PCC Sue Mountstevens
Plans are underway to encourage people from a wider range of backgrounds to stand as councillors or otherwise play a role in public life at an event that Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens will be speaking at.
On Thursday 3 October Bristol City Council teams up with Bristol Women’s Commission to host the event on ‘Women in Public Life’, aiming to encourage more women to play a role.
Commissioner Sue Mountstevens, who has been invited to speak at the event said: “It is a privilege to be part of an event such as this which offers a supportive environment where women can come together to share personal development, empowering each other to take on new challenges and roles.”
Featuring both morning and evening sessions, the event will see many different public bodies hold stalls where women can come along, talk about taking part and discuss some of the barriers which might have put them off in the past.
The evening session will also host a short talk by Avon and Somerset’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens.
Women make up 51% of society, but on Bristol City Council only 24% of its 70 councillors are female. The council is also underrepresented in terms of age, ethnicity and sexuality, as are many public bodies.
Councillors Daniella Radice, Margaret Hickman and Fi Hance came up with the idea, hoping to use their knowledge and experience as councillors to help persuade more women to take part in public life.
Cllr Daniella Radice, Ward Member for Bishopston said: “In almost all walks of public life women are underrepresented. We’re hoping that by sharing our experiences and those of our colleagues from other organisations we can persuade more women to step up and play a part.
“Bristol needs more women from all backgrounds and communities across the city to make sure that local organisations hear, understand and respond to local needs including the need of women.
“Many people don’t realise that there are lots of things in place to help with issues such as childcare or fitting the role in around a full time job. It’s really important for councils and other public bodies to represent the views of all local people, and while any councillor can do this, it certainly helps to have a broad range of backgrounds, perspectives and opinions in the organisation.”
The event is free with no need to register in advance. The morning session runs from 11am to 1pm and the early evening session runs from 6pm to 8pm. Attendees are welcome to bring children as it is an informal event.
For more information on becoming a councillor visit www.bristol.gov.uk/beacouncillor.
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2013