Diversity in local government


The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee undertook an inquiry into diversity in local government.

Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for the inquiry were:

  • To understand the importance of diversity among local councillors, including the effect on public engagement, debate and decision making.
  • To understand key barriers to attracting a more diverse pool of candidates for local government elections.
  • To explore areas of innovation and good practice that may help increase diversity in local government.
  • To explore the potential impact of the proposals in the Welsh
    Government’s Green Paper, Strengthening Local Government to increasing diversity in Council chambers


Evidence Gathering


The Committee held a number of evidence sessions to inform the work of the Committee, which can be viewed in the table below.


The Committee also consulted on the topic and created online surveys for councillors and the general public. The consultation responses, the survey for councillors and the survey for the general public have been published.


Evidence session

Date, agenda, minutes



1.     Welsh Local Government Association and One Voice Wales

Councillor Debbie Wilcox, Welsh Local Government Association Leader and Leader of Newport City Council


Daniel Hurford, Head of Policy, Welsh Local Government Association


Siân Williams, Head of Democratic Services, Conwy County Borough Council


Paul Egan, Deputy Chief Executive, One Voice Wales

21 November 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

2.     Electoral Reform Society Cymru

Jessica Blair, Director, Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Cymru

21 November 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

3.      Representatives of equality organisations

Cerys Furlong, Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg


Catherine Fookes, Director, Women's Equality Network (WEN) Wales


Uzo Iwobi OBE, Chief Executive Officer, Race Council Cymru


Paul Hossack, Senior Associate, Equality and Human Rights Commission


5 December 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

4.     Representatives of political parties

Mike Payne, Chair, Organisation Committee, Welsh Labour


Gareth Clubb, Chief Executive, Plaid Cymru


Councillor Bablin Molik, Councillor in Cardiff and Chair of the Cardiff and Vale local party, Welsh Liberal Democrats


Roger Pratt, Boundary Review Director, Welsh Conservatives


Tom Harrison, Regional Officer, UKIP Wales


5 December 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

5       Representatives of youth organisations

Kathryn Allen, Vice-President, Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Service


Steve Davis, Service Manager, Principle Youth Officers Group


Julia Griffiths, Joint Acting Chief Executive, Youth Cymru


Chisomo Phiri, Women’s Officer, NUS Wales

5 December 2018

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV

6  Minister for Housing and Local Government


Julie James AM, Minister for Housing and Local Government


Lisa James, Deputy Director, Local Government Democracy, Welsh Government


Angharad Thomas-Richards, Electoral Reform Programme Adviser, Welsh Government

9 January 2019

Read transcript

Watch on Senedd.TV




The Committee published its report on diversity in local government on 4 April 2019. Read the full report (PDF, 709KB).


On publication of the report, John Griffiths AM, Chair of the Committee said:


“Local government in Wales delivers a range of important services to our communities including education and social services. It is charged with understanding the needs of local residents and providing for them. The more representative of the people they serve the better equipped our councillors to carry out their duties and responsibilities.”


The Welsh Government laid its response (PDF, 567KB) to the report on 19 June 2019. The report and government response was debated in Plenary on 26 June 2019.


Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 10/05/2018