HAMPSHIRE County Council says it is intent on improving the services provided to older people in the Andover area when a private company takes over meals and wheels delivery from volunteer led WRVS in April.

Many have questioned howa private company, Apetito, can run a service for less than one based on volunteers through the long established WRVS.

In response to our enquiry Hampshire County Council issued a statement on this point.

It said: “WRVS charged for the service despite using volunteers, but were not providing a seven days a week service.

“The current service is patchy and inconsistent and does not cover all areas of Hampshire.

“WRVS submitted a bid but did not win the tender, which was evaluated on the basis of cost and quality.

“Hampshire County Council’s aim is to improve the service, make it more attractive for people to use and provide better value in the longer term by supporting people to be independent.”

The need for meals on wheels has been increasing added the council and it not reasonable to expect volunteers to deliver 365 days a year through rain, ice, snow or flood.

Councillor Felicity Hindson, Executive Member for Adult Social Care at Hampshire County Council said: “I would like to reassure everyone who currently receives meals on wheels that they can continue to do so in the future and, in response to recent concerns expressed in the press, reassure residents that the Apetito delivery drivers will be checking customers are well, every time they make a delivery.

“They are also trained to know exactly what steps to take should they encounter problems.”

If you are a volunteer or someone who receives meals on wheels and maybe is unhappy about the change and would like to comment, please contact us on 01264 321209.