SUPPORT FOR vulnerable adults in Tower Hamlets is again being reduced as Executive Mayor John Biggs wields the axe on Meals on Wheels.
It is understood that the service will end just before the end of the financial year, in February next year. The service is thought to provide over 150 vulnerable adults with meals, delivered to their homes or nearby day centres.
The adults who receive the meals make a financial contribution towards the cost and it is understood that the service is not subsidised by the Council* – which makes the closure even more of a mystery.
A worried relative of a service user contacted us to alert us to the cut. Her relative has been given a list of local shops he could go to when the service ends – but, as a vulnerable adult, this is not a realistic option for him. Losing the Council service is like privatising it – making vulnerable people deliver their own meals service.
Groups in the voluntary sector have been criticising the decision and telling councillors that they cannot pick up the service users whom the Council is abandoning.
Cllr Amina Ali, Cabinet Member of Adults, Health & Wellbeing, was not available for comment on how the cut will affect the delivery of services in her portfolio. This is because she is standing aside from Council responsibilities for a few days while she is part of the Labour Party’s selection process to find a new candidate to stand for Parliament at the next General Election.
We have asked the Council for more information about the proposed cuts and for a statement from Executive Mayor John Biggs. The statement has now been provided and can be viewed here:
Meals on Wheels cut: mystery deepens
*Since this article was published, the Council has issued this statement: “The meals on wheels service is in fact subsidised by the council.” We are always happy to correct gross inaccuracies.