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Mayor Biggs joins fish’n’chip run delivering East End’s Meals on Wheels

PUBLISHED: 17:10 20 November 2015 | UPDATED: 17:21 20 November 2015

Andrea Pendock gets her lunch delivered to her home in Bethnal Green by Mayor John Biggs himself

Andrea Pendock gets her lunch delivered to her home in Bethnal Green by Mayor John Biggs himself

© Rehan Jamil

The Mayor jumped on the ‘gravy train’ through London’s East End helping deliver fish’n’chips to his vulnerable residents.

John Biggs joined his council’s Meals on Wheels team distributing the East Enders’ favourite dish, plus mushy peas, to see how the service is shaping up since he took office in June in one of Britain’s most deprived boroughs.

The Tower Hamlets politician wanted to see how spending cuts hit services like Meals on Wheels.

So he dropped in on Andrea Pendock’s Bethnal Green home near Victoria Park to play waiter himself.

She told him: “I wouldn’t eat very well if I didn’t receive these meals each day—they’re a real lifeline for me. I started having them when I came out of hospital three years ago.”

The mayor was testing how government budget reductions squeeze meals-on-wheels in deprived inner city areas like his.

He said afterwards: “Seeing the impact that this has on the people was really important to me.

“We are the last council in London to keep doing this—now I understood why.

“But to keep it going, we have to make it financially sustainable.”

His contract services team at the Town Hall manages to keep costs down while still dishing out meals every day to pensioners and vulnerable householders.

Tower Hamlets is the only London borough cooking meals fresh each day, every day of the year. It delivers 250 a day and prepares another 100 for neighbouring Hackney—that’s getting on for 130,000 every year.


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