The council could step in to save LGBTQ+ venues from closure or development should Labour win control in May.

The party has pledged to change planning regulations to ensure such spaces are protected from closure, with plans to implement a policy similar to those that protect pubs and other community venues.

However, Labour members remained tight-lipped about the specifics of their proposals ahead of their manifesto launch later this week.

The party, which hopes to gain majority control of the council in around six weeks’ time, have seven LGBTQ+ candidates running in the election in wards across the city.

One of those is David McGregor, one of Labour’s candidates for the newly created Whitehawk and Marina ward.

He said the city could follow in the footsteps London has taken to try to protect some of the capital’s well-known LGBTQ+ spaces.

“With the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, they went through the route of making that a listed building, which is why that was saved," he said.

“A Labour administration would see those spaces as the heart of the community, especially somewhere like Bulldog in St James’s Street. That is an old-fashioned gay bar and a really lovely place and those are the sort of places we should be protecting.”

The Argus: Five of Labour's LGBTQ candidates (from left to right): Tom Chatfield, John Hewitt, Leslie Pumm, Lundy Mackenzie and David McGregorFive of Labour's LGBTQ candidates (from left to right): Tom Chatfield, John Hewitt, Leslie Pumm, Lundy Mackenzie and David McGregor (Image: The Argus)

Mr McGregor also raised the possibility that a Labour administration could grant preferential rates in order to ensure the long-term survival of LGBTQ+ venues in the city.

“Anything should be up for debate and we should have that conversation,” he said.

Lundy Mackenzie, who is also the chairwoman of the Young Labour group in the city, is standing alongside Warren Morgan in the new ward of Westdene and Hove Park.

She said it is important that LGBTQ+ people are represented in decision-making.

“The Census data shows Brighton and Hove has the highest proportion of LGBT people in England, so it’s important that it is represented on the council.

“All groups should be represented, because that lived experience is valuable when it comes to making policy.”

The Argus:

She expressed some confidence about Labour’s changes at the election in May and said that the mood from people she has spoken to so far has been “quite positive”.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t particularly like the Green Party, the Tories nationally have alienated a lot of voters because they feel like they can’t vote for them any more based on what they’ve done, and Peter Kyle (Labour’s MP for Hove) is very popular, which helps us there.

“I think the Labour vote is quite strong, at least in the areas we have canvassed so far.”

The party will unveil its full manifesto for the city at an event on Saturday.

Voters will go to the polls across the city to elect 54 councillors in six weeks’ time on May 4.

Unlike previous elections, people will be required to bring a form of photo ID with them to polling stations in order to cast their vote.

Those who do not have a suitable form of ID can apply for a Voter Authority Certificate for free from the government’s website at