Diversity Champion update

6 Mar 2024
Portrait of Martyn Cooper

I’m Martyn Cooper and I am the Southampton Liberal Democrat's Diversity Champion.

Did you know that every Liberal Democrat local party has a Diversity Champion (sometimes called an Inclusion Officer)? This is both an inward- and outward-facing role.

I am charged with promoting progress in the diversity of the Local Party Membership and Executive. One of the first tasks I undertook in this role was writing a “Diversity and Equality Statement”.

This document reported an analysis of the demographics of the local party compared with that of the city of Southampton. This document looked at all of the “Protected Characteristics” under the Equality Act 2010. This covers gender (in the broad sense), race, and sexual orientation. It further included cultural background, religion, age, and socio-economic background. From this, we developed a “Diversity Action Plan” describing how we would improve on what we had found. We are in the process of putting that plan into action.

The outward-facing role is to support our councillors and prospective councillors with regards to any diversity issues that arise in their casework. Because my speciality from my past employment, and my lived experience, is disability I have, to date, principally helped in this regard.

Diversity and Inclusion is an area for continual improvement. Southampton Liberal Democrat’s Executive - myself included - are committed to that. If you want further information or have an area of concern, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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