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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 02 March 2012 12:30 PM

Protecting frontline social care services, winter safety and keeping public toilets open will be some of the subjects facing delegates at the Welsh Liberal Democrat conference this weekend (2 -4 March).

Age Cymru will be delivering its ‘Local Election 2012 – Age priorities for local government’ manifesto at its stand at the Mercure Holland House Hotel and Spa in Cardiff.

The charity’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs Graeme Francis says:

“The 2012 local authority elections come at a time of financial constraint and cutbacks for local government and there is a danger that frontline services will suffer.

“We need to make sure that every community in Wales is one in which older people are valued, respected and cared for,  have access to services  and can take an active part in society.

“Councillors must play their part in making sure that older people do not suffer disproportionately in the current economic climate.”

Older people’s three challenges to local authorities:

• Protect frontline social care services - Cuts to services or arbitrary increases in eligibility criteria will have a devastating impact on the most frail and vulnerable people in society. Local authorities must protect frontline services and ensure that money allocated to care is spent on care.

• Keep us safe in winter - Local authorities must produce robust winter plans in partnership with a range of agencies including health and the third sector. Plans should include mechanisms for how older people will be supported to access care and health services, receive essential supplies and ensure that winter crisis support is available.

• Make public toilets a priority - It is essential that adequate public toilet provision is protected and local authorities work in partnership with communities, the Welsh Government and local businesses to find innovative ways to combat the shortage of public toilets. Local authorities must ensure that any decisions to close public toilets are ‘age proofed’ meaning that the impact closure may have on older people is given adequate consideration.

Visitors to Age Cymru’s stand will also be able to find out how they can become an ambassador for older people and sign the charity’s Rule Out Abuse charter.

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444