This guest blog was contributed by Josephine Suherman, Policy Researcher at the LGiU
The LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards aim to recognise and reward those councillors who go over and above what is expected of them; councillors who show absolute dedication to their communities and make positive change happen in the lives of local people.
This was the fifth year of the awards, and was kindly sponsored by Age UK for the third year running.
We were very pleased to partner with the charity once again on the awards and particularly the Age UK award category. The Age UK award is given to councillors who make time to listen to older people in their ward by actively engaging with them and understanding issues of concern, make change happen on issues of concern to older people, and has made an on-going commitment to ensuring that any improvements are maintained in the long term and that older people continue to be engaged in local democracy.
Do you know who your councillor is? Councillors are elected by all of us and can have a big impact on our community, but do we appreciate and acknowledge what they do?
Councillors really can have a huge impact on our communities. They are key players when coordinating people from the public, private, and voluntary sectors and they can provide a voice for those who would otherwise go unheard.
In recognition of this important role, Age UK is working with the Local Government and Information Unit (LGiU) to sponsor the Age UK Councillor Award as part of the2013 C’llr Achievement Awards.
The Age UK award will be given to a councillor who has made a significant contribution to improving services or neighbourhoods in the area they represent, so as to benefit older people. It could be campaigning for better lighting, arranging more seating or increasing the number of public toilets. Continue reading “Does your councillor deserve an award?”
This blog was contributed by Sue Cooley from Manchester City Council, the winner of the Age UK award category of the LGiU Councillor Achievement Awards. This award recognises the achievements of a councillor who has championed the interests of older people in their community.
I have been a councillor since 1996 representing Brooklands ward in the city of Manchester. My role as lead member for Valuing Older People (VOP) and more recently the Age Friendly Manchester Programmebegan in the last years of the 1990s. At that time I worked closely with the then deputy leader of the council to develop an approach which said that the role of local authorities shouldn’t begin and end with its social care responsibilities, recognising that the vast majority of older residents -however we define them, do not get a social care services. Moreover, especially in a city like Manchester, many older people faced exclusion from a range of everyday services and activities.
This approach found an echo in the Better Government for Older Peopleprogramme championed by the Labour Government in the late 1990s. When ground breaking research into ageing in cities (including Manchester) was published in 2002 it coincided with the council’s new project called Valuing Older People which was launched officially in 2003.
Do you know an amazing councillor? Have they worked hard to listen to older people and improve their neighbourhood? Do they deserve recognition for their work?
Nominations are now open for the Age UK award which forms part of the LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards 2013. This is an award for Councillors who have put older people at the heart of their work, bringing about long lasting change for older people in their communities.
Last year’s winner was Councillor Olwen Foggin of Devon County Council who was nominated after her tireless work reinstating a much needed bus route to the local hospital, fighting the closure of a post box that would have meant that older people needed to walk further to the nearest post office, and responding to individual concerns raised by older residents. Continue reading “Is your councillor a star?”
Recent research for Age UK showed that more than half of people over the age of 60 say they have never had contact with their local councillor. Yet despite this lack of contact, nearly twice as many over 60s can name their councillor as can younger people, and when they do have contact, older people are more likely to be satisfied with the outcome.
Councillors have a vital role to play in local life, and can make a big difference. That’s why Age UK is working with LGiU and CCLA to sponsor the Age UK Pride of Place award as part of the 2012 LGiU and CCLA C’llr Achievement Awards. The award will be given to a councillor who champions the voices of older people in their ward or division and makes a real commitment to improving neighbourhoods for them.
Broken pavements, street lights which don’t work, the need for more seating, the perennial problem of poor public transport, these are all ‘bread and butter’ issues for most councillors. They are also key issues for older people.