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Liverpool praises OBV scheme

Operation Black Vote’s councillors shadowing scheme received praised in Liverpool from aspiring BME politicians and the city council leader.

Nathalie Nicholas (pictured), a nurse from the Kensington area of Merseyside, spoke in favour of the OBV programme after completing six months shadowing Liberal Party councillor Steve Radford.

Nicholas, who has since decided to become a Labour councillor, told a Full Council meeting in Liverpool town hall that she believed it was “important that Liverpool City Council prove to the BME population in Liverpool that it is genuinely committed to ensure fair and equal representation.”

Liverpool currently only has one BME councillor, Labour’s Ann Rothery who today revealed that she is pulling out of the race to become MP for Wavertree.

Trinidad-born Nicholas, who volunteers with her local strategic BME partnership and hopes to become a councillor next year, told OBV Blog that the shadowing scheme had given her “courage and self confidence” to get involved in politics.

Last month OBV director Simon Woolley wrote about the burgeoning talent emerging out of Liverpool.

In October this year, Amina Ismail, who shadowed Lib Dem council leader Warren Bradley and is now a local candidate herself, told OBV Blog that the initiative had been an “amazing journey.”

Some BME women were inspired to join the scheme after the visit of Reverend Jesse Jackson to the city.

Cllr Bradley said: “We are determined to make the council chamber representative of the communities we serve.

“The Operation Black Vote scheme has gone some way to demonstrate the commitment of the council to change the current under representation and make sure that elected members reflect Liverpool’s diverse population.”

LH

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