Mayor calls in on Agewell's Rowley Regis Local Forum

Older people in Rowley Regis have been making sure their voices are heard on the key issues which matter to them by inviting Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, to their Agewell Local Forum.

More than 70 older people came to Blackheath Methodist Church on Wednesday 4th September to meet the Mayor and put forward their issues and concerns.

As Mayor, Andy is chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), giving him significant powers and influence over some of the biggest issues which affect people’s lives in the West Midlands.

Following a short presentation about his background and his role as Mayor, Andy invited questions from forum members.

The first focused on the lack of local policing in the area and that older people are feeling vulnerable because police officers are no longer visible on the streets.

Members also voiced their concerns over the lack of appointments at local surgeries and hospitals and the fact that it is becoming increasing difficult to call a GP. 

Finally, members asked why the free TV licence for the over 75s is being withdrawn when many rely on the television to keep in contact with the outside world to prevent them feeling isolated.

Andy responded that he understood these concerns and promised to take on board all the issues raised and carry them forward through the appropriate channels.

Chair of the Rowley Regis Local Forum, Clive Atkins, said: “Talking direct to the Mayor meant we could get our concerns heard by someone who can really make a difference.

"We were also able to get some recognition for all the work which Agewell does to help reduce the social isolation of older people in our community such as our Local Forums, community exercise programme and befriending service.”

Pictured above from left to right are Forum member Joan Atkins, Forum Vice Chair Josie Connor, Forum Chair Clive Atkins, Agewell CEO Deb Harrold, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and Forum member Brenda Harrold.

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