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Age UK London launch a manifesto for the 2022 local elections

Published on 22 March 2022 10:06 AM

Age UK London have launched our manifesto for the local elections coming up on Thursday 5th May. We’ve titled the manifesto, ‘Making London’s boroughs age-friendly', as without age-friendly boroughs there is no age-friendly London.

From adult social care and housing to parks, street cleaning and supporting residents to access vital support, the work our council’s do affect every aspect of our lives. The weeks leading up to May’s elections provide an opportunity for London’s boroughs to reflect on both the contribution of their older residents and how they can better meet their needs. For those seeking re-election or election for the first time the campaign period before polling day should be a time to listen to older residents.

Key priorities
Our manifesto lists 34 things we think boroughs can do to improve the lives of older residents. The list could be much longer so we’ve selected what we believe to be key priorities based on conversations with older Londoners and staff and volunteers at the 23 local Age UKs in London.

The 34 ‘asks’ are split across eight subject areas: Becoming an age-friendly borough; Public spaces; Health, social care and community services; Communication, information and digital access; Decent incomes; Welcoming and safe communities; Housing and Transport.
These areas are broadly based around the eight areas the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified as key to communities becoming age-friendly. We’ve also added areas like ‘Decent incomes’, with poverty and inequality set to impact more older Londoners as the cost-of-living crisis develops.

Making a commitment
The manifesto starts with a call for more boroughs to join the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities (part of the WHO’s Global Network). This is crucial because signing up as an age-friendly borough provides borough’s with a step by step process to becoming more age-friendly based around listening, delivery and learning.

In London Hackney, Lewisham, Southwark and Sutton are members of the Age-friendly Network. These four boroughs have taken different approaches. In Lewisham the borough’s Positive Ageing Council is at the centre of their plans, whilst in Sutton the council has embedded the programme into the borough’s broader strategies and is piloting a range of projects. In Sutton, Age UK Sutton are the council’s lead partner and have driven the programme from the start.

The Mayor of London’s office, the Centre for Ageing Better, Age UK London and the Greater London Forum for Older People are working together to persuade and support more boroughs to join the network. Age UK Lambeth are at the forefront of work in their borough, calling on the council to commit to joining the Age-friendly Network.

Get involved
As well as producing a manifesto Age UK London are creating a range of resources to support community groups, local organisations and individual Londoners to engage their council candidates. We’re creating template letters and have launched an ‘age-friendly campaign photo action’. To get involved please email campaigns@ageuklondon.org.uk

Read the manifesto here.