Glasgow Community Fund failing LGBT+ communities

In advance of the forthcoming review into Glasgow Community Fund (GCF), Glasgow LGBT+ Voluntary Sector Network have published their report Glasgow Communities Fund – Impact on LGBTI+ organisations.

Six months on from the commencement of the fund and despite representations to elected councillors and meetings with council officials, the Network is disappointed no solution has been found. While the Network has been assured that opportunities to fund LGBT+ organisations are being sought and wish to thank council officials for their time and efforts in this regard, the Network is concerned that historic gaps in funding for LGBT+ communities in Glasgow still exist.

Evidence gathered from Network members found:

  • Of £47.6m announced through Glasgow Communities Fund (over 2.5 years) LGBT+ Network projects accounted for just over £150k of this with only one project funded – the equivalent of 0.32% of the overall budget available.
  • 3 out of 4 of Network members projects were unsuccessful.
  • Of the £8.2m funding allocated to projects described as ‘communities of interest / equalities’, LGBTI projects received 1.87% of this total.
  • No Equality Impact Assessment was completed detailing the impact of funding decisions, which has had an adverse effect on the protected characteristics groups of sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

Furthermore, the Network is disappointed that the GCF report presented to Glasgow City Council Finance and Audit Committee on 5th May 2021 does not make any reference to the legal responsibility to complete an EQIA nor attempt to address concerns that equality groups were adversely impacted.

Glasgow LGBT+ Voluntary Sector Network wish to restate their calls for

● an immediate levelling-up emergency funding package to support LGBTI organisations to sustain vital work over the next 2.5 years.

● a full equality impact assessment (EQIA) on the outcome of the Glasgow Communities Fund which will include a focus on LGBTI communities.

● full and targeted consideration of the needs of LGBTI people in Glasgow.

● Glasgow City Council to honour the spirit of the Third Sector Concordat and work in partnership with LGBT+ organisations who were not recommended for funding to develop a sustainable solution.

While the Network will fully participate in the forthcoming GCF Review, it is important to note that that the review process has not been co-designed with the voluntary sector despite assurances to the contrary, so LGBT+ groups have had no opportunity to have their say so far.

The Network wish to highlight their concerns that the Review appears incapable of fixing the flaws in the GCF, leaving LGBT+ communities disadvantaged, potentially for the next two years.

The Network provided a copy of this report to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) asking for their advice and assistance. They were disappointed the EHRC did not provide a substantive response to the questions asked and consider as Regulator, the EHRC should have used their powers here, especially given their own guidance on how to properly carry out Equality Impact Assessments had not been followed.

The Network look forward to submitting this information to the GCF Review, and to continue working towards finding a sustainable solution for LGBT+ organisations in Glasgow.

Additional information:

The full report to Council on the process and outcome relating to the Glasgow Community Fund with sections 45 to 51 addressing Equality Impact Assessment.

Appendix 3 of the above report containing the full Equality Impact Assessment that was completed on the process, but was not updated.

Letter sent by Glasgow Equality Forum to City Administration Committee on 3rd September 2020: The letter states:
“The Equality Impact Assessment (Appendix 3) appears not to have been updated since the application stage. GEF were involved in submitting information to the EQIA when it was first drafted. Unfortunately, there is no assessment of what the impacts will be on protected characteristic groups as a result of these funding decisions. There is no assessment about the impact of refusing applications that benefit African and/or other newer communities, faith, LGBT and other BME communities. An updated EQIA would have identified the impact of losing Violence Against Women projects”.

Letter from LGBT groups to Glasgow City Council City Administration Committee on 15th September 2020: