Brighton Pride looking at ways to cut litter at next year’s event

Brighton Gay Pride
Brighton Gay Pride

Reusable plastic could be coming to Pride to help cut rubbish on the streets.

Jayne Babb, operations manager for Pride, spoke about this and other arrangements for the August weekend to Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing committee on Thursday (November 29).

She told the committee that issues with litter meant that the organisers were looking at the option of a souvenir cup that could be refilled or swapped and washed at the Preston Park event and the Village Party.

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During the Pride Village Party on Sunday August 4, Cityclean litter pickers were employed throughout the day to keep on top of the rubbish.

Ms Babb said: “These six guys were working for hours and hours and had a very big impact on the amount of litter left.

“They did not cover it all but it was enough to make it worth it.”

She pointed out that the warm weather and problems getting home meant that people spent time on the beach, leaving litter there, but said that Pride could clean up its areas not manage the whole city.

Problems with people leaving Preston Park and getting home by train have already prompted discussions with Brighton Station bosses since August.

Ms Babb said: “We’ve had several meetings around the station issue with the management and working in partnership to look at what happened and make sure such things do not happen.

“We’ve had a robust sharing of information as we have to do that to get down to what the issues are after what happened and how to resolve them.”

She said there were enough trains but concerns about safety meant that police closed the station for safety reasons.

Ms Babb described Pride as having a ‘robust’ plan for exiting the park but agreed that a few people had gone the wrong way.

She disputed a reported figure saying that 20,000 people ended up in the cul-de-sac Grange Close, believing that it led to the station, saying that the number was significantly smaller.

Unauthorised and unofficial Pride events were cited as a problem as noise complaints go to Pride.

Ms Babb shared her concerns by showing councillors a poster advertising a party at the Seven Dials, saying: “It is sponsored by someone but it is not a Pride event.”

Official events and supporting businesses contribute to the fund-raising and costs and are called Pride Angels.

Ms Babb and the Pride team were praised by councillors for their work delivering the event.

Councillor Mo Marsh mentioned how many temporary events notices (TENS) the authority refused ahead of Pride, with unrelated businesses asking to hold parties with alcohol.

She said: “On the day I saw two licensing colleagues on the lookout as they thought one of the premises were in breach of the TENS or doing something.

“Our police and licensing officers were there and on the case throughout a very long and challenging weekend.”