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The Shambles Affected by The Licensing Act 2003 (439* d) RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003 04 Apr 07

I have just noticed the Echo's editorial comment on this subject (or spin)

Dorset Echo April 3 2007
Cutting through the red tape

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council is, somewhat unusually for a local authority being held up as a shining example of how to cut red tape.

The council has been recognised by the Department of Culture Media and Sports (DCMS) for its efforts in simplifying the licensing process.

For the public has licensed 19 public spaces for entertainment - such as Hope Square, Lodmoor Country Park and Easton Gardens - which means event organisers simply have to contact the council for permission, rather than apply for a public entertainment licence.

The beauty of this system is in its simplicity and no wonder the DCMS is recommending that other local authorities take note.

For not only is the procedure a lot less arduous for applicants, it is surely also less time-consuming and costly for the council - and that can only be a good thing for the everyone.

We hope this new register system encourages more organisations and individuals to consider staging events in the borough.

Resorts such as Weymouth and Portland need as much activity as possible to continue to attract visitors.

Perhaps we can now look forward to more events - from beach volleyball to busking - this summer?   

This view is making even more assumptions than the article.

For where is there any comment from DCMS?

Why is assumed that obtaining free entertainment permission from the council for every event on these spaces, is a lot less arduous, time consuming and costly - than individuals paying the same council for such permission?

And as entertainment permission has already been granted for Regulated Entertainment on these spaces - why does anyone need to fill in applications forms for additional permission - as such permission can hardly be refused?

But as it looks as if all the activities on these sites only has permission up to 8pm - the sort of activities are already rather limited by this restriction.

It would be nice to see this as a move towards less control - but I suspect its attraction for LAs like mine - is in fact the very opposite.

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