Meals on wheels deliveries to be halted by Islington Council

07:10 10 July 2012

Cllr Janet Burgess

Cllr Janet Burgess


The days of piping hot “meals on wheels” deliveries are coming to an end – after Islington Council decided it was time to scrap the lunch service.

Plummeting numbers of residents are getting food brought to their doors and the council plans to halt the service altogether from November.

Instead, disabled and elderly people could get more help from carers with shopping and preparing food, or be encouraged to visit lunch clubs.

Cllr Janet Burgess, Islington Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “Meals on wheels have been around as long as I’ve been alive. It’s a very traditional way of delivering meals to people, but life has moved on and for every seven new users, 20 people drop out.

“It’s not a social experience any more, the drivers simply jump out and put the meals in your hand, and they’re off.

“We think the best thing to do is offer a more personalised service. We’re not doing this as a cost-cutting measure – it will cost us roughly the same.”

Town hall bosses believe the dwindling demand is because people expect more choice and variety these days, including when they eat, rather than the same cottage pie or fish and chips at the same time daily.

Just 84 people now use the service in Islington, whether for hot or frozen deliveries, down from more than 300 in 2007.

Residents currently pay £3 and the council said it will be able to order from a private company at a similar cost should they choose.

But the company, Wiltshire Farm Foods, only offers frozen options – meaning hot deliveries will be consigned to the past.

Council officer Clare Henderson, from adult social services, said: “For some people, we will arrange for a home carer to come in at lunchtime. A lot of people already have a lunchtime visit and the home carer would have it added to what they do.”

Islington Council is consulting on the changes and the finer details are still to be ironed out.

Cllr Terry Stacy, leader of the Lib Dem opposition, agreed the service needs updating, but said: “The uncertainty is going to be very worrying for people. The council needs to resolve this quickly to ensure these residents are looked after and not left hanging.”


Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 13:00

A bloodsoaked man stumbled into a supermarket this morning after the fourth stabbing in Dalston in the space of nine days.

Yesterday, 12:13

The teenager arrested by armed police in Holloway Road on Friday over an “explosive device” has been remanded in custody until next month.

Yesterday, 12:05

This is the terrifying moment a heroic shopkeeper risked his life to help a boy chased into his Hoxton newsagents by a knife-wielding maniac.

Yesterday, 11:55

A Highbury cancer patient has dreamt up a fun way of tackling the killer disease with the invention of a new party game.

Yesterday, 09:48

A teenager detained by armed police in Holloway Road on Friday is due in court this morning, after he was charged with making or possessing an explosive substance.

Wed, 14:33

A lorry and a number 17 bus have crashed in Tufnell Park Road, the residential street being used as the main diversion during the A1 closure.

Wed, 14:18

A woman took a bite of a cheese roll – and found a broken razor blade embedded in it.

Wed, 12:37

Council officers slapped £400 fines on fly-tippers this month in a crackdown on environmental crime in the heart of Islington.

Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now