Gender self-ID for council service users

quentin kean made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Leeds City Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Leeds City Council,

I am writing to you for information regarding a report in the Mail on Sunday newspaper on 14th April headlined “Men who identify as women in Leeds can 'change their gender' with just a single phone call - without medical or legal proof.” (link here https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...)

Could you tell me:
a) When the decision to change the procedures was taken and by whom
b) Who was consulted about the decision prior to it being taken
c) Where on the council website the decision was published
d) If the decision has not been published, why not, given that the issue is clearly one of significant public interest
e) Whether an Equality, Diversity, Cohesion and Integration Screening process was carried out with regard to the new procedures (and if not, why not)
f) Given that the new procedures are not in line with current legislation on equality and gender recognition and are a de facto adoption of gender self-ID as council policy, why haven’t the new arrangements been put to a full meeting of Council for open debate

Could you also provide me with:
a) a copy of the email sent by council chief exec Tom Riordan to councillors announcing the changes to council procedures.
b) copies of any email correspondence between council officers/senior councillors and third parties (e.g. TransLeeds) concerning the new procedures
c) details of any meetings held between senior council officers, including the chief exec, and third parties (e.g. TransLeeds) regarding the new procedures.
d) Copies of any memos sent to the council’s customer services staff regarding the changes
e) A copy of the decision itself
f) A copy of the Equality, Diversity, Cohesion and Integration Screening document relating to the new procedures, in particular with regards to any impact the new procedures/policy may have on sex-based rights of women/girls and on the effective safeguarding of women and girls in the city

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers,

quentin kean

DPFOI, Leeds City Council

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IMG.Requests, Leeds City Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Quentin Kean,

Freedom of Information Request (Ref: 188252)

I refer to the above and your request dated 15 April 2019. I have
contacted the relevant services and now provide a response to your request
relating to Gender reassignment.

I am writing to you for information regarding a report in the Mail on
Sunday newspaper on 14th April headlined “Men who identify as women in
Leeds can 'change their gender' with just a single phone call - without
medical or legal proof.” (link here
[1]https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...)

Could you tell me:

a)      When the decision to change the procedures was taken and by whom

This was an operational decision taken by customer services earlier this
year to streamline the process and introduce a single-point-of-contact. 

b)      Who was consulted about the decision prior to it being taken

The core project group engaged with TransLeeds, as it was Trans customers
who requested this change in process so that they didn’t have the
potentially distressing and embarrassing task of having to ask lots of
different Council Services to do this, in different ways. Consultation
also took place with all council service areas who would benefit or be
impacted by the changes in process being considered. There was no
requirement for any further consultation, as the new
single-point-of-contact process is an administrative process which does
not change the rights of Trans customers, or of anyone else, and which has
no adverse impact on anyone with a protected characteristic under the
Equality Act.  

c)       Where on the council website the decision was published

The decision was not published 

d)      If the decision has not been published, why not, given that the
issue is clearly one of significant public interest

There was no requirement to publish details of the decision as it was an
operational, administrative decision

e)      Whether an Equality, Diversity, Cohesion and Integration Screening
process was carried out with regard to the new procedures (and if not, why
not)

There was no equality impact assessment, because the new process has no
adverse impact on anyone with a protected characteristic under the
Equality Act. The new process is simply an administrative improvement
which allows Trans customers to ask us to change our records once, rather
than several times in different ways.

f)       Given that the new procedures are not in line with current
legislation on equality and gender recognition and are a de facto adoption
of gender self-ID as council policy, why haven’t the new arrangements been
put to a full meeting of Council for open debate

There are no new procedures or no new policy arrangements in regard to
this matter, rather a new single-point-of contact administrative process,
hence why the matter has been dealt with through an officer decision in
line with the council’s scheme of delegation. The overall procedure and
policy remains as it was and is in line with relevant statutory
requirements.

Could you also provide me with:

a)      a copy of the email sent by council chief exec Tom Riordan to
councillors announcing the changes to council procedures.

