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Hartlepool BC is taking a leading role in improving the quality of life for older people, public service minister, ...
Hartlepool BC is taking a leading role in improving the quality of life for older people, public service minister, Peter Kilfoyle announced today (see LGCnet 5 June).

Speaking at the launch of the government-led Better Government for Older People programme, Mr Kilfoyle said the 28 pilots, led by local authorities but including many other partners, would be the driving force behind the new programme.

The ground-breaking initiative is designed to improve public services for older people by giving them a greater say, responding to their views and encouraging and recognising their contribution.

The number of older people in Hartlepool is rising rapidly. There are currently 18,890 people in Hartlepool aged 60 and over but this is set to rise to 20,240 by the year 2010 and 22,600 by 2021.

The Hartlepool programme which will run for the next two years will be a partnership between the local authority, health organisations, and other external agencies including Anchor Housing and Age Concern.

Mike Lauerman Hartlepool BC's director of social services said: 'The pilot in Hartlepool will look at ways to improve the lives of local people, and enable them to influence the decision making process which affects their daily lives.'

Social services chairman Harry Clouth added: 'It is very encouraging that Hartlepool has been chosen by the government to be at the forefront of an exciting programme to improve the quality of life of elderly people in the town.'

Olga Pearson, (70) a Hartlepool resident who attended the launch in London today with social services representatives, said: 'I support this initiative wholeheartedly. It will give elderly people in the town a greater say about issues which affect them and promote better partnerships between organisations in the town who have a bearing on our everyday lives.'

Public service minister Peter Kilfoyle said: 'These pilot projects are a key part of the government's determination to modernise public services and put people first. We want to give older people a voice to take better account of their needs and wishes.'

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