New Peterborough group to ‘promote equality and diversity amongst councillors’ to form

A new working group to “promote equality and diversity amongst councillors” is being set up in Peterborough.

Wednesday, 23rd September 2020, 5:00 am

The city council Task and Finish Group will be established after it was approved at a meeting of Full Council on July 29.

The motion from Labour member for Park ward Cllr Aasiyah Joseph requested that the working group reviews:

. How the council can promote equality and diversity for all councillors, including consideration of phasing out the use of gender defining titles

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Cllr Aasiyah Joseph (front, centre)

. The adoption of a parental leave policy for councillors, to assist and encourage younger people to come forward as councillors

. How the council can ensure councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate

. How political groups, group leaders and the mayor/chair can help ensure better behaviour in the Council Chamber to create an atmosphere of mutual respect.

The motion stated that: “Women are the biggest consumers of council services, the majority of its staff are women, yet the majority of councillors and council leaders are male.”

It added: “Improved provision for parental leave will contribute towards increasing the diversity of age, experience and background of councillors, in addition to assisting with retention of experienced councillors and making public office more accessible to those who might otherwise feel excluded.

”Action must be taken to improve the number of female councillors, by not only making it easier for them to become councillors but by creating a culture where they wish to stay.”

The formation of the working group will be finalised next week, but it is proposed that advisers include: Adrian Chapman, service director for communities and partnerships, Fiona McMillan, director of law and governance, Mandy Pullen, assistant director for human resources, and Cllr David Seaton, Cabinet member for finance and chairman of the Constitution and Ethics Committee.