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Monday 5 September 2011

A public discussion with Julia Grant (video)

Watch a video of the full two-hour discussion

Following my recent interview with Julia Grant, she suggested that perhaps I could organise a public discussion about the future of the August Bank Holiday event (which has been known as Manchester Pride since 2004) and the gay village.

This was arranged with the help of other members of the Facebook group Facts About Manchester Pride and was called: “Pull Your Fingers Out and Claim It Back” — a reference to something that Julia said in the interview.

The discussion took place on Thursday 25 August 2011 at the Hotel International on London Road, opposite Piccadilly Station.

The first half was about past and present. A chance for people to ask follow-up questions about the interview, or anything they’d ever wanted to ask Julia Grant. The second was about the future. What changes we would like to see and how to achieve those.

You can watch the whole thing here. It’s in four parts, with a total running time of 128 minutes.


Filed under: Gay,History,LGBT,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 5:30 pm
Thursday 11 August 2011

Riots and looting in Manchester city centre

Riots and looting in Manchester city centre

An exclusive 10-minute video showing the disorder and looting of shops in the Piccadilly area on Tuesday evening and the police response.


Filed under: Crime,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 4:26 pm
Tuesday 2 August 2011

What The Pink Paper didn’t tell you in its LGF funding cuts article. And why…

Update: (25 October 2011): part of this article has been removed while further research is done.

Stockport NHS cut gay charity by 100 per cent” was the emotive headline in The Pink Paper on 26 May 2011. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 6:04 am
Monday 13 June 2011

World Naked Bike Ride 2011: Manchester (video)

Naked cyclists on Oxford Street, Manchester

Manchester’s 6th annual World Naked Bike Ride took place on Friday 3 June 2011 at 7pm. Here’s my exclusive video of it.


Filed under: Environment,Fun,Politics,With video — GS @ 12:29 am
Saturday 9 April 2011

Wynnie LaFreak delivers a letter on behalf of the Facebook group ‘Facts about Manchester Pride’ (video)

In the absence of any official public forums or public meetings, we set up a group on Facebook to discuss the facts and changes people would like to see at Manchester Pride.

The questions were put in a letter and on Friday 8th April 2011 Manchester’s premier drag queen Wynnie LaFreak delivered it to Pride HQ in person. You can see what happened in this video.

Wynnie LaFreak about to deliver a letter to the offices of Manchester Pride

Read the letter here (PDF).

LINKS

Facebook group

Message board

Wynnie LaFreak


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics,With video — GS @ 3:05 pm
Wednesday 19 January 2011

Pride charity money given to the Village Business Association

The origins of Manchester Pride go back to 1990 when an August Bank Holiday event was set up by several of the gay businesses. The aim being to raise money for good causes – particularly for those connected with HIV and AIDS.

So it’s quite extraordinary to hear that, this year, the opposite has happened; some of the money raised by Manchester Pride has been handed to the Village Business Association (VBA) – the body that represents businesses in and around Canal Street.

While many charities face cuts and a fall in income due to the economic situation, and some community projects get no financial support whatsoever, the VBA has received £4,000 which will go towards the cost of putting up a decorative arch at both ends of Canal Street.

This sum won’t cover the entire cost of the project. But luckily it seems Manchester City Council may have some spare money for this.

At the same time as it announces it has been left with no option but to make 2,000 job cuts, the City Council may be able to find £8,000 to put towards this project.

Chinese arch in Manchester Chinatown

It’s being described as an ‘arts project’ and the arches may look something like the structure in nearby Chinatown. But some people who bought tickets for Manchester Pride or put money into a collection bucket must wonder if this is an appropriate use of the charity fund.

Also, as news is announced that no less than three venues are threatened with closure, they might wonder whether charity money is being used to try and shore up the profits of businesses in the gay village.

UPDATE (May 2012): nothing has happened so far and, possibly due to the publicity surrounding this, the Council hasn’t put forward any money for it. It’s been suggested that the VBA will hand back the cash if the arch doesn’t go ahead. We’ll then check up to find out where that £4,000 ends up.

Where do these ideas come from? Birmingham City Council has given £10,000 towards a “rhinestone-encrusted model of a rhinoceros” that will mark the entry to the city’s gay village.

When all kinds of services are being cut, spending public money on this kind of vulgar tat just brings the LGBT community into disrepute. If the businesses in Birmingham’s gay village think this will boost profits then let them pay for it.


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 8:54 pm
Friday 31 December 2010

A Freedom of Information request reveals how much Manchester City Council gives to, and charges, Manchester Pride

Information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

Year

Sponsorship provided by MCC which is ring-fenced for the Pride Parade only

Charges made and paid to MCC in respect of the overall Pride event including the Big Weekend

2005

£20,000

£13,600

2006

£25,000

£26,250

2007

£25,000

£32,620

2008

£27,500

£27,660

2009

£32,500
+ £1425 specific to a Heritage Trail project

£28,500

2010

£32,500

£33,300

The sums paid to Manchester City Council do not include charges made by Greater Manchester Waste (now known as ENVIRONMENTS) for the removal of rubbish which is between £6000 and £9000 per annum.

You can see full details of the FOI request here.

As you can see, even if we ignore the thousands of pounds that are charged for removal of rubbish, in four out of the last six years the City Council has clawed back in charges more than it gave the event.

It gives with one hand and gets the kudos for supporting the LGBT community, while taking with the other.

The City Council gave more than £2m towards the running costs of Manchester’s International Festival in 2007. The Festival was expected to bring in £32m of extra business to the city, while we’re told Pride brings in £22m of extra business some years.

And about £250,000 given for the Manchester Day Parade in 2011 (BBC).


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 7:42 am
 
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