Open Letter to Sir David Amess MP

Dearest Sir David,

As you know I have been leading a campaign of local artists standing against your idea to make our shared home the Alternative City of Culture 2017 (ACC-17) - despite Southend being a town.

You were made aware of the #NoCultureDay campaign on BBC Essex on 31st December 2016 (Listen again from 1hr 9m here). It was really unfortunate you were unable to appear on the programme live with me, especially as I had got up at 6am to speak with you - perhaps we could have bonded and you could have settled our fears that ACC-17 won’t do more harm than good.

This aside, you rightly mentioned in your interview that despite curating a year long programme of culture in Southend in which you or your team hadn’t approached any of the 150 local artists involved with NoCultureDay, that in fact we hadn’t approached you. You suggested we got in touch with you and the ACC-17 team to get involved with events in 2017.

With all this ‘new year new me’ floating about I’m happy to put our differences aside and get involved with ACC-17 as per your suggestion. Myself and gang of local artists would like to put on a queer and trans* performance event. We’d like to explore homophobia and transphobia, the effects it’s had and still has on our lives and what this oppression does to our mental health and well being.

Now, I know your voting history in Parliament shows you have voted against or been absent for every piece of LGBT legislation since 1998 but perhaps you could put your feelings aside to support local LGBTQI* people under the banner of ACC-17?

Evidentially culture and the arts means a lot to you, after all ACC-17 is your idea so I imagine this invitation to improve the visibility, inclusion and development of queer and trans* people in Southend through arts and culture will be welcomed with open arms. Perhaps you could be actively involved - cut the ribbon at the event and say a few words? We could even explore the idea of hosting the event at Leigh Conservative Club? I know you are incredibly busy but we could work around your commitments.

Look forward to hearing from you soon and discussing your ideas.



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