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In a bid to increase the representation of black and ethnic minority women in politics, Operation Black Vote are taking applications for a shadow-a-councillor scheme:

We are looking for fifty BAME women to shadow high level councillors for a minimum of six days over a six month period. The cross-party initiative will focus on giving participants first hand knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of councillors, serving officers and an insight into the Authority’s systems and procedures. Our aim is that upon completion, this leadership programme will equip and motivate participants to engage in party politics. Participants will also be encouraged to become Community Ambassadors, explaining and promoting the benefits of civic engagement and encouraging others to also become involved in community affairs. The scheme will also give Councillors the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of BAME communities. OBV view this process as essential to involving BAME communities in the wide scope of activities within the decision making process.

BAME women in these areas can apply:

Birmingham, Chilterns, East of England, Gloucester, Leicester, London (see below), Newcastle, North West, Scotland, Wales, Windsor and Maidenhead, York and Humberside

London: Camden, Harrow, Islington, Lambeth/ Southwark, Tower Hamlets

And you can get an application form by calling 0208 983 5471, faxing 0208 983 5492 or emailing councillor@obv.org.uk or from the OBV website: www.obv.org.uk

I’m not sure if it’s a universal deadline, but The Glasgow Equality Network says the deadline for applicants in Scotland is 7 August.