Cllr Rene Kinzett, the leader of the Conservative Group on Swansea Council, is being investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman after declaring that "most of the people on the council are in their 60s and, quite frankly, past it." Not quite clear if he was saying that anyone over 60 is too old to be a councillor but he certainly seemed to imply it.
Surely we should judge people on their individual merit rather than according to arbitrary criteria?For instance I think a willingness to use email is virtually a necessity for being an effective councillor as is the physical strength to get out and knock on doors canvassing their residents. Is Cllr Kinzett suggesting a 61-year-old could not conceivably be capable of such things? An ability to stay awake during Council meetings is also important but this can sometimes be a challenge for all age groups.
Where Cllr Kinzett is on stronger ground is suggesting that "robust political debate" should not be a matter for the Local Government Ombudsman.
The average age of Welsh councillors is 59.