Call to keep price rise of meals on wheels to minimum

First published in News

A call has been made for the increase in the price of meals on wheels in Ceredigion to be kept to £4 instead of the proposed £5 - and the council should pay the difference out of its reserves.

Cllr Lyndon Lloyd told this week's healthier communities scrutiny committee that evidence showed elderly people benefited from a hot midday meal.

"I'm very unhappy that we are raising the cost of meals on wheels to £5," he said.

"Pensions in the Cardigan area are lower than elsewhere. These people in their 80s worked on farms and didn't pay their stamp. They are the backbone of the county. I feel very strongly about this."

Committee chair Cllr Alun Lloyd Jones pointed out that the council had to find £9m worth of savings and meals on wheels were already subsidised by over £1 each.

"We can't reduced the price without finding savings from elsewhere," he said.

But Cllr Lloyd said: "We should take the money from reserves out of respect to the elderly and vulnerable in our county."

The county supplies 246 meals on wheels each day.

Strategic director Parry Davies said: "There hasn't been an increase in meals on wheels since 2009 and it hasn't kept pace with the rate of inflation."

He added that cuts could be made to make the meals less expensive but the council prided itself on providing fresh food.

The committee voted to support Cllr Lloyd's proposal despite warnings from the legal department that they could not reverse the budget process.

They also refused to recommend the budget cuts.

No-one on the healthier communities scrutiny committee would back the cuts proposed by the Cabinet.

It is the first time in the council's history that part of the budget has not been approved at scrutiny level.

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