6 Sep 2009

G7 v LGF

The lesbian and Gay foundation (LGF) Motto s 'Ending homophobia Empowering People'. They provide a holistic approach to health services and include tackling hate crime and homophobia as part of their agenda. They are a registered charity and produce an annual report and accounts.

I was reading their 2008 / 2009 annual report and saw that they received
  • £4000 (0.3%) Donor Supporters Scheme - via receipt of monthly donations
  • £102, 000 (8%) Events, donations and corporate sponsorship - from charity challenges, corporate sponsorship and other donations.
  • £965k (77%) Charities Activities Income - for goods and services provided for the benefit of the LGF’s beneficiaries.£241k (16%) Fees and other sales - advertising in OutNorthWest, room hire, counselling and training.

They do receive some support from the NHS for the health services that thy provide. The G7 website states in the year ending 2008, £623,103 of its income came from several NHS Primary Care Trusts and that his represented around 55% of its total income of £1,122, 280 for that financial year.

The LGF annual report states their expenditure for 2008 / 2009 was:

  • £46k (3.5%) Research - Expenditure on our research projects.
  • £25k (2%) Governance - General running costs to meet constitutional and
    statutory requirements.
  • £138k (10.4%) Generating Funds - This is the cost of raising voluntary income and costs associated with our other generated income.
  • £596k (45%) Services - Expenditure on our services including health,
    therapeutic and advice services, plus our condom and lube scheme.
  • £23k (1.7%) Grants Paid - Support to smaller LGB groups in the
    local area
  • £492k (37.2%) Information - Expenditure on our magazine, website,
    resources and other types of information giving..

So why then does G7 have nothing else to with his time then to try and bring down the LGF. First he blogs about two employment tribunal rulings against them quoting Pink News for further information. This is all well and good and bad employment practices need to be exposed. I, as a trade unionist, do not believe that anyone should be discriminated against or unfairly dismissed and it is even more concerning when such practices take place n an organisation which s supposed to value diversity. However, the LGF have paid their price.

G7 then continues on his blog to outline the funding crisis that LGF is facing. He states that they are owed money by advertisers and that they have cut down the number of publications of their magazine. The LGF state themselves that they can no longer rely on the same level of public funding. None of this is hardly a revelation. We are in a recession, where money is tight for businesses and they probably pay their bills for advertising at the last minute if at all. Public funding of charities is being scaled down as funding of public services is being cut. As a public service worker being offered a 1% pay increase and with colleagues in local government and the national health service facing redundancy due to funding cuts, then inevitably there will also be cuts in donations to the community and voluntary sector.

And if G7 has not had enough with having a go at LGF, read more here what he says about the LGF playing politics with public funding. This s because the LGF urged LGBT voters to use their vote n the Euro elections and ran an article in their magazine OutNorthWest where all parties standing for election were invited to say why LGBT voters should vote for them. They also published on their website an article exposing the homophobia of the BNP and an interview with Searchlight. I have more to say about this here.


G said...

You say that the 'LGF have paid their price' for the recent industrial tribunal. But presumably any award paid out will come from money given to the LGF by the NHS or from donations? So in the end it is actually all of us who pay the price.

I understand that a number of similar complaints have been settled before they reached a tribunal and that is one reason why the people in the recent case were so determined to go all the way with it. To publicise what is going on.

Currently I don't know how many cases have been settled behind the scenes, nor how much has been paid out in the recent case. An awful lot happens in Manchester that we never hear about.

If I hadn't written about the tribunal on g7uk.com it seems unlikely that any mention of it would have appeared anywhere else online or in the media. How do you feel about that? Outnorthwest magazine, which is published by the LGF and is the only LGBT print magazine in the area (as far as I know), isn't going to report this.

How do you feel about the glowing tribute to Labour MP and minister Phil Woolas that was published by the LGF recently? It contained no mention of LGBT asylum seekers at all, despite the fact that Woolas made controversial comments on that topic recently and was Minister of State for Borders and Immigration at the Home Office.

The LGF is too big. It sucks up too much money and squeezes out other organisations. The very name 'Lesbian and Gay Foundation' is discriminatory to people who are bi or transgender.

I accept that the LGF does some good work but I don't apologise for taking it to task on various issues and trying to hold it to account. Especially when virtually no one else is doing so.

