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.’

Hedging the currency risk image

Hedging the currency risk

Following the recent news that Croydon Council is considering hedging the currency risk in its pension fund, Jackie Bowie offers her view on optimal strategies to achieve the best outcome.
Local government workers deserve thanks image

Local government workers deserve thanks

Civil service workers are under-appreciated and it’s time to change that, says Heather Glanville of Boundless, the membership club for public sector workers.
Highways jobs

Service Manager – Network Management

Somerset County Council
£46,122 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Traffic Control Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Engineer

Bedford Borough Council
£31,371 - £32,878 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Clerk of Works

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 + market rate supplement £2,630 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

The June issue of Local Government News contains the full details of all the winning schemes in the 2019 Street Design Awards. From Children's Play to Pedestrian Environment, find out who has been recognised for their innovation and use of best practice.

This issue also explores how local government pension funds can hedge currency risk, how councils can best address the shortfall in school places, and an update on the number of authorities banning the use of Roundup over safety fears.

Register for your free magazine