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Essex: Council to review Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels service in Essex to be reviewed.

Meals on Wheels service in Essex to be reviewed.

Archant

Meals on Wheels could increase in price for Essex residents.

Essex County Council has launched a six-week consultation on the service.

The authority says a review is needed due to budget pressures and a reduction in the number of people using the service.

However although County Hall says the price could go up depending on the result of the consultation, the service will not be cut.

It hopes other ways of providing meals, such as lunch clubs and through community groups, may be more viable or the subsidy of meals may have to be removed.

If the subsidy is removed a meal, which currently costs £3.95 and includes a dessert, would cost the actual value of £4.79.

Anne Brown, county councillor for adult social care, said: “I am aware that for some residents meals on wheels is a vital service, however as alternative options have appeared in the market – such as supermarket home delivery and community lunch clubs – the number of customers has fallen which means it is difficult to continue to provide the service in its current guise and provide value for money for Essex taxpayers.”

The consultation will run until July 7. All customers should get a copy of the consultation in the post, along with support and guidance on how to complete it. It can also be found online.

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A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

Two high-end cycles – worth £10,000 in total – were stolen after burglars broke into a garage in Elmsett, near Hadleigh.

A senior whistleblower within the region’s ambulance trust has claimed up to 80 people could have died or come to harm because of delays over the Christmas and New Year period.

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