The days when organisations could expect a free ride just because they were LGBT are over. Indeed I would say our comunity is in the mess it is currently due to lack of scrutiny in the past.

The more discussion the better!

Louise said...

Of course, LGF will have to find the money from some where to pay the settlements or awards but they do not just get their funding from the NHS or donations and anyway presumably donations are entirely voluntary. As a trade unionist representing members workng in public services, my uniom often represents members successfully at employment tribunals. All the awards come out of public fundng. Information about bad employment practices does need to be exposed and I am not critical of that or you for exposing it.

i also have issues with organisatons that are not BT inclusive in name and objectives. Some just have BT in their name but don't do anything really about being inclusive. Some organisations chose to keep their names for nostalgic and historical reasons. I have similar issues with Stonewall. However, in some cases there are organisations specifically set up for Trans people like Press for Change, for example, which I have no problem with as they have clear objectives and are willing to work with LBT amd LGBT organisations.

As for Phl Woolas, well if he is a patron of LGF, then they cannot exactly publcly be seen to dismiss him but maybe that should give them some clout with him. I have the transcript to the asylum case that you are talking about and what is actually said and what is reported is different even though I disagree with the outcome of the case. Unfortunately, people get mixed up with the roles of the judiciary and the borders agency in immigration and asylum so we have to be very careful when reporting and campaigning on these issues. As you rightly say, Liam Byrne was in fact the minister at the tme of the case you cite. He was also the minister who conducted the consultation on the appeals process. Phil Woolas is therefore supporting the outcome of that consultation. I have not researched how many lgbt organisations responded to that consultaton. I am aware that UNISON LGBT Committee raised issues and that the trade union as a whole was going to respond to the consultation.

Gay Mafia said...

Hi Lou,

I think you need to put G7UK's article in perspective and view it in the original context as a critque of generalised corruption at a charity which is supposed to uphold diversity and equality.

If you look at the rest of the G7UK website you'll quickly notice they are not supporting the BNP in any way shape or form – in fact the site has called in to question institutional racism on behalf of Manchester City Council around how they hijacked and tried to destroy the International Carnival in Moss Side.

As G7UK rightly says the LGF are just as guilty of supporting racism by colluding with well-known racist figures themselves and promoting the “good work” of Phil Wollas MP who is responsible for the deportation of Refugees and Asylum seekers – many of them LGBT themselves to oppressive regimes.

The LGF are also held in low regard with the Transgender community for continuing to ignore their issues and remaining an “LGB” only body – they even DROPPED the word “transgender” from their original constitution written in 1999.

Whether or not you agree with the LGF using its position as a well-resourced charity funded with £100,000's of NHS and Local Authority money to campaign against the BNP – there is no denying the LGF is an inherently shady operation and those behind it do not have the interests of the community at heart, only their own salaries and professional portfolio.

It seems to me you are trying to defend the Lesbian and Gay Foundations ongoing failures and mal-practise simply because they supported campaigns against the BNP. You cannot legitimise the disgraceful behaviour of the LGF for this reason alone.

Louise said...

I don't think that G7 is a BNP supporter but I disagree with his views.

The refusal of asylum seekers and supporting of racism are not necessarily the same or that simple. It is far more complex than that. This is too long a discussion for the comments box area of this discussion but I may blog about asylum and immigration separately as two of the other lgbt organisations that I am involved in, do a lot of work on asylum and immigration nationally and internationally. Then perhaps, we can in a more detailed dialogue about it.

As I have already said, I too have a problem with organisations that do not support the LGBT agenda as a whole. Even if they are a sspecific LGB or T organsation they can at least show some solidarity.

I think you msunderstand me. I am not defending the LGF for the sole reason that they support the BNP. I do believe that they do some good work. In the North West, in some areas, which are not as fortunate as Manchester to have Canal Street, there are people who rely on OutNorthWest dropping through their door for information about what is going on. The LGF have to be accountable because they are a regstered charity and have had to respond to questions about their governance.

To some extent, the LGF may have outgrown themselves. This is what happens to many organisations. I used to be the trustee of an organisation which got £1m lottery funding. The organisation totally changed from being a a friendly little refuge and became more like a housing association but it had to. If you want the LGF to be more accountable remember they have a board of trustees, with one third elected each year, like your advce to me, if people want change then why don't they get involved and stand for election.