London Council’s are urging political parties and councils to do more to find the next generation of local councillors.
London’s borough councillors are up for re-election in May 2010 – and the search for new talent has already started.
London Councils is working with Capital Ambition and the Leadership Centre for Local Government on Project 2010, which is all about making people more aware of the work of their local council, and councillors, with a view to encouraging more people to consider standing in the 2010 elections.
One main aim is to increase awareness among the communities currently under-represented by London’s 1,861 borough councillors, such as women, and minority ethnic groups.
There’s a “talent spotter’s recruitment manual” which they suggest will be the first in a line of resources and events that’ll form part of a campaign on the issue.
Whether this will be welcomed by sitting councillors, political parties and council’s I’ll wait and see, but whatever else it does it doesn’t pull it’s punches:
We also want to raise the quality of all councillors. We need different kinds of people willing to put themselves up for election, so that parties get a choice of quality candidates to select from.
To do that, parties have to go out and find new talent: people who are ordinary enough to be representative, but extraordinary enough to be representatives. It’s time to get rid of the ‘buggins’ turn’ mentality of councillor selection, where candidates are chosen from within a small number of committed activists.