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By definition councillors are representative in the sense that they are elected. So far as selection is concerned one would hope that when the Conservatives are choosing Council candidates they would do so on merit – who would do the best job.

Is this all there is to be said on the subject? If, for instance, a Council was run by a large Conservative Group consisting entirely of retired white businessmen would this matter – provided they keep costs down and the streets clean?

The Government are worried that "only" 30.8% of Britain's 20,000 councillors are women. They are also worried that less than 1% of councillors are ethnic minority women compared to over 5% of the overall population. Women are invited to come to some taxpayer financed event in Lambeth on May 21 to hear Harriet Harman tell them to become councillors. Not sure about standing for the Council? Go on. Do it for Harriet.

My own view is that it is good to have a reasonable mix. Being a councillor is time consuming which offers an advantage to those who are retired, while it is probably also a good idea to also have some people with different perspectives – for instance those with children. But these are matters between political parties and the electorate. It is not for the Government to stick its nose in.

40 comments for: Should councillors be representative of modern Britain?

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