Make older people a Mayoral priority!

Three months today, on 3 May 2012, up to two million Londoners aged 50+ will cast their votes in the Mayor of London and London Assembly elections. We know that older people are more likely to vote in elections than other age groups. The Mayor plays a key role in running London and many of his/her areas of responsibility can have a direct effect on older people’s lives and wellbeing.

Older people across the capital will be watching to see if the Mayor and London Assembly take on board their wishes and needs. Age UK London and Greater London Forum for Older People will be launching an Older People’s Manifesto for the elections and have already been actively lobbying the leading candidates. Our Manifesto has been drawn up starting with ideas received from older people all over London.

London’s older people are diverse in their cultures, faiths and lifestyles. Hundreds of thousands of them contribute directly to the capital’s prosperity. Despite this, London is often perceived as a young city and older Londoners are frequently marginalised. Policymakers need to acknowledge the importance of making London a city for all ages and address the issue of social isolation,  challenging negative images of older people in society and replacing them with positive images.

In our Manifesto, we  will call on the incoming Mayor and London Assembly to make older people a Mayoral priority and take action in nine areas to improve the quality of life and enhance the status and influence of older people in the capital.

What do you suggest the new Mayor should do for older people? We’re really interested to hear your views.

Gordon Deuchars

Gordon Deuchars joined Age UK London in 2003. His specialist areas are policy, influencing and campaign work to promote older people’s issues in London. He has developed and coordinated campaigns on issues ranging from social care to transport and employment for older people. Before joining Age UK London Gordon was Policy Officer for AGE, the European Older People’s Platform, which he joined in 2001 soon after its launch. Gordon was responsible for developing international networks on issues like pension reform and social inclusion.

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