The findings of the Trans Equality Scrutiny panel are to be published today. The cross party panel was set up to highlight the challenges and inequalities facing transgender people in Brighton & Hove and to make recommendations for change.
The report will be made public at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Meeting on January 28. The decision on whether to adopt the recommendations will be taken by the Policy and Resources Committee later in the year.
The question that was asked was: what needs to be done to make things fairer for trans people to live, work, socialise and study in the city?
The cross party Panel chaired by Councillor Phelim MacCafferty comprised Councillors Denise Cobb, and Warren Morgan joined by two co-optees.
The panel found that Brighton & Hove is a diverse and vibrant city, which includes an active local trans community. This Panel actively engaged as many members of the trans community as possible through support groups and service providers to find out more about the issues. The Panel found that there are many challenges and barriers to equality still being faced.
There is also a lack of information on the numbers of trans people accessing services in Brighton & Hove, with the result that service providers are not necessarily aware of the needs of trans people.
The report recommends that, as a matter of urgency, an assessment should be undertaken to identify the size of the trans community and its needs. Following this, a city-wide trans equalities strategy should be developed by the council and its partners, including an action plan with clear leads and responsibilities led by a council ‘Trans Champion’.
A number of the recommendations in the report are aimed at increasing awareness of the lives and needs of trans people. Basic principles such as the importance of using appropriate pronouns to refer to someone need to be explained: mistakes in gender-related speech can be very upsetting and can be easily avoided.
The need for trans awareness training runs through the findings of the inquiry.
Through the work of the panel, Brighton & Hove City Council is taking the first step in making things fairer for trans people who live, work, study or socialise in the city and looks forward to working with partner agencies across the city on all of the issues raised in the report.
Councillor Phelim MacCafferty, Chair of the Panel said:
“I am incredibly proud to be part of this pioneering piece of work. It really is testament to the council’s dedication to providing services that deliver for the needs of all the city’s residents. Through the recommendations of this report, I believe we will be setting out a blue print for organisations to follow and develop best practice for training and awareness on trans issues.”
Nick Douglas, Coordinator of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Health and Inclusion Project said:
“We are delighted to see the publication of the Panel’s findings. The way in which the Panel, the Council Communities and Equalities Team and the trans community came together to work on this is a model of good practice in progressing the equality agenda for local trans people. At LGBT HIP, we look forward to continuing our work with the council to ensure that this first step commitment to trans equality now comes to full fruition.”
To read the report view: