Pride Village Party gets thumbs up from city councillors till 2020

Besi Besemar March 7, 2019

Tourism, Development and Culture Committee gives approval for Pride Village Party (PVP) to continue in the St James’s Street area of the city as part of the annual Pride event.

A PUBLIC consultation, which sought the views of residents, businesses and stakeholders on the event, received over 2,800 responses.

The consultation asked whether the PVP should continue in its current form or be relocated to Madeira Drive or another part of the city. People were also invited to comment on other aspects of the event.

♦ Over 68% of respondents were in favour of keeping the event at St James’s Street  with respondents either strongly agreeing or tending to agree that the PVP had a positive effect on the city.

♦ Over 80% of respondents strongly agreed or tended to agree that the PVP should continue where it is at present.

♦ Over 63% of respondents strongly agreed or tended to agree that there should be no change to the current arrangements.

♦ The majority of respondents felt that the event felt safer since it had been ticketed (59%).

The consultation responses and the contributions made by Pride organisers, as well as statutory agencies, were included in a report presented to the Tourism, Development and Culture Committee today, March 7.

The report recommended that the Pride Village Party not be moved and that the event continues to be run by the Brighton Pride Community Interest Company. The recommendations were passed by majority vote by the committee.

Cllr Alan Robins
Cllr Alan Robins

Chair of the Tourism, Development and Culture Committee, Councillor Alan Robins, said: “It is clear from the responses we received from the public consultation on the Pride Village Party that the majority of people, including residents as well as the emergency services, want the event to continue on St James’s Street.  

“The event has been well-managed by Pride organisers, who since taking on the event in 2015 have put resources in place to manage the disruption to local people including additional security personnel, street cleaning and toilets.

“The annual Pride event is an important fixture in the city’s calendar and we look forward to the event returning again this August.” 

The decision to continue allowing the Pride Village Party to be held in the St James Street area received cross party support from all three political parties with some senior politicians saying they did not recognise some of the areas of concern raised by the Kingscliffe Society.

Cllr Nancy Platt
Cllr Nancy Platt

Nancy Platt, Labour Councillor for East Brighton said: “At the moment the event is staged in the heart of the gay community in St James Street and if moved to Madeira Drive would not benefit local LGBT+ traders.”

“I live in the area and do not recognise much of the complaints listed in the report.”

Tom Druitt, Green Councillor for Regency, said: “I see no case for moving the event from the heart of the gay community.” He went on to say he hoped the police used officers that knew the area well to police the event.

Mary Mears, Conservative Councillor for Rottingdean said she felt the council needed to stand up to the plate and do more to support the event while continuing to listen to the concerns of local residents.

Anne Norman the Conservative Councillor for Withdean congratulated the Pride organisers and said they did “a great job” organising the event.

Cllr Phelim McCafferty
Cllr Phelim McCafferty

Phelim McCafferty, Green Councillor for Brunswick and Adelaide and Convenor of the Green group of Councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council said he saw no case for moving the event from its present location and rather than moving the event everyone should concentrate on ensuring the event was as safe as possible for everyone attending and made a special plea to the organisers of Pride “to implement the use of re-usable plastic cups for drinks served on the streets”.

Cllr Mo Marsh
Cllr Mo Marsh

Finally Mo Marsh, Labour Councillor for Moulsecoomb & Bevendean and former Mayor of Brighton and Hove, asked everyone to remember what Pride is all about and why it is important to a city like Brighton and Hove.

She said: “I live in the area and do not recognised many of the complaints listed in the report. I am particularly concerned about the nature of some of the comments reported to have been made at the public meeting on January 15 by people who wanted to move the event away from the Gay Village to Madeira Drive.”