The Labour-run Vale of Glamorgan Council is to consider increasing the prices it charges for “Meals on Wheels” – the service which delivers hot meals to people in their own homes who are assessed [by the council’s Social Services department] as being unable to cook for themselves.
The Vale charges each ‘Meals on Wheels‘ customer £4.10 pence per meal – a price that hasn’t changed since 2014 – but the actual cost to the council of providing each meal is reckoned to be at least £6.00.
Demand for meals on wheels has steadily dwindled from 112 customers a day in 2012 to 75 a day in 2015.
The council says “Consideration will need to be given to increasing the price of meals and the promotion of alternative meal options.” and the council says it’s under no statutory obligation to provide any Meals on Wheels service – pointing out that there are alternatives available – such as a frozen meals delivery service, or vouchers for use in local cafes or luncheon clubs.
The Vale is also looking to find ways to palm-off the Meals on Wheels service to “organisations external to the Council” and is going to “initiate some market testing” to see if there’s any other body prepared to take over the service.
Meals on Wheels was given a budget for 2014/15 of £13,188 but the service cost £46,244 – an overspend of £33,056.