The elderly and people with disabilities in Bristol are to pay again for the way finances have been mishandled in previous years by senior social services managers.
Following severe cuts in their day care provision at two local day centres, people with disabilities now face up to a 72 percent increase in their meals on wheels charges.
Whether the increase will be reflected in improved quality of food remains to be seen—the new contract for meals on wheels has gone to one of the largest suppliers of processed food in the Britain, Apetito.
The company was rejected last year under the council’s best value for money policy. Save Day Care campaigners are concerned that the contract has not been put out to public tender.
So applications from two local businesses, which proposed fresh produce on a daily basis as part of a multicultural menu at a lower price, were neglected in the selection process.
The council’s handling of meals on wheels provision could lead to a further financial crisis as the Apetito contract involves prematurely cancelling a three year contract with Birmingham City Council, awarded only last year when Apetito was rejected.
Homecare charges in Bristol are also set to rise from £10 to £12 an hour and people using day centres have been deprived of essential workshops, facilities and other social opportunities.
This is the reality of day care provision for many people with disabilities and the elderly in Bristol.