Street party guidelines to be reviewed after businesses use them to get round licensing

Posted On 27 Jun 2017 at 8:04 pm

Street parties are being used as a “back end” way for businesses to bypass licensing when putting on events, councillors heard today.

Brunswick and Adelaide ward councillor Ollie Sykes said that he had received several complaints from residents who had not been asked about street parties, and had decided to go away for the weekend and move their cars to avoid trouble.

Ollie Sykes said: “I have had a good number of complaints about the lack of consultation and alcohol going on later than they said they would and problems with cars and parking.

“The parties are business led – these business are part of the local community so that’s not a problem but they do have a commercial basis.

“Opinion is mixed – some people are against these events are some people are happy with what’s going on.

“Street parties work perfectly well in the majority of cases. We are requesting a bit more clarity about the regime for permitting them.”

Committee chair Gill Mitchell said: “We are aware that there are being used as a back end practice for temporary events for commercial events and I’m aware that this is causing problems for residents.”

People wanting to organised a street party in Brighton and Hove currently need to demonstrate to council highways officers that two thirds of residents of a street are in favour of closing it.

Cllr Sykes asked for clarification on the following:

  • What evidence is required by council officers to demonstrate 2/3 majority i.e. who checks and verifies?
  • What monitoring is undertaken (by officers and police?) about street closure /party implementation?
  • Under the existing policy is there a provision for rejection of street closures if previous closures at that location have caused problems? If not, do you think there should be?
  • How does the current policy differentiate between street closures requested by residents and those requested by businesses (i.e. between community and ‘for profit’ events)?
  • How should officers consider street closures on networks of small streets in which achieving the necessary 2/3 support may be very easy (there may be only 3 or 4 homes) but the impact of a closure far wider?
  • What provision is there for organisers to request that residents’ vehicles be moved, as has happened in my ward?

Cllr Mitchell noted his comments and said that she would send him a full briefing on the matter which has already been drawn up.

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