The appointment of Jack Spriggs to Rushden Town Council just a month after his 18th birthday opens up a fascinating debate on the age of our elected representatives.
On the one hand, there are those who will say the likes of Jack Spriggs and Thomas Pursglove – who is the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Corby and East Northants – are too young to have generated enough life experiences to truly understand what the vast majority of voters care about and think.
However, on the other hand, for decades there have been complaints that our councillors and MPs are too old and out of touch with the real world.
There is merit in both arguments, but what we really need are representatives who truly understand and represent the views, hopes and fears of the electorate.
And that includes teenagers, people in the early 20s and pensioners, of both sexes.
If would be entirely wrong to suggest quotas of elected representatives based on age or sex, but for far too long both local and national politics was largely the domain of middle-aged, middle-class white males.
That has been changing as society has changed, but that group remains the predominant force on the local and national stage.
We wholeheartedly agree with Jack Spriggs when he says there should be a broad range of decision-makers to represent the variety of our communities.
Neil Pickford, Editor