The South London Press today covers the story of 97 year old Eliza Mercer who has been hit by the 50% increase in Meals on Wheels fees imposed by the LibDem/Tory Council. Mrs Mercer contacted my colleague Cllr Lorraine Lauder because she has decided that she just cannot afford to continue having Meals on Wheels, and despite her age and obvious vulnerability will try to go out and get food at the supermarket instead. She told the newspaper "I can get some ready meals from supermarkets and I'll have to get by making sandwiches."
So, truly grotesque political decisions by the ruling coalition have condemned Eliza Mercer to the sort of incomplete diet which Meals on Wheels is designed to avoid.
The response of Cllr David Noakes, the LibDem Executive Memebr for Health and Social Care is simply jaw-dropping: "Ms Mercer does have the option of switching to the cheaper frozen meals and heating them up."
Wasn't it Marie Antoniette when faced with the mob hungry and in need of bread who said "Let them eat cake"? Doesn't Cllr Noakes' response have an echo of that remark? And doesn't it demonstrate that he is dangerously out of touch with the problems he has created?
What I still cannot believe is that not a single member of the LibDem and Tory groups on the Council spoke up about this decision to increase Meals on Wheels by 50%. So anxious are they to hold onto their own Special Responsibility Allowances that they no longer can be bothered to speak up on behalf of their constituents. Shame on them! And if I sound angry about this issue, it is because I am. And I would hope that anyone with a social conscience in Southwark would share that anger.