teddy bear needs food

People angry at local MPs voting against extending free school meals, have taken their protest to Conservative party doors in Crewe and Nantwich.

Dozens of people joined in by leaving messages on toys outside the Conservative office on Churchyardside in Nantwich town centre today (October 25).

It follows posts on social media – including one which showed a Paddington bear toy with the message “Thanks to the Tories, not even a marmalade sandwich for Paddington”.

One protestor Matthew Granville said: “When paediatricians are writing to the Government, telling them that their actions are causing harm to children, it’s utterly shameful that our MP, who is a Doctor, is backing the government on rejecting the proposal to feed disadvantaged children that need support during school holidays.”

paddington bearAnother Dan Prime added: “It was interesting to note that a gentleman who stopped to talk to us had voted for Kieran.

“Unfortunately it’s not safe to print what he calls him now. I don’t think Kieran can rely on his vote in the future.”

Steven Roberts added: “Right across the country there has been a huge public outcry about the refusal to extend the school meals scheme.

“The Tories may have a huge majority in Parliament, but many are already beginning to regret their actions. I am sure continued public pressure will force the government into another U-turn.”

Other protesters also gathered outside Crewe & Nantwich MP Kieran Mullan’s constituency office on Edleston Road in Crewe.

The Government voted to reject a Labour Opposition Day motion last week to extend free school meals scheme during school holidays.

It follows a high-profile campaign led by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

That campaign had persuaded the Government to extend free school meals during the last summer holidays as many families struggled due to the impact of the pandemic lockdown.

However, 322 Conservative MPs including Crewe & Nantwich’s Dr Mullan and Eddisbury MP Edward Timpson rejected the Labour motion, saying that funding had already been given to local authorities to help those in need.

cuddly toys outside Nantwich Con Club

Dr Mullan defended his decision to vote against the motion, saying “if people are struggling with poverty we need to do things to tackle that directly through the welfare system”.

He also said funding from Government to local authorities like Cheshire East Council should provide for crisis-hit families during the pandemic.

In a statement issued on Friday night, Cheshire East Council said they had supermarket vouchers available for families who need them during half-term.

Many big-hearted local businesses across Crewe and Nantwich have also come forward to offer free meals to those families who need them.

(Images courtesy of Nantwich News readers)

nil by mouth teddy bear

cupboard bare bear

bear and boris cartoon

toys outside tory club in Nantwich


  1. des thorley says:

    If you cannot feed a child in the holidays, I wonder how well the child is fed at other times. Too many parents really, there should be tax breaks for those who limit their families, after all if you cannot afford them, then why should you expect extra funding and others to care. They were your decision not mine

    • Mr Observant says:

      Des you either miss the point or don’t understand, this is to help feed the innocent party in this ie the child, not to portion blame on irresponsible parents which is different topic.

  2. Ted Dyer says:

    I don’t think this is a topic to get hysterical about, it seems everyone has an opinion and such woe if two people disagree, such a toxic mix.

    Solutions need to be found and I think every food establishment has kindly come forward with help, which is community spirit at its best.
    however lining up teddies and getting folk stressed out is not the way forward, it achieves zip all.

    The facts are clear, and anyone finding difficulties should really seek help themselves through this link now


  3. Mr Observant says:

    I voted for the out of touch Dr, what a mistake I made. I bet he already has an excuse in place for when the government reverse their decision. On another note I realize I was wrong voting for the shambollick and spineless Dr but its up to the opposition to get us wrong voters on board no blame us for the poor showing of an MP, its difficult supporting the opposition when they act like bullies to remind you of the mistake a lot of us made.

  4. Mary Candler says:

    People have been struggling for years due to the Tory decision to bring in austerity measures and the difficulties of getting the Universal Credit payments through to those who qualify.
    Because of the pandemic many more are reliant on UC which takes weeks to come through. Meanwhile some parents have lost their jobs or are on reduced hours. In the meantime they go without so they can give their kids what they do have. People are also struggling with increased anxiety and depression and possibly the loss of family members. You clearly have the insular ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude that many Tories have and a complete lack of empathy and understanding of those less well off than yourself.
    I hope you never have to struggle to feed a family. But I hope that you do manage to develop a sense of community and develop a little compassion for those who do.

  5. Rosa Popham says:

    Since when is governments responsibility to feed our children? It is and it has always been our responsibility as parents to do so. If families are struggling there are enough charities they can refer themselves to or they can be refer to them by social services. Lots of companies in and around the area are also giving away packed lunches. Schools are giving out vouchers to those children entitled to free school dinners as well as referring their families to the food bank. There is enough help available locally for those who really need it. Our government has done more than enough to help people out in the last seven months, far mo than anywhere else in Europe or around the world. My relatives in Italy have just now received their furlough money for March-May. And we think it is bad here?

    • Kris says:

      Spoken like someone who clearly doesn’t have a clue what it’s like to need the support.

    • Ruth says:

      Lots of local businesses are giving free packed lunches and other solutions for struggling families as a direct response to the vote and the behaviour of out of touch MP’s like Mullan, not by coincidence.

      And even if Italy’s response has been less generous financially, it’s irrespective. The two issues aren’t mutually exclusive. If we can do more we should. And this is about supporting those most vulnerable for the next six months. Hopefully this will be the driving force for changes in the system so that no child grows up in poverty in the future.

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