Cumbria is a very rural county accounting for 48% of the North West landmass. The Eden local authority area is the most sparsely populated in England.
Road and public transport links between towns and cities are sometimes indirect and time consuming. Public transport can be expensive and does not run late into the evening. Around the Lakes and the Sellafield Nuclear plant there are pockets of high incomes, but other areas of the county are deprived.
LGB&T people in Cumbria are likely to access services from outside the county in cities such as Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow. LGB&T people in Cumbria have lacked visibility in the past but there are areas of significant LGB&T VCS activity across the region.
What did Cumbria say?
“LGB&T people find it difficult to come out in small conservative towns, particularly as Cumbria’s population is aging.”
“Transport issues should have addressed in the Strategy. Any proper discussion of other rural issues is also missing too.”
“LGF and other services in Manchester/Newcastle etc are OK for those that can travel, but people actually live in Cumbria and there should be some sort of provision locally. Local role models would be useful too.”
“The LGB&T community needs to empower itself to get more involved and active. We rely on the LGB&T VCS in Cumbria, but there is a lack of accountability and continuity of service in the sector.”
“The lack of a visible scene locally means the LGB&T population is less accessible to public bodies and LGB&T people are isolated from each other. The internet can be useful tool to reach out to populations.”
“Local authorities are not as well engaged with LGB&T issues than in other areas of the North West.”
How will Cumbria use the Strategy?
- Use local research to find out about previous Cumbria LGB&T consultations and their results.
- Set up a Cumbria LGB&T Network and Forum.
- Feedback to my colleagues and managers, within a multi-agency setting.
- Seek to do some work with disabled people around LGB&T issues.