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Minister launches scheme to improve diversity of councillors

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews will today (Thursday) launch a mentoring programme to increase diversity amongst Local Government councillors.
Thursday 17 September 2015

In January 2014, the Williams Commission report said the make-up of councils was a "poor reflection" of the communities they serve, with 60% of councillors being aged over sixty and 72% being men.

Increasing the diversity of Councillors will lead to more effective decision making as they will be more in tune with, and representative of their local communities.

The Mentoring Programme has been designed to empower people from a range of backgrounds to stand for future elections.

The programme is actively seeking people who are:

  • 45 or under,
  • female, 
  • lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, 
  • black minority ethnic, or 
  • disabled.

The mentoring programme offers individuals who are interested in standing for election access to one-to-one and group mentoring, training and support and an opportunity to shadow an existing Councillor.

Leighton Andrews said:

“I regularly meet highly motivated individuals who have a keen interest in community issues. They have drive and determination, but don’t feel able to stand for election.

“Whether they are discouraged by the working patterns or they think they don’t conform to the usual type of Councillor, I want to challenge misconceptions and remove barriers.

“The Mentoring Programme will help us move away from the ‘old boys club’ image and encourage people to come forward and find their community voice.”

More information can be found at www.gov.wales/diversityindemocracy,  DiD@wales.gsi.gov.uk  029 2080 1048 #DiDCymru.

 

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