AM condemns Conwy Labour Councillors “ageist” comments

Clwyd West AM Darren Millar has slammed Labour members on Conwy County Council for making “ageist” comments when considering ways to address a social services overspend.  

Conwy's social services are facing an overspend of £3m on a budget of £60m, the finance scrutiny committee heard this week.

Discussing ways to address the problem, Labour Councillors suggested the council should look at how long people have lived locally when considering support.

Former cabinet member Chris Hughes said Conwy was now a place people went to retire, while ex-deputy leader Ronnie Hughes hinted at priority for locals.

Responding to their comments Darren, who is seeking to take an Older People’s Rights Bill through the Assembly in the New Year, said:

“I'm fed up of the ageism I hear from some politicians. Older people are not a burden to society, they enrich it, and I'm proud that my constituency is an attractive place to retire; long may it continue.”

Darren’s Bill would aim to: promote ageing well; place a duty on public bodies – such as the Welsh Government, local authorities and health boards –  to have regard to the rights of older people when making decisions; to further enshrine the rights of older people into Welsh law; and place a duty on the Welsh Government to promote knowledge and understanding of the rights of older people.

Darren added: “It is important to remember that older people have rights too and introducing legislation would be a major step forward in recognising the important and valuable contribution that older people make to life in Wales. Whether it's in terms of their economic contribution, their volunteering or the hours of childcare provided by grandparents, older people make a huge and positive contribution to Wales.