Pensioner vows to support Meals on Wheels service

Meals on Wheels are enjoyed by many older people
Meals on Wheels are enjoyed by many older people
Cllr Stephen Morgan, MP

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A PENSIONER has spoken of his shock after Portsmouth City Council announced it would no longer be subsidising the cost of a service.

Alfred Horn, from Foster Road, in Portsmouth, has vowed to support any action to keep the Meals on Wheels prices low as he feels its disgusting that the council is no longer paying for it.

As previously reported in The News, the council is no longer subsidising the £2.24 is currently pays towards the meal.

From December 1, users of the service will have to pay the full costs of £5.74.

But Alfred, 84, thinks this is unfair and wrong of the council.

He said: ‘All I want to do is help people and after hearing about this, I want to put everything I can into ensuring the Meals on Wheels prices stay the same.

‘I am thinking about starting a petition or writing to them or supporting any other campaign that I hear about.

‘It is unfair that the council is making cuts to the people that suffer most.

‘With winter approaching, there are bigger bills and for people on a basic pension, it is hard to find the money to cover all the costs.

‘I just don’t understand why they would do such a thing.

‘The pensioners may stop using the service and this means they will no longer get somebody keeping an eye on them and providing them with social interaction for a short period in their day.’

Since making the decision, the council has been trying to find a way to provide meals at a lower rate.

Rob Watt, head of adult social care at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘Earlier this year the council took the difficult decision that due to financial pressures we could no longer subsidise services.

‘These include such services as the Meals on Wheels and recipients will need to pay the full cost, as is the case in many other local authorities.

‘Since then we have been working to find a way of providing meals while keeping the costs down.

‘We have written to all Meals on Wheels users about the changes and will let them know as soon as the new cost is confirmed.’

Letters have been sent through to all 332 users of the service informing them of the changes.