The range hole in UK councils

published on July 8, 2020

We've seen new data which shows thescale of ethnic minority underrepresentation in local government it'sthe first ever complete census ofcouncilors and it found just sevenpercent of them are from a black Asianor minority ethnic background when in

Fact they make up 14% of the populationas a wholeresearchers at the University ofManchester log the percentage of peoplefrom an ethnic minority on each counciland this map shows exactly what they

Found as you can see metropolitan orCity Council's shown here in yellow arehome to some of the UK's largest pamepopulations like London and Manchesterand they're more likely to be diversebut even many of these under represent

The communities who live there forexample only 13% of Westminstercouncillors are from Abbey AMEbackground compared to 38% of thepopulationBrighton & Hove has a disparity of 11

Percentage points as does quitesurprisingly Manchester there are placeswhere be AME people are over-representedsuch as Hounslow but this is rare andthat's played a key role inlong-standing inequalities this is a

Wake-up call for party leaders to say intheir localities what is the plan toensure that you have a membership thatlooks like the people you're seeking toserve what is the plan to ensure thattalent goes from A to B to high office

You know too often political partiesacross in the fingers and hoping thatpeople will come forward and that theywill have a representative Parliamentit's not good enough you need to have acomprehensive plan to recruit retain and

Promote talent and once you have thatyou have a representative localauthority that can serve the needs of adiverse community the report also looksat how many councillors from an ethnicminority background are women it found

Just 3 in 10 Asian councillors werefemale and black women made up themajority of councillors 6 out of 10 fromthat community in 2019 more ethnicminority MPs were elected to Parliamentthan ever before but this progress has

Masked the reality of representingat lower levels of government findingout why this is an issue is crucial ascouncils are where power is closest tothe people and at a time of heighteneddiscussions around institutional racism

And inequality the lack of ethnicrepresentation can reinforce thatdisadvantage and tackling it couldbridge the long-standing diversity gap

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