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Public meets to choose future of London Pride as trustees to step down

Most of Pride London’s trustees are to resign as all parties meet to discuss future of event at GSN and G-A-Y public meeting
The GSN debate will let the public decide on the future of gay pride in London.
Photo by Scott Nunn.

Gay Star News can reveal the majority of the trustees of Pride London are to quit and the caretaker boss of the event wants to hand over to new blood.

A public meeting on Wednesday evening (25 July) will therefore be crucial to deciding the future of the event with several groups expected to put forward alternative visions for the British capital’s pride celebration.

London hosted World Pride on 7 July but the event was dogged by controversy. It had to be scaled back at the last minute with a street party cancelled and floats taken out of the parade.

Tony Hughes, the interim chair of Pride London, told Gay Star News that the majority of the current trustees, who appoint the directors and make strategic decisions about the LGBT festival, are set to step down.

He said: ‘We are in a consultation period of getting the right people in the right places to make sure the event is successful in the next 10 years or so.

‘What we have suffered from in the last couple of years is not having the right people in the right place. Really for the future it is about a call for people to come on and do it better.

‘I am getting it to the place where as much of it can change as is needed.’

Hughes will be on the panel for the public meeting organized by Gay Star News in association with hosts G-A-Y and with support from Boyz and QX magazines.

Joining Hughes on the panel will be:

  • Anton Johnson, LGBT officer for the Greater London Association of Trade Union Councils, who will report on a TUC meeting into the future of pride held last week. TUC is a major sponsor of Pride London.
  • Andy Woodfield, lead partner for LGBT diversity in the UK at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the global professional services firm. PwC had the largest corporate contingent in the pride march this year.
  • Debbie Gold, chief executive of Galop, London’s leading anti-LGBT hate crime charity.
  • Andrew Boff, a Conservative Londonwide Assembly Member, responsible for scrutinizing the work of the London mayor.
  • Michele Cremona, chair of the Westminster Gay Business Forum, which represents the LGBT scene business of Soho.

The panel will be chaired by Tris Reid-Smith, editor and director of Gay Star News.

Tris said: ‘The event will take stock of where we are now and, more importantly, look to the future. What do people want pride in London to be like next year and how can the city deliver a world-class LGBT event in five years time?

‘Our expert panel isn’t particularly there to give answers as I want the ideas and decisions to come from the public. But they are there to share information and expertise so the meeting is well informed about what the current situation is and what is really practical for the future.

‘There has been strong interest and I know that there will be lots of key people in the audience, including sponsors of the event, decision makers from the mayor’s office and loyal pride supporters who have attended the event since its earliest days.

‘So this is an exciting opportunity for the public to choose the future of London Pride.’

Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting and no invitation is required. It will be at Heaven, Under the Arches, Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NG on Wednesday 25 July at 5.30pm. The venue has disabled access. There is a Facebook event page for it here.

GSN will, of course, be reporting on the event and tweeting live from it. Join us on Twitter here.

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