Laura Sharman 18 April 2017

Combined authorities risk being 'preserve of men' finds report

Nearly all (93%) of senior positions in the new combined authorities will be appointed to white men, new research has revealed.

A report from the Electoral Reform Society warns English devolution risks becoming a ‘plaything of the old boys’ club’.

From City Hall to Citizens' Hall: Democracy, Diversity and English Devolution found that only two cabinet members of all six new combined authorities will be women, and only one will be from a Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background.

It also predicts that just one female mayoral candidate is likely to win next month.

‘Parties have dropped their guard when it comes to diversity and democracy in the new combined authorities,’ said Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society.

‘With 93% of the most powerful posts being controlled by men, these institutions risk magnifying the problems of representation that already exist in local government. And many of the new institutions will effectively be “one-party states”, with mayors held to account by their own party colleagues.’

‘It’s concerning to see the most powerful positions in these new authorities being dominated by the “usual suspects”. Many of these authorities risk magnifying the problems of local one-party states, with all sorts of risks for scrutiny and accountability.

‘These new bodies can’t be allowed to be the preserve of the old boys’ club – with the new mayors and cabinet members often being the same as those who previously had power, only with less accountability.’

The ERS is calling for candidates and the new mayors to base scrutiny committees on vote share rather than seat share, adopting proportional representation via the Single Transferable Vote for local elections, implementing a ‘Transparency Charter’, and experimenting with new forms of democracy such as citizens’ assemblies.

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Service Managers

Blaby District Council
£42,614 - £45,648
Blaby is an attractive district in the heart of Leicestershire. Blaby, Leicester
Recuriter: Blaby District Council

Service Managers

Blaby District Council
£38,553 - £41,591
Blaby is an attractive district in the heart of Leicestershire. Blaby, Leicester
Recuriter: Blaby District Council

Service Managers

Blaby District Council
£38,553 - £41,591
Blaby is an attractive district in the heart of Leicestershire. Blaby, Leicester
Recuriter: Blaby District Council

Service Managers

Blaby District Council
£46,662 - £47,665
As a local authority striving to be the best, we are seeking passionate, strong leaders. Blaby, Leicester
Recuriter: Blaby District Council

Transformation Group Manager

Blaby District Council
£60,762 - £73,417
Blaby is an attractive district in the heart of Leicestershire. Blaby, Leicester
Recuriter: Blaby District Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.