Meals on wheels.

No – it is not an April Fool -Honest! It will just appear that it must be – a sick joke!

We all know Waverley Council will take the food out of our mouths – but surely not – take the food away from our old folk – not really – they wouldn’t …would they?

Well they have just thrown Age UK Waverley out of business according to one of its customers who e-mailed us to-day to tell us they had heard that the organisation which ran from Godalming and now Cranleigh for 30 years, closes its doors yesterday  – just in time for April Fools’ Day.Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 20.26.20.png

A little bit of research  revealed the council has been busy withdrawing its funding to the old folks’ organisation for some years, bringing it to its knees.  The same group that has helped – according to its staff,   all of whom were made redundant yesterday,  many hundreds of thousands of people all over the borough.. Some with form filling for benefits and allowances, its handyman services, and its gardening scheme. All gone Kaput! 

Yes – you heard it here first. The organisation that has served the borough’s old folk – according to the records since the 1990’s when it began as Age Concern Waverley, bites the dust. Yet another achievement for “Your Waverley.”

However, from reading media reports, Age UKW got a bit above itself a few years ago, and became a bit bolshy with those who “must be obeyed” – and threatened  legal action against the powers that be  at “Your Waverley”to fight for compensation for damage caused to one of its services. so its funding was subsequently withdrawn. That will teach people to challenge “Your Waverley.” According to a borough council employee  – WW now boasts several brave souls,  it was all down to Waverley’s very own “Omen” the highly paid Damian Roberts, who earned himself a very fine reputation at his previous employment in Croydon and was  “paid off” after help it to get rid of the voluntary sector.

Apparently, he and others,  put the boot in on Waverleys’ old folks’ organisation and complained to Age Uk England that it was not fit for purpose and it lost its Partnership Brand. “Well it takes one to know one”

10 out of 10 Mr Omen for kicking that well respected Waverley organisation into touch. Let’s hope you  never get to be old!  On behalf of all Waverley’s growing number of old folk here’s your “T” shirt. You’ve earned it Mr “too smooth to move” Roberts. Don’t let the smile fool you.


Now he and his cohorts have turned their sights on guess who – The Meals on Wheels Service – no less. Not another assault on the borough’s elderly surely? Oh – by the way he is also “renegotiating” the Farncombe Day Centre lease! Bet that will cost them!

Here you have it: Straight from the Omens’ Mouth: If you get too bored with the report repeating itself endlessly. In a nutshell SC Council gives £30,000, WBC gives £30,000 to the WRVS- fewer people are taking up the service because the food is bad and warmed up in kitchens not fit for purpose at a day centre in Farnham, which may not be safe, and won’t even be there soon, so lets use this as an opportunity to save some money! OK?

We hear that here in Farnham he conveniently forgot to provide space for the WRVS to continue operating the meals-on-wheels service from the new centre to be built at The Memorial Hall when the Gostrey Centre is razed to the ground! What a silly boy! Wonder why?

But here’s the report – if you can bare it!  it’s very repetitive, but then that’s what they pay officers’ for!

Here’s how much The Omen gets paid to take the    food out of the mouths of the elderly!

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Do away with him and all the old folks could go down the pub!

At the meeting on 19 January 2016, the Committee considered an initial, broad review of the Waverley-wide Meals on Wheels service. It agreed to establish a Sub- Committee to carry out an in-depth review to identify future priorities for the service and how these might be achieved. This scoping report sets out how the Sub- Committee intends to undertake this review and Members of the Committee are requested to make any comments.How this report relates to the Council’s Corporate Priorities:

The Council funds a number of voluntary organisations (fewer and fewer every day it seems )that provide high priority services for the benefit of Waverley residents in partnership with the Council. The Meals on Wheels service is provided through the Royal Voluntary Service and is available to older residents, vulnerable people and people with disabilities through a referral system. The service is funded through an annual Service Level Agreement in partnership with Surrey County Council who match-fund Waverley’s financial contribution.

Financial Implications:

There are no direct resource implications associated with this report. Through the in- depth review, the Sub-Committee may feel that a new or altered delivery model for a community meals service is required to meet the needs of residents. This may result in changed resource implications to the Council. WW bet it won’t be more money for better meals!  If WW is wrong – we will eat our keyboard!

