Hammersmith & Fulham Council will slash its meals on wheels charges by a third for the second year running after saving over £600,000 by cutting senior management positions.
The reduction in charges for nutritious hot meals for the elderly was announced shortly after H&F Council vowed to freeze council tax, rejecting advice from Government that it be increased by two per cent.
“By reviewing where every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent and stripping out waste, we have been able to slash meals on wheels charges by a further third,” said H&F Council Leader Stephen Cowan.
Each meal costs more than £7 to prepare but thanks to the reduction in charges, local elderly people will only have to pay £2 for a hot meal to be delivered to their door from April, down from £4.50 two years ago.
This is despite a 66 per cent reduction in H&F Council’s budget since 2010, with another £15million being taken from the council’s budget by the government for the next financial year (2016-17).
These meals help elderly residents stay fit and healthy, and are provided to residents who cannot cook for themselves.
“Despite government cuts, we’ve still been able to deliver better value for residents. We have cut over £600,000 from the salaries of senior officials, and our zero-based budget reviews mean we will continue to find savings that don’t reduce services to residents,” Cllr Cowan added.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council was able to find the funds to make the reduction in the meals on wheels price cuts by making significant savings elsewhere in the council’s budget.
These savings include cutting the number of senior managers, cutting the costs of office space, cancelling council PR spend on magazines and lampost banners and negotiating more effectively with suppliers and property developers.
Update: The meals on wheels price reduction was agreed at a full council meeting on 24 February.