Council promotes sexual equality

From left: Patrick Price, Senior Manager and Trust Equality and Diversity Lead, Coun Val Tyler, Policy Board Member for Community Infrastructure and Culture, Coun Robert Arkless, Policy Board Holder for Children's Services, and Irene Fisher, Policy Officer Adult Services with a display of books and resources about the life and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people opened on Tuesday, August 27, at Morpeth library.
From left: Patrick Price, Senior Manager and Trust Equality and Diversity Lead, Coun Val Tyler, Policy Board Member for Community Infrastructure and Culture, Coun Robert Arkless, Policy Board Holder for Children's Services, and Irene Fisher, Policy Officer Adult Services with a display of books and resources about the life and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people opened on Tuesday, August 27, at Morpeth library.
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A DEDICATED section to provide information and raise awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues and support has been set up in Northumberland’s libraries.

The resources available include various documents covering areas such as adoption and fostering, how particular services can help them and how to arrange a civil partnership ceremony.

There are also details of the work carried out by an LGBT staff network group, which includes representatives from the county council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Coun Val Tyler, policy board member for community infrastructure and culture, said: “Taking part in this initiative and providing a space for this display shows our commitment to promoting equality and reinforces the point that libraries are an open space for everyone in our community and a vital source to gain advice and information.”

Organisations across the country are working to try to remove the barriers to inclusion and acceptance that some LGBT people are still facing and Northumberland is now in joint first place in the region for the number of civil partnership ceremonies that take place.

Patrick Price, Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust equality lead manager, said: “The trust and council have a long history of working in partnership to address inequalities and this is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the needs of local LGBT people among the wider population and to show them that we welcome them in our services.”

The local authority and the trust are promoting this initiative as both are diversity champions of Stonewall, one of the leading charities dedicated to promoting LGBT equality at work and tackling prejudices.

In addition, Northumberland County Council has recently become a Stonewall Education Equality Champion.