UK: Pride couple leave Canterbury and say Norfolk is more gay-friendly

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The couple behind a community gay pride organisation in the Kent cathedral city of Canterbury have decided to up sticks and move to Norwich in Norfolk where they say progress towards LGBT equality is “already taking place.”  

Andrew Brettell and his partner have run Pride in Canterbury for the past nine years and successfully staged the city’s first gay pride event in 2005 – with a second one in 2006.

However, both have decided to leave Canterbury, stating they were “unable to bring the community together,” the BBC reported.

In a statement, Mr Brettell said: “Young, middle-age or old – there is little for gay people in Canterbury.

“We are therefore moving to Norwich, a vibrant city, where the progress towards GLBT equality is already taking place.”

However, John Gilbey, the leader of Canterbury City Council, defended his working relationship with the organisation.

He said: “We have given them a lot of moral and financial support.”

In 2009, Pride in Canterbury complained the city was a “cultural wilderness” and happened to be one of the few towns or cities in England without any gay bars.

Mr Brettell also said the city failed to embrace its “closeted” LGBT community.

The Local Government Ombudsman said an investigation had found no grounds for Pride in Canterbury’s claims.