We Want To Set The Record Straight On Poetry Licence

PUBLISHED: 11:37 11 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:38 04 May 2010

FURTHER to the correspondence on last week s letters page, I feel it is very important to set the record straight regarding the issue of the performances of poetry in the district. I would like to make it clear from the onset that no establishment needs

FURTHER to the correspondence on last week's letters page, I feel it is very important to set the record straight regarding the issue of the performances of poetry in the district.

I would like to make it clear from the onset that no establishment needs a licence to hold a poetry group.

In the case which has recently come to light, the district council became aware through an advert in a local paper of a play being held at the Royal Standard in Ely. We advised the landlord, that his current licence did not allow him to hold plays and that he would need to submit a revised licence to hold such an event.

At no time were we told that this event was simply poetry reading - had this been the case there would have been no problem with the current licence and the event could have taken place. We were told it was a play and it was advertised as a play.

In addition, Green King, the licence holders of the public house, had recently submitted an application for a licence to cover events such as plays, but they withdrew this for reasons not related to this issue.

National guidelines dictate to the council how we must handle various events which take place in the district. Far from being petty, it allows the authority and event organisers to protect the safety of anyone who attends.

We have always advised organisers of new activities to get in touch with us to discuss what they need. For example, more than 40 establishments in East Cambridgeshire have obtained the correct licence to hold a play.

For more information, contact us on 01353 665555 but I would again stress that there is no need for pubs to have special licences for poetry groups.

LIZ KNOX

Head of environment services at East Cambridgeshire District Council.

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