The Director of Economic Development reminded the Committee that following on from the Motion - EuroPride of 20th September, 2019 in relation to supporting Belfast Pride and the LGBT Community to support their bid to bring EuroPride to the city, it had agreed, at its meeting on 12th August, to invite Belfast Pride to the meeting to discuss the EuroPride 2023 bid.
The Chairperson welcomed to the meeting Mr. S. O’Neill, Ms. M. Armstrong and Mr. L. Cripps, representing Belfast Pride.
Mr. O’Neill provided an overview of the Belfast Pride organisation, including its aims and objectives. He stated that Belfast Pride had a clear focus on rights and it aimed to promote visibility and equality for LGBT+ people in Belfast. He highlighted that Belfast Pride needed a large volunteer team to deliver the festival every year.
He explained the work which had been undertaken by Belfast Pride in relation to its bid for EuroPride 2023 to date. He suggested that the bid was a huge opportunity for Belfast to be a beacon for change and to build on the work which had already been undertaken by various groups on issues such as Peace Building, Marriage Equality, Health and Wellbeing, Trans Community Building, Representing Lesbian and Bi Women and addressing the needs of LGBT+ Young people.
He described the outline plan for the bid and presented the programme of events. He highlighted that an action plan had been agreed to collaborate with a range of organisations and community groups.
Ms. Armstrong provided an overview of the funding and volunteer base of the organisation and emphasised that the organisation aimed to use the bid to improve and develop Belfast Pride, organise better events, build capacity and more volunteer opportunities and move the organisation forward using the bid as leverage to bring long term change.
During Members questions, Mr. O’Neill explained further engagement and planned collaboration between Belfast Pride and other LGBT+ community organisations, together with letters of support for the bid which had been received. He also clarified information regarding the organisations constitution, liability and legal status.
During discussion, the Director of Economic Development advised that, as the AGM for the EuroPride 2023 bid was due to take place on 3rd – 4th October, the Council could carry out due diligence in the coming weeks and provide assurance that Belfast Pride were robust enough for Council assistance.
The Chairperson thanked the representative’s from Belfast Pride for their attendance and they retired from the meeting.
Moved by Councillor Maskey,
Seconded by Councillor Beattie,
That the Committee agrees to offer corporate Council support and assistance to Belfast Pride for the EuroPride 2023 Bid, subject to the relevant assessment process.
Moved by Councillor O’Hara,
Seconded by Councillor Lyons,
That the Committee agrees to offer corporate Council support and assistance to Belfast Pride for the EuroPride 2023 Bid, subject to assessment and due diligence process, to include a review of its constitution, minutes of AGMs and election of officers, clarity of legal status and the ability to hold property or contracts, together with its audited and verified accounts.
Following a vote, twelve Members voted for the amendment and six against and it was declared carried.
The amendment was thereupon put as the substantive motion when twelve Members voted for and six against and it was accordingly declared carried.