To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) which voluntary and commercial organisations have been consulted during the development of the Older People Strategy; (2) when he expects to publish the Older People Strategy; and if he will make a statement; (3) whether he plans to repeat the Listening to Older People programme; and if he will make a statement. 
We have established a system for consulting directly with older people, and a range of statutory and non-government organisations representing the diverse interests of older people through the setting up of the Partnership Group. The Group comprises members from the Better Government for Older People network, the Older People's Advisory Group, employment, education and research organisations, a media consultant, as well as national organisations representing the interests of older people. It is chaired by the Minister for Pensions and meets on a regular basis to provide views on presented ideas from Government on the development of policy or services, and to serve as an external think-tank for ideas on service delivery issues. A full list of the organisations represented on the Partnership Group is listed.
The Government set up Better Government for Older People (BGOP) as an independent organisation with a Management Board of key partners, and a UK wide networking partnership to ensure older people are engaged at all levels of decision-making. Membership of BGOP is open to any authority or organisation that is committed to engaging older people in decision making and working in partnership. The Older People's Advisory Group is one of BGOP's key partners and provides opportunities for older people themselves to participate in all areas of public life including the formation of policies.
The publication "Life Begins at 50" in May 2000 set out the Government's responses to needs expressed by older people themselves in the form of an interdepartmental action programme. This followed consultation with a range of bodies. We are currently considering options for reporting progress on that programme and its strategic objectives.
We will consider the need for further Listening to Older People events in that context, taking account of the development of other channels of engagement.
Organisations represented on the partnership group
- Anchor Trust
- National Pensioners Convention
- Older People's Advisory Group
- Chalmers Communications
- Centre for Policy on Ageing
- Better Government for Older People Network
- Third Age Employment Network
- Counsel and Care
- The Abbeyfield Society
- Help the Aged
- Age Concern England
- Employers Forum on Age
- Policy Research Institute Ageing and Ethnicity
- Older People's Services, Department of Health
- Association of Retired Persons and Over 50
- Local Government Association
- Economic and Social Research Council Growing Older Programme
- National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux