I’m Barbara Foulkes, I’m from Kirkwall on Orkney and I’m the councillor for Kirkwall West and Orphir. I’m married with two grown up children and when off duty I am usually found walking the dog or on the golf course! I was elected in 2017 and to celebrate international women’s day I’m reflecting on why I decided to stand for election and how I am getting on two years later.
Councillor Barbara Foulkes
Why stand to be a local councillor?
The above is a great question - and particularly so if you are a woman. Personally, I stood because:
- I love the place I live in. It is the people that make Orkney, they are warm, friendly and welcoming and I stood for elected office because I wanted to work for them, to make a difference to the quality of life for people here.
- I wanted to get involved in local decision making. I’ve always been involved in local groups; I am by nature interested in how things are done, why and for who. It is part of my DNA. I have always been political - I’m a card-carrying Liberal Democrat. These interests drew me towards elected office.
- You cannot be it if you cannot see it- and we don’t see enough women in local politics. We need more women in local politics. We are more than 50% of the population but make up only 30% of elected members in Local Government. Women are underrepresented! I also believe women often bring an open mindedness and a resolution and solution focused approach that is sometimes missing in local politics. Women can make a massive difference in political life. I wanted to be one of those women and I wanted to encourage other women into the role too.