If you are part of a cash-strapped family living in Ceredigion and had relied on payments for your children’s food this summer — tough.
Ceredigion County Council won’t be handing over payments this summer.
Since the Covid pandemic, families in receipt of free school meals during term time have benefitted from a cash payment into their bank accounts in the school holidays.
The payments were available to learners eligible for free school meals using the benefit criteria rather than pupils in years one and two who access the Universal Primary Free School Meal (UPFSM).
Welsh Government funding for free school meal payments during the holidays introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic has offered three years of extra support.
However, the Welsh Government’s director of education and the Welsh language, Owain Lloyd, has written to all local authority directors of education to confirm that the funding has now ceased.
But here’s the rub.
Gwynedd and Powys councils have found the cash from their own budgets for the school break. Ceredigion has not.
Not for the first time, and certainly not for the last, this publication has noted with concern how Ceredigion’s neighbouring counties — both Powys and Gwynedd have similar demographics — manage to handle their finances.
Maybe Ceredigion are too concerned with holding consultation studies? Or spend too much time and effort trying to convince the majority of people in the county that they are providing better service by not being at their desks, answering phones or emails — or even talking to the councillors who were elected to raise concerns with these bureaucrats.
Sadly, Ceredigion is a fiefdom to a small clique who believe they know best. They don’t. And the sooner there’s a reckoning, all the better for everyone.