This report is the result of a year-long study led by the Fawcett Society in partnership with the Local Government Information Unit, which asked ‘Does Local Government Work for Women?’ and contains recommendations to help solve the issues faced by women in town halls.
Just one in three local councillors is a woman, and the pace of change is slow, going up by just 5% points since 1997. In county councils it will take until 2065 to reach equality. The report reveals that women are outnumbered six to one in finance or economic development roles, which usually lead to the top. This helps to explain why just 17 per cent of council leaders are women – a figure that has hardly shifted for 10 years.
The report makes a number of recommendations to the Government, political parties, and local councils which would drive change. To get more women in to the roles, the Commission calls for all parties to for the first time set targets for getting more women councillors in, and make it a legal requirement to get 45 percent women candidates if they don’t make progress.