Pride in London review of advisory requirements

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May 21, 2021
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Pride in London commissioned a review of its advisory requirements which commenced in March 2020 and was lead by Lisa Power,  below is a summary of Lisa's recommendations.

"Terms of Reference for the review of advisory arrangements

  1. What are Pride in London's primary requirements for advice, guidance and accountability?

  2. How effective are the different mechanisms already in place for obtaining that advice and guidance and making the organisation accountable?

  3. Are there obvious deficiencies in the information and accountability?

  4. Is the CAB as currently constituted and structures the right vehicle for the next 5-10 years, or are there other forms of advisory body that would be more appropriate at this stage in Pride in London's development?

  5. If it is the right structure/body, how should it and its terms of reference change?

Recommendations for the future

Preamble:

PiL needs to consult with the wider LGBT+ community of London and hear their advice. That advice may be contradictory from different groups or bodies; it may be constructive or simply complaint; it may be well informed or less so; but it is a basic requirement of the contract from the GLA and also a key component in keeping the event alive, well run and responsive to the needs of all LGBT+ Londoners, as well as an enjoyable event. To do this, PiL will need to consider its resources and priorities as well as existing structures.

The following recommendations for the future have evolved across the review period. Initially it was expected that there might be a range of options proposed but from the feedback some quite specific suggestions evolved and were tested with a variety of stakeholders for comment. Many of these suggestions are already strategies in occasional use which could be enhanced or done more systematically. These are shared below for consideration.

1. All future advisory and consultative activities should be contained within a single umbrella division of PiL. It is clearly unhelpful to have duplicated advisory and consultation arrangements and equally so to have no single oversight of that advice. The obvious place for managing advice from all relevant parties is the Community Engagement Team, which should be strengthened to support all work in this area. This would also help to clarify the status of any advisory arrangement; that it is there to offer expert advice for consideration rather than to act as some kind of independent tribunal. This will very likely take increased resourcing which could include paid staff time to manage the work; this would be a matter between PiL and its funders.

2. The Community Advisory Board, in its current format, should be replaced with new advisory arrangements designed to better fit current needs. Many people, including the current members of the CAB, have put time and effort into trying to provide useful advice from a community viewpoint to PiL. To say that change is needed is no reflection on the hard work and goodwill of those individuals. But it is clear that, two years on from major disputes, there continues to be a deficit of trust between both parties; that structural arrangements designed to keep the CAB relevant, skilled and diverse have not been adhered to; that it is evident that PiL does not, in general listen to the CAB in comparison to its own internal arrangements; and that the current system is duplicative, under-resourced and lacking in clarity. Any replacement function should be required to be reviewed for fitness for purpose every five years.

3. PiL should consider creating a new skills-based Advisory Board of key LGBT+ stakeholders with a clear policy remit and strictly advisory role. This would require an explicitly diverse and more flexible membership including people and organisations whose community standing would make it difficult to sideline them, alongside better resourcing and liaison arrangements. It should include a small number of senior personnel from major stakeholders in London's LGBT+ community alongside a similar number of individuals with identified skills and experience to meet current policy advice needs. The group should meet less often, but have full papers in advance, minuted recommendations and clear terms of reference alongside strict term limits and the presence of relevant PiL Directors including the Director of Community Engagement.

4. Open meetings should be revitalised, resourced and have clearer outcomes and reports back on impact. It is important that there be a public forum of some kind for people to feed back about Pride. Some Prides specifically run these shortly after their annual event. However, these meetings need to be widely advertised with publicised agenda topics; more listening than reporting back; and have clear notes of suggestions given followed by responses, posted on the PiL website. This should be annually evaluated for impact. Frequent questions or misconceptions could inform a useful Q&A on the website.

5. Round tables (for key respondents from particular sectors of the community to consider their specific needs) or targeted enquiries (into disputed or contentious community topics) should be created as needed. Examples of these strategies being used from time to time by Community Engagement exist and they should be increased. This would enable a wider range of views from within diverse and marginalised communities to be heard and give greater public accountability for findings. There should be public summaries of meetings and calls for evidence for enquiries should provide opportunities for access. Topics could be requested by the Advisory Board or PiL's Directors and proceedings managed by Community Engagement.

6. A clearer process for public complaints should be established so that these are properly documented, reported on in summary to the Directors and Advisory Board and an annual public report of actions taken as a result published.

7. All formal advisory arrangements should be properly documented, monitored and evaluated regularly for response and impact. Whatever the structure it adopts, PiL needs to embrace greater clarity in both structure (how people feed in advice or complaints) and consultative activities (could include: published summaries of advisory and open meetings, clear goals and work plans for consultations, lists of organisations consulted on particular issues, annual review of issues raised and actions taken etc). Again, this has resource implications for systematic administration and management."


Pride in London