Moray Council writes off £24,000 school meal debt
Councillors in Moray have agreed to write-off more than £20,000 of outstanding school meal debt.
The move comes after Council Leader, Cllr Kathleen Robertson, requested a report to full council on the issue.
Currently, those families with debt in relation to school meals are written to by the catering teams, setting out how to pay, or the option to apply for free school meals if they qualify. If this is unsuccessful in securing payment it is passed for handling alongside the council’s sundry debt policy.
As at 9 September school meal debt in the council’s sundry debt system totalled £24,000, which will now be written off and families will not be pursued for this outstanding money.
Cllr Jérémie Fernandes, who moved the motion during Wednesday’s (28 September) meeting of the full council, said: “At a time when we’re seeing many families struggling against the increased cost of living it’s highly likely a number of those are unable to pay this debt.
“I’m pleased the majority of Councillors today chose to recognise the difficult times we’re living in and help our local families by writing off the school meal debt.”
Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Kathleen Robertson, said: “This news will be welcomed by families who have recently been pursued and hopefully allows them some breathing space if they’re struggling. I would encourage anyone in Moray struggling with financial concerns to contact our Money Advice Service by searching for Money Advice Moray or phoning 0300 123 4563.”
All P1-P5 pupils in Moray qualify for free school meals, and further information is awaited for the rollout to P6 and P7 pupils. More information on qualifying criteria for school meals is available on Moray Council’s website.