I still remember the semolina pudding we used to have on Tuesdays when I was in school. Oh, how I've tried to forget. It may well have been very nutritious, but at the time, I thought the left overs could have been used to plaster the ceiling. Anyway, I've taken a ghoulish interest in what we feed our children ever since. Which is why I was very interested to learn today what Welsh Local Education Authorities are currently paying for school meals.
I'm reliably informed that in England, the cost of a school meal averages around 80p, with some councils, such as Norfolk paying up to 90p. The figure in Wales is around just 50p, with Cardiff paying 55p. Now a penny or two I can understand - but these sort of differentials are incredible. So I telephoned a Welsh food manufacturer I know, just to check whether this can possibly be true. I knew him to be a really good quality supplier. He told me that he currently supplies his products to 4500 schools in England, but no school in Wales can afford to buy from him. Typical of what is happening is that English schoolchildren are being fed sausages with a 65% pork content, while those being served up to their Welsh equivalents are only 40% pork.
I hope that any Assembly Member who reads this post will start asking a few questions to check on the accuracy of my figures, and whether the schoolchildren of Wales are being served up meals that are inferior to their English schoolchildren.