About our Manifesto
Our Manifesto for the Mayor of London election on 6th May contains 24 ‘asks’ for the next Mayor. These asks cover nine areas of action and if implemented will make a significant contribution to making our city more age-friendly.
Take a look at our Manifesto here.
Older Londoners, the fastest-growing demographic in the capital, make a powerful contribution to the city. However, they have also been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and it is a tragedy that nearly one in four older people in the capital live in poverty.
In the Manifesto we’ve sought to prioritise what older Londoners have been telling us over the last 12 months and apply these to the specific powers the Mayor has. Prioritising a relatively small number of asks is always challenging and there were some difficult decisions about what to leave out.
A recovery won’t be a good one unless it's an age-friendly one
The profound challenges facing a post-pandemic London are complex and our Manifesto is about putting older Londoners at the heart of a recovery. This means ensuring that work undertaken by the Mayor, the London Recovery Board, Boroughs and others makes a tangible positive difference to the lives of older Londoners.
There’s also a bigger picture. From social isolation to digital exclusion, the pandemic has highlighted and all too often exacerbated challenges which older Londoners have faced for years. Just after this election it will be three years since London joined the Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. Recovery actions must contribute to the Age-friendly London programme and a new Mayoral term must see renewed energy for and commitment to this work.
The biggest challenges facing older Londoners
The 23 Age UK’s in London cover almost every borough in the city. Staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to support hundreds of thousands of older people and be there for their communities when they needed it most. The Manifesto leads with asks in the areas of mental health and wellbeing, digital exclusion and access to healthy food. These are the three areas that have most regularly been identified by Age UK’s (across 25 surveys since April 2020) as the biggest challenges facing the people they support.
Structural inequalities and ageism
Too little is said about the fact that London has the worst ‘pensioner poverty’ rate in the country and we were keen for the Manifesto to cover structural inequalities and areas such as access to benefits. We also wanted our Manifesto to focus on ageism. Unconscious and conscious ageism can have a pervasive impact on policy-making with older people seemingly invisible in big decisions.
Older Londoners and this Manifesto
Along with the experiences of local Age UKs during the crisis, the Manifesto draws on what older Londoners have told us since just before and throughout the pandemic. Activities where we have heard from older Londoners include a project on older Londoner’s and the recovery with University College London; community conversations with over 100 older Londoners to contribute to the work of the London Recovery Board; surveys on transport and housing as part of our campaigns work; two series of workshops and two conferences as part of the Age-friendly London programme and partnership work with other members of the London Age-friendly Forum.
We are delighted that the Manifesto is supported by three fantastic organisations, the Greater London Forum for Older People, Opening Doors London and Positive Ageing in London. Age UK London is pleased to be one of a number of organisations calling for the next Mayor to take tangible steps to improve the lives of older Londoners during this election. We believe we are stronger when we work together and Age UK London is proud to be a member of the London Age-friendly Forum
Our hope for this Manifesto
Our hope for this Manifesto, our election activities and those of our friends and partners, is that it will make those running for Mayor reflect on the importance of issues they have not thought deeply about before. Action to make London more age-friendly is action that makes London more welcoming, more inclusive, more vibrant and more sustainable. That of course benefits the older Londoners of today but it also benefits the older Londoners of tomorrow and society as a whole.