Age UK London hosted four leading London Mayoral Election 2016 candidates, held at the offices of law firm Clifford Chance, to answer older people's questions and tell them how they aim to make London ‘A Great Place to Grow Older.’
(From left to right) Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat; Sadiq Khan, Labour; Samantha Mauger, Chief Executive, Age UK London; Zac Goldsmith, Conservative; and Sian Berry, Green
Age UK London also launched its London Mayoral and Assembly Election Manifesto, 'Making London a Great Place to Grow Older' which you can read here.
Areas for action in the Age UK London manifesto include digital inclusion, making London’s housing age friendly and making transport in London accessible to all.
Specific calls made in the manifesto include asking candidates to commit themselves to: retaining the Freedom Pass; ensure that a range of suitable, accessible and genuinely affordable housing options are available for older people in all London boroughs; provide funding for digital inclusion programmes for older Londoners; and appoint a Deputy Mayor or Mayoral Adviser to an Age Friendly London portfolio.
Over 150 older people listened as the candidates debated issues that are important to older Londoners, answering questions from older people for an hour as they tried to convince voters to side with them on 5 May 2016.
Sian Berry, Green Party councillor for Highgate, Camden Council, said, if elected, she wanted to build ‘more homes more quickly’, give free social care to all aged 65 and over, make sure pedestrian crossings gave everyone enough time to cross and that she was a ‘Dementia Friend’; she urged the other candidates to join her as a ‘Dementia Friend’.
Zac Goldsmith, Conservative MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, said, if elected, he wanted to celebrate London’s success story, but also protect those who make the city so great, including older people. He said he wanted ‘more homes, better transport, safer streets and a cleaner environment.’
Sadiq Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, said he had enjoyed meeting 1000s of older people in London during his campaign, and that he is ‘passionate about tackling loneliness’. He also promised that, if elected, he would appoint London’s first ever ‘Chief Digital Officer’ to promote digital inclusion across London, and particularly among older people.
Caroline Pidgeon, The Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said the only solution to London’s housing crisis was to increase supply and that she had ‘a costed plan for that.’ She also said she supported Age UK London’s call for the new Mayor to appoint a Deputy Mayor or Mayoral Adviser to an Age Friendly London portfolio.
All four candidates promised that they would keep the Freedom Pass.
Sam Mauger, Chief Executive of Age UK London, said: “Each and every one of London’s 2.2 million older people deserves to have their voice heard when it comes to the future of their city. The Age UK London Hustings gave older Londoners an opportunity to ask Mayoral candidates the questions that matter to them.
“We wanted the candidates to hear what older people are saying and we want London to be a great place to grow older, so we call on the candidates to commit themselves to the points raised in the manifesto.”
The event took place in East London, at Clifford Chance's Canary Wharf offices. The firm is committed to being a responsible member of the local community in which it operates. Clifford Chance has established a Corporate Responsibility strategy that reflects where it has greatest impact: People, Community and Environment. Clifford Chance recognises that community investment is not only about financial giving but should also include the commitment of its time and expertise.
For more information contact Danny Elliott on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7820 6778.