"What do older people want?"

1 September 2009

The Green Party is inviting contributions from a range of expert speakers on policy proposals to help older people at their conference taking place this weekend in Hove Town Hall.

The debate on Saturday afternoon will include guest speakers from Age Concern and Help the Aged and from Brighton and Hove's Older People's Council, and will be exploring what must be done to address pensioner poverty, social care and transport needs ahead of the forthcoming General Election.

Jean Lambert, the Green MEP for London, who is a Member of the European Parliament's cross-party group on Ageing, will be leading the session. She said:

"I am delighted to welcome expert speakers to Hove to discuss what must be done to ensure a decent pension for all older people, as well as improve access to social, health, transport and other services that could make a real improvement to the lives of older people."

"Far too many pensioners are living in poverty and isolation, unable to access basic care and social networks. The Green Party is committed to improving older people's lives and that's why we're opening this debate which will help inform our policies."

John Barry from Brighton and Hove's Older People's Council will be joining the panel to discuss the role of the organisation in bringing the voice and concerns of older people to local decision-making forums. He said:

"The job of the Older People's Council (OPC) is to make sure that older people in Brighton & Hove are treated with respect and dignity, that they receive the services and support they need and have access to opportunities to lead a fulfilling life. We listen to older people in the city and will be taking their views to the Green Party conference."

Patrick South, Head of Public Affairs at Age Concern and Help the Aged, and Debora Price, an academic from the Institute of Gerontology at Kings College London, will also be appearing on the panel.

Jean Lambert MEP added:

"We have invited a range of experienced speakers to this public meeting and I hope that Brighton and Hove residents will also come along to listen and share their views."

The public meeting will take place on Saturday 5th September at 4pm in the Council Chamber of Hove Town Hall. Everyone is welcome to attend.

To find out more about the conference go to: www.greenparty.org.uk/conference.html

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