Equality Issues



NatCen - Social Research


Implications of Austerity for LGBT People & Services



Subject:Equal Opportunities Committee – Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill, Stage 1





Equal Opportunities Committee


Email: equal.opportunities@scottish.parliament.uk






The Equal Opportunities Committee has launched a call for written views to help with its Stage 1 scrutiny of the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill. The Committee wishes to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to submit their views and, to facilitate the submission of views, a form is available on our website at—


The Bill would introduce same-sex marriage and also make various general changes to marriage law. This would include putting belief celebrants on the same footing as religious celebrants, allowing civil marriage ceremonies to take place anywhere, other than religious premises, and allowing transgender people to stay married when obtaining the full Gender Recognition Certificate.

The call for evidence will run until 23 August 2013. More information about the Committee’s Stage 1 inquiry can be found at—





Convener, Equal Opportunities Committee



Promoting equality and human rights across the Highlands & Islands of Scotland



The HIEF e-bulletin is a great way to share your news, information, resources, and upcoming events with organisations and community groups across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland involved in equality and human rights issues. Just get in touch with us at hief@scvo.org.uk and we will do our best to include your news in our future e-bulletins.

Latest News                                                                             


Review of Highland's 'deprived' areas to take place

Highland Council are to undertake a review of areas considered to be 'deprived' and therefore eligible to access a share of the £416,000 Deprived Area Fund aimed at creating jobs. This comes at a time of particular concern over the effects welfare cuts will have on communities across Highland. Find out more


Barra community challenge council's budget cuts

Around 60 people challenged council representatives on budget cuts at a recent consultation meeting in Barra. During the three hour meeting anger was expressed at how budget savings risked affecting the vulnerable, the aged, the disabled and "people not able to defend themselves", with added concern that the cuts are not being equally shared across the islands. Find out more


Island fuel prices highlighted

The high cost of fuel in the islands has been raised with the Office of Fair Trading by MSPs. This has been prompted by continuing debate over the effect fuel prices have on businesses, drivers and tourists in the area. Find out more


Scottish Living Wage commitment

The Scottish Government has announced a new living wage of £7.45 for employees working in certain parts of the public sector, and is urging employers in the private, public and third sectors to follow suit.  The new rate will come into force as of 1 April 2013. Find out more


SHRC launch human rights report

The Scottish Human Rights Commission recently launched its 'Getting it Right?' report which looks at the realisation of human rights in Scotland. SHRC and SCVO are encouraging third sector organisations to get involved in the development of Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights. Find out more   


Human rights event success

HIEF teamed up with the British Institute of Human Rights to hold a successful event in Inverness last month as part of BIHR's Human Rights Tour. The event gave an informative overview of human rights and how they can make a difference in our communities. BIHR have developed guidance and resources on human rights for voluntary and community organisations. Find out more 


Shelter Scotland calls for action

A report by Shelter Scotland shows 5,300 children are currently living in unsuitable temporary accommodation with many facing health problems due to poorly maintained premises, the cold and poor hygiene. The charity fears the number of homeless children will rise as unemployment continues and families struggle to pay bills. Find out more


Women win equal pay battle

Over 170 women who worked in low paid jobs for Birmingham City Council have won the right to have their equal pay discrimination cases heard in the civil courts, and not just employment tribunals, following a ruling by the Supreme Court last month. The ruling has effectively extended the time available to bring a case to court from six months to six years. Find out more



Food waste roadshow in Inverness

The Food Waste Prevention roadshow will be at Tesco Inshes Retail Park, Inverness on Monday 26th November. This is part of a national project run by the Scottish Government offering shoppers advice on how to save on their food shopping. Find out more


World AIDS Day

Waverely Care are holding community events across Scotland on 1st December 2012 with the theme of 'Tackling HIV Together'. The Highlands and Islands event will be held in Inverness. Find out more


International Women's Day

The Scottish Women's Convention will be holding an event for International Women's Day in the Scottish Parliament on Saturday 9th March 2013 and are encouraging registrations of interest. Find out more

