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Conference took place 3rd to 4th October 2023 at Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

The year of black workers was highlighted, celebrated and supported by a motion. It felt good to be part of understanding the history of black workers and appreciating their contribution, as well as encouraging more to join. A work in progress and any feedback received I will pass on.

The general focus was unsurprisingly on pension poverty and the ‘cost of living crisis ‘.

Motions were passed on the disparity between the old and new state pensions; to stop the rise in pension age; and preservation of the triple lock.

Other motions reflected the impact on retired members of fuel poverty, reduced public transport and bank services, and the closure of ticket offices, making it increasingly difficult for members to administer their own needs. Notably for some in the Scottish Highlands a notice on a closed bank advised customers to attend the nearest branch 200 miles away and a round trip of 3 days by public transport, but with most members being affected albeit in a less extreme way, wherever they reside.

A motion for public ownership of energy utilities sailed through as well as one about housing for older people.

Retired members are pressing for greater representation at  National Conference as inclusion would enable greater use of retired members as a resource.

It was noted and lamented that retired members are not allowed to do case work. Some members highlighted the skills, experience and time retired members would have to offer if involved.

The National campaign is for a National Care Service and this is where resources are being focused.

If you would like in depth or specific information about the motions passed this year do please contact me and I will make anything I have available.

Conference 2024 will take place from 8th to 9th October in Llandudno

Rachel Dolton

Retired Members’ Secretary