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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

High streets need the grey pound

Following research into the recovery plans for London and its boroughs the organisation I chair has produced a report highlighting the importance of the grey pound in revitalising London's ( and indeed the UK's) high streets, the current lack of consideration of older people in the plans for new High streets and the absence of any real production or partnership between planning bodies ( GLA and London councils and Boroughs) and older people and their reps.

We have sent these results to all key decision makers plus the media and hope this may kick start some engagement between seniors and planners and start them taking older people as consumers and workers seriously if they really want to see a renaissance in their high streets.

Here is the email we sent from which you can download the full report


Dear Editor THE REVIVAL OF LONDON’S HIGH STREETS IS NEGLECTING THE SPENDING POWER OF OLDER LONDONERS ACCORDING TO A NEW REPORT FROM POSITIVE AGEING IN LONDON. New evidence is that older people support their London High Streets and like to spend there and socialise. But many High Streets are uninviting but crucially present accessibility problems for many older people. With age many people become have difficulty in walking and the physical environment can become challenging. Many of the changes made to streets to promote cycling or walking are presenting problems for older Londoners particularly E scooters. Positive Ageing in London new report Unleashing the grey pound – older consumers’ contribution to High Street revival’ (https://pailondon.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/High-Street-briefingFINAL23Sept.pdf) is calling for London Councils and the Greater London Authority to have major rethink on how they can get older consumers onto the high street. It is of paramount importance for High Streets revival that they are inclusive of all ages and the only way of achieving this is to engage meaningfully with older residents. The report calls for London Boroughs to have published plans to make their urban centres and High Streets attractive and accessible to older people. Also The London Recovery Board should develop and publish an age-friendly statement for High Streets and review all funded schemes on how age-friendly they are with clear evaluation criteria. And they should specifically fund a pilot Age-Friendly High Street to help promote best practise. Chris Walsh Chair of Positive Ageing in London stated “It’s disappointing that older Londoners needs are not being taken seriously by London policy makers as they seek to “Build back better “ after the pandemic.” And continued Getting inclusive high streets will help by maximising the contribution of the grey pound to recovery. But this involves a much needed conversation with older Londoners about recovery for London’s High Streets” CONTACT - Chris Walsh Chair of PAIL – tel 07440 022428; email: positiveageinginlondon@gmail.com

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