Midlands Diversity And Women In Politics Programmes Receive €30,000

Nationally, €200,000 has been allocated to increase participation of women and people of diversity in local elections.

Over €30,000 has been allocated to midlands local authorities to increase participation of women and people of diversity in elections.

Minister for Planning and Local Government, and Longford Westmeath TD Peter Burke has confirmed funding of nearly €200,000 for councils nationwide.

Westmeath County Council has been allocated the most in the region, at €13,500.

The local authority in Laois will receieve €9,500, and Offaly County Council has been granted €7,250.

The Fine Gael Minister says:

"There is a significant underrepresentation of women and people of diversity in local government, and therefore I have spent much of my time as Minister working to address this imbalance. My Department and I are passionate about supporting our councils to be more reflective of the breadth and diversity of the communities they serve. Over the past few years, I have approved significant funding aimed at promoting the participation of women and people of diversity in local government across various funding streams.

I have also made significant progress in recent months in terms of legislation, with Government approving a comprehensive package of maternity benefits for councillors. These measures recognise the unique and demanding role of the councillor and acknowledge that it can be difficult to step away from the role for a significant period of time. Proposed legislative changes mean that councillors can take advantage of the right to maternity leave for the first time. They will also have the option to nominate an individual as a temporary substitute for the duration of their absence. I am working to bring this Bill to the Oireachtas in the coming days to begin its legislative journey. I will also put in place an additional allowance for administrative/secretarial supports for councillors to assist them in running their office after giving birth."

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