Rise in council tax leads to extension of free school meals

As reported by BBC news, council tax will rise by 4.84% in West Dunbartonshire, but the authority said it would help fund a widened free school meal scheme

Nearly one million pounds will be used to make school dinners free for all primary age children. The free meals will be phased in over a two-year period.

The council said a survey last year found roads and education were local residents’ top priorities. It said the investment in school meals would ‘save local families hundreds of pounds a year’.

Since January 2015, free school meals have been offered to children up to primary three in all state schools in the country as part of Scottish government policy.

Ian Dickson, convener of corporate services said: “For the second year, we have adopted a no cuts budget in West Dunbartonshire, investing in key areas and supporting our residents.”

“Our residents told us through the budget survey that they wanted education to be prioritised,” he added.

“We have responded to that with a commitment to provide free school meals in all of our primary schools, an increase in funding for extra learning assistants, and a pledge to continue to invest in our schools”.

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