Pride chief executive tells Glasgow City Council ‘don’t fly the rainbow flag’

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The chief executive of Glasgow Pride has asked Glasgow City Council not to fly the rainbow flag from its City Chambers because he claims the council has failed to support the event.

In a lengthy statement on Glasgow Pride’s Facebook page, Chief Executive Alastair Smith said: “Firstly, I would like to express how inspired I have been by the passionate response and debate concerning Pride Glasgow’s decision to ask Glasgow City Council not to fly the Pride flag on the 10th of August.

“It may have come as a shock to some, a surprise to many and completely reasonable to others. This decision was not one that was taken lightly, after careful consideration and debate between board members, volunteers and stakeholders it was decided although it may be a controversial decision, we felt that it was a justified one.”

Mr Smith continued: “Glasgow City Council, consistently and continuously offers the bare minimum to the LGBT population of this great city. The barriers and obstacles we have faced from the council have led us to come to the conclusion the council is not PROUD of Pride and it is not PROUD of its LGBT citizens and the contribution they make to city. Pride generates revenue for the city, Pride Glasgow is the biggest LGBT event in Scotland, it should be recognised as an asset to the city, not a burden to be placated with the bare minimum.”

He added: “The council have it in their power to apply a 50% discount to all equipment hire, including fencing, bins and basic requirements so the day can run effectively. We object to the council profiteering on Pride, including charging the full amount for the use of Glasgow Green.

“Pride Glasgow makes no profit, no one receives benefits as a result of the funds raised and spent. The council benefit from our movement financially, it is disrespectful and deeply insulting to have one standard for non-LGBT events and one for Pride. We aim to expose the hypocrisy of the council in this regard, after 8 years of being quiet on our concerns, we have decided to speak out and call for radical action.”

In response, Glasgow City Council stated that a 50% discount will be applied to the technical equipment and infrastructure charges and also to the park hire charge.

A council spokesman said to “The event organiser had asked for a discount. If he had allowed the request to be processed as normal he would have received these discounts and would have avoided any confusion.”

The council confirmed it will be flying the rainbow flag in support of Glasgow’s LGBT community and the Pride movement as a whole.

Glasgow Pride takes place on Saturday 10 August on Glasgow Green. The singer Heather Small is headlining the festival.