Funding Opportunities                                                               


Voluntary Action Fund's Community Grants Programme deadline announced

The final deadline for applications to the Community Grant Fund has been announced as January 14th 2013. Applications for grants of up to £1,000 can be applied for, with groups working with health and disability issues, people excluded due to ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation, families and young people, and older people being considered priorities. Find out more 


Nesta Investment Management seeking innovation

Nesta are looking to invest in social ventures that have a positive impact on some the UK's most pressing challenges, including the wellbeing of our ageing population, support of children and young people and the sustainability of our communities. Find out more


Comic Relief 'Local Communities' Programme deadline 11th January 2012

Small local groups or communities in areas of disadvantage can apply for funding of between £1,000 and £10,000. Comic Relief will delivering the programme in conjunction with the Community Foundation Network. Find out more  


Shared Care Scotland: Better Breaks

One year grants of up to £50,000 are being offered to third sector organisations in Scotland to develop additional, responsive and creative short break opportunities for disabled children and their families. The application deadline is 12th December 2012. Find out more


Family Holiday Association funding open

Funding for breaks for disadvantaged families in the UK is now available. Applications will only be accepted through referring agents such as social workers, health visitors and schools. Find out more 


VOLANT Charitable Trust funding for charities and community groups

The VOLANT Charitable Trust, through the Scottish Community Foundation, will provide awards of up to £10,000 per year. The fund's primary focus is to support women, children and young people who are at risk and facing social deprivation. Find out more  

Public Sector News                                                                              


Moray autism plan

Moray Council is helping to develop a Moray Autism Partnership Board which will be aimed at connecting adults with autism, parents, carers, council staff, the NHS and service providers. Find out more


New plans for islands fire service

Following the controversial closure of fire stations in the islands, the head of Scotland's new national fire service visited Orkney and Shetland last week to discuss the issues facing communities. Find out more 


Moray and Highland Children's Panel plan

Councillors have voted for a controversial move that will see the Moray Children's Panel support team amalgamated with Highland Councils. Find out more

HIEF Representation                                                             


Highland Public Services Partnership Equality and Diversity Strategy Group

HIEF, along with the Highland Third Sector Partnership, is represented on this group to provide a voice for third sector organisations and community groups as part of the partnership's work to promote equality and diversity in Highland and eliminate unlawful discrimination. Find out more


Inclusive Cairngorms 

HIEF is represented alongside other third sector organisations, community groups and individuals as part of Inclusive Cairngorms, the advisory group to the Cairngorm's National Park Authority, to support the group's aims to promote social inclusion and involvement in the Park. Find out more


Make sure your voice is heard!

Please help us to ensure that your voice is included in HIEF's representation work by getting in contact with us at hief@scvo.org.uk, or calling 01463 251 727, to share you views and experiences and tell us what the key issues are for you and the people you work with.

HIEF Online Networking Opportunities                                                               


Join HIEF's new LinkedIn online discussion group

The 'Highlands and Islands Equality Forum (HIEF)' discussion group on LinkedIn is another great way to keep up to date with HIEF news, stay connected with the HIEF network and share your news and views. Visit our HIEF Online Discussion Group.


Follow HIEF on Twitter

 HIEF has joined the world of Twitter! So, if you're a fan of the tweet then please follow us @SCVO_HIEF and discover how the Highlands and Islands is changing the world, 140 characters at a time! Visit our HIEF Twitter page.

Contact HIEF                                                                                   


HIEF continues to provide information, support and signposting to organisations and community groups. If you think HIEF can help you then please feel free to get in touch with us through our SCVO Information Service and your enquiry will be passed to the HIEF team:

Freephone number: 0800 169 0022

Email: enquiries@scvo.org.uk


Or, you can get in touch with the HIEF Team directly:

Matt Tyrer, HIEF Project Leader

Telephone: 01463 251 727

Email: matt.tyrer@scvo.org.uk


Sasha Devine, Equality Development Officer

Telephone: 01463 258 801

Email: sasha.devine@scvo.org.uk

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