Luncheon club changes on the menu

Changes to Pendle Council provided luncheon clubs in community venues will be discussed when the Executive meets on Thursday.

Councillors will discuss how they can continue to offer luncheon clubs for older residents while making savings of £20,000.

Coun.James Starkie, Executive Member for Waste and Environmental Health, said: “The use of our luncheon clubs has been gradually declining over the last few years.

“That said, we know that they are a vital part of everyday life for many of our older residents, providing not just a warm meal but regular company.

“At the heart of the proposal to save money is our commitment to continuing to offer at least one sitting a week at each of the luncheon club venues.

“We certainly don’t want any groups within our local communities to suffer because of the cuts in council funding.

“But we have to look at ways of making savings in all areas of our work over the next few years.”

The proposals would see luncheon club sittings reduced from 12 to nine a week, Monday to Friday.

This would enable the savings of £20,000 to be made.

Under the proposed changes, seven community venues in Barnoldswick, Brierfield, Colne, Kelbrook, Nelson and Trawden would host just one luncheon club each week.

The Railway Street centre in Nelson, which is our best supported luncheon club, would have two sittings each week.

If approved by the Executive, the changes to luncheon clubs would come into effect from July 1st.

In the meantime, the council is working with parish and town councils to consider alternative ways of providing more luncheon clubs in their areas.

Bryan Thompson, Community Facilities Manager, said: “We have already written to all town and parish councils which have luncheon clubs in their area to see if they could operate luncheon clubs on the council’s behalf.

“Already Roughlee Parish Council operates its own luncheon club, with some financial support from the council.

“Three parish and town councils have shown interest in a similar arrangement, and we’re currently in discussions with them.

“We’re also working with Lancashire County Council, the Pendle Seniors Group and voluntary organisation Caremart to look at other ways of providing luncheon clubs which meet the needs of older people.”