Council backs pledge to support pensioners

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Sheffield representatives were today signing an international pledge to focus on making the city a better place for pensioners.

Sheffield Council is among authorities committing to the Dublin Declaration, which was launched at an EU summit on active and healthy ageing held in the Irish capital.

A council spokesman said: “We’re looking at a massive plan looking at how to develop the city, in terms of things like transport, buildings, parks and other facilities, so they are suited for all, and particularly older people.

“For example, they may ask for more street lighting in parks, or more pedestrian crossings on roads.”

The council said it needs to prioritise issues facing pensioners because in the 10 years to 2010, the number of people aged over 85 increased by 139 per cent.

There are currently 11,849 people aged over 85 in Sheffield – and the figure is expected to grow by 26.3 per cent by 2021, leading to an extra 3,000 people.

Coun Mary Lea, cabinet member for adult social care, said: “With more and more people in Sheffield enjoying longer lives, it is essential to plan for the future.

“Where we live, our physical, social and cultural environment, greatly impacts upon how we live and age.

“The significance of ‘place’ in our lives cannot be overestimated.

“This means we need to equip ourselves, individually and as a city, to have a happy and healthy older age.

“Planning for communities which are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable for everyone is a crucial concern for us, and such planning needs to take account of the fact we’re all living longer and the hugely important role older people can play in Sheffield.”