SCHOOL meal prices in Wokingham borough are set to go up by 5p to cover rising food and fuel costs.

Councillors agreed the 2.7% price increase at infant, junior, primary and secondary school levels after an extensive consultation with headteachers.

The increase will be the first in school meal prices in the borough for four years, and will apply from September.

The new prices - �1.95 for infant, junior and primary school meals and �2.15 for secondaries - will be applied to all 54 schools under the council-controlled scheme, which is administered by catering company Caterlink.

Council bosses say the service is growing and attracting more schools and that menus have greatly improved with more organic, fresh meat and vegetable dishes available.

Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor, executive member for children's services, said: "There's no escaping the impact increased costs for more organic produce, dairy and wheat generate; in addition to the higher cost of fuel, salaries and distribution which mean that prices have to go up.

"However, we don't do this lightly. We continue to negotiate with our contractor and closely monitor their supplier costs so as to minimise price increases and maximise quality."