Glasgow has an opportunity to ‘lead the way on inclusion’ according to charities and organisations working with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people in the city, who published a new report today.
Council chiefs will now work with the newly established Glasgow LGBTI+ Voluntary Sector Network to deliver a manifesto commitment of making Glasgow ‘the best place in Europe for LGBT+ people’. This includes a better deal on funding for LGBTI+ groups and the commitment to a permanent Pride House for the city, which has Scotland’s largest population of LGBTI+ people.
Equality organisations have been working with Glasgow Equality Forum to assess the services which are currently available and compare that with the needs of the community. The report, entitled “Meeting the Needs of the LGBTI+ Community in Glasgow”, highlights a number of key strengths in the city, including a strong cultural and arts sector, such as being the host city for the world renowned Scottish Queer International Film Festival.
The report points to significant gaps in provision though, especially in services for women and girls, transgender people, BME people, disabled people and asylum seekers and refugees arriving in the city. Charities believe promises from Glasgow City Council have been broken over the years and a severe lack of funding is hampering what they can do. The report concludes that “lifeline services for particularly vulnerable sections of the LGBTI+ community rely in large part on precarious funding” and calls upon public sector organisations to rectify this.
Fergus McMillan, Chief Executive of LGBT Youth Scotland, said:
“LGBT Youth Scotland is pleased to have played a role in this report and delighted to see it launched today. Given our commitment to young LGBT people across Glasgow, we welcome the opportunity to engage with the Council around support for this. We look forward to their response.”
Councillor Jennifer Layden said:
“Since being appointed as the first ever City Convener for Equalities and Human Rights in the new City Government in May, I have been working closely with GEF and LGBTI+ organisations to identify ways in which we can better support Glasgow’s LGBTI+ community. I therefore welcome this report and the recommendations within it.”
“The report is clear that it feels that in the past the Council has not always delivered what it says it will, and I know that it will take time to rebuild that trust and move forward with a constructive relationship between all the key organisations in the city providing this invaluable work.”
“The new City Government are committed to working with partners to develop a long term, sustainable strategy for supporting our LGBTI+ citizens as well as looking at ways to best fill the gaps that exist in current provision, and eliminating the inequalities that the report highlights.”
Glasgow City Council have vowed to take action and say they will now form a working group to develop a Glasgow LGBTI+ Strategy, in partnership with voluntary organisations.
The Glasgow LGBTI+ Voluntary Sector Network has the following current members: LGBT Youth Scotland, Pink Saltire, LEAP Sports, LGBT Health & Wellbeing, SQIFF, Free Pride, Glasgow Women’s Library, Terence Higgins Trust Scotland and LGBT Unity Scotland.
The full report can be found here: http://goo.gl/3jnCCP
Pic credit – Twitter/dmckatana