City and County of Swansea logoCouncillor Champions exist to provide a voice for traditionally underrepresented groups or issues which need to be kept at the forefront of Council business, although they may not be the responsibility of any individual or Committee.

Cllr Louise Gibbard is the newly appointed Councillor Champion for Women, and is reaching out to local third sector organisations whose work involves women to get in touch.

Amanda Carr meets Cllr Louise Gibbard, August 2017SCVS Director, Amanda Carr, was very pleased to meet up with Cllr Gibbard in August to find out more about the role, explain how SCVS supports the sector in C&C Swansea, and how we can help to reach under-represented women in the County; and encourages other organisations to take up Cllr Gibbards request to connect to groups whose work benefits under-represented women. 

Councillor Champions, (sometimes called Lead Members or Member Champions) in addition to their other Council responsibilities make sure that the issue or group that they are championing are taken into account when Council policy is being developed and decisions are made.

Councillors can act as champions in a number of areas such as Anti Poverty, Biodiversity, Children, Equalities, Health Improvement, Homelessness, Member Support & Development, Older People, Scrutiny and Young People. This list is not exhaustive.

Councillor Champions are appointed by the Leader of the Council.

Typically, the Councillor Champion will:

  • Make sure that their area of interest is taken into account when developing policy or making decisions;
  • Ask questions about performance and resourcing for the area;
  • Raise the profile of the area and make the authority aware of good practice;
  • Engage with external bodies who work in the area;
  • Engage with other officers and members in relation to the role;
  • Engage with community groups with an interest / stake in the area;
  • Report action to the Councillors via Council, other relevant body or electronically.

Cllr Louise Gibbard CCS Cllr Champion for Women July 2017Message from Cllr Louise Gibbard, Councillor Champion for Women:

‘... my job is to work to ensure that women are adequately represented in all aspects of the Council’s activities and across the City and hopefully provide an access point for dialogue between groups such as yours and the Council.

I particularly want to work to amplify the voices of women of colour, young women, LBT+ women, women with disabilities, working class women and those of other under-represented groups.

Whilst your organisation may not work with women only, I wondered if you might run projects aimed specifically at women and girls?

If you would like to meet with me to discuss your work and how I might be able to support you, then please get in touch. If you have a regular newsletter or mailing list, I would love to be included and kept up to date with your events and activities and will try to attend, if appropriate, when I can.

Thank you very much and I look forward to hearing from you. Louise Gibbard’

You can contact Cllr Gibbard on 07413 081102 / cllr.louise.gibbard@swansea.gov.uk