THE cost of school meals in Newport could go up by five pence in September if plans are signed off.

Newport City Council's school meals service is contracted out to catering firm Chartwells in all the city's primary schools and seven of its nine secondaries, with Newport High and Caerleon Comprehensive making their own arrangements.

As part of annual review of the price of the service, due to be signed off by the council's cabinet member for education and skills Cllr Gail Giles tomorrow, Tuesday, it is being planned to increase the cost of meals in primary schools to £2.10 and to £2.35 in secondary school, an increase of five pence in both cases.

These are both cheaper than the Welsh average, which is £2.34 in secondary schools and £2.16 in primaries.

A council report said if the increase was not brought in cuts of £33,000 a year would have to be made from the education budget.

The report said: "Costs of providing a school meals service has increased as labour costs are a predominant part of the costs of provision, and it is accepted that these are increasing with the range of staffing involved being at minimum wage levels."

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