‘FRESH START NEEDED’ AS COMMUNITY INVITED TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF PRIDE

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Equality organisations operating in Glasgow and the West of Scotland are being invited to a meeting to discuss the future of the Pride movement.

The moves comes amid ongoing frustration at the Pride Glasgow ticket chaos which impacted around 600 customers, with tickets being oversold for the event in July and ticket holders, sponsors, media and VIPs being unable to access the site for up to 3 hours.

In an email to organisations including Pink Saltire, TIE Campaign, SQIFF, Equality Network, LGBT Youth Scotland, LEAP Sports, Stonewall and a number of local union representatives, organisers say a lack of trust in Pride Glasgow has led to calls for a new approach.

When asked for commentary by Pink Saltire, no representative of the meeting organiser was available, however an extract from the email sent to organisations in the city says:

A meeting of Equality focussed organisations will be called to discuss staging an event in 2019 under the working banner “Pride West of Scotland” and to explore a new event management structure that is co-operatively managed and jointly owned by the LGBT family of organisations that effectively stage and organise the march and its associated events and activities. The meeting will discuss a new ethos of Pride, core values and operating principles as well as governance, funding and event management.

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Organisers have set out a number of key areas for discussion at the meeting, which is due to sit before the end of September. These topics include whether Pride should be a free event, beneficiaries of Pride and how finances are managed, the role commercial organisations can play, the openness and transparency of any new Pride as well as a number of other issues.

Those calling the meeting have not invited any individuals connected to the existing Pride Glasgow charity, its associated corporate entities or suppliers.

Pride Glasgow have committed to refunding those who were unable to gain access to the event on Saturday 14th July, a move which could cost the charity up to an estimated £10,000. Glasgow City Council have also confirmed to Pink Saltire that the capacity of the temporary venue at Kelvingrove Park in 2018 was 6,000 people. Organisers estimated 12,000 people took part in Glasgow’s biggest ever Pride march, led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Pressure continues to grow on Pride Chief Executive, Alastair Smith, and Deputy CEO, Ross Stevenson, to stand down following a petition for them to resign which received over 1500 signatures. Both individuals are paid employees of Pride Glasgow SCIO, positions which are governed by the charity Trustees. There has been no update from the charity on the future of its Directors, although Pink Saltire understands the Board are focussing on resolving customer refunds at this time.

A Facebook page for ‘Pride West of Scotland’ has been created, which can be viewed here.

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