Saturday, 28 May 2011

Proud to be Pluralist

By Councillor Linda Aldred

The results of the recent District elections left Thanet with no one political party gaining an overall majority. Within the two main groups (Conservatives 27 - Labour 26) there are very different scenarios indeed.

The Conservative group is made up of 20 men and 7 women. The Labour Group is made up of 14 men and 12 women.

At Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet level the differences are more pronounced. The Conservative Cabinet is totally made up of men whilst the Labour Shadow Cabinet is made up of 3 men and 2 women.

Now I'm a great believer in the right person for the job, whatever their gender, but are the Conservatives really saying that there are no women members in their group good enough for the job? What message does that send to the general public as a whole?

At the first meeting of Thanet Council since the elections I was very pleased to look around our assembled Labour group and see a real cross section of the communities we represent. There was a reasonable balance of male and female members from a wide range of age groups, and our number came from many walks of life.

The view on the Conservative benches was altogether different. A group very much dominated by, and exclusively led by, 'senior' men.


  1. Robert Williams28 May 2011 at 11:09

    Please, if we are to enter an era of co-operation, essential for Thanet's wellbeing, let us stick to the facts. The average age of the Conservative cabinet is 55, what is that of Labour?

    Naturally, those able to afford the time to give to public office are often older for the job hardly pays well enough to support a young family. Let's try to keep it sensible and stop the point scoring at least until we see how the new arrangements work.

  2. a few old boys on your team

  3. If you say you believe in the right person for the job then the gender is irrelevant. You have inferred a conclusion that doesn't follow, that the Conservatives are saying the women in the group aren't good enough to be in the Cabinet. Also, why should the message sent to the public matter?