Report of the Town Clerk.
The Committee received a joint report of the Town Clerk and Director of Children and Community Services summarising the current response to the questionnaire issued as part of the City of London Corporation’s exploration of the potential development of policy on gender identity.
The Chair provided some introductory comments
to this Item explaining that Members would recall that on the
recommendation of the Town Clerk this Committee
, took a
decision at its last meeting to develop an over-arching corporate
policy on gender identity. This
followed considerable media interest in the ability of trans people
to access Corporation services and facilities in the Open Spaces
Department and Barbican Centre, as well as the misconduct of
certain activist groups at the Hampstead Heath bathing
The consultation survey was launched to assist in policy development and in discharging the City of London Corporation’s statutory responsibilities under the Public Sector Equalities Duty by informing Corporation Members and Officers of public attitudes and expert opinion on this subject. The Chair explained that access to the Corporation’s services and facilities is not an area where the Corporation would have much discretion, and nor should it.
It was explained that the Equality Act 2010, ensures that trans people, or those with the protected characteristic of ‘gender reassignment’ should not be discriminated against in any service or facility and public authorities like the City of London Corporation have a legal duty to ensure trans people are included through all of its services. The Chair further advised that this is what the policy refresh is about: giving all of the City of London Corporation’s services and facilities a policy framework together with support and guidance to ensure that trans and non-binary people have equal access.
The Director of Community and Children’s Services informed the Committee of some points of clarity within the report before Members:
· The bullet point within Paragraph Three should read “70% are UK nationals”.
· With regards to Paragraphs Six and Seven, the Equality Act 2010 permits exclusion of a transgender person from men-only/women-only services only if this is ‘a proportionate means to achieving a legitimate aim’
· the presumption is in favour of inclusion, with exclusion permitted only in ‘very restricted circumstances’
The Director further advised that over 30,000 people had looked at the consultations with over 15,000 respondents which was in excess of the expected numbers. Therefore, actions were being taken to commission support to analyse the responses provided and this would then be brought back to the Establishment Committee.
The Chair thanked Officers involved noting the significant attention this work had attracted and advised that in order to allow the required time for the analysis to take place, consideration would be given to moving the date of the next meeting.
RESOLVED – That the Committee note the report.