Potters Bar Labour councillors say Conservatives 'filibustered' LGBTQ+ rights vote

PUBLISHED: 17:17 12 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:16 16 July 2019

Pride flag. Pixabay.

Pride flag. Pixabay.

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Potters Bar Labour councillors have accused Tories of "filibustering" a motion on LGBTQ+ rights.

Furzefield ward's Cllr Christian Grey and Cllr Chris Myers — who make up Hertsmere's first out gay councillor couple — proposed the motion at a full borough council meeting on Wednesday.

"Chris and I are deeply disappointed that the Tories used bureaucratic and procedural mechanisms that resulted in our proposals not being given time for discussion," Cllr Grey said.

If the motion had gone ahead, Hertsmere would need to fly the Pride flag throughout Pride Month each year at the civic offices, commencing with an official flag-raising ceremony involving civic leaders.

Under the plan, Hertsmere would also become a sponsor of Hertfordshire Pride.

Local leisure facilities, operating on behalf of Hertsmere by Inspire All, would also need to "consider and meet the needs of LGBT service users, in particular, a zero tolerance approach to the use of homophobic, biphobic and transphobic language in sport and leisure spaces, and ensuring that trans people feel confident in using facilities appropriate to their gender identity".

Cllr Grey also accussed the leader of the Hertsmere Borough Council, Cllr Morris Bright, of not responding to questions — when it was voted down — on whether the proposals would be considered by the council's executive.

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One reason given by another Hertsmere Conservative councillor to Cllr Myers was budgetary concerns.

"Is Hertsmere really so strapped for cash that it can't afford a flag?" he asked.

Cllr Andrew Melville, leader of the Liberal Democrats at HBC, supported the motion.

He expressed disappointed, in what he felt was an important issue being voted down.

Potters Bar's Cllr Myers said he would try everything he could to get the motion back on the table.

"It's a simple thing, but vitally important to the LGBTQ+ community," he said.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times has asked the Hertsmere Conservatives and Cllr Bright to respond.

It also endeavoured to get in touch with Cllr Bright on Monday, before the full council vote, but did not receive a response.

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