The Green Party in Brighton and Hove is rejecting claims made by Labour and the Conservatives that it supports cutting funding to the city’s Pride festival.

Labour and Tory councillors last Thursday voted to maintain a £25,000 annual council grant.

The Greens said plans to withdraw use of the grant did not amount to a cut and that “in-kind funding” to Brighton and Hove Pride “continues to be in excess of £65,000 per year”.

Although 30 councillors to 20 voted to maintain the grant, the amendment will have to be re-tabled this week after the council failed to agree on its overall budget.

A spokesperson for the Green Group of councillors told PinkNews.co.uk: “It’s completely inaccurate to talk about a council grant for Pride being cut this year. Despite drastic government cuts, the total in-kind funding to Pride by the Council continues to be in excess of £65,000 per year.

“Last year – with the agreement of all political parties – instead of a specific cash grant, the Council set aside a contingency budget of £25,000 to address security and infrastructure issues associated with the Gay Village Party in Kemp Town.  £10,000 of this remains for use by Pride 2014.

“Pride has been fantastically successful in its new model as a social enterprise. The Council has been working with the organisers on exciting plans for a three day event in Preston Park. Having events on the Friday and Sunday of the Pride weekend will help the organisers recover costs, and they have this agreement with the Council in place for three years, which will give them more long term security.”

On Tuesday, Pride in Brighton and Hove released the following statement:-

Pride traditionally received an annual cash grant of £25,000 from Brighton and Hove City Council since 2006. Last year Brighton Pride CIC didn’t receive any grants and the council informed Pride CIC that they had stopped the grant in 2012 and turned it into a one off contingency fund in 2013.

During the council’s budget debate, Cllr Geoffrey Bowden said that there was £10,000 of the £25,000 left over from last years contingency fund and suggested that it be used for paying for security during the Gay Village Street.

Last year the Gay Village Street Party had nothing to do with Pride and using the Pride grant/contingency money certainly doesn’t help deliver the LGBT community parade or sustainability of this international event which brings 13 million pounds into the city each year.

Finally reference to a three date event should be viewed carefully. The council has given permission for Preston Park to be used for three days to help spread the costs of infrastructure. However any extended sessions require an increases entertainment costs and we haven’t as yet confirmed any plans to stage any other days other than the main event on Pride Saturday.