CHESHIRE East Council is supporting LGBT history month by flying the rainbow flag for the whole of February.

The council's main buildings in Sandbach, Crewe and Macclesfield will all have the flag flying high throughout the month.

The focus of this year’s LGBT history month is ‘Geography: mapping the world’, which celebrates the fact that Australia and 16 other countries across Central and South America will start holding same sex weddings this year.

Mark Palethorpe, acting executive director of people and chair of the council’s equality and diversity group, said: "We want to promote equality and diversity, valuing everyone and improving public services.

"We want east Cheshire to be a place where everyone has a fair chance, free from discrimination and be able to participate in their community.

"Raising the flag for a month is an important commitment to make but we realise that there is much more that needs to be achieved.

"Our aim is to make equality and diversity an integral part of the way the council works and promoting LGBT history month is just one way we are doing this."

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality.

Cllr Stewart Gardiner, equality and diversity champion for CEC, added: "LGBT history month is a very important part of the LGBT calendar and I am delighted that we are supporting it.

"I was also pleased to see that our partners Cheshire Fire and Rescue and Cheshire police feature at number four and number 26 respectively in a recent list of the top 100 employers achieving acceptance without exception for LGBT people.

"It gives us even greater incentive to achieve more at CEC."