At their regular meeting on June 7, District of Sechelt councillors gave a warm reception to an Age Friendly Community Plan developed by the Sunshine Coast Seniors Planning Table.
Alison Leaney, Coordinator of the Seniors Planning Table, appeared as a delegation to introduce the report, which was based on feedback from focus groups involving over 200 community members who were asked what would make Sechelt even more friendly for people of all ages.
The final report includes 43 recommendations in eight areas: outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation and traffic safety, housing and independent living, respect and inclusion, social participation, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and community support and health services.
As well as suggested actions for the District of Sechelt, there are recommendations for a wide variety of other governments, agencies and organizations, including the SCRD, Vancouver Coastal Health, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Leaney said that the recommendations are intended to benefit everyone, not just seniors, and said that they “were constructed in a way to be actionable, so that we don’t have a report that sits on a shelf.”
Among the themes that Leaney touched on in her introduction were a strong desire among members of the public for “neighbourliness and interconnectedness and inter-generational opportunities to connect in the community”, and a deep concern about the lack of affordable housing. The report also recommends ongoing funding for the Seniors Planning Table, and a community social planning position.
Mayor Bruce Milne complimented Leaney on her work. “When I was reading the report I was thinking how fortunate we are in Sechelt to have you in our community to be able to not only organize the research and the data but to write reports of that calibre.”
Council voted to receive and endorse the report, to refer it to a future Committee of the Whole meeting for further discussion, and to refer all the recommendations specific to the District of Sechelt to an upcoming review of staff workplans.
The Age Friend Community Plan was funded by a grant from the Union of BC Municipalities and compiled by the Seniors Planning Table, which is a program of the Community Resource Centre. The report is available on the Resource Centre website under the Seniors Planning Table tab. Donna McMahon