THE new leader of the second largest party on Hartlepool Borough Council has denied he is to old for the job.
Putting Hartlepool First announced its new group leader was councillor Keith Dawkins after a change in leadership due to personal reasons.
The 74-year-old retired electrician said since it was announced there has been murmurings he is too old, but that’s not the case according to the energetic councillor who sits on the council’s finance and policy, neighbourhood services, regeneration services, licensing and civic honours committees.
Coun Dawkins, only elected as a councillor in May 2012, represents the Jesmond Ward.
He said: “It’s been said or at least implied that at 74 I’m too old to lead the only viable challenge to the Labour Group in Hartlepool but fortunately I’m still a very active person.
“Even so, I do agree that younger people should consider becoming councillors. The inability to connect with the younger generations is one of the borough council’s biggest failures.”
Coun Dawkins - who describes himself as an “ordinary bloke” - takes over from councillor Alison Lilley. Deputy group leader Geoff Lilley will remain party spokesman.