Tooting MP, Sadiq Khan, has been fighting to keep the Council-run Meals on Wheels service ever since it was first threatened last year. The service is used by vulnerable people and the elderly, who rely on the service for a hot meal every day.
Sadiq has been regularly lobbying the Council leader, Ravi Govindia. He did this prior to the Council vote in favour of cutting the service in December. Following the vote, Sadiq has pursued the matter with Chief Executive, Paul Martin, who has now finally admitted in a letter to Sadiq that the Council have no plans to ever contract to provide this service to the homes of vulnerable people again.
The Council first announced their intention to withdraw the option of a hot meal, by ending their contact with provider Apetito, in November last year. Sadiq campaigned with local residents and community groups against the proposals, which the Council claimed were designed to provide service users with more choice. Sadiq stressed that taking away the option of a hot meal was providing users with less choice, not more.
The contract with Apetito ends at the end of March 2013.
Sadiq is urging anyone who has family or friends who use the service to keep him informed on the service they get and the support they are receiving from the Council.
Sadiq Khan MP said,
“The ruthlessness of this Council is astonishing The Meals on Wheels service is a British institution and now the Council have finally admitted to me that they have no intention to bring it back. They have failed to be open and straight with local residents on this.
“I am extremely concerned for the vulnerable people who rely on the Council for a hot meal. This Council are hitting our most vulnerable members of the community most with their cuts to lollipop ladies and men, victim support services, One O Clock clubs and our Meals on Wheels service. Where will the Council stop?
“I will be monitoring the service very closely to make sure that everyone who uses Meals on Wheels receives the support they need from the Council”.