Bury Council has been named again as one of Britain’s top “gay-friendly” employers by professional lobbying group Stonewall.

The local authority was the top performing council in the North West and gained particular recognition in the latest Stonewall workplace equality report for its Dignity at Work policy.

Stonewall stated that the council has “a robust commitment to fostering a workplace culture where all employees are treated with dignity and respect”.

The council is now listed as number 54 in Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list which showcases the progress being made in many workplaces towards full equality for Britain’s 1.7 million lesbian, gay and bisexual employees.

As part of its Workplace Equality Index assessment, Stonewall has also recognised the council’s LGBT Employee Group as a Star Performer Network Group. This acknowledges the role of individual employees who participate in the network group, often in their own time, to help make sure the bosses get it right' for their staff.

Furthermore, the group has been named North West Employee Group of the Year for all its efforts in tackling homophobia and promoting equality for all lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

The LGBT Employee Group was presented with the NW Network Group of the Year at the Stonewall Awards ceremony in Manchester. Cllr Trevor Holt, the council’s equalities spokesman, said: “This award is very well deserved — the group puts in a lot of hard work and has achieved a great deal.

“This council is committed to eradicating discrimination in all areas, and it is pleasing to see that our efforts and those of our staff are being recognised nationally.”

n—Councillors have pledged to tackle homophobic bullying after they admitted there was still a lot of work to be done in combating the problem — even though the authorioty had made great strides forward.

The plea was made at last week’s full council meeting at Bury Town Hall, where councillors said it was vital to continue eradicating this form of bullying.

They were presented with statistics show that 55 per cent of young gay and bisexual people have experienced homophobic bullying in schools, and that 95 per cent have experienced homophobic language.