Diverse Democracy Project Engaging Diverse Communities ahead of next year’s local elections
- Categories : Press Release , Council , Corporate
- 08 Dec 2021
MTCBC understands how important democracy is within the County Borough and the Council’s Diverse Democracy project is reminding communities of how they can take part in next year’s local elections.
Councils are encouraging people from underrepresented groups to consider standing as candidates at next year’s local elections and in future ones.
Despite some progress in recent years, women account for only six of Wales’ 22 council leaders and only 28% of councillors. A further 11% of councillors are disabled, and only 1.8% are from a Black or Minority Ethnic background. According to a 2019 Office for National Statistics analysis in Wales, the five years leading up to 2019 saw the proportion of the Welsh population identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or other steadily increase from 1.6% in 2014 to 2.9% in 2019.
MTCBC believes progress in diversity and equality is incredibly important to strive for equal opportunities. The Council said: “The progress in recent years has improved, however bigger changes are needed to encourage more diverse candidates to stand for Councillor and represent their wards. In addition to representing all their Ward Residents, Councillors could become role models for the underrepresented and inspire a new generation of civic leaders.
The Council has a duty to ensure that the Authority and those carrying out a public function consider how they can positively contribute to a fairer society through advancing equality and good relations in their day-to-day engagement with the community.
The diverse democracy project at MTCBC aims to reassure individuals who may feel put off in running as a Councillor to reconsider and remember that there are many things in place which can assist a Councillor to carry out their work.
The Council has approved a Diversity Declaration which commits to coordinated activities to improve diversity in local government democracy, providing a clear, public commitment to improving diversity, staggering council meeting times and agreeing recess periods to support councillors with other commitments.
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has a strong vision which is set out in our Strategic Equality Plan 2020-2024. Our Equality Vision for Merthyr Tydfil is: “A place where diversity is valued and respected and everyone can participate, flourish and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential free from discrimination and prejudice”. Under the Equality Act 2010, It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their protected characteristic. There are nine protected characteristics listed under the Equality Act 2010.
The democracy department at MTCBC have created a webpage which gives insight into diversity and equalities including FAQ’s on becoming a Councillor.
Take a look at: