County Council refuses to consider Rainbow Crossings to promote Diversity

September 17, 2021 11:45 AM
Herts County Council has refused to consider remarking any pedestrian crossings in Rainbow colours as a way of supporting and highlighting the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community in Herts.

Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors had proposed that the council follow the example of other Highways Authorities that have introduced 'Rainbow' or 'Progress Pride' crossings as a permanent way to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities and diversity.

'Progress Pride' crossings with rainbow colours and chevrons show respect for trans and non-binary people, people of colour and those living with HIV/AIDS. It would show our respect for the diversity of Hertfordshire, claimed Cllr Sara Bedford in a motion she submitted to the Council.

Rainbow crossings have been introduced in several authorities in the UK in recent years however Conservative run Hertfordshire County Council has now rejected the idea.

In a report to the Highways and Transport Panel, officers confirmed that Rainbow Crossings are legal, but indicated that they had not discussed with councils who had introduced them to see how this was done.

Liberal Democrat Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who is also Deputy Leader of Three Rivers Council which is introducing a Rainbow crossing on its own land said, " The officer approach was disappointing. They refused to discuss the matter with councils that have successfully introduced these as part of renewing normal crossings. They had the information from Three Rivers that it could cost as little as £1,300 per crossing. It is unfortunate that the opportunity to show wider support for our diverse community in this way was rejected by the Conservatives."

However Liberal Democrat councillors won a concession from the ruling Tories when they agreed that the Rainbow displays and the Pride Flag could be included in any subway refurbishment if supported by the local community.

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst said, "It's a step in the right direction, but I had wanted more. We will be pushing this forward and holding the Tories to their words that they will not veto this if the opportunity arises."