MANCHESTER: The Campaign tor Homosexual Equality announced it will definitely hold its first annual conference, despite the resort’s playing hard to get.
At a meeting of Morecambe Corporation’s Publicity Committee, the members heard CHE’s case put by the campaign’s chairman, Alan Horsfall.
The committee decided it had no objection to CHE holding its conference in Morecambe in April 1973 by private arrangement with the owners of the Central Pier.
But the committee would not rescind its inaccurate minute that Morecambe did not have the facilities CHE needed even though committee members agreed that the minute was untrue.
The committee would not even recommend that the council rescinded this untrue minute.
A spokesman for CHE told Gay News: “The facilities point was a feeble excuse by which Morecambe Corporation naively hoped originally to hide the fact that members of the council were discriminating against CHE for reasons of pure prejudice.”
MANCHESTER: Last August Weymouth Council told the Campaign for Homosexual Equality it was reversing its Entertainments Committee’s decision to allow them to hold their first conference at the Pavilion, Weymouth. This decision was aided by a great deal of support from the national and local press.
CHE then made what they thought to be definite alternative arrangements to hold the conference, due to take place in April, at More-cambe. They had planned to hold it in the theatre at the end of the pier – and all seemed to be going smoothly. Now, apparently, Morecambe Council are backing out.
A CHE spokesman said: “In order to discourage us the Council has put out a trail of red herrings such as saying the pier is too unsafe for us to hold our conference there. Curiously though they haven’t cancelled the fire brigade conference due to take place in the same building shortly after ours.”
Is it possible the Council are just being kind and imagine that should the building collapse, a group of firemen could rescue themselves from the rubble whereas we poor things couldn’t?
Gay News has not yet spoken to Morecambe Council.
CHE in Morecambe
Confusion reigns over whether CHE will be allowed to meet in Morecambe or not. It now appears that although the Council don’t want CHE, the owners of the pier on which the conference was going to be held still do. The council have suggested that the pier is ‘unsafe’, but this is strongly refuted by the pier’s owners and manager.
It seems that it has only just dawned on the Council that the letters stand for Campaign for HOMOSEXUAL Equality, – so they’re objecting on ‘moral’ grounds. Like Weymouth, they don’t fancy the idea of a gay ‘invasion’.
The only remaining stumbling block is the approval of the town’s Publicity Committee – who have said that they originally endorsed CHE’s application on ‘incomplete information’.
Other problems have arisen over accommodation – only two hotels amongst all those written to, gave a favourable reply. Elsewhere empty hotels are suddenly ‘full’ when CHE needs rooms.
The issue has now become a matter of public debate – the ‘Morecambe Guardian’ has pointed out that the council could be liable for damages for breaking their contract. The story has also been reported in the ‘Morecambe Visitor’ and ‘Lancashire Evening Post’.
CHE has decided to go to Morecambe anyway, booking their accommodation and facilities privately (since it is now too late to change their venue) and will lobby councillors and appeal to the people of Morecambe to raise enough cash to pay for it all.