William Eichler 11 March 2019

Scottish councils ‘lack diversity’, report reveals

Scottish councils ‘lack diversity’, report reveals image

Women and ethnic minorities are underrepresented at the local level in Scotland and many face harassment, an equalities study has revealed.

A report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission has revealed that only 29% of all councillors are women, compared to 51% of Scotland’s population.

Released on International Women’s Day, the report also found that 48% of women had experienced unwanted behaviour that they had found to be humiliating, offensive or intimidating.

The evidence also showed underrepresentation among communities with other protected characteristics, such as race and age.

‘While we have seen some progress in diversity among elected politicians, with representation among women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and young people, diversity is still poor compared to the general population,’ said Lesley Sawers, the EHRC Scotland commissioner.

‘It’s really worrying that almost half of all women surveyed say they have experienced harassment and a smaller number of ethnic minority candidates have experienced racial harassment.’

The study found that data about levels of representation in membership, approved lists of candidates, candidates for selection, and candidates for election is not routinely collected by political parties.

This makes it impossible to know whether other protected characteristic groups, such as disability, are underrepresented, the EHRC report said.

‘The diversity of elected local politicians is clearly important, with key decisions undertaken at local government level,’ said Dr Sawers.

‘Local politicians also form a crucial part of the pool of potential candidates for selection at other levels of government, including Holyrood and Westminster.

‘Without improving diversity among elected officials at the local level, it may be more difficult to make progress across elected politics.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Adult Care Operations

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council
Competitive Salary
As Director of Adult Care Operations, you will be the operational lead for the service, driving practice improvement, enhancing... Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Recuriter: Southend-on-Sea Borough Council

Adult Social Care - Process Assurance Officer

Essex County Council
Up to £23197 per annum
Job PurposeECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Learning Support Assistant

Essex County Council
£17000 - £18938 per annum
Learning Support Assistant Permanent, Part Time £18,938 per annum (FTE) Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Legal Support Officer – Housing & Litigation

City of York Council
£20,422 - £21,552 per annum
This role will provide support to the Legal Services Housing and Litigation team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Social Worker - Discharge to Assess

Essex County Council
Up to £207 per day + Umbrella
About the RoleWorking to support adults, and their families, who have complex social needs and are more vulnerable as a result of disability, exclusi England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue