LGBTI groups from the LGBTI Voluntary Sector Network in Glasgow respond to the recent Glasgow Communities Fund announcements

Sent by Glasgow Equality Forum on behalf of
Leap Sports Scotland, LGBT Health and Wellbeing and Terrence Higgins Trust Scotland
(Members of Glasgow Voluntary Sector LGBT+ Network)
c/o 8 John Street
G1 1JQ

Via email:

14th September 2020

To: Cllr Jennifer Layden
Members of GCC City Administration Committee
cc. Bernadette Monaghan, Glasgow City Council
Cormac Quinn, Glasgow City Council

Dear Cllr Layden and Committee members,

LGBTI groups from the LGBTI Voluntary Sector Network in Glasgow are hugely disappointed by the recent Glasgow Communities Fund announcements.

Of the £47.6m announced, LGBTI specific groups or projects accounted for just over £150k of this – the equivalent of 0.32% of the overall budget available. Whilst £8.2m of the overall Glasgow Communities Fund was allocated to projects described as ‘communities of interest / equalities’, LGBTI groups received 1.87% of this total. Given that sexual orientation and gender reassignment account for 2 of the 9 protected characteristics, this is well short of expectations.

The Equality Impact Assessment (Appendix 3) doesn’t appear to have been updated since the application stage and there appears to be no assessment of what the impacts will be on LGBTI people in Glasgow as a result of our organisations being refused funding. This original Equality Impact Assessment stated that “Data on LGBT+ groups is difficult to find at a city of Glasgow level” and that “The Glasgow Communities Fund could support projects that have a positive impact on this”. The outcome does not live up to this analysis and represents a major opportunity lost, and given that by even conservative estimates, 25% of the LGBTI population of Scotland live in Glasgow, we do not believe that the Glasgow Communities Fund would pass an Equality Impact Assessment based on the outcome.

The health needs outlined and the recommendations made in the LGBTI Voluntary Sector Network report of 2017 were accepted by GCC and the Leader. In particular, “We ask GCC to consider that at present, lifeline services for particularly vulnerable sections of the LGBTI+ community rely in large part on precarious funding which regularly changes and is subject to fluctuations. There is an urgent need to solidify the financial foundation of these services”. The report also recognises that historic and inbuilt inequality for LGBTI communities within Glasgow City Council community funding processes means that we have had no access to area partnership funds and very limited funding through city wide funds. The Glasgow Community Fund has done nothing to address this historic imbalance and thus has completely failed to provide any redress for LGBTI communities in Glasgow.

We welcome the announcement of the £4m transition fund by the Leader of the Council for “the advice sector, violence against women organisations & communities of interest & equalities groups”, but we seek reassurance that we will have access to this fund, and ask Glasgow City Council to consider how they might rectify the continued and glaring inequality for our community as evidenced in this letter.

Yours sincerely,

Hugh Torrance, LEAP Sports
Maruska Greenwood, LGBT Health and Wellbeing
Terrence Higgins Trust