To suit the Action to the Word, the Word to the Action

Posts tagged ‘Edinburgh City Council’

Arts and Community Events Need You! Complete very quick survey…

It’s live! You can now find the City of Edinburgh Council’s survey about changes to Public Entertainment Licensing online.

Make sure you tell them what you think about their proposals re. licences for free events!

If you are not yet in the picture re. these changes, check out the importance of this campaign and the basics of what is involved and what is going on.

Further related posts on this blog (including the Edinburgh Public Meeting and delegation to the Edinburgh Council) can be found in the ‘Public Entertainment Licence Fiasco’ category.

Time to be consulted! Speak up about Public Entertainment Licence changes…

The public consultancy period – where you and I get to put our penny’s-worth in – has started on changes to the Public Entertainment Licensing Resolution of the City of Edinburgh Council. Below is a letter giving details about this (bold highlighting by me) and how to speak up about this important issue.

If you are not familiar with the campaign highlighting the affect of these changes on free events and expression, check out the posts in the category ‘Public Entertainment Licence Fiasco‘, in particular Keeping Track.

From solicitor for City of Edinburgh Council

“Firstly I would confirm that the advert advising of the proposed draft Public Entertainment licensing Resolution went into the Edinburgh Evening News on 16th March 2012. That has the effect of kick-starting the legal process for the consultation. The advert invites written responses, to be sent to the Director of Services for Communities, Licensing Section, 249 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ.

In addition we have set up an email address for consultation responses – publicentertainment.licensing@edinburgh.gov.uk

Separately, arrangements are in hand for an online consultation and I understand that this is likely to be accessed on the Council’s website at the general consultations section, and also via a link from the Public Entertainment licensing section of the website. At the time of emailing the questions for the online survey were almost ready – so hopefully will be in place by the end of the week. Meantime, a couple of links which will hopefully be of some assistance to you:-

The details of the committee decision and the press release, etc are at the following link:-

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/830/consultation_to_take_place_on_licensing_rules_for_free_events

The details of Public Entertainment licensing and the link to the online survey will be at the following address (which at the time of emailing was still to be updated):-

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/309/public_entertainment_licences/935/public_entertainment  [the survey is now live – the above link leads to it, or you can go direct via   http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QTZMWXP]

For those who are anxious to ensure that their views are recorded, may I suggest that they make use of the email address as above, and/or write in with their comments? Once the online questionnaire is up and running, that will enable a more accessible means of responding to the consultation process – as I say, I think that should be ready in the next day or two.

Hope this assists in the meantime.

Regards,”

Keep up the fight against Public Entertainment Licence changes!

WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO CONTINUE WITH THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE CHANGES

Confusion is hardly surprising given that councils have different Resolutions and it is these which require amendment to follow the Scottish Government wishes for councils to deal reasonably on this matter.

The legislative change at government level was made in 2010. Amendment of a Resolution (which lists events to be licensed) by removing certain events requires a 28 day consultancy period. Amendment of a Resolution that makes additions (does that cover putting in exemptions?), or re-words it completely – stating what IS to be covered (probably a superior method of approach) – requires a 9 month consultancy period.

Any Council that claims it was against the changes to the legislation at the time they were made (i.e. Glasgow) should not now require a period of review / consultation, etc. as they have had plenty of time since 2010 to go through even the long consultancy period.

That the issue has only now come to light as a problem shows the lack of attention being paid to this piece of legislation.

The Scottish Government has either not prepared councils fully or has been ignored by councils – either situation is disgraceful. The legislation as it stands places a huge onus of work and of trust on the councils and it allows regional discrimination.

The legislation itself must be reviewed.

The councils have had time to put a workable and reasonable Resolution in place that deals with this legislation and there are major councils – Edinburgh and Glasgow to my definite knowledge – that have not done so.

No council (take note, Edinburgh) should now put the onus on the public to apply for licences, free or otherwise, which are only required because certain councils have not dealt with their Resolutions in time to handle this legislation despite the legislation having been passed back in 2010. This, too, is disgraceful.

The April 1st events have huge importance throughout Scotland

Whatever the situation with each local council and its Resolution, the April 1st events will help to highlight the fact that neither Scottish Government nor major local Councils paid proper attention to this legislation: not to how it would be handled; not to how it would actually affect the people of Scotland.

This is not good enough and now is the time to act! You can do this with April 1st events and through the online survey for the City of Edinburgh Council.

[Not sure what the Public Entertainment Licence changes are all about? Read more and keep track!]

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The above is slightly amended from a comment I made below a Scottish Times article, and shows why support and engagement with A Little April Foolery! events is incredibly important.

Edinburgh Regulatory Committee Meeting of 9th March – report and result

ReportAt the City of Edinburgh Council’s meeting of the Regulatory Committee, convened by Councillor Rob Munn, a deputation representing the views of those concerned about the Public Entertainment Licence changes was invited to speak for 10 minutes, before being asked questions by committee members. Also present were officers from licensing departments, whom the committee members consulted about the issue.

The deputation consisted of Neil Cooper, arts journalist, and Morvern Cunningham, arts promoter and organiser. Mr Cooper spoke eloquently, with wit and knowledge, about the history of arts in Edinburgh and the way in which grassroots endeavours feed major artistic success stories. He also pointed out the incredibly difficult task of defining ‘entertainment’ within artistic perimeters, and did so with appreciated humour. You can read the full address here, in the post ‘Address to Edinburgh Regulatory Committee and Campaign Statement‘.

Both Mr Cooper and Ms Cunningham, along with the licensing officers, then answered questions from committee members. These queries included what events are already being affected by the changes in legislation, whether an exemption mentioning ‘200 capacity’ would be sufficient to allay concerns, what precisely is meant by ‘premises’ for official wording, and the very telling question of what the actual intention of the changes to the legislation is!

Also of note was the suggestion that, rather than focus on exempting certain events – the arduous and, in practice, unending task of creating a comprehensive list – it would make more sense to state which free events ARE to be covered by the changed legislation. This would, however, necessitate (legally) a full scale consultation and re-drafting of the relevant Resolution which would require at least 9 months. The focus currently is on what can be done in the short-term to minimise the impact of these changes on events which should not be their target.

As a result, the shorter consultation period of 28 days was decided upon, with an interim period of free licensing in effect from 1st April to at least 20th April, the time of the next meeting of the Regulatory Committee. At that point, with the relevant report to hand, the Committee plans to announce which events have been removed from the Resolution and will therefore no longer require licensing.

It was made clear that no-one present – those who spoke up and, by final agreement, all committee members – wished the PEL changes to impact on arts and community events. The focus of the licensing departments will be on large-scale events which pose some risk to public safety and those which may be using the ‘free’ category to obscure high business interests.

The motion put to the Committee and passed at this meeting is detailed – along with the results – here:

http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/830/consultation_to_take_place_on_licensing_rules_for_free_events

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