Denise Craghill’s speech on the Trans inclusion to council

At Full Council on Monday 22 March a motion on for the council to supporting Trans people. Full text of the motion is at end of this. Denise Craghill addressed the council in relation to housing:

“I’d just like to address the parts of this motion that refer to housing and homelessness and the LGBT community. There is always more that we can do to try to ensure that our city and our council services are as inclusive as possible and I very much welcome these issues being brought forward today – and would also like to add my thanks to the public speakers who have shared their personal experiences.

“With specific respect to staff training and awareness raising the housing department has already instigated a staff training programme which is starting within the homeless services team and is being rolled out across all of the department. This can of course also be extended to the partners we work with as mentioned in the motion. The training includes a number of different sessions including language and unconscious bias training.

“I also just wanted to touch on the line in the motion which suggests that 1 in 3 homeless people are LGBT. I’m just wondering, Cllr Melly, if this figure refers to the high percentage of young people who are homeless who are LGBT – for example reports from the Albert Kennedy Trust which suggest that this figure is at least 25%? I would entirely agree that it is very important for us to understand what proportion of people using our homeless services are LGBT in order to support them as well as we can.  I am asking housing officers to look into how we can better record in future the percentage of people approaching homeless services in York who are LGBT – current figures indicate this to be around 6% but this may indeed be under recording – so I’m very happy to look at that further.

“More generally of course I welcome these proposals to make us a more inclusive council and will be voting for the motion.”

Becoming a Trans Inclusive Council

“Council notes:

  • The CYC staff survey shows that only 76% of council staff think that the council respects individual differences. 
  • Fewer than 50% of Health and Social Care staff nationally think their employers meet their responsibilities under the Public Sector Equality Duty to eliminate discrimination towards, and advance equality for LGBT people. 
  • 33% of local LGBTQ+ survey respondents experienced negative attitudes within the previous 12 months towards their sexuality or gender identity when trying to access public health and social care services in York.
  • 25% of LGBTQ+ people have experienced barriers to accessing health and/or social care services as an LGBTQ+ person in York. 
  • A high proportion of transgender respondents to a York LGBT Forum survey gave examples of incidences of completely inappropriate or distressing treatment and questioning when accessing sexual health and contraceptive services
  • that the percentage of transgender children is unclear with limited research having been carried out to date, however the Equality Act

2010 does recognise transgender children and prohibits discrimination against them in places of learning.

  • 62% of transgender people have alcohol dependency or abuse issues
  • 10% of transgender people have been an inpatient at a mental health unit at least once 
  • 1 in 3 homeless people are LGBTQ+
  • A CYC survey of older people found that more than 1 in 3 LGBTQ+ people say that it is somewhat, very, or extremely important to them that they live with other members of the LGBTQ+ community in their later years. 

Council believes:

  • That transgender men are men, transgender women are women, and non-binary genders are equally valid. 
  • That the new CYC LGBTQ+ staff network is welcome and should be supported
  • That transgender people may require specific support to overcome barriers to access services without facing discrimination, and that all council services must be equipped to provide appropriate service and good customer care to suit transgender people. 
  • That there are transgender people in York of all ages, and that the need for better understanding and acceptance of what it means to be transgender is an inter-generational issue. 

Council resolves:

  • To provide “Free to be Me” or equivalent training, available to all council and council service provider employees annually.  To encourage take-up of the training, especially for team managers and staff who have contact with the public. 
  • To encourage staff to make small gestures that make it clear that transgender people are welcome and valued, and that normalise things like talking about pronouns. For example, adding pronouns to email signatures. 
  • To fly the trans pride flag twice annually, on trans day of remembrance and trans day of visibility. 
  • To ensure that the service level agreements for council commissioned family planning and contraceptive services include awareness training of transgender matters. 
  • To ensure that all local authority schools and local academies are aware of their responsibilities and duty of care for trans children and respecting of their pronouns. 
  • Introduce a code of acceptance for all foster carers. 
  • Work with partner organisations who work to combat homelessness and support people experiencing homelessness to

ensure that transgender people are not marginalised or discriminated against while accessing homelessness support.   Work with older people’s accommodation providers to ensure services are LGBTQ+ friendly and to factor the LGBTQ+ community into decisions about residential placements.” 

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