FRODSHAM residents aged 70 and over could receive a £5 gift voucher instead of a traditional Christmas meal.

However town mayor Andrew Dawsons proposal to ditch the festive annual event has been labelled mean spirited by fellow councillors

The festive lunch, which has been going for 69 years , could be replaced with a one-off £5 voucher to spend in local shops.

Town councillors hope the new scheme would allow all over 70s in Frodsham to benefit from the £5,000 festive fund.

Cllr Andrew Dawson said many elderly Frodsham residents boycotted the Christmas turkey lunch as they felt embarrassed by the outdated social event.

He said: There are about 1,000 over 70s in our town and only 153 sat down to eat with us last year. The majority of the money is spent on transport costs, so most of the £5,000 goes into the pockets of businesses which are outside this area.

We are giving people the option to spend the money on something they want and put the money back into Frodsham.

We need to ask people what they want and see if the businesses want to get involved.

Fellow town Cllr Kyle McGregor believes scrapping the meal would isolate elderly people in the community.

He said: The Over 70s social is a fantastic institution and one of the best things this council does.

For many people it is the only occasion they get to see old friends.

It reminds me of a relative at Christmas giving a voucher, because they dont have the care or time to do anything else.

Frodsham Town Council will debate the issue on Monday (June 27).