grimsbury and Hightown, proposed the motion and said afterwards: “This is a massively significant move. Many residents throughout Cherwell are facing the terrible choice of heating or eating. The situation this coming winter is set to get worse.

"Fuel bills and the cost of food are both likely to increase again in the autumn. The knock-on effects on declining mental health will increase the burden on the NHS.

"The council has effectively committed to ensuring that, on our watch, no one in Cherwell should go hungry. I sincerely hope that this declaration offers some small degree of comfort and reassurance to those residents who are struggling now or who may struggle in coming months.”

The declaration, proposed by Cllr Moon and seconded by Cllr Rebecca Biegel, a fellow Labour and Co-operative councillor for the same ward, commits Cherwell District Council to:

- Designating a food champion, a lead member for food poverty at Cherwell District Council

- Establishing and reporting to overview and scrutiny committee on the scale of the food poverty crisis in Cherwell

- Drawing up a Cherwell Food Action Plan that supports local communities in helping to relieve the food poverty emergency, in line with the new countywide food strategy

- Developing a promotional campaign that raises awareness of underclaimed Healthy Start food vouchers

- Supporting local communities to reduce food waste and improve the food choices of residents and continuing to be an active member of the Cherwell Community Food Network.

The introduction to the motion set out the stark reality of the current situation: “The long-term effects of the covid pandemic, spiralling inflation and stagnant wages are leaving many adults and children across our communities hungry. Over two million people in the UK are now reliant on foodbanks.”

The meeting took place on Monday, July 18.

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