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Our response to The Mayor's Age-friendly Action Plan for London

Published on 22 November 2023 08:57 AM

Response to the launch of the Mayor’s Age-Friendly Plan – 22 November 2023

Abi Wood, CEO, Age UK London

The launch of the Mayor’s Action Plan for an age-friendly London is a significant milestone in the city’s age-friendly journey. The Mayor has a vital role to play and the age-friendly plan is essential to addressing the serious challenges faced by many older Londoners. We welcome the publication of this important document, which marks the start of a new chapter. We hope it is defined by tangible action to improve the lives of older Londoners.

Age UK London has played a significant role in the development of the Action Plan, most recently as a member of the London Age Friendly Forum (LAFF). We, alongside other organisations, working with and led by older Londoners, have been calling for an age-friendly London since the 2000s. In 2018, at Age UK London’s ‘Tackling Loneliness among older Londoners” conference, it was announced that London had joined the UK Age-friendly Cities and Communities network, and this was an historic moment.

Age UK London look forward to supporting the Mayor to deliver the plan. We will also be watching closely to see that the plan makes a real difference to older people’s lives.

Our own research tells us that London can offer varied and contrasting experiences, both positive and negative, for older Londoners. It is a place where older people feel positive about living in the city. Sadly, it is also one where most people over 60 (particularly those in their early 60s) don’t feel they are valued.

We also urgently need to address poverty amongst older people in London. The city has the highest levels of ‘pensioner poverty’ in England and action is needed to prevent the situation from getting worse.

There should be no misconceptions about the amount of work required to implement this plan. This launch must be followed very quickly by determined action, with teams across the Greater London Authority aware of the role they must play so that older Londoners, both now and in the future, have a great place to live, where they can shape their city and have their needs met.

Together with other members of LAFF will be watching to see how the plan is implemented and monitoring the results. We want it to have a tangible impact and we will be the first to question any failure in results on behalf of older Londoners.


Editor’s notes:

In September 2023 Age UK London launched its report - Older Londoners: the highs and lows of living in the capital - following extensive research amongst over 1000 Londoners over the age of 60. It showed that whilst over 59% of older Londoners feel positive about living in the city only 20% of all older Londoners agree that ‘London is a place where older people are valued’. You can download the report here.

In October 2023 Age UK London launched its second Poverty Report which showed that 24% of older Londoners (over the age of 50) live in poverty, compared to 19% in the rest of England. You can download the report here.

About the London Age Friendly Forum

The London Age Friendly Forum is a forum made up of organisations led by and representing older Londoners. The forum was established to develop the voluntary and community sector’s contribution to making London more age-friendly. Age UK London, Civil Service Pensioners Alliance, London region of U3As, Positive Ageing in London and Wise Age are the organisations represented in the forum.