Page last updated at 16:48 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Pride appeal as boss steps down

Brighton Pride 2009
Pride said it invited proposals to keep the dance tent in 2010

Organisers of Brighton Pride have called on businesses and community groups to work together on the 2010 event after the chairwoman resigned.

Yvonne Barker stepped down on Thursday, claiming "aggressive and bullying" tactics were directed at Pride trustees and staff during a meeting on Tuesday.

More than 100 people attended the meeting, called to discuss scaling down the event because of limited funds.

A Pride spokesman said: "Some excellent ideas came from the brouhaha."

Trustee Geoffrey Bowden added: "If any message came out of Tuesday's meeting it is that the Pride board has to listen to what the business community and community groups are saying.

"The passion on Tuesday was largely generated by what people perceived to be the loss of the main dance tent.

"We will be inviting proposals to return a dance tent to the park.

"The one proviso is that we need to try and make it self-financing."

'Poorly handled'

He said a meeting would be held for businesses and community groups that want to take part, with an independent moderator.

"It is not going to be a Pride-run meeting.

"Tuesday's meeting was poorly handled and we have only ourselves to blame for that."

Ms Barker said in a letter to the Pride board that it was with great regret she was standing down.

"As chair I accept responsibility for the relationship breakdown between Pride and some community groups and local businesses," she said.

"However I stand by the board's position that Pride should refocus on the needs of the LGBT community and the delivery of Pride's charitable objectives.

"The aggressive and bullying approach to the Pride trustees and staff adopted by a small number of business and press representatives that are being used on social networking sites and in some of the gay press, and that were displayed at the Pride open meeting on Tuesday evening, is shameful."

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