Shadow chancellor at OAP conference

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell
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Shadow chancellor John McDonnell will be the main speaker at this year’s Pensioners’ Parliament in Blackpool.

Hundreds of delegates are expected to attend the three-day annual convention which starts on Tuesday at the Winter Gardens.

Events will kick off with the usual march through the town centre, starting at 1.15pm from Adelaide Street West to the Winter Gardens.

Blackpool deputy mayor Coun Gary Coleman will then offically open proceedings at the Opera House before Mr McDonnell addresses the gathering.

A spokesman for the Pensioners’ Parliament said: “John McDonnell will be the first ever chancellor or shadow chancellor to address the annual NPC Pensioners’ Parliament in Blackpool.

“Mr McDonnell is expected to announce details of Labour’s plans to set up an Older People’s Commission to look at the range of issues facing the older generation

“Other guest speakers include John Hilary, director of War on Want, and Dot Gibson, NPC general secretary.”

The convention will also be attended by representatives of unions including Unison, Unite and the Royal College of Nursing, as well as organisations including the Chartered Institute of Housing, Action on Elder Abuse, International Longevity Centre and the Campaign for Better Transport

Issues to be covered during the discussions will range from changes to pensions and retirement, to the crisis in social care, privatisation of the NHS and how devolution might affect public transport.

Also on the agenda is housing and older people and the effect a digital-only society would have on those who are not online.

On the final day there will be a panel discussion looking at the impact of cuts over the last five years and considering what the next five years hold for campaigners.

The Pensioners Parliament has become a firm fixture in Blackpool, attracting people from all over the country to the resort.