It’s worse than we thought. The thousands about to become councillors in no way represent the people.

A polling station sign on a fence
Support us and go ad-free

CORRECTION: This piece was updated on 27 April at 11:00. It originally stated the date for the local elections was 3 May and has now been corrected to 2 May.

Councillor demographics are worse than we expected. Local elections are happening on 2 May, but the people running are unrepresentative of the public.

Very old

In England, 57% of councillors are over 60 years old:

And 79% of them are over 50. This is even worse than parliament where the average age of an MP is 50.

What’s more, ‘under 40’ has its own councillor category and still only makes up 10%. This is a problem because it means local government does not represent the people.


The picture doesn’t improve when you account for ethnicity. 95.8% of councillors are white and this figure has remained nearly stagnant for 15 years – with less than a 1% decrease since 2004. By comparison, the overall population is 86.5% white.

Read on...


There has been greater movement towards a representative number of female candidates. But at 36%, the proportion is still way off representing the public. The 2018 figure is an increase from 29% in 2004.

The Fawcett Society’s Andrew Bazeley said:

The pace of change is still far too slow when it comes to getting more women on to councils across the country – and more diverse representation in terms of ethnicity, age, and disability too.

And, speaking about the general lack of representation, a local government association (LGA) spokesperson said:

It is vital that the make-up of councils reflects their communities and their experience. The LGA has been constantly working with councils towards increasing diversity and inclusion.

Council elections are about to happen across England in 248 areas. There are also six mayoral positions on offer. But democracy is supposed to be representative. So we need to ensure that politicians demographically represent the people. Because right now we’re way off.

Featured image via secretLondon123/ WikiCommons

Get involved

  • Find out about your local election candidates here.

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us
  • Show Comments
      links to post 25.4.2019

      Prime Minister Theresa May praises Burnley Football Club’s community project
      VOTER of Pendle +Colne + Tory Cllr.
      will we residents get a vote on merging with BURNLEY
      area yes or no? Tory party members of P.B.C + Colne!
      “I see Mr. Stephenson did NOT bring Ms May to Colne area “I see Not that “I am bothered “I sent his leader the same email to No 10 as he got today + Tory P.B.C. + Colne Tory Cllr. On your failing in our area of Pendle that could or maybe cost you lots of votes in May election for your Tory Cllr Mr. Stephenson.
      Question for you Tory M.P. why did you” not” bring your party leader to Colne area so we could ask her some home truths Question? about your incompetent Tory Govt Not running our country right Voter + “I will not forget your leader and you Mr. Stephenson hiding in Burnley not paying us voter a visit in Colne.
      So, we could hold Ms May to account plus Tory party Cllr member round here in P.B.C + Colne area in public
      in Colne town center. You lot Running away from your party problem! we resident plus voters require answers to; will not help you get votes in this area NOW in May. Or at G.E. possibly in NOV 2019.
      Another problem here Tory M.P. you do not represent Burnley area you are a PENDLE area M.P. not Burnley area M.P. So why did you not bring your leader to your Voters area of Pendle /Colne you are supported to represent us Not Burnley area residents.

      1. The idea that you have to belong to the same arbitrary classification as the people you represent is entirely fallacious. Who would best represent the interests of black people in the US. Sanders or Obama? Certainly Sanders.

        What did Thatcher do for women?

        What is our home secretary doing for Muslims and immigrants?

      LINK to post 26.4.2019
      PM praises Tory councils which ‘provide good services costing less’
      LOOK inyourarea Bosses removing My True post will not make it go away it is on over website not just here it will be your loss in time by not informing the resident of the truth they will stop using your web-plate foam altogether.
      So, we will post it again “my true plus fact” based.
      while you were in this area of P.B.C DID YOU Ms May
      Your party are running round here in May election and your party member possibly or could or maybe fixing the votes round here if we find any to be rigging the postal vote paper will they be handed over to the police by Tory P.B.C Leader Mr. Paul White + Tory Cllr Joe Cooney to be investigated for fraud yes or no?
      in this election to aid Tory party member keep their seat in P.B.C. + Colne area in 2019 election.
      (we free voter are looking into NOW privet investigation ongoing)
      “I have been dealing with the I.D. SCAM personally from day one with Tory run P.B.C. over the utter mess it is being run in now. Me and Mr. Mousdale have emailed one another for some time on it.
      Me pointing out what is illegal or not like trying to charge voter a fee to vote, by way of a stamp fee required to return paper postal vote requests plus the vote this was sort out only until we free voter got onto P.B.C trying to charge a fee which is illegal to do.

      LINK to post 27.4.2019
      Local elections results times 2019: Hour-by-hour guide to declarations across UK
      D.–DAY up on us voter next week
      time to clean house in P.B.C + Colne Area
      But postal voter we can only do this if we get our votes on time
      did you all get your WHITE V/PAPER —-YELLOW V/PAPER —-PINK V/PAPER —P.B.C sent out to me by post offices/person .
      voter with this I.D. SCAM of Tory P.B.C plus Tory Govt making has three paper votes why???
      “I personally phoned up about the PINK one No one as of yet as reply to “my phone call on Tory run P.B.C + Colne councils WHY? what are they hiding now from us just before May vote???

      LINK to post 27.4.2019
      This is” why Prime Minister Theresa May paid,
      a visit to Lancashire
      WHY did not our Tory M.P. Andrew Stephenson bring his party leader to Colne area to speak with us resident in our Town center???
      The unelected Tory Prime Minister Ms May
      (NOT elected by A public vote)
      She never come here nor did Andrew Stephenson WHY HE IS superposed to represent us resident has well, Never mine our Tory Cllr of P.B.C + Colne council are just as bad it run in the Tory party now SOD voters + resident from all Tory Cllr + M.P. + Minister of Tory party now, it is falling apart in LONDON fast every day!
      So do remember voter in P.B.C + Colne area
      (If you got your vote paper that is ON TIME?????)
      Use them wisely for the Cllr that do help you + listen to you do not vote for a Cllr or party member that is trashing our area now for FRACKING in addition, just for their personal gains for themselves.
      Voter + resident of P.B.C + Colne Cllr it is time to clean house round here of the dead wood Cllr we all know who is failing us NOW

    5. Sorry for so many post!
      And a bit late
      But been hard at it trying to get the Truth out of our Tory M.P. Andrew Stephenson plus our incompetent Tory run P.B.C members.
      Over their SCAM I.D. voting in May 2019 local election for Cllr they are making a
      total mess off in our area of Lancashire Pendle area on purposes we resident think to put OFF voters + Migrant voter in May.
      JUST so Tory Cllr can keep power in our area. of P.B.C + Colne area of Lancashire

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.