Sefton Council, local charities and Southport businesses are being praised for rallying around after the government refused to extend free school meals to hardpressed local families this week.
Despite strong appeals from Manchester United footballer and child food poverty campaigner Marcus Rashford, the government voted down the Labour Party motion to give extra free meals support to families during the current crisis by extending it over the holiday periods until next Easter.
Southport’s Conservative MP Damien Moore, who has been strongly criticised for voting to reduce free school meals in the past, once again refused to support the much-needed help this time by abstaining.
Just minutes before, he also voted against giving 80% furlough support to local workers and businesses affected by Tier 3 restrictions – leaving them with just two-thirds of wages under government plans.
Southport’s Conservative MP has been told he should apologise after denouncing the Black Lives Matter protest held in the town at the weekend.
Posting on his Facebook page, Damien Moore made a lengthy criticism of the event, which he’d previously asked residents not to attend.
The MP stated he supported the aims behind it but his opposition was on the basis of Covid concerns, saying:
“The demonstration that took part on Saturday was unhelpful and went someway to undoing our town’s efforts to tackle this pandemic, protect our NHS, and save lives.”
But critics have pointed out that in the very same post he also stated that veterans who had staged their own gathering at the same time just a hundred metres or so away had his “full support”, seemingly unaware it completely undercut his own professed public health stance.
Southport’s Tory MP has been accused of “brittle petulance” after a remarkable outburst against a local councillor in a row over funding.
Damien Moore reacted after one of the town’s Norwood councillors publicly quizzed him over cuts to the local authority’s emergency funding during the Covid crisis.
Some £2.4m has been cut already, with concern also expressed by the councillor over a potential £40m black hole facing Sefton and the effect on services to local residents it will have if the government doesn’t fulfil its promise to meet all costs caused by the pandemic.