Raising a flag in Hertsmere in support of this Saturday’s Hertfordshire Pride in Watford has come to fruition thanks to the work of two new Labour Councillors, Christian Gray and Chris Myers.
The first openly queer couple to serve on the Council will raise the flag at a ceremony on Friday at 10.30 at the Civic Centre despite the pair’s motion for LGBTQ+ being filibustered out by Hertsmere Tories at the Council meeting in July.
There are a few small signs that Hertsmere might be edging in the right direction as Council officers have been promoting Hertfordshire Pride on social media for the first time. But it falls well short of the support by neighbouring Watford and Three Rivers Councils who both sponsor the event.
Said Christian Gray: “The recent support of the Council officers has been excellent, but we have a long way to go and in 2019 diversity and inclusion can no longer be ignored by any modern organisation.”
Realising that Hertsmere should be doing more for LGBTQ+ rights in the Borough, the incoming Health and Well-being Policy Manager will become the lead officer on diversity. “But,” said Labour Group Leader, Jeremy Newmark, “it’s a positive step but doesn’t go far enough. We really should have a dedicated diversity manager.
Labour’s motion asked for a number of LGBTQ+ policies to be introduced – all of which are to be found in other local authorities – from reviewing inclusion, diversity and equality polices, through to taking steps to ensure community safety and the end of discrimination.