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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet 3rd June 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Adult Services

Age Friendly Cities and Communities

Purpose of the Report

1. To advise Cabinet of the invitation to sign the Dublin Declaration on Age Friendly Cities and Communities in Europe 2013 and join with other parts of the UK and regions within Europe to collaborate on developing policy and practice to create age friendly places by 2020.

Recommendations

1. That the Cabinet agrees to sign (remotely) the Dublin Declaration on Age Friendly Cities and Communities and collaborate on creating age friendly communities.

2. That the Council accepts the offer of a development day from the WLGA and explores whether this should be undertaken in conjunction with LSB partners.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To enable the Council to be a signatory of the declaration during the EU Summit on Active and Healthy Ageing which will be held in Dublin on the 13-14 June 2013.

2. To help the Council and partners respond to the ageing society.

Background

2. Councillor Ellen ap Gwyn, WLGA Spokesperson for Equality and Older People and Leader of Ceredigion County Council has written to all local authorities inviting them to sign the Dublin Declaration. In addition the WLGA is offering one day's free support or development training to all Welsh Councils on demographic change and/or creating age friendly communities. The days can be organised from July onwards and be specific to the Vale's needs. A copy of the letter and WLGA briefing are attached as Appendix A.

Relevant Issues and Options

3. Senior political representatives of European cities, municipalities, communities and regions are gathering at a Summit on Age Friendly communities on June 13-14 in Dublin. Wales has been invited to participate and join a public declaration and sign up to a common set of principles and actions that will be known as the Dublin Declaration. The Declaration aligns with existing Welsh policy.

4. Phase Three of the Welsh Government's Strategy for Older People (2013-2023) was launched in May 2013 and will focus on ensuring that older people have the social, environmental and financial resources they need to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face. This phase of the strategy aims to improve quality of life for older people in ways that go beyond the traditional health and social care agenda. The Welsh Government's challenge for the next ten years is;

  • to create a Wales where full participation is within reach of all older people and their contribution is recognised and valued;
  • to develop communities that are age-friendly while ensuring older people have the resources they need to live;
  • to ensure that future generations of older people are well equipped for later life by encouraging recognition of the changes and demands that may be faced and taking action early in preparation

5. The Ageing Well in Wales Programme is supported by the WLGA and other national partners and hosted within the Office of the Commissioner for Older People in Wales. One element of the programme is to link with European partners on active healthy ageing to enhance local action and draw down external funding. Work has been undertaken to develop networks and share learning.

6. The declaration is Appendix 1 of the WLGA Briefing Note attached to this report as Appendix A and is consistent with work already being undertaken by the Authority and with commitments in the Community Strategy 2011-21. One of the priority outcomes in the Community Strategy is 'Older People are valued and empowered to remain independent, healthy and active. They have equality of opportunity and receive high quality services to meet their needs.' In the Autumn work will commence to develop a new delivery plan to support the Community Strategy and the assistance being offered by the WLGA could assist in the work on this priority outcome.

7. In signing the declaration the Council would be committed to ;

  • Promote the ‘Dublin Declaration on Age-Friendly Cities and Communities in Europe 2013’ (Dublin Declaration 2013) in appropriate national and international forums, fostering the maximum adherence possible to its values, principles and premises, in terms of plans, programmes and resources, in order to implement the commitments in this Declaration within a reasonable period of time.
  • Collaborate with all relevant regional and local stakeholders to support the full application of the pledges in the Dublin Declaration on Age-Friendly Cities and Communities in Europe 2013, including cooperation with the WHO European Regional Office and its Network of Cities committed to developing age-friendly environments as part of the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. This will involve commencing a multi-year cycle of continual assessment and improvement to make their environments more age-friendly.
  • Communicate through local and regional channels and networks between the various cities and communities to stimulate and support advances in the promotion of equal rights and opportunities for older citizens and to share learning about advances in policies and practices which improve their lives.

