SCHOOL meal prices in will increase in St Helens from September.

A delegated decision has been taken by St Helens Council to increase primary and special school pupil meal prices from £2.30 to £2.35 – a 2.2 per cent increase.

For secondary schools, the council will implement price increases to individual items with the aim of achieving an overall increase in income of 2.5 per cent.

The price of adult meals will also be increased from £3 to £3.10, including VAT.

The council will maintain the charge for infant children who are not entitled to free milk at £2 per term.

A delegated decision notice on the council’s website says the price increases have been kept to what is considered to be a “reasonable level”.

The decision notice says: “The authority’s financial procedure rules and financial instructions impose a duty to review the level of fees and charges on an annual basis.

“Price increases are applied in multiples of 5p to make income collection administratively easier.”

It adds that there is a risk of an “adverse parental reaction” to the price increase resulting in reduced take up of school meals.