Voters around England will be heading to polling stations next Thursday to vote in local elections. And chances are many will be faced with a ballot paper mainly containing the names of white men of a certain age. Does it matter, and why are women, younger people and those from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds less likely to stand for election?

The average councillor in England is 59, white and probably called David or John.

Councils have been criticised for being “too slow” to encourage women and people from BAME communities to stand.

A census suggests 96% of councillors are white and two thirds are male.

Analysis by the BBC ahead of the council elections in May shows there are almost 1,000 candidates named either David or

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