Liberal Democrat councillor suggests the privatisation of meals on wheels
July 12, 2012 4 Comments
In reply to my email detailed in the previous post Cllr Alan Crystall replied as below. I have include his whole email lest I be accused of quoting him out of context, and he Has assented to my reproducing this on a public forum.
We had the same “disgusted of Tonbridge Wells” approach many years ago when cllr. Mike King proposed that we privatised our waste collection services, and the Labour and Tory groups shouted out “rubbish”
When Norman Clark did eventually privatise the service we saved £6 million in the first year.
Meals on wheels are a remnant of the old order that can be better served from the private sector providers of frozen and chilled meals, with special help for those in need or with limited resources.
I find it interesting that a “new labour” member should complain about cuts when the last government lost control of spending, especially on military ordering , on schools and hospital buildings using PFI that has crucified the
health and other services since. No one, not even Gordon Brown of the golden rule, was counting the spiralling costs, or the accruing debts.
We members are effectively the “board” of a £500 million operation, and a snack four times a year at council meetings is scant recompense for the long hours most of us put in.
I am not going to deal with the whole email in this post, but rather with this sentence: “Meals on wheels are a remnant of the old order that can be better served from the private sector providers of frozen and chilled meals, with special help for those in need or with limited resources.”
Now, of course Alan is entitled to his view, and I applaud the fact that he has allowed me to let the wider community know of it, but I am aghast at what he has written.
Alan, a prominent Liberal Democrat councillor and former mayor, is apparently content for the meals on wheels (or more properly, the meals at home service) to be replaced by a privatised frozen and chilled service.
This service is provided for those who have difficulty cooking for themselves. It is also often the only human contact that the recipient may have in a day – and thus it provides a secondary, and important (if unintended), service.
Quite what he means by “remnant of the old order” I know not, but it does smack of the deserving and undeserving poor argument.
I will not be calling for further privatisation of any service, let alone meals on wheels.