Kingston council was praised by the Fawcett Society for bucking the trend on women’s representation in local government.

Just 34 percent of councillors across the nation are female, compared with 52 percent in Kingston, according to a new report by the gender equality charity.

The report published on September 10 reveals that Kingston upon Thames saw the second biggest increase in women councillors in the UK in May 2018.

Kingston saw a percentage point increase of 17 in May 2018, ahead of Islington by one percentage point.

By comparison, the proportion of women elected to local government has increased by less than 1 percentage point across England.

Following their success in May, the Kingston Liberal Democrats re-elected their female group leader, along with choosing 5 of the 8 portfolio holders to be women.

The Fawcett Society report recommended councils introduce maternity policies, support with childcare costs, and codes of conduct against sexism to increase representation.

Kingston council leader Cllr Liz Green said: “We are pleased to be recognised by the Fawcett report as being one of the country’s fastest improving councils in terms of female representation.

“Simply getting more women elected is not a reason to rest on our laurels. I was already juggling a full time job and being a councillor in Surbiton when I had my two girls in 2006 and 2008

“So I recognise that warm words are not enough to encourage more women into politics, and agree with the Fawcett Report’s recommendations.”