WE all know that newspaper comment articles are meant to be thought-provoking and we accept that foodbanks are a contentious issue.

But only a small, sneering minority on the far-right of British politics would agree with the tone and content of the comment that was published in The Mail last Friday.

Beneath a headline which asked: Who is using foodbanks? your writer took a series of ill-advised pot-shots at the many people in the Barrow and Furness community who would go hungry unless our foodbanks – and the volunteers who staff them – were there to offer help.

In a patronising few paragraphs that could easily have come from the pen of Margaret Thatcher – arguably the most reviled British prime minister in history -– your writer states: “No government is in charge of feeding its citizens. Putting bread on the table is our own responsibility.

“Ultimately, this is not about a shortage of food, but a shortage of money to pay for it in a shop. The reasons for that will vary wildly from person to person.

“Therein lies another problem with this (foodbanks) debate – the lack of objective data about who uses foodbanks. If we are serious about addressing the issue, more impartial research is needed to properly explain why usage has spiralled.”

Those words will have been met with disbelief by the selfless volunteers who work on a daily basis with our more vulnerable neighbours .

They will be rejected by our charity workers and they will be condemned by the average person in the street.

Savage and ideologically-motivated austerity cuts – welfare benefits frozen since 2016 – and a five-week delay in paying Universal Credit are among the reasons why foodbank usage has increased.

Theresa May is presiding over a country where child poverty has climbed to intolerable levels.

Some of our children are going to school in the mornings feeling unable to concentrate because they are hungry and Universal Credit is hitting families hard.

In our back yard government cuts have resulted in some of our struggling neighbours rummaging through town centre skips in the hope of finding something they can eat - or sell - to keep body and soul together.

And all of this is happening in the sixth richest country in the world and in a town where £31bn is being invested in our shipyard.

This comment was completely out of step with the views of the people of Barrow, and out of step with your own previous news articles.

Cllr Frank Cassidy, Barrow and Furness constituency Labour Party