THE search for a new meals on wheels provider for West Sussex has begun after the Royal Voluntary Service announced it could no longer carry on.
With just six months to go before the vital service run by RVS expires on October 18, the county council has set the wheels in motion to find a replacement.
Anger erupted in February when the RVS claimed the new meals on wheels system, restructured in 2013 to provide a service at ‘neutral cost’ to West Sussex County Council, was not workable.
RVS said it was losing ‘significant amounts of money every day’ which the charity could not sustain.
But the county council’s leading social care councillor Peter Catchpole claimed the RVS service failed because it ‘got its sums wrong’.
Angry volunteers who protested when the service underwent its drastic change a year ago, claimed the service should never have altered. It had left elderly people stressed and anxious, they said, with uncertainly hanging over them.
The plan is to offer a contract of an initial five years to the winning bidder for the service. It would carry on seamlessly from the end of the RVS contract and with an option to extend it for a further two years.
The proposal is to keep it ‘cost neutral’ with the meal price paid by customers covering the full cost of the service.