of North West Regional Assembly Consultation paper
Centre Salford Quays
a member of the NW TUC LGBT Network I was invited to the launch of the North
West Regional Assemblies consultative paper “Action for Equality”. This is
subtitled “Celebrating Diversity and creating Opportunity for all in the North
West of England”.
launch took place at the Lowry Centre in Salford and the official launch
included addresses by Hazel Blears MP for Salford and Minister of State at the
Home Office, and the Leader of the NWRA Councillor Derek Boden. The Government
Office for the NW was also represented.
document can be read on the NWRA website at
attendees mainly represented voluntary groups, local government and public
sector employers along with Trade Unions etc. Only two private sector employers
were represented one of which happily was the company I work for which is one of
the largest employers in the region.
document ostensibly has a section 4.5 on “Sexual Orientation and
Transgender” subtitled “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) people in
the North West”.
section seemed fairly thin on Trans issues and I was surprised to see that the
list of recent legislation was purely that relating to LGB issues and didn’t
include either the 1999 Gender Reassignment Regulations or the GRA itself!
were to my knowledge two other Trans women present at the launch, and between us
we managed to ask two questions in the Q&A session. One question on the
continuing problems of married Trans People who can’t get Gender Recognition
under the GRA without divorcing was completely misunderstood by the panel. My
question as to whether the strategy would lead to improved NHS facilities for
Trans people in the NW received some support from the panel however a subsidiary
point I made revealed that the main consultation on LGBT issues in drawing
up the strategy paper was with the Lesbian and Gay Foundation.
Worthy folk but not versed in Trans issues.
a coffee break I spoke to Vicky Austin of the NWRA who as Equalities Officer was
one of the architects of the strategy and she said that they had not been aware
of any contacts for trans representation in the NW. I pointed out that as well
as local support groups the main National campaigning group (PFC) was extremely
well represented in the NW! She seemed surprised and I got the strong impression
that we had perhaps been an afterthought! To be fair to her she has now got a
number of contacts to use and I’m hopeful that we will be better represented
in moving the strategy forward. Vicky Austin is shortly to move to the North
West Regional Development Agency who as the funding body will be carrying on
with the implementation of the strategy.
the three of us we made our presence felt and I was very pleased with the number
of people who were attending who made a point of praising and supporting our
Trans people living in the NW want to make a contribution to the consultation on
the strategy they can do so until April 29. Please try to comment, though how
much effect it will have is hard to judge. The NWRA is not now going to become
an elected organisation and hence will only have the ability to influence rather
than direct policy, but every little helps.
To Contact Northern Concord write to:
or E-mail JennyB@northernconcord.org.uk
The Northern Concord is a completely voluntary organisation
1987 - 2019
Working for the transgender community for the past