CALLS to set up a school uniform funding pot for struggling parents have been thrown out by the council.

Labour councillors Mary Temperton and Kathryn Neil pushed their colleagues to back the scheme but Conservative councillors said no to the pleas.

READ MORE: Why this councillor wants to set up a school uniform grant

Councillor Temperton asked Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) members to support handing out financial support to parents who had a “proven need” for support in buying their children’s uniforms.

She said: “We are not suggesting any grant cover the total cost, but providing a contribution would show empathy and be so appreciated.

“Providing a grant that could be applied for by a parent or guardian with proven need would help the self-esteem of their young person.

“If you look good, you feel good.”

But BFC’s children, young people and learning boss, Conservative councillor Dr Gareth Barnard, said the authority “simply does not have the resources available” to cover the cost of this scheme.

Last week, it was revealed by the News the council is facing a £663,000 gap in its funding for schools due to costs caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: Schools facing coronavirus funding struggles

Cllr Barnard told councillors BFC education bosses work closely with school governors to promote the use of pupil premium funding, which can be used to pay for school uniforms for disadvantaged children.

He added: “[This] is a worthy cause, there is no doubt at all, and there are some councils that do this at the moment, there are many others that don’t.

“But what we do do, is through working with our schools closely, is promote good use of pupil premium that actually includes this.”

Here's what other councillors had to say on the matter

A number of other councillors spoke on the issue, including Conservative Dale Birch, who hit out at Labour after telling the council he was ‘troubled’ at their “‘give us some money’ type-motion” given BFC’s ‘difficult’ and ‘tight’ financial situation.

But Labour’s Patricia Brown highlighted BFC’s savings pot, which had £7 million in it by the end of March 2020, saying: “This council has reserves and in these extraordinary times they really should be helping people who cannot eat for trying to buy shoes for their children.”

READ MORE: Parent hits out at school uniform policy

After a tense debate, councillors voted against the call.

All 34 Conservative councillors present opted to say no to the plan, Labour’s three representatives voted for it, and the Liberal Democrats’ sole councillor abstained.

The debate took place at a council meeting held on Wednesday, July 22.

Parents and guardians looking to purchase uniform for their children can do so by joining the Bracknell School and Club uniform sales group