Charities say an older people’s commissioner for Wales should be
independent and have the power to investigate cases of abuse.
Age Alliance Wales, which includes Age Concern Cymru and
Alzheimer’s Society Wales, supports the establishment of a
commissioner. But it says the term of office should be at least
five years, that the post holder receives universal backing from
the main Welsh political parties and that measures are put in place
to protect against political influence.
Giving evidence to the Welsh assembly’s health and social care
committee last week, the alliance also highlighted concerns that
the commissioner’s responsibilities could overlap with those of the
new UK-wide Commission for Equalities and Human Rights. It called
for clarification on this and for a review of the commissioner’s
role after it is set up.
The Commissioner Bill was published last month outlining the
government’s proposals for establishing the role. It envisages a
staff of about 30 and a cost of £2m to set up and run it in
the first year.