CONWY is charging parents of secondary school pupils an extra 20p per day for school meals, having set the highest prices of any authority in North Wales.
Already the cash-strapped authority has raised council tax by a whopping 9.9% and cut services by 10%, with even schools and social services making 5% cuts.
Now the school dinner rise has come into effect for parents of secondary school children returning for the new term at the start of the council’s new financial year.
Parents of secondary school children in Conwy are facing a 20p-per-day increase in school meals, as the authority has raised the price from £2.90 a day to £3.10. The increase represents an extra £1 a week or £4 a month per child.
Parents with three children in secondary school are faced with finding an extra £12 a month to feed their children at school.
In comparison parents in neighbouring Denbighshire will pay £2.65 a day for their children’s meals, a rise of just 5p a day from last year. Parents of children attending secondary schools in Flintshire and Wrexham are charged just £2.45 and on Anglesey £2.60.
Gwynedd County Council did not set a county-wide rise, instead leaving the decision up to individual schools to set their own school meal prices. Gwynedd could not provide a breakdown of these school meal prices but said amounts varied between schools.
A spokeswoman for Conwy County Council also said the decision to up meal prices was made by schools, which have been forced to make 5% cuts.
But Conwy’s school meal prices are the highest county-wide rate of all six authorities.
She said: “The full meal price is available at all schools. Because the budget is delegated to individual secondary schools, the price of individual items may vary. If you think your child may be entitled to free school meals, you can find out more on the council’s website at www.conwy.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals”
Anglesey County Council, though, has instead frozen school meal prices.
A spokesman said: “Our school catering contractor has increased its costs.
“However, the council’s executive has agreed not to pass on this increase to parents during already difficult financial times.
“The executive will fund this increase and prices will remain frozen for parents.”