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Elbourne Review

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

On 22 May 2008 the then Minister for Pensions Reform announced that John Elbourne had been asked to

“examine the current arrangements for the engagement of older people and the ability of those arrangements to inform policy and actions of Government at all levels”.

Specifically, this was to include examining Better Government for Older People.

John Elbourne published his report on 18 November 2008 and the Government received comments up to 9 January 2009. The report made a range of recommendations for improving older people’s engagement with Government, which fell into three broad areas: establishing a UK advisory forum for older people, building the capacity for effective dialogue at regional and local level through regional forums and local older people’s forums; and withdrawing funding for Better Government for Older People from 1 April 2009 to support the new Government Office arrangements and thereby increasing the funds available for “on the ground” activities.

The Government are today publishing their response to this report. The Government will establish a new UK-wide forum. The forum will be known as the UK Advisory Forum on Ageing, and I will co-chair this forum with the Minister of State, Department of Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Corby (Phil Hope). This will bring together representative views of older people at a national level, and will build links with forums in the devolved nations, the English regions, and the local level. The Government will set up a new structure with a designated regional co-ordinator for older people’s engagement in each English region, providing advocacy and co-ordination for older people and working with older people to set up regional forums on ageing and local forums where they do not already exist. This will build on existing arrangements for engagement with older people and address weaknesses in the current structure. These new arrangements will give older people a direct line into Government at a local, regional and national level.

Better Government for Older People’s response to John Elbourne’s review has been to develop a proposal for a new independent body to carry forward their aims. The Department for Work and Pensions will support them in making a smooth transition into this new phase.

The Governments response can be found at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/resourcecentre/ind_review_older_peoples_eng_with_govt.asp

and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.