Sir George was asked by constituents why the proposed festival at Overton was going ahead.
"I wrote to the Council and this is what they said".
Dear Sir George
Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council Civic Offices London Road
Basingstoke Hampshire RG2l 4AH Telephone (01256) 844844
Britdo( Code 0X3oo8
Facsimile (01256) 845200 www.basingstoke.gov.uk
21 June 2007
THE ECHO MUSIC FESTIVAL, OVERTON (29 JUNE -1 JULY 2007) CONSTITUENT:
Thank you for your letter dated 12 June 2007 and accompanying email sent on 9 June. I would like to offer the following information.
The Licensing Act 2003 is the legislation that authorises small-scale ad hoc events lasting not more than 96 hours on any premises involving no more than 499 people at anyone time. The organiser must serve a Temporary Event Notice (TEN) on the Licensing Authority and Police at least 10 working days before the event. This is not a request for permission from the Licensing Authority. It is merely a notice from the organiser stating the event is planned.
The Echo Notice was served on 24 May which is over a month before the event. Only the Police can make an objection to a TEN and this must happen within 48 hours of the Notice being served. Unlike a full Premises Licence, there is no requirement for a TEN to be advertised.
The grounds for a Police objection may only relate to the prevention of crime and disorder nothing else. The Police did object and as a result the Act required the licensing Authority to hold a hearing within 7 days to determine the Police objection. The hearing was held but the Licensing Sub-Committee was satisfied that the applicant had sufficient measures in place to counteract the concerns of the Police. The Police objection was therefore overruled.
That is the way the Licensing Act works and the Authority's hands are very much tied in these cases by the legislation. Further information about the Licensing Act and temporary events can be found on the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) website (www.culture.gov.uk). Complaints regarding the Licensing Act itself should be directed to the Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP at the DCMS whose Department wrote and implemented this Act
The Environmental Health team are liaising with the organisers regarding noise control during the event. Noise Abatement Notices will be served prior to the event on the organiser, landowner and people supplying the sound equipment. Should a statutory Noise Nuisance be caused the Council would then be able to prosecute those persons and would face a fine of up to £20,000 if they were found guilty of this in the Magistrates Court.
The organiser is employing a security company and tickets will be sold in advance only and limited to 450. A Council Licensing Officer will inspect the site during the event to ensure there are no breaches of licensing legislation. In addition the Council's Environmental Health service operate an emergency out-of-hours service which will be available to deal with any noise issues if they arise. This can be contacted by phoning the normal switchboard number 01256 844844 and waiting to be put through to the out¬ of-hours operator. I would also suggest phoning 101 to report any issues.
There is no facility to cancel an event due to residents objections but the police have the power to close the event on the night if there are serious crime and disorder and/or noise nuisance issues.
I hope this clarifies the Council's role in licensing such events. While we do not have the power to prevent the event from taking place there are powers to shut this event if serious problems are caused and/or prosecute those responsible for any offences that are committed.
Gordon Holdcroft Chief Executive