Building the Public’s Support For LGBT Public Services

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2011 National LGBT Conference
8 August 2011
Carried as Amended

Conference deplores the visible detrimental impact the Tory-led government’s brutal and unnecessary cuts have had on public services, including Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) services.

These ideologically driven cuts to public sector funding have seen targeted services such as those delivered by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) prevention workers, LGBT Youth Workers and Equalities Officers lost, while mainstream council services which LGBT people rely on, like social care and libraries, have been severely affected. Council and National Health Service (NHS) contributions to voluntary sector organisations have been reduced, with LGBT community organisations delivering vital services among the first to feel the threat of closure. The Tories’ promise to protect the NHS has turned out to be hollow, while cuts to police and justice services will hamper their ability to deal with hate crime. The wholesale attempt to privatise education through free schools and academies and through developing a market in higher education will make it more likely that homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in education will go unchallenged.

Conference also notes that our pensions are under fire and our terms and conditions such as pay, allowances and sick leave are being chipped away. Conference believes that the attack on pensions and terms and conditions is a first step towards selling off public services and ensuring even greater profits for private sector providers.

Conference acknowledges the lack of awareness within the LGBT community of the impact this concerted assault on public services is having on LGBT people and the importance of self organised regional groups in promoting greater awareness and involvement in fighting the cuts at a local level..

Conference pays tribute to those who marched for an alternative to the cuts and in defence of public services on 26 March and applauds the excellent turn out from LGBT members.

However, Conference recognises to save jobs and public services, including those targeted at LGBT people, we need to continually focus on building the strength of public opinion behind us. We must push home the core UNISON messages that these cuts are unnecessary and we are not all in this together.

Conference calls on regional groups to:

1.Use the Million Voices campaign materials to educate the public about the value of public services, and LGBT specific services;

2. Attend Prides and other LGBT community events and spaces to raises awareness of the impact of the cuts on LGBT people and our futures

3.Record the impact of government cuts in their local areas for use in future campaigning;

4.Seek ways to work more closely with other unions and trade union networks, local voluntary and community sector organisations and anti-cuts groups, where appropriate.

Conference instructs the National LGBT Committee to:

A.Develop a comprehensive, proactive communications strategy, including targeted leaflets, publicising the impact of the attack on public services on LGBT people;

B. Gather evidence from each regional Self Organised Group as to the impact of the cuts on local LGBT services and those significantly used by LGBT communities in order to build a UK wide picture

C.Work with appropriate national community and voluntary organisations fighting the cuts;

D.Continue to work with Labour Link and LGBT Labour, seeking to ensure they highlight cuts to LGBT services and that they work within the Labour Party towards ensuring properly funded LGBT services are central to the manifesto commitments of the future Labour government.