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An Election Question from Fr Peter to Party Candidates for the Constituency Seat of Finchley & Golders Green - Foodbanks

An Election Question from Fr Peter to Party Candidates for the Constituency Seat of Finchley & Golders Green:


Are Foodbanks now going to be the norm in UK communities or are you working toward making them a thing of the past?


“As a Christian, I cannot help but feel that food banks represent both the best and the worst in us. The best is of course the instinct towards charity and care for our neighbours. The worst is that we live in a society in which the need for them not only exists but is increasingly normalised. I will always seek to render them redundant - whilst hoping that we retain the spirit of generosity and lovingkindness that they represent. But it would also be remiss of me not to point out that even people in work are now having to resort to food banks - which shows that taxes are too high. The state has a role to play - and part of it is in taking less of our money. After all, as Margaret Thatcher was fond of pointing out, the Good Samaritan didn't just have good intentions - he had money, too.”

Alex Deane – The Conservative Party


“As you know until recently I was the founding Chair of the Childs Hill Foodbank and I currently run a foodbank at Kentish Town Community Centre where I am the Director. I am also a member of the Camden Food Partnership, a strategy group looking at food inequality in the Borough. So, in summary the issue of food poverty is very important to me. 

My experience points to food being the tip of the iceberg for many families and individuals. Food insecurity is linked to housing insecurity, job insecurity and often has a detrimental affect on mental health. I see people all the time who trapped in a cycle of food bank dependency, often because they have not been given the right support. 

As a party, the Liberal Democrats believe that a responsible government should actively support its citizens to lead healthy lives by empowering individuals to improve their own health, creating healthier environments, and funding communities to decide how to better their health. 

Liberal Democrats pledge to help people spend more years of their life in good health by:

·        Increasing the Public Health Grant, with a proportion of the extra funding set aside for those experiencing the worst health inequalities to co-produce plans for their communities.

·        Establishing a “Health Creation Unit” in the Cabinet Office to lead work across government to improve the nation’s health and tackle health inequalities.

·       Expanding social prescribing and investing in community projects that bring people together to combat loneliness.

·         Introducing a new kitemark for health apps and digital tools that are clinically proven to help people lead healthier lives.

This is a very complex topic, but I hope my response gives you a flavour as to my background and my party’s ideas for supporting people in need. If you need any more information do not hesitate to contact me.”

Sarah Hoyle –The Liberal Democrats


“As someone who volunteers at the Finchley Foodbank, I’m acutely aware of how vital they currently are. However, it’s important that they don’t become a permanent part of the social landscape. Unfortunately, some politicians have now taken the existence of foodbanks for granted and see them as a cheap solution to a pressing need. The Green Party is determined to help people get reintegrated into society. For example, we are actively pushing for the Universal Basis Income pilot scheme to be widened, with support and career advice provided as part of the package. If successful, it will be one of many ways we can reduce reliance on foodbanks in the future.”

Steve Parsons - The Green Party


“I visited your excellent foodbank, and my answer to your question is I very much hope not. 

The work of the volunteers of the Finchley Foodbank to support families and individuals in poverty is the best of our society. However, the need for and increasing dependence on foodbanks, including by many who are themselves in work, is a stain on our society. Something has gone badly wrong when work does not pay, the safety net is thread bare and rising costs have left so many desperate. This is why I came into politics. To build a fairer society and to eliminate the need for a wonderful organisation like FFB. The last Labour Government lifted 1 million children and 1 million pensioners out of poverty. A new Labour Government would have its work cut out but with plans to provide more genuinely affordable homes, increase the minimum wage and provide breakfast clubs in all our local state schools I think we can make this important mission a reality. .”

Sarah Sackman –  The Labour Party




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