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Langley Township council asked to institute seniors' committee

When Bob Richter had hip replacement surgery at Langley Memorial Hospital, he was fortunate enough that his wife, Township Councillor Kim Richter, could drive him home.

Many other middle aged and older patients weren’t as lucky, she noticed.

“Transportation for seniors is a major concern for seniors in this community,” she remarked at the June 11 council meeting.

Seniors admitted to hospital for surgery and who don’t have family or friends to drive them home cannot rely on public transport, she said.

A new committee for seniors would provide a strong voice and advocacy role, she said in proposing the formation of a Seniors Advisory Committee.

Council referred her suggestion to the September council priorities meeting where it will be discussed in context with a letter from Carla Robin, co-ordinator of the Langley Seniors Community Action Table.

In a letter to council, Robin said that while a number of “active and knowledgeable” committees exist in Langley “a very significant committee in the affairs of our municipality is missing.”

Observing that seniors represent a “large and significant portion of our population” and have much to offer in experience and expertise, Robin said that they have different needs and expectations.

“Seniors need a strong voice in the affairs of our community, particularly in the areas where they are most affected,” she said.

Robin urged council to take prompt action to form an official Seniors Advisory Committee which would act in concert with existing advisory committees.

She suggested that positions on the committee be filled by people who are knowledgeable in aspects of housing, transportation, access, and finances.

At least two members should be 65 or over, Robin added.

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