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Welsh councillor’s call to make veggie school dinners the only option once a week

02 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Picture: Pixabay.

Rory Sheehan, Local Democracy Reporter

A Welsh councillor has suggested making it mandatory that vegetarian or vegan meals are the only option on the school dinner menu once a week to help against climate change.

Flintshire council’s first-ever Climate Change Committee has met with members putting forward a raft of suggestions that could be looked at to help the authority to decarbonise.

In 2019 the Welsh Government called for public sector organisations to become carbon neutral by 2030 and Flintshire’s Climate Change Strategy for 2020-2030 aims to meet this target.

The advisory Climate Change Committee has been set up to assist the authority with this, and to promote and support the use of renewable energy opportunities across the council’s estate and wider communities among other functions.

Penyffordd Cllr Alasdair Ibbotson (Lab) chairs the committee and opened its first meeting by laying out the reasons why it is necessary.

He said: “The fact that we are here at all and the fact this issue is far enough up the political agenda to warrant a committee being formed is testament to the efforts of everyone who has battled to get this issue, the future of humanity taken seriously.

“We will never know exactly which person is Flintshire’s first climate change death but what we can say with certainty is that sad milestone has already been passed.

“It is no longer a question of when the first person in Flintshire will die from the effects of climate change, but of when they did.”

Members were invited to put forward issues for the committee to look at, going forward, with Buckley Bistre West Cllr Dan Rose (Lab) tabling a range of suggestions from use of solar panels in council car parks, to ensuring newly-built properties install charging points.

Vegan call

Fellow Buckley Bistre West Cllr Carolyn Preece (Lab) suggested that once a week, only a vegan or vegetarian option should be available on the school dinner menu.

She said: “We need to look at procurement, using local traders and local products for carbon footprint.

“We also need to look at making it mandatory that plant-based products are used at least one day a week – where that is the only choice, it’s vegetarian or vegan – for one day a week in schools.”

Welcomed suggestions

Cllr Ibbotson suggested looking at flood resilience, while Argoed and New Brighton Cllr Mared Eastwood (Lib Dem) suggested the committee could look at use of tidal energy.

The council’s cabinet member for climate change, Caergwrle Cllr Dave Healey (Lab) said he welcomed the various suggestions put forward and that it was up to the authority to engage with residents and businesses in the county and encourage them to make changes too.

“Part of our mission has to be to lead by example but also take the rest of the county with us”, he said.

“People do need to make changes and I think we need to be able to give them the advice, in a simplified form.”

The suggestions put mooted by members will be put on the committee’s work programme going forward.

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David Harking
David Harking
1 year ago

Everyone should be free to choose the foods they eat. This is control of population and will not stand.

Cynan again
Cynan again
1 year ago
Reply to  David Harking

Everybody is free to choose the foods they eat. From the available menu. It’s more control of the menu than control of the population. I think people are reading to much into this. Vegetables are cheaper than meat. In financial, carbon, land use and climate change cost. Nobody’s trying to control the population into being – say – “woke vegans” (I’m not attributing this to you, but it won’t be long before somebody brings it up). I stopped eating meat 5 years ago (after many decades of eating it – so no moralising here) and I’ll tell you, it opened… Read more »

Cynan again
Cynan again
1 year ago
Reply to  David Harking

Who would have thought that a comment stating this is about control of menu not of population would be so contentious as to get sanctioned? Misuse of the report button by “Big Meat” perhaps?

Last edited 1 year ago by Cynan again
1 year ago

typical Labour mentality – imposition of a centralist doctrine-all school meals have a vegetarian option daily anyway – but enforcing a vegan only day is contary to the ideal of universal free school dinners – a vegan only day runs a serious risk of insufficent protein intake for a child if their school dinner is their main and only hot meal of the day.

Senedd should be leading on this and defining the nutrional standard for school meals to avoid tinkering at county level.

Cynan again
Cynan again
1 year ago
Reply to  Owain

Vegetable only is cheap and does not need to be boring broccoli peas and carrots
A spinach and chick pea dhal is filling and awesome

Cynan again
Cynan again
1 year ago
Reply to  Cynan again

Oh! Some “manly” steak-eater doesn’t like my comment that some foods are nice even without meat.
It’s astounding how some people are moved to fury by even the most inoffensive comment

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