LGBTQ+ Adviser and Panel

A Mayoral Adviser and Panel of experts provide advice to the Mayor of Greater Manchester on how to tackle the inequalities lesbian, gay, bi and trans people face, and ensure they feel included, valued and safe.

The UK’s LGBT civil rights movement began in Church House in Manchester in 1964 when a group of activists met to form what would become the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. The event is marked with a plaque at Church House on Deansgate.

LGBTQ+ Adviser

Carl Austin-Behan is the LGBTQ+ Adviser to the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Carl was appointed in August 2018. He is a Former Lord Mayor of Manchester and prominent LGBT activist.

Carl said: "There are at least 215,000 lesbian, gay, bi and trans people in Greater Manchester – that’s bigger than the population of Rochdale so it is important that they are represented, and their voices are heard.

"The Mayor has a clear commitment to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people and reducing inequality across the city-region. We are work together to take positive action for our community."

Mayor Andy Burnham, Carl Austin-Behan, and Cllr Brenda Warrington

LGBTQ+ Panel

In August 2018, the Mayor convened Greater Manchester’s first LGBTQ+ Panel. The panel is facilitated by Manchester Pride and brings together 12 individuals to advise and support the Mayor and Greater Manchester Combined Authority in tackling the inequalities faced by the LGBTQ+ community within Greater Manchester.

The panel lead on commitments made by the Mayor to back the LGBTQ+ community by:

  • Engaging the LGBT community in delivering the priorities of the Greater Manchester Strategy, in particular the ambition to build strong, inclusive communities where people feel safe, aligning with the work of the Mayor in his role as Police & Crime Commissioner for Greater Manchester
  • Ensuring that the city region has strong and diverse leadership
  • Improving LGBT awareness and,
  • Delivering the ambitions of the Greater Manchester LGBT Action Plan (opens in new tab)

The panel involves business leaders, public sector inclusion and equalities leads, and representatives from charities and campaigning organisations. The current members are:

  • Lee Broadstock - Chair of Greater Manchester Police Pride Network
  • Chloe Cousins – Youth Engagement Officer, Proud Trust
  • Jax Effiong – GMFRS Community Safety Manager and LGBT role model
  • Lou Englefield – Director of Pride Sports and Football v Homophobia
  • Mark Fletcher – CEO, Manchester Pride
  • Colette McKune MBE – Deputy Group Chief Executive ForViva
  • Juergen Maier – Former CEO, Siemens UK
  • Paul Martin OBE – CEO, LGBT Foundation
  • Mike Mellor - Head of Commercial & Marketing, Transport for Greater Manchester
  • Will Patterson – Chair of Wigan & Leigh Green Party
  • Jane Owen BEM – Former trustee of Sparkle, works for Network Rail
  • Pierrette Squires – Chair of Bolton LGBT Partnership

Mayor Andy Burnham, Cllr Brenda Warrington, Carl Austin-Behan and members of the LGBTQ+ advisory panel

Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester is known throughout the UK and around the world as a beacon for the LGBTQ+ community. The UK’s LGBTQ+ rights movement began in Manchester, and LGBTQ+ people make a huge contribution to the success of our city-region.

“This is something we should celebrate and cherish, which is why having a LGBTQ+ Adviser and panel is so important. LGBTQ+ rights were hard-fought and won, but it is still the case that LGBTQ+ people face inequality. We must continue to break down those barriers and build a Greater Manchester that is for all.

“There is such great work going on here already, from the numerous Pride events that take place across the Greater Manchester, to the remarkable Village Angels and Haven programme which helps ensure people have a great night out in our thriving and world-famous Gay Village.

“In 2017 I signed up to the LGBT Action Plan for Greater Manchester, which commits public bodies, private organisations, voluntary groups and LGBTQ+ citizens to work together to improve their lives and this demonstrates my commitment to this shared goal.”

Greater Manchester Equalities Lead, and Tameside Council Leader Councillor Brenda Warrington said: “Working with the LGBTQ+ community in Greater Manchester is an integral part of the equalities portfolio that Mayor Andy Burnham has asked me to undertake.

“There is a tremendous energy and pride within the LGBTQ+ community across the whole of Greater Manchester which the current season of Pride events demonstrates brilliantly.

“I am committed to working with the LGBTQ+ Adviser and Panel to help tackle the inequalities that still exist for a significant number of Greater Manchester people.”