Every week the Central Somerset Gazette put a question to all prospective Parliamentary candidates. Below is the response from Jon Cousins.
Question: What would you think we should be doing to support older people in our communities?
We have a higher proportion of older people living in Somerset than the national average. The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Somerset (2013/14), states that life expectancy is above average, but healthy life expectancy has not improved.
Some of our older population have complex health needs and an increasing proportion have dementia. We need to ensure the quality of life is improved for those on low incomes or fuel poor, so that people stay healthy for longer.
Older people appreciate good and accessible public transport, particularly when they no longer drive a car. Regular health checks are essential, to ensure prescriptions are up to date and they are getting the most out of life. They need good access to public services, like the NHS; dignity and respect in all matters and policies that support them in being as healthy, active and independent for as long as possible.
The Green Party wants:
To end the over complex pension credit system.
To ensure a decent basic pension for everyone of £170 a week which would be linked to national earnings.
Free insulation to help fight fuel poverty.
Free personal and nursing care for all older people.
Freedom for older people to work.
Jon Cousins is one of Glastonbury’s Green Town Councillors, Chair of Glastonbury Town Hall, and Prospective Green MP for Wells. A seasoned community activist, organiser, and green campaigner, he currently works with the co-operative movement in the UK and Europe.