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Local Councillors

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

20. To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on steps to increase the diversity of local councillors. (135450)

The independent Commission on Local Councillors, announced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Bolton, West (Ruth Kelly) on 8 February, has been set up to consider how a more diverse range of people, including more women, can be encouraged and supported to become councillors so that communities are better represented. The Commission is looking at the range of barriers preventing women, and other under represented groups such as from the BME community and younger people, from standing, including for example time requirement and public perception of the role of councillors. The Commission is expected to report to the Secretary of State with its recommendations in the autumn.