Older People's Champion
Meeting: 11/01/2011 - Cabinet (Item 9)
Report of the Executive Member for the Communities & Benefits Portfolio (Adrian Stasiak).
The Community Development Officer presented the report which recommended to Members the appointment of an Older People’s Champion and the formation of an Older People’s Forum.
She said that in this period of austerity a need had arisen to give a voice, represent and indeed champion the needs of the senior members of Breckland’s community. This need had been evidenced following the success of the Golden Age Fair held at East Harling in November 2010.
The Council’s youth engagement programme had captured the imaginations of young people in Breckland and had provided, not just a voice, but a valuable opportunity to make a difference. A Breckland Older Peoples forum and champion would offer those same opportunities and help balance and compliment the provision for young people
This report recommended the formation of a Breckland Older People’s Forum and to appoint a Member champion in order to give those people concerned a voice and support whilst recognising the value that they added to our communities.
This was of particular importance given the already high proportion of older people in Norfolk which was expected to grow in the future.
The appointment of an Older People’s champion and formation of an Older Peoples Forum would ensure that Breckland Council’s services continued to reflect the needs and views of older people.
The Executive Support Member for Communities and Benefits felt that older people should be appreciated and valued as they made a huge contribution to society. These people were the ones with the energy to support Breckland’s communities and had to face the same challenges as the young. She urged Members to support this request so that our older residents had a voice.
The Vice-Chairman reminded Members that over 25% of Breckland’s population were over 60 and he commended the report for approval.
The Executive Member for the Corporate Development & Performance Portfolio agreed with the creation of a champion but asked that it worked in tandem with the Youth Council.
1) To appoint an Older People’s Champion for Breckland and support the formation of an Older People’s Forum.
2) Not to appoint and Older People’s Champion and not support the formation of an Older People’s Forum.
Breckland was the only District in Norfolk without an Older People’s Champion or forum/partnership to ensure that the service development and provision takes into account of the views and needs of older people.
25% of the population in Breckland was aged over 60 or over and there was a proven need to give targeted support and assistance to help those people lead more fulfilling and independent lives.
RECOMMEND to Council that an Older People’s Champion be appointed and the formation of an Older People’s Forum be supported.