Leicester

Leicester meals on wheels service faces cut

Leicester meals-on-wheels service
Image caption The council said it would speak to users about the kind of service they want

A meals on wheels service is facing the chop because of a drastic fall in the number of users.

In 2009 up to 1,250 people bought their meals from Leicester City Council, but this fell to 266 by May this year.

Charity Age UK, one of the providers, agrees the current meals on wheels service is no longer viable.

The council says the figures reflect the introduction of personal budgets where people can choose where they buy their meals from.

'Lifeline'

Councillor Rita Patel said: "This not about abandoning anyone or not providing the service, the proposals are about different ways of being able to provide the service.

"It is about helping people to choose what they want and seeing what alternative arrangements we can make.

"We are starting this exercise because we know we can't continue like this so we need to work differently and let people exercise their choice."

A consultation period which is open to all Leicester residents runs until 7 October.

Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland cooks up to 500 meals a day for its day centres around the city.

Assistant director Troy Young said: "The mobile meals service traditionally provides a nutritious meal to somebody who is struggling, maybe housebound and essentially a daily contact which is an effective way of monitoring vulnerable people and giving them a lifeline.

"Any kind of alternative service from the council needs to maintain that social contact."

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