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‘We have to head-off future crisis’
11:00am Monday 7th October 2013 in News
LEADING figures across Worcestershire are being urged to join a “big conversation” about the county’s future needs.
Community leaders fear with an ageing population and fewer people in work, growing demands are being put on services with fewer residents able to pay for them.
By 2035, the number of people aged over 65 in the county is forecast to rise 70 per cent – at least five per cent higher than the national average.
It comes amid a backdrop of Worcestershire County Council currently slashing about £20 million from spending every year.
The Office for National Statistics also says the county’s working age population will fall by two per cent, leaving services under the cosh. Now a new project is launching to encourage leaders from businesses, the public sector, voluntary groups and the wider community to come together and find solutions. Called Worcestershire Next Generation, it aims to build on success stories such as the Hive, the £60 million library which came about after the University of Worcester and county council teamed up.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader, said: “Over the last 10 years, Worcestershire has been a prosperous place to live and work.
“But economic and environmental change, as well as the changing nature of our society, could impact heavily on the future of the county if we do not work together. We need them to tell us what commitments are most important to them, what will change in their organisations as a result of the project and how others can help them contribute these important changes.”
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