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Pride in the Gay Village!

August 13, 2018 8:00 AM


Liberal Democrats at Manchester Pride (By Iain Donaldson)

Manchester Liberal Democrats at Pride

Shock news that 2018 may be the last year that Manchester's Gay Village will host the main stage of Manchester's world-famous Pride festival has been greeted with anger by the City's LGBT+ communities.

Unfortunately, such a devastating move has been inevitable since Manchester Labour Councillors voted through the Portland Street Planning Framework and gave permission to build hotels and towers on the space used by Pride and other Village events.

When Joe Lynch raised Lib Dem objections about this inevitable move during the planning committee in June, Councillors just laughed. Joe tells us that "We objected, we opposed, newly elected Labour councillors sat on their hands."

The latest move by the City's Labour Bosses in what has become a planning frenzy in which communities and history are being swept aside in favour of big business and international speculators has left village businesses, charities and patrons alike reeling as proposals will result in there being no room in the village for the main stage of what many consider to be Britain's premier Pride event.

Joe added that "We take the LGBT+ community seriously, we will fight to keep Pride in Place. Consultations and decisions surrounding pride must consider the concerns of the LGBT+ community. Unfortunately, Manchester Council's lust for new 20 storey towers has forced the Organisers' hands. Manchester City Council would rather see another multi-storey car park than ensuring a Pride event that we can be proud of."

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Manchester Central, John Bridges, stated that "The Liberal Democrats have a long history of supporting LGBT+ rights, and of supporting Manchester Pride."

"This is not the first time that Labour have attempted to move Pride out of the village, but every time they have done so it has resulted in the near collapse of the event and devastating impact on the charities that Pride supports."

"Liberal Democrats want to see Manchester continue to grow as a vibrant international city, welcoming to all communities, but we believe that this decision will damage the City's reputation, and jeopardise the future of Manchester Pride."

The City Centre Liberal Democrats are extremely dissapointed that the Main Stage at Manchester Pride is being forced out of the Gay Village.

Joe added that "We love Pride for being a celebration of LGBT+ culture and history in Manchester, it is first and foremost community event. That should not change. Moving Pride events to locations on the edge of the city, (or in the suburbs) would change the entire dynamic of that celebration and detract from aim of supporting the Gay Village community."

The Liberal Democrats would like to hear your views about Manchester's Gay Village and Manchester Pride. Please complete our survey here.