Operation Black Vote and the Government Equalities Office Black Asian Minority Ethnic Women Councillor Shadowing Scheme.
The representation of Black and other minority ethnic (BAME) women at every level of governance from the Houses of Parliament to local government is markedly low. Of the 646 MPs in Westminster, two are BAME women and out of 20,000 Councillors, 149 are BAME women. This represents less than 1% of Councillors nationally.
On 24th April, Operation Black Vote launched the country’s first national BAME Councillor Shadowing Scheme; applications were accepted until 31st July. The scheme invites 50 women from BAME communities across the country to take part in a ground-breaking leadership programme, which is designed to encourage them to find out about the wide-ranging role of councillors.
The project aims to demystify the role of councillors and open up the process to allow greater diversity and to help tackle the under-representation of BAME women within the UK’s elected Council Chambers.
The Councillors Commission found that one of the main barriers to a wider range of people being councillors was the lack of awareness of the councillor role and how to get involved.
The participants will shadow mentor councillors for a minimum of six days over a six month period and learn about the roles and responsibilities of a councillor. The experience will equip and motivate them to become actively involved in local politics. They will gain the confidence to stand as candidates and represent their communities as councillors in the decision-making process. Participants will also be encouraged to become Community Ambassadors, explaining and promoting the benefits of civic engagement and encouraging others to also become involved in community affairs. In turn, the scheme will also give serving councillors the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of BAME communities.
The First Certificate in Community Leadership is a modular online learning package which facilitates the individual learning for each candidate. The modules will look at the skills and qualities of an effective councillor, principles of community leadership and give you an understanding of the local government environment. Basic computer literacy and access to a computer is necessary to complete the certificate.
Please contact OBV for further information: Tel: 0208 983 5471 / Fax: 0208 983 5492/ Email:
or download the information from their website