Improving representation

Ahead of Disability Pride Month in July, the LGA is spotlighting its support for disabled councillors and candidates.

Councillors play a vital role in shaping the future of their communities and improving the quality of life of local people. 

We need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect the communities that they serve.

For Disability Pride Month (July), the LGA is putting the spotlight on our offer for disabled councillors and candidates. 

This work, which is funded by the UK Government, is designed to increase the representation of disabled people in local politics and accelerate their development to become leaders in local government. 

The offer includes a campaign to attract more disabled people to stand for council elections, a bespoke leadership development programme, and a coaching programme focused on personal development. 

Our ‘Be a Councillor’ programme inspires people who are passionate about their communities to stand for election and become local leaders. 

As part of this, we have developed a bespoke national campaign to encourage disabled people to find out more about becoming a councillor. 

We are taking a holistic approach to inspire a new generation of disabled councillors, but also recognise that there are practical considerations. 

That is why we have developed a soon-to-be published guide for disabled councillors and a practical checklist for councils and political groups. These resources aim to increase awareness, accessibility and inclusion at every stage of becoming a councillor.

We are also excited to launch our new, bespoke leadership programme specifically for disabled councillors, shaped in partnership with the leading charity Disability Rights UK. 

It is the first of its kind, and has been co-produced with disabled people and councillors, ensuring it responds to the specific needs of disabled leaders. 

The carefully chosen topics and activities will take disabled councillors through a six-month journey of personal development, and will accelerate and develop their leadership skills so they can become resilient and confident local leaders. 

The programme is cross-party, free to attend, and will begin in October at a two-day residential event. Places are limited, so make sure you express your interest early, by emailing leadership@local.gov.uk

Finally, coaching provides a powerful reflective space to grow and develop as leaders. Our highly effective coaching programme offers a cohort of 20 disabled councillors structured one-to-one conversations to support them to be brilliant leaders of their communities.

If you are a disabled councillor and would like to find out more about the LGA’s offer, please get in touch. 

Whether you’d like to book your place on our new leadership programme or take your development to the next level through coaching, please email leadership@local.gov.uk. 

Disability Pride

July is Disability Pride Month, an international, annual event that celebrates disabled and chronically ill people, and raises awareness of outdated attitudes and stereotypes that need to change to combat ableism and discrimination. 

Disability Pride is not commonly known, particularly in the UK, but the event works to shine a light on physical, learning, and hidden disabilities, and mental health conditions. 

It enables people to have open conversations about disability by sharing experiences, raising awareness of the barriers and challenges the community faces, and celebrating diversity.

Historically, Disability Pride originated in the US, to mark the Americans with Disabilities Act civil rights law, prohibiting discrimination against disabled people, which was signed in July 1990. 

Visit www.local.gov.uk/be-councillor for more information about the LGA’s Be a Councillor programme, and www.local.gov.uk/our-support/highlighting-political-leadership for the LGA’s wider support offer to councillors.

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