Saturday 3 November 2007

Ravenscourt and Bishops Parks Entertainment Licence Decisions – Permission Granted

Even after receiving over five hundred objections from local residents, H&F Council went ahead and agreed to grant permission for our parks to be used as profit-making entertainment centres. As a consequence Ravenscourt Park will now be able to host five entertainment events for more than 5000 people each year. The Licensing Committee also agreed by a majority that there should be an unlimited number of events for 4999 people per year. Residents weren’t pleased.

I wouldn’t have agreed to turn our parks into “profit centres” in the first place and spoke against the Administration's plans at the committee. But, I suppose I should welcome the fact that H&F’s Conservative Cabinet Member for Residents Services did agree to the following amendments:

  • To withdraw H&F Council’s application for any entertainment events of an adult/sexual nature
  • To withdraw H&F Council’s application for wrestling and boxing as well as other indoor sporting events
  • To withdraw H&F Council’s provision to sell hot food in the parks after 11.00pm
  • To alter H&F Council’s application so that the start and finish times for events of more than 5000 people are amended to 11.00am to 11.00pm on Monday to Saturday and 11.00am to 10.30pm on Sundays
  • To agree that alcohol will now only be provided in the parks between 11.00am and 10.30pm and will not be generally permitted in public areas at events of more than 5000 people. Alcohol will now only be available at events of 5000 plus to those who have pre-booked tickets.

  • For events of 4999 and less, setting up and breaking down may only occur between 8.00am and 11.00pm.
Oddly, the reason the Conservative Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services gave for saddling Ravenscourt Park with five events of over 5000 patrons per year and Bishops Park with two such events was that Ravenscourt Park is bigger than Bishops Park. I think it fair to say that the residents present failed to see the relevance or logic of these contentions.

Of the three people on the committee, Councillors Greg Smith (Con) and Alex Karmel (Con) voted to approve the licences. Cllr. Michael Cartwright (Lab) voted against.

We’ll all now have to wait to see how things are managed.

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