Thurrock Council proudly flew the rainbow flag today, Friday 19 June, to celebrate Essex Pride and recognise the amazing diversity of its community.
The ceremony saw the Mayor of Thurrock, Cllr Terry Piccolo, join Cllr Deb Huelin, Cabinet member for communities, to lead a private flag raising ceremony outside the Civic Offices in New Road, Grays. Members of the Thurrock Council Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Plus (LGBT+) Network were also in attendance, whilst adhering to social distancing.
In his opening speech, Cllr Piccolo said: "Essex Pride is an annual event that brings local communities together to recognise LGBT+ life and history. The day ultimately aims to inspire all of us to embrace equality and celebrate diversity.
"Today we raise the rainbow flag as a sign of this commitment – a powerful message that we as a council, and as a people, recognise and celebrate the amazing community we have here in Thurrock."
Cllr Huelin added: "It has been wonderful to see the LGBT+ community more visible in Thurrock over recent years, organising networking events and encouraging people to connect for advice, support and friendship.
"At a time when physical meetings are more difficult, it is even more important that we take the time to send a message of support and inclusion to the LGBT+ community. In raising the flag, we commit as a council to recognising and celebrating Thurrock’s diverse communities."
Photo below: the rainbow flag outside the Civic Offices.