Women will be encouraged to play their part in public life in Fakenham

Fakenham Town Council's three female members (from left) Julia Sandford-Cooke, Janet Holdom and Emma

Fakenham Town Council's three female members (from left) Julia Sandford-Cooke, Janet Holdom and Emma Smith. - Credit: Archant

Fakenham Town Council tonight agreed to hold open a vacancy and draw up a strategy to encourage females to stand.

The motion was proposed by Janet Holdom, who is currently one of three women on the 14-strong council. She said: 'It's affirmative action to assist, to encourage and promote the participation of women in the public life of the town.'

Councillor Julia Sandford-Cooke added: 'No disrespect, but you 10 guys don't represent every aspect of Fakenham.'

Mike Coates said: 'What you're saying is half the council should be ladies and half blokes.'

Richard Cook said he backed the proposal, adding: 'I think it's important that we get a mix of the people we represent. It's important we are proactive.'


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Chair Adrian Vertigan said: 'We should make a stand as a town council to promote diversity on the town council, it's not just about female candidates.'

The meeting agreed to hold one of two vacancies on the council open for up to 12 months. It approved the co-option of Sean Mears, who previously served on the council for four years, to fill the other vacancy by 11 votes to two in favour, with one abstention.

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