The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has published its report on the 2021 local (parish and town) council elections.
Whilst there are 10,221 parish and town councils in England (around 100,000 councillors), the report finds that the number of parish and town councillors elected through contested elections was only 38% in 2021.
NALC also found that the average local councillor is a white (91%), heterosexual (83%) male (59%) and that only 38% of elected town and parish councillors identify as female, and even fewer (4%) would qualify as a young councillor (18-34).
The report makes several recommendations to improve the election process and diversity – including calling on town and parish councillors to raise awareness of local elections and encourage others to stand by talent spotting, and making use of NALC’s Make A Change materials to encourage more people to stand.
As Liberal Democrats, we must ensure that the ability of the electorate to hold local councils accountable for their actions is not limited.
With representation of underrepresented groups in local government remaining far too low, diversity MUST be a central tenet to the promotion of any election. Only with having a diverse workforce and representation can we have diverse perspectives that can provide and develop better services.
You can read the full report here.