Gay councillor lectures Tories and Labour saying “Pride is not a sacred cow”

Besi Besemar February 27, 2014

Geoffrey Bowden a former Pride trustee and Green Councillor for the Gay Village urged caution at tonights council budget debate over giving Pride a grant for £25,000 to secure the future of this years Pride Community Parade.

Cllr Geoffrey Bowden
Cllr Geoffrey Bowden

Despite having not seen last years Pride accounts Cllr Bowden suggested that the Pride organisation was sustainable and not in need of the money.

In his speech he referred to Pride as being a ‘commercial organisation’ despite it being a Community Interest Company (CIC) where all profits are ploughed back into the community and ¬†suggested any grant from the council should be spent on security for the Gay Village Steet Party which takes place in his ward.

Cllr Bowden was a trustee of Pride South East Ltd which for successive years lost money and was eventually forced to crease trading with debts of over £200,000. During his period as a trustee no money was raised for LGBT voluntary sector organisations in the city.

Last years Pride organisers raised ¬£43,000 for good causes. This money was not paid from ‘profits’ but came from ¬£1 a head ring fenced from each ticket sold and was a fixed cost in the Pride budget.

Both Labour and Cooperative and Conservative Councillors spoke in support of the reinstatement of the £25,000 grant to Pride.

The Debate is ongoing.