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  • Writer's picturechris walsh

Knocking our heads against a brick wall

As I said in my resignation as an age and equalities advisor in my email to Sadiq Khan and his deputy mayor for equalities Debbie Weekes-Bernard, after 3 years of trying to raise issues of concern that have been discussed and developed in working groups by Positive Ageing in London and other senior Londoners, the lack of any progress meant that it appeared older people are not a concern of the Mayor. As usual i received a politician's response wishing us well and maintaining their long term commitment to make London age friendly but with no commitment as to when this would happen.

We in PAIL and also the wider network of older Londoners organisations ( the London Age Friendly coalition) have put in hundreds of hours of discussion, planning and offering recommendations about how and what an age friendly London would consist of. The result many excellent working group reports on all the main domains of the WHO age friendly city programme and contributions towards a London recovery plan that was age friendly,the responses back were non existent or just holding ones, with no proper response, no information about where it was sent and how these ideas were used.

It seems that the bureaucrats in the GLA do not like actually working with representatives of the groups affected by their decisions and do not want a partnership or co-production but just to sit among themselves with practically no input from the over 50s let alone pensioners while they decide what to do for us or not and then maybe send out some tick boxes.

If the GLA and their planners and politicians really want London to become age friendly then they have to start taking this partnership approach seriously, otherwise they will have no one to blame bur themselves when seniors turn their back on the current administration and London will be the only major UK city with no actual plan timetable and resource commitment to being an age friendly city. It would seem that a campaign to raise awareness of this needs to take off pretty soon

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