{meta} Decision - Citywide School Meals Service Proposed Price Increase

Decision details

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Decision:

Salford City Council - Record of Decision

 

I Councillor John Merry, Deputy City Mayor, in exercise of the powers contained within the City Council Constitution do hereby approve a 10p increase being applied to the Citywide school meal price with effect from the 1st January 2023 and that given the current financial uncertainty, a further price review is undertaken in 6 months. 

The Reasons are:

The current price of a school meal is £2.10, and this compares very favourably with other Northwest Authorities (the cheapest) and nationally with the price being recognised as extremely good value. Previously the service has performed well financially but is now experiencing financial challenges caused by the recent pandemic, a reduction in the number of ‘paying pupils’ and escalating service costs meaning that the service is currently operating in a deficit financial position for the first time.

 

Given the sensitivity of this issue, Citywide consulted with Head Teachers over the proposal, and this occurred on 9th June via the Head Teachers ‘cluster group’. The group were very supportive of the proposal recognising the financial difficulties the service was facing, the limited previous price increases applied, the favourable price comparisons with other local authorities and that the proposed price increase would keep the charge within the funding envelope that schools receive for Free School Meal provision.

 

It is therefore proposed that the school meal price is increased by 10p from 1st January 2023 and that a further financial review/price review is undertaken in 6 months.

 

Options considered and rejected were:Not applicable

 

Assessment of Risk: Medium:  Consultation undertaken with Headteachers

 

The source of funding is:

·         Universal Free School Meal Provision Funding

·         Free School Meal Provision Funding

·         Paid Pupils

 

Legal Advice obtained: Not applicable

 

Financial Advice obtained: Obtained from: Paul Guest, Senior Accountant

The impact of the pandemic continues to affect the school catering account in so much as paid meal numbers, although on the rise, are still below pre pandemic levels. The unprecedent global increases in the food supply chain as well as utility and fuel costs are putting additional pressure upon the account as food cost are expected to increase by at least 17% this year. It is therefore inevitable that to mitigate these increased cost meal prices will have to increase, with the hope that there will be little resistance from the ‘paid’ pupils.

 

Procurement Advice obtained: Not applicable

 

HR Advice obtained: Not applicable

 

Climate Change Advice obtained: Not applicable

 

The following document has been used to assist the decision process:

·         The report to the Strategic Director of Place submitted to the meeting of Cabinet Briefing held on 26th July 2022.

 

Contact Officer: Lucy Clarke, Citywide Principal Service Manager.           

Telephone number: 0161 925 1068

 

The appropriate scrutiny to call-in the decision is the Community and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Panel.            

 

 

Signed: Councillor John Merry

Deputy City Mayor

Dated: 26 July 2022                                                    

 

 

 

This decision was published on Friday 29 July 2022                                            

This decision will come in force at 4.00 p.m. on Friday 5 August 2022                                         unless it is called-in in accordance with the Decision Making Process Rules.

 

 

Publication date: 29/07/2022

Date of decision: 26/07/2022

Decided at meeting: 26/07/2022 - Cabinet

Effective from: 06/08/2022

Accompanying Documents: