Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us »
Disgust as axe looms for hot meals service
3:20pm Sunday 1st September 2013 in News
AN OPPOSITION councillor has spoken of his disgust after it emerged hot meals at the borough’s day centres were set to be axed.
Phil Rackley, leader of Basildon Council’s independent Labour group, said the authority had got its priorities wrong in withdrawing funding for the subsidised hot meals at the Pitsea, Laindon and George Hurd day centres.
He spoke out after Basildon Council failed to find any outside firms to take over the running of the hot meals, meaning the council is likely to withdraw the service completely.
He said: “We are disgusted the council has decided, having received no bids, they will discuss closing down the facility.
“At the same time, they are spending millions of pounds on improving Wickford Swimming Pool and destroying Gloucester Park, they have decided they will close down this very valuable service for the elderly. It’s disgraceful.
“I appreciate the council doesn’t have to do subsidised meals, but it’s something they should do.
This council used to have a reputation as one that cared, but it seems it no longer cares.”
The hot meals service costs Basildon Council £158,600 a year with £128,500 going on kitchen staff. The council said funding the meals was no longer viable as only 4 per cent of the borough’s over fifties attend the day centres, with even fewer numbers having the hot meals.
The council had offered charities and private firms the chance to take over running the service.
Comments are closed on this article.