This complaint seems fair enough at one level.
Councils in Portsmouth and Brighton have been accused by the Operation Black Vote (OBV) pressure group of being among the least representative authorities across England for people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. An analysis of 123 single tier councils shows that nearly one in every four councils – 23% – have no elected representatives from minority ethnic communities. When local authorities with just one BAME councillor are included, this brings the total to one third of councils.
If there are lots of people of one type and no local reps of that type then – maybe and perhaps – something isn’t quite right.
We can go argue whether people should be politicians based upon their skin colour and all that but the basic complaint could still be fair enough.
Yes, they do actually do this right right way too. They’re not comparing national BAME numbers with local reps, but local with local.
• All political parties undertake a BAME democratic audit of members, staff and elected officials at local and national level
• All political parties acknowledge their BAME democratic deficit and have a comprehensive plan to balance the disparities
Hmm, well, not sure here. Because the blame is being placed upon political parties not selecting BAME to stand for election. When, you know, it might well be us peeps out here not so voting. OR people not desiring to stand. Or even, the BAME population is significantly younger than the general meaning the recent immigrants and their children haven’t yet matured into standing.
But there is something quite fascinating about the report. Because it gives us the BAME portion of the population across local authority areas.
Brent and Newham are 65 and 73% BAME. Herefordshire, Northumberland and Redcar are 1.8. 1.6 and 1.4%.
We’ve a hell of a regional variation here, no?