As the Conservative Group Leader on Cheshire West and Chester Council I am proud to represent my community, standing up for the rights of all residents.
However, this was a privilege denied to many women just over 100 years ago, with only some allowed the right to be elected to borough and county councils in England and Wales.
And while certain women were allowed to represent their communities, it was thanks to the efforts of the suffrage movement, which finally saw women across the country get the right to vote.
The north west has a pivotal role to play in the work of the suffrage movement, with Emmeline Pankhurst and her two daughters Christabel and Sylvia, setting up the Women’s Political and Social Union in Manchester in 1903.
It would have been hard to believe for many that one hundred years later the second female Prime Minister, Theresa May, would give a speech to mark the centenary of women’s right to vote.
As the Prime Minister said in her speech in Manchester, we have made huge progress in advancing women’s rights, but there is still a long way to go.
I am pleased to hear that the Government is to lobby social media firms to take more action to clamp down on abusive online posts.
In my work as a councillor, I know how important sites such as Facebook and Twitter are to interact with residents and promote the good work of councils. However it is not right that in doing this we should be tantamount to online bullying.
This must not be allowed to carry on, so I welcome proposals this Conservative Government is putting in place to ensure that we are able to meet the challenges posed by social media.
Intimidation and aggression on social media is threatening public debate, deterring people from participating in politics and threatening our democracy. Democracy that women such as Emmeline Pankhurst fought hard to win.
Cllr Lynn Riley,
Conservative Group Leader, Cheshire West and Chester Council.