Scottish Greens – East Renfrewshire

Greens achieve gender equality in East Renfrewshire!

Laura Stevens – council candidate for Ward 4 – Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood

The Scottish Green Party is pleased to announce that they are the only party in East Renfrewshire that has gender equality amongst their candidates for council in the local authority elections. This is a core policy at the heart of the Scottish Greens, which is reflected in 45% of this year’s Scottish Council candidates being women. However this is still a long way to go before gender equality is reached amongst East Renfrewshire councillors.

Out of the 45 candidates standing for election, only 11 of these are women. That’s just under 25% of candidates overall. To add to that, there is one ward that has no women candidates standing at all (it’s Ward 3 Giffnock and Thornliebank if anyone is interested). How can East Renfrewshire Council expect to represent the views of the community if 52% of the population are grossly under represented1?

Many of the services facing cuts made by the Council, including the closure of Bonnyton House and the future of Band F in Barrhead, will impact on women the most as caring for family members is a role that still falls to them in most households. Women as carers is still one of many barriers facing their entry into politics at local council level.

Many councillors have to balance paid work to top up their incomes (as an aside most councillors in East Renfrewshire are paid well below the Living Wage with the average remuneration working out at around £16, 000 per year, excluding expenses2). Add to that women usually pick up most domestic tasks, including childcare, which doesn’t leave much time to add busy councillor caseloads to their lives. Yet the role of a councillor is vital to the well being of the community. The lack of diversity means not all voices are being heard and people within the local area feel they are being ignored.

The Scottish Greens believe local council elections should be about local issues. We want to put the power back into the community’s hands and that absolutely includes women, especially as it looks likely they will continue to be woefully under represented at Council. If all 11 women are elected this May then there is a slim possibility they may gain the majority. Gaining 11 seats out of the 18 up for grabs would mean a 60:40 gender split in favour of women. The Scottish Greens hope to make history by electing the first Green councillors in East Renfrewshire. It would be truly inspiring if we helped contribute to the first East Renfrewshire Council that had women councillors as a majority.

***

Wondering how the other parties in East Renfrewshire scored? Don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you! See the stats listed in alphabetic order below:

 

Scottish Conservative and Unionists Party:

Men – 7

Women – 3 (1 candidate is an existing councillor)

 

Scottish Green Party:

Men – 1

Women – 1

 

Scottish Labour/Co-operative Party:

Men – 5

Women – 2 (both candidates are existing councillors)

 

Scottish Liberal Democrats Party:

Men – 4

Women – 0

 

Scottish National Party:

Men – 4

Women – 3

 

Scottish Social Democrats Party:

Men – 1

Women – 0

 

UKIP:

Men – 3

Women – 1

 

Independents:

Men – 5

Women – 2

Footnotes

 

1. East Renfrewshire Population Stats 2014 http://www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/stats-council – last accessed 31st March 2017

2. http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Government/local-government/localg/cllrsremuneration – last accessed 31st March 2017

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7 comments on “Greens achieve gender equality in East Renfrewshire!

  1. Tom Taylor
    March 31, 2017

    Cclrs do not receive a salary, they are paid an allowance and it starts at £16,500 and can reach £28k + in some cases. Some have day jobs, not to top up wages, but that is their main focus, Cclr comes second for those. I hope before any of your candidates is elected you are not falling in line with the ERC Spin Department and bending the facts. 🙂

    Like

  2. daval82
    March 31, 2017

    Hello Tom,

    You are correct that councillors are not paid a salary as such and they are paid remunerations which is clearly pointed out in the above post. The figures of £28, 000+ (which is considered to be a Living Wage) are reserved for those that hold more senior posts within the council and therefore are required to give more time towards their duties. If you follow the link in the above post, it states that these remunerations are assigned to the Leader of the Council and not ward councillors.

    I cannot speak for the past Councillors within East Renfrewshire Council as I do not know what their employment situations are. Unfortunately the issues discussed in this post, such as financial barriers, may prevent women standing as candidates in council elections are all too genuine.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Laura Stevens
    Candidate for Ward 4: Clarkston, Netherlee and Williamwood

    Like

  3. Brian John
    April 4, 2017

    Really? We managed 2 candidates and because 1 is male and 1 is female this is something to boast about. The Conservatives, Labour, Nationalist and Independents have more women candidates. They could equally boast about this. When will our political parties stop seeing women as mear tools to be used as a bat to beat on someone with.

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    • daval82
      April 4, 2017

      Brian – Laura’s interest in the question of gender equality is genuine, and I am saddened to see you dismiss the concerns she has outlined in some detail above out of hand.

      With regards to the question of the number of candidates we are standing vs. other parties, there were a number of factors that fed in to us only standing two candidates in this election. We are a relatively new branch, and we wanted to make sure that we were fielding candidates who actually had the time and energy to commit to the role. Due to concerns about health, educational development, family care, etc, this meant a lot of people were not able to stand.

      Gender equality was another big factor for us. It is possible that we could have stood more candidates on a less balanced slate, but we are serious in our commitments on this front so we are standing two candidates, maintaining gender balance and putting our resources into getting both of us elected in the hope of making a real difference in East Renfrewshire Council.

      David Allison
      East Renfrewshire Greens Comms Team
      Candidate for Ward 1 – Barrhead, Liboside and Uplawmoor

      Like

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This entry was posted on March 31, 2017 by in gender equality, local democracy, Vote Green 2017.
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