An email was not sent to all Councillors. The reference to this in the
newspaper article was incorrect.

b)      copies of any email correspondence between council officers/senior
councillors and third parties (e.g. TransLeeds) concerning the new
procedures

Please find attached documents entitled ‘Correspondence between JL and
TL’. You will note from the information provided that the names of some
staff members in Leeds City Council and TransLeeds, and phone numbers,
have been redacted. This information is considered the personal
information of those staff members and has such it has been redacted from
release under S40(2) of the Act, as its disclosure would breach the first
data protection principle of the GDPR (Fair and Lawful Processing).

c)       details of any meetings held between senior council officers,
including the chief exec,  and third parties (e.g. TransLeeds) regarding
the new procedures.

Please find attached documents entitled ‘JC notes from meeting with CALT
20 02 18’, ‘RE Trans Name Change Policy –mins.msg’, ‘Trans CLT report July
2018’, and ‘minutes housing Trans Sub group 13 10 17’. You will note from
the information provided a personal phone number of a staff member has
been redacted. This has been withheld under S40(2) of the Act, as its
disclosure would breach the first data protection principle of the GDPR
(Fair and Lawful Processing).

d)      Copies of any memos sent to the council’s customer services staff
regarding the changes 

Please see below memo sent. This links embedded in the memo are provided
in the attached documents entitled ‘Leeds City Council Transgender Name
Change Guidance’, ‘Providing services for transgender customers – a
guide’, ‘supporting trans employees in the workplace – Guidance’,
‘Equality Act 2010’.

[2]image008.jpg

 

e)      A copy of the decision itself

There was no requirement for a written decision, as this was an
operational, administrative decision by Customer Services.

f)       A copy of the Equality, Diversity, Cohesion and Integration
Screening document relating to the new procedures, in particular with
regards to any impact the new procedures/policy may have on sex-based
rights of women/girls and on the effective safeguarding of women and girls
in the city

Please see above.

I trust that this response is satisfactory. If however you are
dissatisfied with this response you have a right to appeal to an
independent officer within the council. They will re-examine your request
and assess whether we have adhered to the requirements of the FOI Act.
Should you wish to follow this course of action please address your
concerns in writing to the above address.

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Commissioner’s office then you can write to the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner, Wycliffe House, Water Lane,
Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

You may also contact the Commissioner via her website at [3]www.ico.org.uk

I trust that this is self-explanatory.  If you have any queries please
contact me using the contact information above.

Yours sincerely

 Mr Adam O’Connell

Information Governance Officer

Requests team

Information Management & Governance

Digital and Information Service

Leeds City Council

 

0113 37 84251

[4]www.leeds.gov.uk

 

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References

Visible links
1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article...
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. http://www.leeds.gov.uk/
5. https://www.leeds.gov.uk/your-council/co...

Dear IMG.Requests,

Cheers for the response.

The only document you have attached is image.001, the Gender Change Consent Form.

I’m afraid that I can’t find any of the other documents you say you have attached in the paragraphs from your response (quoted below), e.g.:

Your response (1)
“Please find attached documents entitled ‘Correspondence between JL and TL’.” “Please find attached documents entitled ‘JC notes from meeting with CALT 20 02 18’, ‘RE Trans Name Change Policy –mins.msg’, ‘Trans CLT report July 2018’, and ‘minutes housing Trans Sub group 13 10 17’.

And your response (2)
“Please see below memo sent. This links embedded in the memo are provided in the attached documents entitled “‘Leeds City Council Transgender Name Change Guidance’, “‘Providing services for transgender customers – a guide’, “‘supporting trans employees in the workplace – Guidance’, “‘Equality Act 2010’.

You mention a further image, “[2]image008.jpg”, which is not a live link.

Any chance you could sort this all out?

Thanks in advance for your help
Quentin Kean

IMG.Requests, Leeds City Council

8 Atodiad

Dear Quentin,

Apologies for not attaching all the documents first time a mistake by me, I have now attached all the documents that should have been attached.

Kind regards

Mr Adam O’Connell
Information Governance Officer
Requests team
Information Management & Governance
Digital and Information Service
Leeds City Council

0113 37 84251
www.leeds.gov.uk

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