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Telford Pride festival delayed

By Mat Growcott | Telford | Telford entertainment | Published:

Telford's first major Pride event has been delayed for the second time after issues with health and safety.

Telford had hoped to create a Pride event to emulate festivals like that held in Birmingham

The event, which is going to be funded in part by the Telford 50 Celebration Fund, was set to take place this Saturday, but was cancelled at the last minute.

Organisers are now aiming to hold Telford Pride on October 27.

They had hoped to establish a Pride event that could become an annual fixture, rivalling similar events in Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

But the latest delay is yet another blow, and means it must now take place at a time when the weather is less predictable.

Russell Griffin, of Telford & Wrekin Council, said: "This event was due to take place at Hartshill Park in Oakengates, which is council-owned land, and it has been allocated a grant from the Telford 50 Celebration Fund.

"However as it is on council land, the organiser would need to comply with the council’s booking conditions which includes health and safety requirements.

"As is normal for all council bookings, we requested that the organiser provide us with all the necessary safety information

"Unfortunately, we have not yet received what we have asked for. We have offered our support to the organiser on a number of occasions in terms of providing appropriate information for the event to go ahead safely. We also made the offer earlier in the summer for Telford Carnival to have a Pride element to it rather than Pride proceeding as a stand-alone event.

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"However, we have still not received the information we require and the carnival offer was refused. In the circumstances, regretfully we cannot allow the event to proceed on our land."

Mr Griffin said other LGBT groups would be welcome to come forward if they wanted to hold an event.

"The failure to provide the required information is the only reason that we have decided not to allow this event," he said.

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"We welcome groups from the LGBT community coming forward if they wish to put an event on, as long as they provide the required information."

The event was originally set to take place on July 28, but was pushed back after organisers struggled to get the sign-off by the council.

A planned parade around Oakengates had to be cancelled because they were unable to close nearby roads.

Transgender singer-songwriter Lauren Harries, a former child prodigy and antiques expert, was set to perform at the show.

The day was also to include a variety of drag acts and other musical performers.

Organisers of Telford Pride said if the first event was a success, they may look at holding it at Telford Town Park in the future.

Mat Growcott

By Mat Growcott
Reporter - @MGrowcott_Star

Shropshire Star reporter

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