Roz Kaveney (rozk) wrote,
Roz Kaveney

A response from Pride on Toiletgate

I will say no more about this at this point than that I am unhappy with it. It does not seem to address some of the crucial questions I and others have raised with Pride, notably their failure publicly to retract public remarks accusing us of assaulting security staff - something that the Metropolitan Police have clearly stated did not take place - and it does not really answer the question of how a Health and Safety Officer came to make an unlawful and unilateral decision to bar us from the toilets in the first place. I would also dispute some of the interpretations of fact here - in the interests of transparency, I will consult with people before posting and sending a detailed response, and deciding what actions follow.

Hi Roz

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you but I have been working away from London and have had no access to my emails while away.

I have reviewed with a lot of detail the original response sent out by Pride, which I hasten to add I wrote to you: this was the letter that went into the public domain. At no point do I mention an assault. To give a further apology for doing so is, I feel, unnecessary.

I do remember sending initially to a limited circulation (namely Tessa and Christina) a response that did suggest this, but that was based on information that was given to me by the Met: as such we had to include this, as it was under investigation then. But the official Pride response that went into a far more wider circulation did not have this in it.

Our board was restructured a few years back as we were getting increasing requests to attend the board to present or to discuss matters – this was leading to increasingly long meetings as the event grew, and so the board was closed to non members: with over a dozen board members now, meetings would otherwise become unwieldy. I can assure you that this matter has been discussed as part of our debrief process, however, and I as a director remain happy to discuss matters.

As indicated in all information sent out Pride has moved very quickly to ensure that any such incident not be repeated and have taken appropriate steps to ensure this. Pride has without prejudice apologised to you both privately and in public.

We are also looking at the trans response and recommendations and I have indicated that we would consider them. We have already notified several parties of what action we are taking, but I am not sure how far that's gone or whether information is being passed along, so to recap :

1. Development of a strategy around community stakeholder engagement.

Pride London already has a Stakeholder forum, which Tessa and Christina both attended, amongst others, and which already looks into areas of stakeholder engagement. This is under constant review to make it more effective. And this year we will be reviewing it again to ensure that it is much more accountable.

2. Appointment of a diversity response expert.

Pride London has appointed Diana Taylor to this role. As Diana has been for many years the Trans advocate to Pride she has a very clear proven track record.

3. A diversity response team, with contact numbers for the chain of command.

Diana Taylor has agreed to lead this. However I will say that both Tessa and Christina, as representatives of Pride London’s Trans committee, did have this information on the day. Both Tessa and Christina had my cell number and at no time was I contacted on it, as I can assure you if I was I would have speedily acted

4. Directors to be aware of their sphere of competency

The board of Pride London is well aware of its competencies.

5. Stipulation that all stewards receive Trans awareness training from a recognized organization.

On a practical note this level of training does not exist in the security industry, and the burden of providing that would fall to Pride London. As such, Pride London is hoping to reach a sensible compromise on this, and shall draft documentation that can be presented to stewards as part of their training by our respective contractors. We have already asked that that training forms part of the contract, and that’s been well received in principle. We will monitor this.

6. Pride should provide advocacy training to Stakeholder groups

Pride London is happy to assist with advocacy, but training as such is not something that we’re looking to move into as a charity.

We are also aware of much ‘noise’ on forums and other websites. Much of that is inaccurate or confuses the Met Police and Pride London as one institution. However, as far as we know, the above six points are the main recommendations made to Pride London, and we believe that we have answered these. Please let me know if you are in disagreement.

We at Pride have enjoyed a good working relationship with the Trans community for a number of years and would like to continue to do so for many more to come, so I hope this sets out our position, and hope that you see this in the spirit of good fellowship as it is meant to be.

Hopefully you can agree that Pride London has reacted swiftly to this issue and has agreed on recommendations that we are practically able to implement

Patrick Williams

Director Pride London

Chair (Equality and Diversity ) Stakeholders Committee Pride London/ HR Director Pride London
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