Green Party Leader in Norfolk as Foodbank Braces for Effects of Cuts
The new leader of the Green Party in England and Wales Natalie Bennett will be visiting Norwich tomorrow (Friday April 5th) to launch campaigning for the county council elections next month.
She'll be visiting Norwich Foodbank to highlight the impacts of recent welfare cuts and find out why the foodbank expects a huge rise in people needing emergency food supplies.
Ms Bennett said: "I'm visiting Norwich Foodbank to highlight widening inequality. On Saturday we will see a £100,000 tax break to UK millionaires, while this week's cuts hit struggling families and those receiving benefits the hardest."
A key element of the Green Party platform for the forthcoming county council elections will be protecting services for vulnerable people. Norfolk has six Green county councillors, more than any other county in the country. At the county council budget meeting in February, the Green Party tabled an amendment to protect social care funding and mental health services.
City Councillor Lucy Howard said: "Here in Norwich the recent cuts will result in a rise in the use of food banks by families plunged into poverty. The cuts will worsen child poverty, which in certain wards in Norwich is already very high: in Mile Cross 40 per cent of children live in poverty, as do 37 per cent in Wensum and 36 per cent in Mancroft."
Norwich food bank has seen many local families referred to them by care agencies every week. Over 1,000 local children have been helped by their foodboxes in the last six months.
Natalie will be accompanied by Dr Rupert Read, the east of England Green Party lead candidate for the next European Elections. They'll meet Project Manager Grant Habershon who will explain how Norwich food bank gave three days of food to 5,500 local people last year and that they expect that number to increase to over 8,000 local people this year. Mr Habershon told the Green Party that he expects the recent benefit changes, coupled with the current economic conditions, where wages and benefits are static and essentials such as food and energy prices are rising, to increase the need for food banks.
Natalie Bennett and Rupert Read will be donating food to the Norwich food bank with local Green Party members. They will be available for photographs and interviews at 12:30 to 1.30pm on Friday 5th April at Norwich Foodbank, Henderson Business
Centre, 51 Ivy Road, Norwich NR5 8BF.