The Government published its Ageing Strategy yesterday. It has been due out for a while and we have been talking to DWP Ministers and officials about it, particularly around the recommendations of our Never Too Late for Living report on demographic change and older people services. This is the LGiU response:
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) has welcomed the publication of the National Strategy for an Ageing Population: “Building a society for all ages: preparing for longer lives” which calls for government and agencies to draw up agreements to prioritise the needs of older people in their area.
The strategy goes some way to support recommendations made in the LGiU’s report “Never Too Late for Living” with the Local Government APPG last year which called for a simple national agreement on the outcomes needed for quality of life as we age. Local authorities should have specific responsibility to map out what is available to local people in their area against this shared picture and make sure that there is a simple way for anyone to find out about and access these services. The LGiU’s key role in shaping ageing policy is recognised in the report with a pledge that the government will work more closely with the Unit to engage with local authorities and take forward LGiU recommendations, such as a timebanking scheme to enable people to build up ‘time’ pensions, through volunteering, that can be exchanged in later life.
Andy Sawford, Chief Executive of LGiU commented:
“We welcome the publication of the ageing strategy which brings together a number of important themes including recognising the importance of wider public services and local government’s role in ensuring the whole community and rest of public sector delivers.”
“LGiU have set out a number of recommendations on how both central and local government can deal with the challenges associated with an ageing population and this pamphlet is a step in the right direction. We look forward to working with the Government on this consultation and beyond as well as on the challenges to be addressed in tomorrow’s social care green paper . We will be pushing for a fundamental shift in how care services are commissioned and funded.”
“We particularly welcome the commitment to work with the LGiU to develop timebanking schemes by which people receive credits for their voluntary work which can be cashed in to get help from others when they are older.”