February marks LGBTQ+ History Month. This year’s theme is “Body, Mind, Spirit” and the aim is to raise awareness and promote equality and diversity in both education and wider society by increasing the visibility of LGBTQ+ people and celebrating their lives, experiences and history.
I’m pleased that as a council we were recently able to pass a cross-party motion, reaffirming our commitment to being a city of equality, safety and inclusivity and to ensuring trans-inclusive practices are implemented across the council.
The council’s LGBTQ Workers Forum are releasing a series of short online films around intersectionality and our library services are also offering a range of online workshops, events and resources to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month.
However you celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month, let’s all work to ensure our city is a safe, inclusive place for all.
February is also when the Council’s annual budget is set.
As Labour councillors consider the Greens’ budget proposals and bring forward our own next week, we will be focusing on: no compulsory redundancies at the council, more detail on the Greens’ spending plans, the priorities we set out in our manifesto – including tackling rough sleeping, combating the climate crisis, building community wealth, plus funding to tackle the city’s drugs problem.
We want to see a clear plan to address disadvantage and boost our city’s economic recovery.
We have already worked constructively with the other political parties to bring forward a proposal to change the budget to support the most vulnerable in our city by providing more funding to the community and voluntary sector.
Having worked in that field, I know how challenging it is to secure funding. Due to years of government cuts to local authorities, there’s a growing gap between the grants available from the council and the amounts needed by local organisations.
Our proposal to set up a Community and Voluntary Sector Transformation Fund should help organisations transition to more sustainable funding streams.
Labour councillors will continue to work in co-operation to secure a positive outcome for our residents and in the best interests of the city.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the leader of the Labour opposition on Brighton and Hove City Council.
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