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Wirral Diversity Statement - July 2022

1) The Vision

The Liberal Democrats in Wirral, which covers four parliamentary constituencies, are committed to promoting inclusion, diversity and equality in our local party, irrespective of age, non-visible or visible disability or other mental physical or emotional health issue, ethnic origin, gender identity and reassignment, marital status and civil partnership, nationality, national origin, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background.

We are also committed to providing an inclusive and safe environment where people do not feel intimidated and feel comfortable enough openly to express their different opinions and beliefs. At party meetings, everyone should feel their experience and perspective are valued.

We aim to promote diversity, and to discourage all forms of stigma. 'Stigma' is defined as a negative social label associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person.

Specifically:

2) Demographics

Wirral has a population of about 320,000:

97% are white, with 96% born in the UK;

52% are female and 48% are male;

21% are aged under 18, 57% aged 18 - 64; 22% are aged 65 and over

The M53 motorway is a significant divide in prosperity, health and life expectancy, all of which are better to the west.

Wirral Liberal Democrats has a membership; which is:

95% white;

36% are female and 64% are male;

Less than 1% aged under 18, 55% aged 18 - 64; 45% are aged 65 and over

71% Christian; 3% other religion; 25% no religion

11% identify as disabled

The Executive is:

93% white

19% female and 81% male

Our councillors are:

83% white

100% male

50% aged 18 - 64; 50% 65 and over

3) The Business Case

Wirral Liberal Democrats seek to ensure our officers, Executive team, actual/prospective councillors, members and supporters be representative of the visible demographic profile of our constituents. The business case for this is twofold:

  1. a) By being more representative of our constituents, we are more likely to understand both their needs and aspirations.
  1. b) By being more representative of our constituents, we are more likely to increase the number of people who will want to join us and also vote for us and therefore increase our chances of winning elections at both local and parliamentary levels.

4) The Diversity Plan

Below we set out our 2022-2024 Diversity Plan.

Appoint a Diversity Officer as an Executive member.

Visible diversity

The visible diversity groups in which we are currently underrepresented in all four constituencies, and should therefore target for improvement, are:

Women


Young people

People with disabilities

Non-visible diversity

Our non-visible focus is about attracting people from different backgrounds with different experiences. This can be education, work experience, cultural background, interests and much else besides. We value these different backgrounds and experiences and feel the Liberal Democrat party in Wirral, together with our members and supporters, will be much the richer for them.

In addition, we need to find a way to improve membership and therefore diversity by involving the almost 3,000 residents who are EU nationals, who can vote but only in local elections; and by engaging with the unknown number of residents who do not have access to computers, the internet and social media.

Finally, we can have all the visible and non-visible diversity in the world, but we have also to create and maintain an inclusive and safe environment where people do not feel intimidated and feel comfortable enough to openly express their different opinions and beliefs.

5) Methods

The methods we will use to achieve our diversity goals, both visible and non-visible, are as follows

  1. a) Training

We need to ensure that our Officers, Executive, existing/prospective councillors fully understand the business case for diversity and don't just see it as 'the right thing to do'.

  1. b) Engagement

When planning events for members we should ensure:

When having panel discussions, we must ensure that our panel is made up of people of multiple different backgrounds and that events are sufficiently accessible.

We should consider:

  1. c) Campaigning

When campaigning we should consider:

6) Key next steps

Focus over the next six months will be:

  1. a) appoint a Diversity Officer
  2. b) develop a Diversity Team
  3. c) drive membership up in both our visible and non-visible diversity target groups
  4. d) hold and participate in events that focus on diversity issues
  5. e) carry out unconscious bias training for our Executive, committee members and councillors