Having taken written evidence for its inquiry looking at Councillors and the Community, the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee at the House of Commons has issued a renewed call for evidence inviting individuals to explain why they decide - or decide not - to stand at local elections.
MPs on the Committee are particularly keen to hear from:
- People who serve their communities in other ways (for instance through involvement in voluntary, community or faith groups) but have consciously decided not to run for election to their local council; the reasons behind such a decision and what would need to change before such a person might consider standing in future.
- People who have wanted to stand to be a councillor but have encountered specific barriers to becoming a candidate.
- Former councillors who chose not to seek re-election (within the past three years); the reasons for this and whether (or not) they would recommend being a council to others.
- Councillors elected within the last three years; what made them stand; whether the experience has so far live up to expectations and whether (or not) they intend to stand for re-election.
Within all of these categories, the Committee is especially keen to hear from those sections of society currently under-represented on some local authorities – for example: women, young people (including young business people), people from black and minority ethnic communities and disabled people.
Comment from the Chair
Launching this extended call for evidence, Clive Betts, Chair of CLG Committee said,
"Local people choosing to serve their communities through election to their county, district, unitary, metropolitan or London borough councils is key to effective local democracy. We need to work out what changes can be made that will strengthen participation and representation from all parts of society.
We hope many people from all sections of society will now put pen to paper and send us an email, to tell us why they choose to stand – or not - in local elections."
The extended call for evidence has been promoted widely on social media on Twitter using the hashtag #YBaCouncillor?
Submissions of no more than 3000 words are invited until 16 July 2012
Each submission should be labelled with the subject ‘YBaCouncillor?’, sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, attached in Word format (with as little use of colour or logos as possible) and be accompanied by a covering email containing the name and contact details of the individual submitting evidence. A detailed guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website (see below) it should be noted that written evidence is often published and made available in a report and on the internet.