Candidates address silver voters

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A LEADING charity is set to hold a hustings with a difference in Wigan to help residents find out what candidates are promising for older people.

Age UK Wigan Borough is holding the event to discover what more can be done to make the borough a ‘Great Place to Grow Older’.

Figures from the charity show almost 1,200 older people are at risk on loneliness in Makerfield, with 2,598 providing unpaid care for a relative or friend and 28.7 per cent having no access to private transport to help them stay connected.

The meeting will take place on Friday (April 24) from 11am at St Oswald’s church hall in Ashton and will feature all the major candidates in the Makerfield constituency.

They are Yvonne Fovargue (Labour), Andrew Collinson (UKIP), John Skipworth (Lib Dem) and Zehra Zaidi (Conservative). Philip Mitchell of Green party has also been invited but has not yet confirmed his attendance.

It is being billed as giving the candidates a chance to talk to older people about what they will do to represent them in the next parliament.

John McArdle, Chief Officer at Age UK Wigan Borough said: “I think we’d all agree there’s an opportunity to make things better and for the Makerfield constituency to become a great place to grow older.

“And if we can get it right for older people, everyone living and working here will gain.

“An ageing population does of course present new challenges but with vision and strong leadership we know these can be overcome. Politicians need to prepare for our ageing society by listening to older people and helping them to live well, today and tomorrow.

“Ahead of the General Election we want all political candidates to consider what they will do to help create a more age friendly society, and at Age UK Wigan Borough we’ll do everything we possibly can to support them in bringing it about.”

In the run up to the election of 2015, Age UK is calling for every older person to have enough money to live with dignity.To attend the hustings contact 01942 826079 or drop into the Age UK shop, 11 The Gerard Centre, Ashton.

Tickets are free but limited to 60 people.