We received the following response from Cllr Kevin Allen to our letter to the Argus about this year’s Pride event:
I strongly agree with the points you make in your letter.
It is clear from your letter that Friends of Preston Park is set to play a crucial role in reclaiming Preston Park for families and other regular park users. You can count on my support.
My own view is that Pride has now outgrown Preston Park, even when the event is better managed than it was this year. At the very least they need to charge for entrance, thus limiting numbers. The council for its part needs to be tougher in its negotiations with the organisers, more effectively holding them to account. But I want to press for a change of venue, certainly for a rotation of venues. Why Preston Park every year? What about Stanmer Park or East Brighton Park? If Pride were held in Stanmer Park the parade would be within the park. If in East Brighton Park the parade could be along the seafront, rather than through the London Road, where trade is badly affected because regular shoppers stay away.
This won’t make me popular in some quarters, but I do feel it is time to ask some pretty fundamental questions about Pride and Preston Park.
Cllr Kevin Allen, Labour, Preston Park
See also the response from Citypark’s Alan Griffiths.