Neath Town Council

Response to the Inquiry into Diversity in Local Government


The Council would suggest that consideration be given into to ensure that Local Wards have a gender balance of elected representatives.  This will improve the consideration of positive action to encourage citizens with protected characteristics to commit to public service.


Members feel that the number of days needed to attend council meetings and undertake council duties should be extended with companies/organisations being compensated for supporting their staff to carry out this important community function.   There also needs to be additional understanding of what the role entails for those companies/organisations to understand the benefits.


The Local Authority should also review the availability of crèche and childcare facilities to encourage those with caring responsibilities to engage in and contribute to public life.  It is well known that the Scottish Parliament operates the only facility of its type in Europe, providing supervision for children of people visiting the Scottish Parliament.    This  approach strives to create an open and accessible democratic structure such an approach should be considered at a local and national level in Wales.


In order to enhance democratic structure representation within local government, a review need to be undertaken to ensure that the purpose, structure and powers of local government are truly understood by the communities they serve.