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29th Jun, 2022

Council ‘let down’ LGBT history month

Redditch Editorial 5th Mar, 2015 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016

AN EVENT aimed at celebrating LGBT history month has been criticised for being too ‘negative’.

Coun Joe Baker said the day at Redditch Library organised by the borough council was mostly used to promote information on rape and abuse and hate crime, with no portrayal of the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

He added: “I did feed back to officers what I felt should have been there such as information about positive role models within sport, the film industry, the music industry and politics.”

Coun Baker said he also felt a history of the bills passed through Parliament and the equality movement would have been useful for those who attended.

“As a council I feel we let the month down a bit. I will be writing a letter to the chief executive to express my concerns on the lack of impact it may have had.”

He added he wished to commend the support the borough officers had lent to it but said there could have been more promotion of the event, which took place last Saturday (February 28).

Coun Pat Witherspoon, who attended in her role as mayor, said the event should have been a show of the diversity of Redditch but it had not been.

“We missed a trick. We could have done a lot more about the celebration of the history as well as using role models to show people what it meant.”

But a council spokeswoman said: “It is important we have a mix of material which celebrates people’s individuality but also which offers help and support for those people who need it.

“I believe we struck this balance on Saturday but, of course, we will consider all feedback we receive to improve future events.”

The event featured stalls offering a variety of information from the council, The Gender Trust, New Road Parents Support Group, Worcestershire NHS Health and Care Trust, The Adoptions and Fostering Service, Worcestershire Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, the North Worcestershire Hate Incident Partnership and Pink Sou’westers, a social group offering accessible, inclusive, affordable events for lesbians, gay men, bisexual and trans people.

“It was a really positive event, supported by partners committed to celebrating LGBT History Month and to raising awareness about issues that affect the LGBT community.” the spokeswoman added.

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