Meals at Gale Farm Court will be restarting in January following pressure from residents and new Westfield Councillor Andrew Waller.
The new service will be supplied via Age UK (formerly Age Concern) with freshly made meals being prepared daily.
The Council announced in September that it was scrapping the lunchtime meal option at its sheltered establishments. The move was heavily criticised for lack of consultation and it later emerged that the cost saving measure had been prompted by criticism of the quality of food provided by the previous contractor.
The Council hoped to save £50,000 by cutting meals services at its elderly persons establishments
Residents had thought that the Council were negotiating with other supplers and were stunned when the decision to scrap the service was made on 3rd September.
Despite appeals the meals stopped on 1st October – leaving residents too little time to appoint another supplier.
The Labour Cabinet member (Cunningham–Cross) refused to reply to Andrew Waller when he wrote, on behalf of residents, to ask for an extension to allow enough time for a new system to be worked out.
Andrew Waller commented
“The new meals have been chosen by the residents, and they are pleased that the Council no longer manages the contract.
Instead they are now in control and can take problems up directly with John O’Brien who is running the meals system.
It is sad that the Council treat residents of Gale Farm Court (and the other three sheltered homes run by the Council) so badly, and I hope that lessons have been learned for the future.
The Council has admitted to me that the situation was badly handled.”
The incident has parallels with the muddle over the future of the Castlegate centre for young people. There the Council was forced to reverse a closure decision earlier in the week and admitted that it had failed to consult properly on options.