Headlines: November 5th, 1999

Grey power has been highlighted in a new report from the Better Government for Older People Programme.The report, ‘We’re All Getting on in Life’, indicates as previous surveys that older people do not feel consulted about public services.

It also finds that the top requirement of people in older age groups is for services which help them to stay independent for as long as possible.

What’s new is the highlighting by the unit of the fact that older people are stronger voters than any other age group, at a time when low turnouts at elections are causing concern.

Politicians will be encouraged to improve their performance at delivering for older people as the population grows over the next thirty years. Currently 27 per cent of the population is over 50. By 2031 that figure will rise to 41 per cent.

The report also details progress made by 28 pilots testing out Better Government for Older People ideas. These include an award scheme in Hartlepool where older people can nominate local businesses good at customer care, to top-level talks between older people and London bus companies to make services more user friendly in Hammersmith and Fulham.

‘We’re all getting on in life: Better Government for Older People- Making It Happen Briefing One’ is available free from the Better Government for Older People programme, tel. 01902-824270.

Information about the pilot projects is being shared through the programme’s website at www.bettergovernmentforolderpeople.gov.uk