Councillors make plea to supermarkets over vulnerable residents

Dudley Council’s Labour group is calling on supermarkets participating in the delivery slots scheme for vulnerable people to drop any extra charges for delivering groceries during lockdown.

In line with COVID-19 guidance, people who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ are required to shield and have received a letter from the NHS or their GP telling them that they must stay at home, not gather with those they do not live with and cannot go to the shops. 

For shopping they have to rely on a family member or place an online order with one of the participating supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury, Morrison’s and others who offer priority booking.

However, Labour councillors have been receiving calls from clinically extremely vulnerable residents who have placed orders online to find that extra charges are being levied. In one case a participating supermarket added £5 for delivery, £3 for packing and 40p for carrier bags to their grocery bill - for an order less than £40 in value. Councillor Shaukat Ali, Labours Shadow Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said:

“It is not fair that clinically extremely vulnerable people, who by law are required to self-isolate, are being asked to pay delivery charges by large supermarkets if the order is below £40 in value. People using this service live hand to mouth and don’t have that amount to spend in one go. 

“They often order weekly items such as fruit, vegetables, meat and bread which come nowhere near to the £40 limit and find that most of their bill is made up of these additional charges. The charges might seem relatively small to some people, but it adds up to larger amounts over time, hitting those shielding, unable to work or on fixed incomes hardest.

”We are calling on all participating supermarkets to reconsider their policy and drop the delivery charges.”


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