LABOUR councillors across Dudley borough are appealing to supermarkets to drop any delivery charges for vulnerable people.

They say they have reports of some people complaining about being charged up to £5 for delivery.

There have also been reports of a £3 charge for packing (minimum basket charge) and 40p for carrier bags for orders worth less than £40.

Councillor Shaukat Ali, Labour’s 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 add up 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 as every little helps.”

Morrisons said that since April its stores had made over 100,000 deliveries to those who were shielding.

A spokesperson for Tesco said the company had put its most vulnerable customers first and provided priority delivery slots to 600,000 customers.

The supermarket chain defended its policy of charging, saying: “Demand for slots remains extremely high at all times of the week, so we have moved to a simpler pricing structure with a flat rate that better reflects the cost of picking, packing and delivering orders.

“This structure is fairer for everyone and means no customers has to pay the highest slot price – which was previously £7 – as a result of demand.

“Customers who have signed up for our Delivery Saver subscription service continue to benefit from free deliveries and collections as part of their plan.”