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Lib Peck backs Mayor's RVT campaign

Cllr Lib Peck has added her support to the campaign to save the RVT. 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has written to Lambeth Council to support an application to grant the Royal Vauxhall Tavern a special planning status to make it harder for developers to change its use as a site of LGBT performance. 

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Cllr Jack Hopkins and local councillors have been at the forefront of the campaign to save the iconic venue and today the Leader of Lambeth Council responded to Sadiq Khan's letter by voicing her strong support.

Lib Peck said:

"I welcome the new mayor's call because The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is too important to be considered simply as real estate asset. That's why last year Lambeth Council supported the successful campaign to have it listed by Historic England, and we also listed it as an Asset of Community Value.

"We stand ready to do whatever is within our powers to ensure The Royal Vauxhall Tavern's survival as a key LGBT+ venue."

Notes

Sadiq Khan's letter to Cllr Lib Peck, Thursday 23 June 2016:

I am writing in support of the application to grant the Royal Vauxhall Tavern a planning class use of sui generis in recognition of its longstanding use as a site of LGBT performance.

For more than half a century, it has been a London icon of LGBT performance, playing host to legendary drag acts like Lily Savage and Regina Fong in the 1980s and the irreverent queer performance collective Duckie every week since 1995.

In September 2015, the RVT’s history of performance was recognized by Historic England and the Government when the venue received its Grade II listing.

Both former Mayors of London have acknowledged the longstanding value of the RVT. On 11 January 2008, Ken Livingstone shared memories of events he had attended at the venue in a meeting with Justine Simons, Head of Culture and the Arts Council. Boris Johnson supported the campaign to list the RVT, praising its “unique contribution to the vibrancy of London life” on June 26 2015.

I know from my own recent experience of the RVT how valued it is as a venue for London’s LGBT community. Back in March, a fundraiser was held for my Mayoral campaign, and the place was packed to the rafters.

In my view, events at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern are about more than entertainment. By drawing on a rich and unique lineage of LGBT performance, they help the members of an often vulnerable community understand themselves, take pride in their identity, and enrich London as a whole.

The RVT is the last surviving London venue with a documented gay history pre-dating the 1960s. The venue helps ensure London’s LGBT community maintains and preserves invaluable physical links to the past.

Strong links with the past offer previously marginalised communities an important degree of security, and ensure their contribution to our culture is properly valued and understood.

The recent tragedy in Orlando is a terrible reminder that the struggle for acceptance amongst the LGBT community is ongoing. And London’s response to the tragedy, where communities congregated  in and around LGBT venues to show their solidarity demonstrates how crucial venues like the Royal Vauxhall Tavern are to the city’s social and cultural infrastructure.

I urge you to do everything you can to help the Royal Vauxhall Tavern thrive into the future. 

Yours sincerely,

Sadiq Khan

Mayor of London                    

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