Support for Portsmouth Pride despite row over city council's funding

City councillors have reaffirmed their support for Portsmouth Pride amid a row over allegations the administration is “playing games” with its funding.
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In a recent Portsmouth City Council meeting , Labour councillor George Fielding proposed a motion to acknowledge the event’s importance and provide funding in the council’s budget.

In his speech, Cllr Fielding said: “What it has shown is that it cannot offer support and security to this great community early enough to have the pride trust plan effectively each year.

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“It is through this we are asking the administration to stop it’s game playing by delaying in providing to Portsmouth Pride the necessary contributions as a key partner of the event.”

A sea of flags at Portsmouth PrideA sea of flags at Portsmouth Pride
A sea of flags at Portsmouth Pride

In response, Cllr Steve Pitt, leader of the council, said he took offence to Cllr Fielding’s speech stating: “There are no games playing whatsoever with Portsmouth Pride.

“They get a funding grant, when Cllr Vernon-Jackson was the leader of the council he gave them the certainty they were looking for and they have certainty of funding over the next two years.

“We have already embedded grant funding for Portsmouth Pride which they have acknowledged and are very grateful and happy with for the next two years.

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“We have gone further with Portsmouth Pride than we do with other organisations in the city exactly because we recognise how important it is.”

After her maiden speech, Labour Cllr Mary Vallely, member for Cosham ward, received a round of applause from across the council chamber.

She said: “Pride is a celebration of how far we’ve come as a nation, we need to remember this and be proud.

“Pride is an opportunity to show our young people, and our adult population that it’s ok to be yourself. If we can save anyone the self-doubt, paralysing fear, the anxiety and self-loathing that many of us had to go through, great, why would you not.

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“We march to proudly celebrate our identity, to educate, to thank you, to remember friends that didn’t make it, to come out, to support, to strengthen, to regain faith in ourselves, to claim space, to party, to be free, to rebel, to love and be loved, to remind ourselves that we’re ok and that actually, you are too.”

Members unanimously voted for the motion.