Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bournemouth No Moral Judgement (of course)

Well time to head off to the sunny South Coast and join the Cherries down in Bournemouth, now I haven't been down that way for a while and it has taken a bit of brushing up to figure out exactly what is going on. The talk is that Poole and Bournemouth are possibly going to form a super council which means people are trying to make their names. And by claiming the whole raft of issues are nothing to do with morals while creating an image of a moral councillor lining up his next role the clubs are going to face some challenges.
Looks more like a B n B would anyone really know?
First up Wiggle has asked to create an outdoor area behind a gate and wall for people to drink and smoke. Which considering the number of bars, pubs and food venues with outside seating does not seem in the least unreasonable. From reading local online papers the majority don't even notice the bars and they are far less of a nuisance than the "normal" bars and club. Given that Bournemouth has a reputation for stag and hen do's SEVs appear to be part of the key for attracting night time economy. But of course we have Brute's favourite issue "What about the Kiddies?" so a venue that looks like any other bar from the outside that kids can't get into. So what is the issue? Seems certain people are worried about how to explain the venue to their children. Now forgive me for being an awful guide to parents but explain it how you explain a bar or pub. Most kiddies wont ask the questions these misguided "parents" are so worried about just a cause of parents trying to impose their moral values on their kids before the kids are even able to form an opinion.

Now of course this is not the end of the story, it seems the councillor most in the news about all this is Cllr Andrew Morgan who has been involved in a discussion about moving all the clubs out to a sex industrial estate. Now forgive me but that sounds very much like the sort of thing a  cllr making a moral judgement might want. Given the history of Bournemouth and the fact it took 35 years just to show Monty Python's Life of Brian you do get the impression that the council has some right wing Christians in the midst of the council, Andrew Morgan did say to the BBC is was high time but you would think anyone saying any different in 2015 would have looked a fool (Here). There was even time to joke that moving the clubs to Poole might be a solution. A solution it seems to a problem that doesn't exist, but don't let facts like the police have no issues and people walk past the venues without noticing (in line with the research by Phil Hubbard). And was interesting to see the reaction of a Poole councillor.
I wouldn't be sitting outside in this weather
So now we move onto the future, Bournemouth Council is planning on a SEV Consultation and given the comments by Councillor Morgan we can expect something similar to Leeds/York rather than Hackney. It will be interesting to see if it is only for residents or it is also for tourists who use the town for holidays. Certainly if they open it to non residents then we hope that our readers will take part. If it is only for residents then please reach out to people in that local community to take part. So we can expect yet another moral driven agenda hidden behind a what about the kiddies storyline that no one of sound mind can possibly see as valid. If the child is old enough to know what happens at Spearmint Rhino chances are (s)he knows more than his/her parents. So we face the usual situation of councillors trying to be crowd pleasers by following others but just using the same tired rhetoric. Just for once I would love to read about a councillor who has taking the whole thing seriously and read the research!

I will be keeping an eye on this but welcome to 2016.

TonyN (


  1. The meeting seemed all over the place. The chairman dismissed problems with sex shops because their displays are regulated by the Council, but when someone said that you can't tell what FYEO is when you walk past, he seemed to ignore it.
    He did state that this is about image and that the clubs do not cause crime and disorder. If that isn't a moral agenda, I don't know what is.

    1. The councillor hasn't realised judging a venue on anything other than the legal aspects is by definition a moral judgement. Still looking forward to another consultation to discuss.

  2. Having listened to the meeting I will say that Cllr Morgan was not the one to mention Poole. I have mailed him with some bits and pieces based on the requirements for research on SEVs.

  3. Wiggle has been given the go-ahead for outdoor seating.

    Councillor Chapman objected but otherwise seems happy with the status quo.

    1. There seems to be a level of common sense. Certainly I would hope so given the resources I have pointed them at. However the Jan meeting may not be the one that the issue is raised. We may have to wait to Feb to see how the land lies.