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Written Statement - Membership of the Expert Group on Housing an Ageing Population

Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

Further to my Oral Statement on 15 September, I wish to advise Assembly Members of the Chair and Members of the expert group to advise the Welsh Government on its strategy for housing an ageing population.

Earlier this year, we received an important report from one of the work streams of the Ministerial Advisory Forum on Ageing, on the housing issues facing older people in Wales. We also saw the publication of the Public Policy Institute Wales report on “Meeting the Housing Needs of an Ageing Population in Wales” which makes recommendations for action by the Welsh Government and key partners.

I am delighted Professor Judith Phillips has agreed to Chair the group. Professor Phillips is Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor at Swansea University and Director of the Centre for Ageing and Dementia Research Wales. She brings a wealth of knowledge and relevant experience in this area.

The other members of the group are:

  • Gary Day, Land and Planning Director of McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles Ltd
  • Angela Morrison, Director of Quattro Design Architects
  • Walis George, Chief Executive of Grwp Cynefin
  • Robin Tetlow, Chairman of Tetlow King Planning Ltd
  • Ruth Marks, Chief Executive Wales Council for Voluntary Action
  • Ceri Jackson, Director of RNIB Cymru and Chair of Age Alliance Wales
  • Lorraine Morgan, Consultant on Ageing. Promoting the social model of ageing in: "Health, Social Care, Education and Housing"
  • Alan Hatton Yeo, retired CEO of Beth Johnson Foundation and lead of Age Friendly Wales programme, Volunteering Matters Wales
  • Dr Sarah Hillcoat-Nallétamby, Associate Professor, Social Policy and Ageing, Centre for Innovative Ageing, Swansea University
  • Councillor Dyfed Edwards, Leader Gwynedd County Council and WLGA Housing Spokesperson
  • Parry Davies, Current Director with responsibility for Social Services and Housing Services in Ceredigion County Council
  • Dr Malcom Fisk, Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University and Senior Research Fellow
  • Dr. Chrissie Pickin, Executive Director of Health and Wellbeing, Public Health Wales
  • Sarah Rochira Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.

The central challenge for the group will be to advise on the practical steps which can be taken to widen housing options for older people. It will be able to reflect upon and complement the reports already issued by the Ministerial Advisory Group on Ageing and the Public Policy Institute Wales. Housing needs to become an even more prominent element of our ambition to make Wales a great place in which to grow old. We should be prepared to learn from good practice on how this can be achieved both here in Wales and further afield.

I am pleased we have been able to assemble such a range of talents under Judith Phillips’ leadership to assist us with this task. I am sure the group will wish to consult widely as it seeks practical solutions. Local authorities, housing associations, house builders, third sector organisations, and our partners in health and social services will all need to be involved. So will older people themselves. I want to kick off a national debate about improving housing options and older people themselves need to be at the heart of this debate.

The first meeting of the group will take place on 17 December 2015. I will report to the National Assembly on progress in the New Year.