Manchester’s Lesbian and Gay Foundation faces accusations from more than ten past employees

At an employment tribunal, to begin next Monday, two former employees of Manchester’s LGF will claim that they were victimised.

The tribunal will look at evidence that one female employee was unfairly dismissed and that she and a male employee were victims of age discrimination. understands that the woman’s statement is 28 pages long and she will read it out. The LGF will be defended by a barrister.

More than ten former employees are expected to give witness statements in support of the pair. One witness is believed to be an ex-trustee. The tribunal may extend into a second week.

A source close to the case told us that the statements make for ‘extremely interesting reading’.

‘This is a concerted effort to make the LGF accountable and bring it back to the community it is supposed to serve,’ he said.

Transcripts of next week’s tribunal are expected to be available to the public at a later date. We understand that in the past other disgruntled employees have accepted settlements, which have kept the details out of the public domain and helped the LGF to avoid possible embarrassment and negative publicity.

Proceedings start at 10am on Monday 9 February 2009 and are open to the public.

A press release has been issued by those involved.

The Tribunals Service building is at Alexandra House, 14-22 The Parsonage, Manchester M3 2JA. Tel: 0161 833 0581.

The Parsonage is just opposite the multi-storey car park at the back of the Ramada hotel on Deansgate. It is at the other side of the small park to the rear of the Kendal Milne (House of Fraser) department store.

The Tribunals Service building, Manchester


  • Scallydandan says:

    It’s abhorrent that a charitable organisation which is claiming that it’s transparent and accountable is making pay-offs to people to stop a scandal. Is it not right that people supporting this charity either directly or indirectly, through financial means or by donating services and effort, have a right to know what the cover-up is about? If the LGF have nothing to hide and operate ethically then they shouldn’t require to pay people off, and if the reason for doing so is cost-minimization then they should be open with their supporters what the cases were about.

    I seriously hope the people involved in these cases, will go the full journey and not settle out of court with LGF as they need to be exposed and publicly held to account.

  • Mel says:

    Do we have an update on this yet…? Has any of it been picked up in the media or has their strategy of having their employees write for the gay press ensured a media blackout?

  • gary says:

    I understand that the final decision will take 2-6 weeks. I haven’t seen anything at all about it in the media so far and this page is the only result on Google. It will be interesting to see whether anything gets reported once the verdict has been announced (maybe only if the LGF is victorious?). I know that at least one gay news website is aware of the tribunal.

    As you suggest, if there is no coverage of such a significant UK story, why not? The obvious follow on question is: what else is not being covered and the reasons and motives behind that?

  • Lumberlina says:

    Employees claim they were victimised by gay charity:

    Please add your comments to the article above, it’s the only mention in the press of this important story.
    When will we have a legitimate, accountable, transparent and democratic organisation in Greater Manchester to support all the needs of our diverse Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Communities??

  • Ex LGF volunteer says:

    What the LGF did to the therapeutic Manager was criminal and I wonder if the BACP (British Association of Counselling and Psycotherapy) were aware of their behaviour. Funnily emough the Assistant Head conveniently left… so did I and quite a few others. Bully boy tactics never work

  • Kev says:

    A vicious and ridiculous campaign against an organisation carrying out fantastic work with the lesbian and gay community in the North West. Those involved should be ashamed.

  • gary says:

    We’ll see what the tribunal decides in a couple of weeks. To me it seems unlikely that more than ten witnesses would line up to give evidence in support of the complainants if it was just ‘a vicious and ridiculous campaign’ as you write. I believe that one of the witnesses is quite a well-known performer in Manchester.

    In fact it’s a very brave thing to do.

  • Fears for Queers says:

    This situation is absolutley abhorrent. For these people who are well paid thanks to the tax-payer with the responsibility for upholding equality and diversity in the North West are now being accused of the opposite! How ironic.

    Why should people be ashamed for feeling worried at the actions going on in this so called community foundation? The treatment of former staff, volunteers and service users is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Should Manchester’s gay community instead be proud of those who monopolistically pilfer funds from other groups that aren’t chummy with the NHS and Local Councils? Should we be proud of their completely inaccessible and unwelcoming “community space” above AXM bar that charges groups with little funding extortionate fees just to hire a poky little meeting room for a few hours?

    They even have the utter cheek to charge their own groups such as the “LGF Art Class” and “Icebreakers” (to name but a few) for meeting space using Manchester Pride LGBT Community Fund money! Even though the criteria explicitly states “Multiple applications from the same organisation will not be accepted due to the large number of applications we receive.”

    So in effect Paul is taking from Peter to give back to Paul. Perhaps they really are good people and this is the only way to divert income from the Big Weekend event and the bars back into the community unlike in 1999 when tickets were first introduced and no money was raised for charity. Maybe Paul Martin and his merry men are on a modern-day Robin Hood-like crusade and we’ve all got it wrong?.. sorry, more like Robin’ Crook! Its deceptive – money laundering by any other name.

    When you hear stories like these from people who used to be committed to what the LGF stands for who have been chased away from an organisation they cared about surely we should question the real motives behind the treatment of these people?

    Their dismissal was not only carried out through a discriminatory, illegal process through ageism (that’s just the start by the way!) but represent the tip of a very large iceberg designed to sink the ship of whistle blowers who have tried to expose numerous examples of malpractice and dirty dealing.

    Expect the Judge to deliver his decision on the claims brought against the Lesbian and Gay Foundation by Alistair and Molly within days. If/when this happens the credibility of the ongoing voices of discontent will be heightened. No doubt all the details will be revealed soon enough. Watch this space.

  • Mel says:

    The suspense is killing me.

    Ultimately this is all very sad for the sector and for LGBT communities. The LGF should be a force for change – and lets face it, they do some good work – but ultimately any organisation that is entirely led by one forceful individual is at risk of completely losing sight of it’s mission.

    I would ask, where were the trustees of the charity in all of this? Were they aware of what was going on? If not, perhaps they should keep a closer eye on things as it is them, not Paul Martin, who are now going to carry the can for it.

  • Fears for Queers says:

    Still no news?

  • Gary says:

    On 3 April I had an update from someone who is close to the case and there is still no news.

  • Neil says:

    where can i obtain copies of the transcripts – anyone know?

  • GS says: in reply to Neil

    You can get transcripts from the Tribunals Service. Copies cost £10 for the first judgement and £5 for each after that, ordered at the same time. But in this case it would probably all be one judgement. Payment by cheque to:

    Employment Tribunals Field Support Unit
    100 Southgate Street
    Bury St Edmunds
    IP33 2AQ

    Public Enquiry Line: +44 (0)845 795 9775
    Minicom: +44 (0)845 757 3722

    Manchester office:
    Tel: 0161 833 6100

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