Councillors will be kicking pensioners while they’re down if a potential meals on wheels price hike goes ahead, according to a campaign group.

More than 1,000 elderly people across the county benefit from the hot food service, including 102 in the Braintree district.

But Tory-run Essex County Council has started a consultation as it looks to raise the price of meals from £3.95 to the full cost of £4.79.

That would mean County Hall no longer had to subsidise the service, but concerns have been raised it will hit the elderly hard.

The council has ruled out axing the service, understood to cost £260,000 a year, but has said the number taking up the meals has dwindled.

Braintree Pensioners Action group chairman Graham Oates has criticised the plans.

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