LGBT campaigners will be protesting in Eastbourne today (May 3).
Activists from Bourne Out, which organises Eastbourne Pride each year, will rally outside the Town Hall when the election results are declared, in a protest against what they say is a “lack of support” from the council.
Betty Gallacher, chair of the charity said, “I’ve had enough. We are totally fed up with the council, which I feel should be helping us more.
“Eastbourne Pride brings thousands of people into the town, many from outside Eastbourne, spending money and boosting the local economy. But Eastbourne Borough Council’s support has been sadly lacking.
“They give me the impression they are not really bothered about it, but they should be. Their financial contribution has been a paltry £500 each year when they could have provided us with so much more and not just money.”
The charity has found it difficult to fund Pride this year, and says it may end up charging £5 entry – and if it does so the council will take £1.75 of each ticket sold.
Ms Gallacher also said, “I know for a fact both [Eastbourne Borough Council Leader] David Tutt and Stephen Lloyd could have done more for us but they haven’t.”
The protest will start at 4pm outside the Town Hall in Grove Road on Friday and will include drummers and campaigners holding placards.
A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “Eastbourne Borough Council is in regular dialogue with the Eastbourne Pride organisers.
“We will continue to offer our support and hope the 2019 event is bigger and better than ever.”
And Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd said, “I am very sorry to hear Bourne Out feel this way. I really am. The challenge has been they seek funding for their Pride event and the council, as everyone knows, is short of cash.
“Our own Eastbourne carnival for instance, has never ever received funding from the council but we’ve just accepted that reality.
“I am and have always been an advocate for LGBT+ rights and that will be the case whether or not I’m Eastbourne’s MP. It’s a cause I profoundly believe in.”
Councillor Tutt has been contacted for comment.