Wednesday, June 3

Pride Village Party

- January 14, 2019


Let’s move the England football games from Wembley, let’s move plants from Kew Gardens, let’s move opera from Covent Garden, let’s move the sea from the seafront!

All mad ideas and heh I’ve got one more let’s move the Pride Village Party away from the Pride Village. Pride is St James Street and St James Street is proud to be Pride and the home from day one of LGBT rights in Brighton and Hove.

Are we really saying the seafront is the home of Pride Village Party! Of course not. Everyone knows the long time rightful home of Pride is St James Street. That’s where the history is, that’s where the memories are and it must not move. So why are the council even thinking of moving it to the seafront? Why else would they be having a consultation now? When is the consultation on moving The Dome to the seafront? It seems to me just another attack on East Brighton.

The Village Party has always been the best party in town and should remain so. Lloyd Russell-Moyle our MP said at the Pride consultation meeting I attended that the businesses in the Village need Pride (and with the Marlborough nearby it’s the LGBT+ centre of Brighton 51 weeks a year ) so in the LUCRATIVE 52nd week let’s take the party and all the money elsewhere. What a cheek! Are councillors that heartless, that stupid! I don’t think so! Lloyd also said as a resident that he loved The Village Party –as do I. He talks a lot of sense that MP!!

So please readers… tell the Council what you think and let’s keep The FA Cup Final at Wembley and Pride in the Village In St James Street where it’s always been. Extend it to cover the Marlborough too, that makes sense! (see story below!) Nothing else does! As I say Live And Let Live and my friend Macca says Let It Be!

In a few weeks we will know how Brighton and Hove City Council see the future of The Old Steine and the roundabout by Brighton Palace Pier as Valley Gardens 3 comes to a TV station near you! Almost as riveting as The West Wing (which is what the council are accused of!)

The plans put forward by the council have united pretty well everyone east of Brighton Palace Pier against the idea which essentially leaves the Royal Pavilion side with a lovely paved outdoor garden area but moves all traffic to the east side with consequent increase in pollution for east Old Steine and St James Street. The campaigners against say they will go for Judicial Review if there is no compromise which means the council may not get the money to do the work at all. Certainly they will alert the funders who are the LEP. One campaigner accused the Council of trying to put a motorway on the east side with all the associated pollution giving real health risks to those on the east side.

I guess when you have language schools, lawyers, major tourism businesses lining up with the capital of the counterculture The Marlborough against the council’s plans, any sensible council officers would rethink. Let’s hope they do. If not let’s hope that pragmatic councillors like Gill Mitchell and Nancy Platts, Robert Nemeth and Tom Druitt meet the opposition to the officers’ scheme and a happy compromise is reached. They’re not all like Rees Mogg you know!


I’ve at last made real progress on getting winter lights up in St James Street. We got 4 major lights on buildings up before Christmas and the council will enable the avenue of winter white tree lights to go up in next week or so. It’s the first step and it’s thanks to the Pride Social Impact Fund (funded by St James St businesses amongst others)

Later in the year we will have lights and street decoration as in Western Road so please forward me your ideas. We thought maybe we could have LGBT lyrics spanning the roads (Andrew Kay’s idea) or my suggestion… Live And Let Live!

I did suggest to various councillors that some of the Valley Gardens money should be spent east of Brighton Palace Pier on St James Street and not all on making a great Royal Pavilion garden space. Otherwise we might just think Harry and Meghan have actually moved in! As it happens I think they are cool couple (if they don’t shoot grouse with Piers “eat a vegan “ Morgan) and would big up St James Street. I think if Kemp Town is to become the most polluted side we deserve some compensation and I understand Brighton Council are looking at signage for St James and Kemptown and why not Whitehawk and the famous Hawks too!

I hope they look at access to St James Street too because the present access plan is a definite no-no! Dangerous!!! So here’s my top 10 list – think continental, I like Europeans!

1. Archways at the bottom of St James St and bottom of Manchester Street saying The Village or St James

2. Signs everywhere for St James and Kemptown Village and Whitehawk FC

3. Overhead bridge from Brighton Palace Pier to bottom of Manchester Street so accessing Village…

4. Overhead bridge from Old Steine to St James Street… otherwise no one will ever access St James Street safely (maybe a subway)

5. Make St James Street as New Road dual use for pedestrians and traffic. I’d really like it totally pedestrianised!

6. Give us a road like the one outside Jubilee Gardens.

7. Finally spend some time in our streets and PLANNERS put some work into our area. It’s already busier than North Laine. But not a word in city plan. Are we Soweto???

8. The whole east of the city from Moulsecoomb to Whitehawk via Hanover, St James, Kemptown , Bristol Estate needs serious attention. Please!

9. Put us in city guides. Visit Brighton mag at Station we are invisible!

10. Be proud of WHERE PRIDE STARTED!!!

Bill Smith aka Latest Bill

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