Shropshire

Telford and Wrekin Council to cut hot meals on wheels

A hot meals on wheels service in Shropshire is expected to be scrapped for the majority of customers later this year.

Telford and Wrekin Council is piloting a new "good neighbours service" to support people.

Under the scheme, residents will receive frozen meals to reheat, as well as visits from volunteers.

Hot meals will still be delivered to a small number of particularly vulnerable residents, the authority said.

The good neighbours service, which is being piloted for nine-months initially, will see volunteers visit elderly and vulnerable people to check what meals they want, keep them company and perform tasks like collecting shopping.

'Social interaction'

Labour Councillor Derek White, who chairs the council's health and adult care scrutiny committee, said residents were being assessed to ensure they were capable of reheating the delivered meals themselves.

"We are planning to withdraw the hot meals service and replace it with an alternative service," he said.

"There are clearly some people who are dependant but there are others who could quite easily cope."

The council has already approved plans to increase the cost of the hot meals service from £2.65 to £3.15.

Mr White said the good neighbours service was about more daily social interaction, which could stop some people having to go into care.

Royal Voluntary Services (RVS) will lead the good neighbours project.

If the pilot is successful, the council will tender for it to be run on a longer-term basis.

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