THE way child care is organised for city councillors has been questioned.

Leisa Taylor, who stood in Bedwardine for the Women’s Equality Party, claims there are currently no formal arrangements for sitting Worcester City Councillors to arrange for care for their children or relatives in need of care.

Ms Taylor, 47, said: “This is a problem because it means you have to make a choice between being a councillor and caring for your children.

“It isn’t just that, if you have an elderly relative or a disabled relative, it can put you in a really difficult position.

“There are so few women on the council as it is and, from my research, I have seen that it does tend to be women who need access to that care.

“It is a shame really because I want to see as diverse a council as possible and, if women feel they cannot do the job because the meeting hours clash with childcare, the council would lose some really talented people.”

There is currently an arrangement for city councillors to use an allowance for dependent care provision.

A city council spokesman said: “All Worcester City councillors are entitled to claim the Dependent Carer’s Allowance to cover legitimate and reasonable costs incurred when carrying out their duties.

“To qualify for the allowance, dependents must live at home with the councillor and either be under 16 years of age or in need of full time care.

“The councillor also has to produce evidence that the minder is not a member of his or her immediate family and is over 16 years of age.

“The maximum amount which an individual councillor can claim from Worcester City Council from the Dependent’s Carer’s Allowance is £2,000 per year.”