Croydon Labour have abruptly severed their Meals on Wheels Service Contract with Apetito, leaving several hundred vulnerable elderly just days to make their own alternative arrangements.
Apetito have been a lifeline supporting those who need a hot meal, as well as residents who look forward to having a chat and who would otherwise be completely socially isolated. This is sometimes the only visit they have during the day, providing an important daily check on their wellbeing. 206 Croydon residents rely on this important service and it is shocking that these residents are having to pay the price for Labour’s inability to manage the Council finances.
Not only do Apetito serve a hot meal but their offer is considerably cheaper than some of the suggested alternative providers. Some residents have said that they just can’t afford the increase, as well as the cost of having to heat up the meal.
The Council’s decision to sever its links with Apetito not only impacts those in receipt of their service but those working for the organisation. It is understood that the Croydon depot will close and at least 22 staff will be made redundant as a consequence.
Residents are now expected to be supported by voluntary organisations which have had their grants cut, and Suzy Stoyel from Shirley Neighbourhood Care has commented: “It would have been helpful to have been advised that we were one of the options put forward to support these residents”.
Jason Perry, Conservative candidate for Croydon Mayor said:
I am extremely worried about this vulnerable cohort of residents. It is going to be the poorest and the most vulnerable who suffer once again - and this is all down to cuts being made because Labour bankrupted the Council. This is a very sad day and just highlights that the elderly and vulnerable are not a priority for this Labour Administration.