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House of Commons Hansard
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06 March 2007
Volume 457
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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average age of councillors was in England in (a) 1986, (b) 1996 and (c) 2006. [125010]

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The average age of councillors in England rose from 55.4 in 1997 to 58.3 in 2006 (see the following table). A figure for 1997 has been included in the absence of an estimate for 1996. No equivalent figure is available for 1986.

As an alternative, estimates of the percentage of councillors aged under 45 years are also provided. Here, a downward trend is evident, with 26 per cent. of councillors under 45 in 1985 (in England and Wales), 18.4 per cent. in 1997, and 13.5 per cent. in 2006.

1985

1997

2006

Average age of councillors in England (years)

55.4

58.3

Councillors under 45 years of age (percentage)

126

18.4

13.5

1 England and Wales. Sources: 1. Widdicombe Committee, 1986. 2. 1997 Census of Local Authority Councillors, IDeA. 3. 2006 Census of Local Authority Councillors, IDeA.

A new Councillors Commission, announced on 8 February 2007, will consider the average age of councillors as part of its wider remit to consider barriers and incentives to becoming a councillor.