Brighton Pride email suggests fire service concerns
East Sussex Fire Service is thought to have concerns that this year’s Brighton Pride festival was “poorly managed”.
An emailed statement from Pride this afternoon announcing the resignation of the festival’s chair Robert Clothier contained an forwarded email which appeared to have been sent by accident.
The forwarded email, which asked for an amendment to be added to meeting minutes, was apparently sent by an event support officer at Brighton city council.
It did not give context but said the amendment should read: “ESFRS [East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service] will not accept a poorly managed event in the future irrespective of the community it represents.
“Pride need to consider whether the event has outgrown the park, or whether the capacity in the tents can be managed, if not then Pride needs to consider if tents are appropriate.
“ESFRS will discuss with Sussex Police the potential need for conditions to be placed on the license [sic].”
During this year’s event, £30,000 worth of damage was caused by an arson attack on public toilets in Preston Park Avenue. No one was injured.
Pride spokeswoman Judith Manson blamed the email on “human error” and said it was unintentional.
When asked for comment on the remarks from the fire service, she said: “That is taken out of context. I’m not prepared to divulge any more information. That sentence was a part of previous correspondence.”
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ESFRS could not be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.
Mr Clothier was acting chair of Pride, having stood in for Yvonne Barker after she resigned last November after several tumultuous weeks for the festival.
A statement said he was leaving his position with immediate effect to “concentrate on his own career and position within the local LGBT community”.
Last month, 160,000 people enjoyed the city’s pride celebrations.
The festivities came after a rocky 12 months for the event. Last November, Brighton Pride admitted the festival was not paying for itself and was forced to cancel its winter event.
It announced a £50,000 budget deficit and the 2009 festival was described by organisers as “a bad year” in financial terms.