Nick Herbert meets Senior Persons' Council
The Senior Persons' Council of Horsham was joined by Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert at their meeting in Henfield on Friday (21 January).
The Council was established in 2006 in the Horsham District and supports the over 50s in the District's villages and towns.
It holds regular meetings where residents can present their views on local issues and take on their own local initiatives.
The committee invited the MP to speak at the start of the meeting, which was followed by a question and answer session.
Mr Herbert highlighted the country's economic difficulties due to the budget deficit and stressed the importance of making savings and spending taxpayers' money wisely.
But he said that it was important to treat older people with particular respect. The Government had promised to restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011, with a triple lock guaranteeing that pensions are raised by the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent. It had also prioritised spending on healthcare which was so important to elderly people.
Members of the Council and the audience then put questions directly to Mr Herbert. These focused on the management of local crime and policing, including the work of Police Community Support Officers.
In responding to the questions Mr Herbert talked about the benefits of adopting the Street Watch scheme, introduced in Hampshire, the deployment of local wardens, and the value of PCSOs in West Sussex villages.
Barry Mursell, Chairman of the Senior Persons' Council, commented: "Horsham District's Senior Persons' Council was pleased that Nick Herbert was able to join them recently. He was quizzed quite eagerly by the members of the council and observers from the various parishes on a variety of subjects but especially on his portfolio concerns of law and justice.
"We believe he took onboard the concerns raised which in many ways were similar to his own. We hope to have him return one day in the future to see how both his department and the Coalition Government have lived up to their aspirations."
Nick Herbert commented: "I was delighted to be invited to speak at the Council's first meeting of 2011 and to listen to their concerns.
"There are many retired people living in my constituency and it's important, as we find new ways to deliver public services, that we focus carefully on the impact on a group which we should treat with particular respect."
Notes for Editors
1. For further details about the Senior Persons' Council, visit http://www.horsham.gov.uk/news/2010/13121.aspx%20%20
2. For more information about the Street Watch scheme, visit http://www.street-watch.org.uk/