The Forum campaigns to help older people lead happier healthier lives and to ensure everyone in the borough is treated fairly by the Borough council, local health and transport bodies and national government.
Our successes include getting the 307 bus service extended into Barnet Hospital grounds, and working with the council to launch the Community Toilet and Shopmobility schemes and do faster pavement repairs. We also succeeded in stopping GPs making patients use high cost telephone numbers and we helped save the Southgate Orchestra.
We have also collected 10,000 signatures for the Fairer Funding campaign (see below) and have also presented a petitions to Government to protect universal benefits such as the Freedom Pass, winter fuel allowance, free TV Licences for over75s and free prescriptions.
Better bus service to Chase Farm Hospital
The Over 50s Forum is campaigning for better bus services to Chase Farm Hospital, especially for all the patients who will be arriving for treatment in the new orthopaedic centre. We believe the current public transport options which Transport for London suggests patients take are totally unsuitable and that we need a direct bus link between the hospital and Oakwood Underground Station where there is a lift.
Our Fairer Funding campaign highlights the huge inequality between Enfield and other, much richer boroughs in terms of public health funding. Although our efforts have helped to secure a 4.5% increase for Public Health funding in Enfield – the second highest increase of any London borough – we still receive only £50 a head, compared with the London average of £78.50 per head.
Our latest step has been to gain signatures from many local politicians, faith leaders and community leaders for the Enfield Declaration for Fairer Funding. This Declaration has been sent to Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government; Steve Barclay, Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson. We have also written to Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive.
Poverty is bad for both mental and physical health. The basic state pension continues to fall in real terms and other benefits are being cut or are under threat. We keep our members informed and act as advocates for older people on a wide range of topics including pensions, universal benefits, bus passes, TV licences and winter fuel allowance. Benefits lost today will affect all the generations to come.
A better Enfield
We have helped achieve: the spitting ban, the end of doctors’ surgeries using the expensive 0844 number, the extension of the 307 bus to Barnet Hospital, community toilets and more pavement repairs. We continue to work with the council to build a better and more equitable community across the borough.