Older People's Council faces the axe

The organisation that seeks to represent older people in Brighton and Hove faces closure .

opcstatementThe organisation that seeks to represent older people in Brighton and Hove faces closure because of proposed funding cuts by the city council.

Brighton and Hove Independent can reveal the threat to the Older People's Council (OPC) has sparked widespread anger. Council representatives said the proposal came as "a complete surprise".

In a statement, they said: "We believe that this is extremely disrespectful towards volunteers, many of whom have been working for the interests of older people within the City for many years."

OPC officers claim that the costs of elections to the council - put as high as £40,000 - are "grossly overstated".

They state: "A further figure is quoted of £9,000, which would appear to be an estimate of the time officers spend over a year on our administration. This will not be a saving as this figure is already earmarked for our proposed replacement a non-defined, non-elected 'consultative” forum'."

The officers say that older people need the council more than ever: "It would seem to us that there is a real need at such a difficult time for an independent voice for older people and that the proposals do not meet the needs of older people for independent representation of their views directly to councillors and council officers."