Liverpool school uniform grant cut proposed

Classroom (generic)
Image caption Stopping the grants could save the council £700,000

Thousands of Liverpool families could soon be forced to pay the full cost of their children's school clothing.

City mayor Joe Anderson is proposing to cut school uniform grants as part of attempts to reduce the council's budget by a further £11m.

There are currently 24,000 children from low income families who receive uniform grants of £40 for secondary school pupils and £20 for primary.

The city council said stopping the grants could save them £700,000.

The plan will be discussed at the Mayoral Select Committee meeting later.

Other cost-cutting plans are being considered by the council, which needs to save £143m over a five-year period.

'Too expensive'

These include handing over the running of Fazakerley Library to a community organisation and charging people for replacing lost or stolen wheelie bins.

Speaking about the school uniform grants, Mr Anderson said: "It's not something that we want to do. If you look at some of the other boroughs in the area, like Sefton and Wirral, they have not had uniform grants for a long time.

"We have tried to hold on to ours for as long as we could.

"It is going to affect the poorest families in the city and I accept that.

"But such is the scale of the problems that we face, people have to face up to the facts in this city and understand that.

He added: "I can't magic the funding cuts away, what I've got to do is try and deal with them."

Many parents are unhappy about the plans, including one who said: "They are too expensive already. My boy has just started this year and it set me back nearly £200.

"I'm a single parent to three children as well so you already pay a fortune for school uniforms, there is hardly anything that's free."

Another added: "The grant doesn't cover a uniform. The most you probably get out of it is two pars of pants and you've got to find the rest anyway."

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