Warren Morgan: Pride in our open and welcoming city

Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council SUS-170126-092210001
Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council SUS-170126-092210001

This weekend Brighton and Hove opens its doors to thousands of people visiting the city to enjoy Pride, one of the biggest events of its kind nationally and one of the biggest in our calendar.

It’s a chance for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans*) community, to celebrate, following the success of Trans* Pride last week. Tens of thousands more will join in the party, but we should never forget the struggle for rights and freedoms which saw being gay partially decriminalized 50 years ago this month.”

Since the days of the Prince Regent, people have been coming here to party, to eat and drink and enjoy the sea views. Our heritage and much of our economy is built on it. As I wrote last week, we are campaigning to save the Madeira Terraces, built to attract tourists at the dawn of the railway age, and more than £113,000 has been pledged so far.

In the last 50 years we have become a place to study. Over the past fortnight I’ve seen many of the thousands of students graduating from our two universities with their proud families. They mingled with the language students and others here all year round. Between them our universities, colleges and language schools bring hundreds of millions into the local economy, and greatly enrich the city.

Others come here for business, whether it is for a conference or to start up a new enterprise, in a place where more new ventures start than anywhere else. We welcome innovation and investment that creates secure and well-paid employment, and puts us on the global map in areas like digital services.

Many will come here for perhaps the first time over the next nine months as the Premier League arrives at the Amex, and the Albion take on some of the biggest names in world football. It will bring millions of pounds into the region and provide a new stage for our city’s charms.

Others come here for the beach, the Downs, the culture, the history, the attractions, and because it is a place where they feel safe and included. Whatever the reason for coming here, and however long you stay, welcome. We are proud of Brighton and Hove and we hope you will share in that pride too.

Warren Morgan is the Labour leader of Brighton & Hove City Council.