Meals service is a valuable lifeline

Meals on Wheels service. Following your article last week Hostel closure threat to home meals service , I would like to reassure readers, in particular our Meals on Wheels customers, that although North Herts District Council intends to hand back respons

Meals on Wheels service.

Following your article last week 'Hostel closure threat to home meals service', I would like to reassure readers, in particular our Meals on Wheels customers, that although North Herts District Council intends to hand back responsibility for the service to Hertfordshire County Council, we are very much committed to ensuring that the Meals on Wheels service continues. It is a valuable lifeline to some needy people. We also want to retain our wonderful team of volunteers, who provide daily contact to this group of mainly housebound residents.

There have been several talks between the County and all the Hertfordshire districts about the best way of running Meals on Wheels in future. This includes the setting up of a social enterprise organisation, which is being discussed at our cabinet this week. We are proposing to keep the present system until at least July 1 but no longer than October 1. By that time we would expect a satisfactory handover to take place.

The loss of the Beechridge kitchens forces on us changes to the service but you should rest assured that our intention is to preserve the full Meals on Wheels service, including the provision of hot meals for those who need them.

On the separate subject of re-housing the present occupants of the Beechridge Hostel, we and North Hertfordshire Homes are working very closely with all residents. This involves looking at their individual needs and maximising their housing options. NHDC's deposit guarantee scheme is also available to enable residents to access the private sector.

Cllr SARAH WREN, Portfolio Holder, Housing and Environmental Health, NHDC

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