A new joint statement has been issued this week from Burnham-On-Sea Carnival Committee and North Somerset LGBT+ Forum addressing the decision not to allow the LGBT+ group to take part in last November’s Burnham Carnival.

As reported here, North Somerset LGBT+ Forum had applied to enter a cart named ‘Fifty Shades of Gay (A Celebration of Pride)’, pictured, in the 2022 Burnham-On-Sea Carnival.

However, the Highbridge & Burnham Carnival Committee wrote to the group last year to raise its concerns about the entry’s name and also state that several carnival rules would be broken if it took part. The decision caused uproar.

Now, a new joint statement has been issued by Steve Winter-Gray, Chair of NSLGBT+ Forum and Phil New, Chair of the Carnival Committee, following a series of meetings to resolve the matter.

The statement reads: “This is a joint statement produced by the NSLGBT+ Forum & HBoS Carnival Committee, following a series of meetings regarding the situation that was created by HBoS Carnival Committee during the run-up to Burnham & Highbridge Carnival 2022.”

“The HBoS Carnival Committee would like to apologise to the North Somerset LGBT+ Forum for excluding their 2022 carnival entry, and for the distress this has caused.”

“The Committee recognises their actions were perceived as discriminatory and, following meetings held with the Forum, feel that they have a better understanding of the errors made.”

“The Committee will work on improving policies to ensure this situation does not arise again.”

“The HBoS Carnival Committee would also like to apologise to the residents of Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea for any offence caused by this situation, and would like to assure all residents that the Highbridge & Burnham-On-Sea Carnival is a safe, inclusive, and welcoming event for all to attend.”

“Trustees of the NSLGBT+ Forum will be attending the HBoS Carnival Committee AGM, taking place on Wednesday 8th February 2023 at the Ritz Social Club in Burnham-On-Sea.”

“This will aim to bring this matter to a close and to demonstrate good faith in the relationship between the Forum and the Committee. The North Somerset LGBT+ Forum looks forward to taking part in the Somerset Carnival circuit in 2023, which will include Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea.”

“Both the Forum and the Committee would like to thank the public for their patience in resolving this situation. The NSLGBT+ Forum and the HBoS Carnival Committee will not enter any further correspondence regarding this matter and consider it closed.”

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