A Waverley Meals on Wheels service is delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) under an annual Service Level Agreement. Waverley Borough Council and Surrey County Council Adult Social Care directorate both contribute £30,000 towards the SLA service delivery, totalling £60,000.

The service operates from Brightwells Gostrey centre in Farnham, which is owned and maintained by the Council…

“Maintained – they must be joking. Everyone here in Farnham knows its kitchens are disgrace and have not been maintained for years – who do they think they are kidding!

RVS operate out of the building entirely free of charge: they occupy office space and have use of the kitchen. RVS does not pay towards utility costs and the Council is responsible for maintaining and replacing all equipment in the kitchen. In 2014/15, the Council has incurred significant kitchen repair costs. Because someone reported them to the Environmental Health department. Whilst it is difficult to allocate these exact costs to the RVS service, over the past three years this additional support has averaged approximately a further £11,000 per year. Nonsense – and you know it!

(All rubbish – now lets blame the WRVS! which hasn’t had an increase in funding since 2007)

This makes the Council’s overall financial support to RVS approximately £41,000 per year.

The £30,000 SLA funding for the service has remained the same since 2007. Provision has been made within the 2016/17 budget to continue funding RVS at the same level although the amount released may depend on the outcome of the review during the year.

The rest is here…..if you can bare it!

Legal Implications:

There is a current Service Level Agreement in place between the RVS and the Council. The terms of the Agreement state that either party may terminate the Agreement upon giving six month’s notice in writing to the other or a lesser period if the parties agree in writing. There is scope within the current Agreement for it to be extended whilst the review takes place. There should be no legal barriers to this being possible.


  1. The decision of this Committee to select the Meals on Wheel service as an area for in-depth review reflects the importance that Members place on how residents are supported to access a community meals service. It is timely to review what type of supported meals service residents need to support their independence and remain in their own home, particularly with the increasing older population in the borough and the other choices available to them to access meals since Meals on Wheels was established.
  2. Through an annual Service Level Agreement, Waverley Borough Council contracts the RVS Surrey Hub to deliver a Waverley-wide Meals on Wheels service 5 days a week; 260 days per year.
  3. RVS has been delivering Meals on Wheels throughout Waverley for over 50 years, connecting with many older people and volunteers. The service is based at the Brightwells Gostrey Centre, Farnham and all meals are heated up and delivered from here through paid staff and volunteer service model. The RVS buys ready-made frozen meals from Tillery Valley Foods, which arrive in segmented foil trays with a cardboard lid. The meals are all reheated at Brightwells Gostrey Centre and delivered hot and ready to eat from distribution points across the borough by volunteers. When delivering meals volunteers carry out a ‘safe and well’ check for every client.

4. The review has been identified for three main reasons:

  1. Monitoring information provided by RVS shows that there has been asteady decrease in the take up of the Meals on Wheels service from40,248 delivered in 2011/12 to 29,775 meals delivered in 2014/15;
  2. Consultation from the Ageing Well Strategy highlighted the need to review the service as some residents expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of meals. Some residents said that they preferred to buy ready made meals
c. The current Meals on Wheel service has operated in the same way for

some years: Future priorities and how these might be achieved may need to be considered to ensure a meals service meets the future needs of the community that offers a high quality service, meets people’s wellbeing needs and offers a value for money service.

5. Also, whilst the service meets all food safety requirements, Councillors have expressed concern about the length of time meals are kept warm and the impact on the quality of the meal.

Scope of the review Is the community meals service currently being delivered in Waverley one which we should continue to support?

It is proposed that the review of the meals on wheels service focusses on addressing the following key points so that recommendations on a future of this service can be made to the Executive:

  1. What is the most important element of the service?
  2. What are the alternative models for supporting a community meals service?
  3. What are the views of the staff,volunteers and customers about the service?
  4. What financial model would need to be developed to deliver a self-sustaining service?

6. As with the volunteers that deliver the meals. part of the review, it is proposed that the         Sub-Committee also spends a day to  review the process.

  1. At their meeting on 19 February 2016, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee agreed that the review be conducted by a Sub-Committee, working with officers in order to complete the detailed work, before presenting its findings and recommendations back to the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee.

9. Surrey County Council Adult Social Care directorate co-fund the service and will therefore need to be part of the review.It is recommended that the Committee:

1. Considers the scope of the review into the meals on wheels service and agrees the key questions to be addressed by the committee.


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