8. The declaration also includes a pledge that where it is within their area of responsibility and economically feasible, signatories will further the following specific actions, and incorporate them into key planning instruments to strengthen long term sustainability. These actions are around the following areas and more detail is included in the Declaration in Appendix A.

  • awareness of older people,
  • processes of citizen-centred engagement
  • urban spaces and public places
  • housing
  • public transport systems
  • participation in social and cultural life
  • employment and volunteering opportunities and lifelong learning
  • community support and health services

9. Developments in the Vale which are consistent with elements in the declaration include, Extracare Housing, the Wyn campaign, Greenlinks community transport, and an increased emphasis on effective engagement. In addition, the Public Health and Wellbeing Board are working to address a number of issues and promote healthy living initiatives locally.

10. The Vale also has a very strong 50+ Strategy Forum which is very active and is supported by the Council via the Older Peoples Strategy Co-ordinator in the Corporate Partnership Team. A good working relationship has been established with the Forum who have their own website and newsletter, a monthly Executive and a number of sub-groups including, age discrimination, housing, health and transport. The Forum are active in promoting issues for older people, getting involved in campaigns e.g. flu immunisation and responding to Welsh Government consultation.

11. Working to make the Vale of Glamorgan a more age friendly community would also be consistent with the equality objectives in the Council's Strategic Equality Plan. These relate to:

  • better monitoring of who is using our services
  • making sure our published information and documents are easier to read and understand
  • raising awareness of the needs of protected groups
  • involving people in developing, reviewing or changing services (engagement)
  • improving harassment and discrimination reporting
  • raising awareness and confidence in use of domestic abuse support services; and
  • reducing the gender pay gap

    12. The Older Peoples Strategy Coordinator has spoken to colleagues in other authorities and the majority have indicated that their authorities will be signing up to the declaration. The Co-ordinator has also spoken to the programme director for Ageing Well in Wales who is coordinating the work and she has advised that there will be no external review for measuring progress. There is a requirement for an action plan which will need to be monitored internally and it is envisaged that the delivery plan for the Older People priority outcome in the Community Strategy could form the basis of this action plan with appropriate measures.

    Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

    13. There are no financial implications and any additional monitoring requirements will need to be fulfilled through existing staff resources.

    Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

    14. The declaration is consistent with work undertaken by the Council to promote sustainable development and consider the current and future needs of the population, ensuring a strong, healthy and just society and promoting good governance.

    Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

    15. Age is defined under the Equality Act 2010 as a protected characteristic.  The Public Sector Equality Duty also emanates from this legislation. 

    16. The declaration if signed by the Council does not constitute a legally binding contract, however by becoming a signatory the Council is pledging a commitment to the aspirations and projects referred to in the Declaration. 

    Crime and Disorder Implications

    17. There are no direct implications, however ensuring older people are safe and feel safe will be consistent with the declaration to be age friendly.

    Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

    18. Age is one of the eight protected characteristics covered by the public sector equality duty. There is likely to be significant positive impact on older people and within that protected group there will be other protected characteristics which will need to be given proper consideration. Due consideration will need to be taken to ensure that in pursuing this agenda there is a balance with the needs of younger people.

    Corporate/Service Objectives

    19. The Corporate Plan 2013-17 includes a range of objectives to meet the needs of older people including, 'Develop a wide range of options for older people requiring support and prepare a feasibility study for the provision of an older peoples village' and a range of actions to support older people to maintain their independence.

    Policy Framework and Budget

    20. This is a matter for Executive decision.

    Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

    21. Not Applicable.

    Relevant Scrutiny Committee

    22. Corporate Resources

    Background Papers

    WLGA Briefing: Age friendly Cities and Communities April 2013

    Contact Officer: Helen Moses, Strategy and Sustainability Manager

    Officers Consulted

    Corporate Management Team

    Nicola Hinton/Linda Brown - Corporate Equalities Officer

    Responsible Officer: Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Developmen

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