THE district council has sponsored a marquee at the forthcoming Essex Pride event to develop closer contacts with the gay community.

Officers from Epping Forest District Council have said they will attend this year's event, at Central Park in Chelmsford, on Sunday, September 5 to gain more information about sexual equality.

As well as providing community play workers and face-painting at their marquee, council offices will undertake a consultation exercise on the day.

A spokesman for the council said: “The aim is to promote Epping Forest District Council as a progressive service provider and employer seeking to provide excellent services. We would like to work more closely with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the Epping Forest District to help us achieve this, and we will be consulting with people at Essex Pride and inviting them to help us with this work.

“A range of information about Equality at EFDC will be made available and promotional gifts will be distributed.”

This year's Essex Pride includes acts Jo Frances, Drag With no Name, and the Boy George Experience.

For more information on the district council's involvement call Barbara Copson on 01992 564042 or email