Mark Whitehead 12 September 2018

Council chiefs to launch campaign to recruit female councillors

Local government leaders are set to launch a campaign to recruit more women as councillors.

The move by the Local Government Association follows new figures showing men massively outweigh women on councils and there has been very little progress towards equal numbers in recent years.

The LGA will focus on encouraging more young women to stand as councillors as part of its 'Be a Councillor' campaign this autumn.

It will feature a series of events organised with the British Youth Council and the My Life My Say group.

The association says it is vital that local authorities better reflect the communities they represent so that they have access to the best skills available and make the right decisions.

In its latest survey the Fawcett Society found 97% of councils were male-dominated and fewer than one in five council leaders were women.

Only 38% of the 4,333 seats up for election in 2018 went to women, an increase of just three percentage points since 2014.

Cllr Marianne Overton, vice chair of the Local Government Association, said the findings showed there must be faster progress to increase representation of women on councils.

'It is vital that local government better reflects the communities we represent and is inclusive in order to have the best skills and make the best possible decisions,' she said.

'The LGA is leading the "Be A Councillor" campaign and this year our main focus is to encourage women and under-represented groups to stand for election and help shape local councils to best support our communities.

'Councils also remain committed to ensuring that once elected, women also have an equal opportunity to become leaders in their councils.’

For more on this read our feature, ‘Overcoming the gender gap in local government’.

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