Reclaim Brighton Pride – don’t let all that queer glitter be for nowt

There is something right special about my hometown Pride. Maybe it’s the sunshine, the salt, the sea, the queers but something about Brighton Pride gets to me every year.

I’m always so bloody proud of my city as we gridlock traffic, sashay through the streets and dance to Daft Punk on buses and since 1993 Brighton Pride has provided me with memories I’ll never sell, new mates I’ll never beat and a real sense of pride in my city.

And the best part for me? Every Monday after Pride (or Tuesday depending on how Rebelious we’ve been) when the streets are cleaned, the hangover fades and the Pride outfits hit the washing line, there’s always the promise that all that proud partying, that work, promotion, dancing and prancing has raised funds for our local LGBT charities and voluntary organisations. That was until last year when the Pride trustees announced there would no be donations. Nowt. Zilch. All that gay glitter for nothing.

And although 2010 saw a disjointed queer community back the event in a last ditch attempt to save Pride (and face), this winter a new proposal to reclaim Brighton Pride for the LGBT Community from the two main community organisations who work with Pride in Brighton & Hove each year, Calabash and the Women’s Performance Tent organisers, is being put before Brighton and Hove City Council. And I for one urge you to back their alternative bid and email your concerns to Brighton Council. (See emails below). No matter how you take your Pride, no matter what your focus; community or clubbing, politics or party, something has to change.

This city of ours has too much to lose if we can’t raise much needed funds for our local voluntary and charitable sector. With cuts threatening services and the so called big society as yet to appear, it is more vital than ever that we work together to refocus our Pride on what matters. Our community, our local LGBT charities, organisations and services. Because without them Brighton is nowt and without Pride Brighton is, well, not Brighton.

For this proud Brightonian if such major contributors to our Pride have decided to voice their concerns in an alternative bid, its time we supported them.

To help reclaim Brighton Pride for LGBT Community please email your concerns to Brighton Council.
Leader of the Council Mary Mears: Mary.Mears@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Leader of the Lib Dems Paul Elgood: Paul.Elgood@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Leader of the Labour Group Gill Mitchell: gill.mitchell@brighton-hove.gov.uk
The Convenor for the Greens Bill Randall: bill.randall@brighton-hove.gov.uk
Any comments you make need copying to each of the leaders.

Further information.
The two main community organisations who work with Pride in Brighton & Hove each year, Calabash and the Women’s Performance Tent organisers, have tabled an alternative bid to stage Pride 2011, which has a central focus of raising money for LGBT community and voluntary sector organisations.

The bid has been prepared in partnership with Wilde Ones Ltd who were the production company for Pride on Preston Park until last year when the production contract was given to Fishers Events Ltd after a controversial tendering process. Pride became in dispute with Fishers Events Ltd following this years event, due to disagreements concerning the delivery of the contract. It is not clear if the dispute with Fishers Events Ltd has now been settled.

The final partner on the bid, Aeon Events Ltd ran the bars contract on Preston Park till last year when they were sacked by Pride after asking to see Prides accounts before they handed over any money as part of their contractual obligations.

You can download the Business Community Partnership Bid from the Gscene website at http://www.gscene.com/health/index.shtml