Less than 40% of city's council candidates female

Peterborough Town Hall
Currently just one in four Peterborough City councillors are women [BBC]

Just more than a third of the candidates standing in a city's council election are female.

In the elections for Peterborough City Council (PCC), which will take place on 2 May, 38% of contenders are female.

Currently just one in four elected councillors on the authority are women, while men make up four of the council’s five party leaders and all of its decision-making cabinet.

The Green Party, which is headed by councillor Nicola Day, is the only party group led by a woman.

Thirty-five per cent of the Conservative Party’s election candidates are female (8/23), and 41% of both the Green Party and Labour's candidates are female (9/22 in both cases).

The Liberal Democrats are the closest to 50:50 gender parity, with women making up 44% of its candidates (8/18).

Peterborough First has fielded the highest proportion of male election candidates this year, but has also significantly fewer candidates than the other major parties (1/8).

The BBC asked the council's party group leaders for their reflections on the figures. Their responses are listed in alphabetical order by party.

Wayne Fitzgerald, the leader of PCC’s Conservative group, said: “From our point of view, we’ve always done better than others in terms of encouraging opportunities for all."

Ms Day highlighted that “all the Greens that have been elected [on PCC] to date have been female”.

“The Greens have a Get Her Elected initiative; we apply for funding to get women elected,” she said.


Dennis Jones, PCC's Labour group leader, highlighted what he believed were other barriers for women in politics, including possible childcare restraints.

“All I would like is that we have the best candidate in the best place and if that’s a female then, absolutely, we’re trying to be as inclusive as we can.”

Christian Hogg, PCC's leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said that it was difficult to attract candidates across the spectrum but that his party was “always looking out for female candidates”.

“But the toxicity of politics can sometimes put women off and, rightly or wrongly, men seem to have more time available than women do,” he added.

Mohammed Farooq, PCC leader and leader of Peterborough First group, said that the party was formed “quite late in the day” and that attracting election candidates was a “secondary factor” to running the authority.

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