CHAMPION OF THE PEOPLE; COUNCILLOR TO FIGHT FOR THE OVER-FIFTIES IN CITY.
OLDER people living in Liverpool have a council champion.
Cllr Frank Roderick has been chosen to promote a better deal for Liverpudlians aged over 50.
He will join more than 20 other champions selected from health organisations and other groups in the city.
It is part of Tony Blair's Better Government for Older People initiative.
Each local authority must match the Prime Minister's appointment of a government Champion for Older People.
Liverpudlians have one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the country, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Men in the city live to an average age of 71.69 years and women to 76.97. The national average is 75.20 for men and 80.1 for women.
Cllr Roderick, a 48-yearold Lib Dem member who represents the St Mary's ward, will speak up for the elderly at council meetings and represent the authority at age-related forums.
He says one of his priorities is to improve the way people are treated when they approach the council for help.
Cllr Roderick said: "I'm guided by the fact that as you get older and you lose your health, you require help and find yourself in someone else's hands. I want to reach the point where older people don't worry about contacting such things as social services.
"We need to treat them as customers and explain to them what they will actually get from us and how long it will take. I want to see people make use of our leisure services, libraries and life-long learning initiatives.
"I use our libraries and I get help from social services. I'm disabled and I know how difficult it can be to get out and about. I'm not afraid to shout about what's right and what's wrong. I am here to help make a difference to people."
CAMPAIGNER: Cllr Frank Roderick is the Champion for Older People
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|Publication:||Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)|
|Date:||Sep 28, 2001|
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