Women are disproportionately affected by services under local government control, such as social care and childcare. Yet we remain vastly under-represented in local government.
We have made progress in recent years in increasing female representation nationally. However the gender imbalance remains stark at local government level: women make up just 33% of local councillors in England, 17% of local authority leaders and 25% of directly elected mayors.
We need urgent legislation to tackle the gender imbalance we see across the UK in local authorities, to ensure women are fairly represented in all levels of government. Today I asked the Department for Communities and Local Government whether the Government would support the introduction of All Women Shortlists in local government to finally address this imbalance.