Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Minority groups and councillors.

At next week's Overview and Scrutiny meeting there is a motion on Operation Black Vote and the possibility of more mentoring schemes. The issue for us is that it would be easy, particularly if you are in a minority group, to feel that being a councillor or getting involved in politics "isn't for people like me". And taking the first steps can be very difficult, particularly if you are disadvantaged by, for example, people's views of your disability.

Anyway I have spoken to the person responsible for the motion and said I am happy to take developing this idea further into my executive member work programme. Looking at the motion I want to do something a bit broader than is hinted at and I want to use the feedback from the OBV work so far to help shape whatever we do.

This is hopefully something other Councillors will want to be involved in - although the individual political parties bear some responsibility for the encouragement, or lack of it, given to people to get invovled.

Overview and Scrutiny meets for the first time next week. This (below) is the motion I am talking about.

"This council welcomes the thorough preparation of the Operation Black Vote
mentoring scheme, however we believe that it should be the duty of the city
council to encourage all its young people considering careers in politics and
media by offering an all embracing mentoring scheme irrespective of any
persons race, religious background, sex or sexuality "

The rest of the Committee agenda material, and material from other meetings, is at www.liverpool.gov.uk.

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