Labour leader on Peterborough City Council calls for help for city’s poorest families as food bank usage in city rises

The Labour leader on Peterborough City Council has called for help for the city’s poorest families as food bank usage in the city has risen.

Cllr Shaz Nawaz
Cllr Shaz Nawaz

Cllr Shaz Nawaz has said more needs to be done after Labour councillors who volunteer at local food banks reported that one site had it’s busiest day in the last two years last week and that queues are now frequent sights outside our city’s food banks.

He said: “The organisations who provide the food banks and those that work in them, do an amazing job, helping to feed thousands of desperate people in this city. However, it shouldn’t be the norm, in a civilised country, in 2022, for so many to have to rely on them. Huge increases in energy prices, mortgages, groceries and hikes in national insurance have forced many into food and fuel poverty and the Conservatives decision to raise council tax in Peterborough, at this time, is at best misguided and at worst, cruel.”

In today’s Spring Statement, chancellor Rishi Sunak reduced duty on fuel - but there are more energy prices rises expected in the future.

Cllr Nawaz said: “As a city we must aspire to be better than this and look for ways to ease the burden on the increasingly chronic needs of the poor, the homeless and the locally displaced. We should not, as a council be adding to their burden at this very difficult time.

“Conservatives in this city appear to think that food banks are something to be proud of and seem happy to take selfies in front of them. I say that they should ashamed and embarrassed that they even exist and that so many people in Peterborough have been forced by their policies to rely on them.

“If I am leader of the council after the local elections on the 5th of May, the cost of living crisis in our city will be my number one priority.”

The Peterborough Telegraph has contacted council leader cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, and MPs Paul Bristow and Shailesh Vara for comment.