Older People's Forum

OLDER people could be given a new chance to make their views heard in Bournemouth.

A meeting is to be held in September with a view to setting up an older people's forum in the town.

Pat Lewis, who was the borough council's older people's champion until she lost her council seat in May, has won grant money for an open meeting to gauge interest in the idea.

The meeting will be on Friday, September 16, from 10am to 1pm, at the Pavilion Ballroom.

Mrs Lewis said the forums were a good way for older people to make themselves heard.

"We've got about 55 forums in the south west.

"A lot of other places in Dorset have got them but we haven't got one in Bournemouth," she said.

"At this open meeting, it was just to ask the question: do they want to have one in Bournemouth?"

She said a forum could also help older people to take part in shaping official policies for the future.

"We would be in at the beginning when the decisions are made.

"In the past, often there's been consultation on something with some options already on the table. We'd rather be in at the beginning," she said.

If the meeting backs the idea, a planning group would be set up, and the first forum meeting could happen by Christmas.

The funding for the open meeting came through a grant from the Community Foundation Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Active At 60.

Anyone interested should get in touch so organisers know how much tea and carrot cake to have ready. Contact Linda Nelson of Access Dorset at officemanagers@accessdorset.org.uk or phone 01202 771336. Details at www.accessdorset.org.uk/4-bop