We want our party and those in positions of influence in our community, such as Councillors, to reflect the profile of the population in Milton Keynes. Not just because that’s right, but because we know we’ll make better decisions if we have a more diverse group of people making them. It’s also important we demonstrate that the group of people that are making decisions understand and represent all parts of our community.
We work hard to make our activity accessible to all and to remove any barriers to involvement that might make it harder for part of the community to participate. Even with that positive approach we recognise that we haven’t yet reached the level of diversity that reflects the population, so we continue to work on this and make sure we include everyone.
We’re open about our challenges and have appointed Diversity and Youth Coordinators and a Women’s Officer to lead efforts to improve our diversity. Their work covers all aspects of diversity including Gender, Race, Religion, LGBT and Disability (including physical disabilities, mental health conditions and cognitive difference).
In elections we can select a diverse group of candidates but we can't guarantee which ones will be elected, as it’s up to the voters, so we can't directly decide the diversity of our own Councillor Group. We select the best candidate for each post but overall we try and improve the diversity of our team. We are able to use women-only shortlists to select our candidates for specific seats if we think that is appropriate.
An example of our diversity:
We know that Women (actually a slight majority of the population) are under-represented in our party with around 40% of our local party members being women. We want more women to join our party and actively encourage women to become party members and get involved.
After the election results in May 2016, seven out of the twenty-two Labour Councillors on Milton Keynes Council are women (32%). A slightly higher proportion, seven of our twenty candidates (35%) in the 2016 election were women. The Cabinet formed from the Labour group has three women out of eight (38%) including the Deputy Leader of Milton Keynes Council. We want more of our women members to stand as candidates for Council seats.
We select women candidates for other key positions too. In the last European Parliament Elections in 2014 the candidate at the top of our list was Anneliese Dodds so she was our MEP (until she became an MP for Oxford East in June 2017). Our candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner in 2016 was Laetisia Carter. At the General Election in 2017 both our candidates for MP were women - Hannah O'Neill and Charlynne Pullen.
We also make sure at least three of our six local party Officers (Secretary, Chair, two Vice-Chairs, Treasurer and Women's Officer) are women. Our Women’s Officer leads a Women’s group and you can find out more about that here.
If you have any views or suggestions about any aspect of our diversity and inclusion please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org