I wasn't going to write this piece, but after reflection if I don't and a club closes because of a consultation that take place in the future I would feel guilty about the whole issue. I have noticed that the talk has shifted from should they close clubs to how many. Which the antis can answer none but everyone else's answers is split! The lesson the anti's learned from Leeds is split how people respond and you can close clubs, in the future we could see a new consultation from Leeds intending to cut more but we will watch for that.
So this blog entry is aimed at the group of people I don't normally talk to or about or for. Club owners/managers this is aimed at you more than anyone else, normally as a customer I would be all about the dancers or all about the customers, after all the clubs can look after themselves? Well that was my thought but having seeing a couple of consultations and knowing that more are to come I feel that to ensure that the clubs are not shafted they need to approach these consultations very seriously. And the clubs need to approach the consultations in an unusual way!
The fact is when the consultations come out they ask how many clubs should be allowed Zero (always put first) and then up to the number of existing clubs. They may add one more than the existing number and they include there should be no limits. And what happens is the antis have their zero and everyone else is split over how many. Now I am sure the clubs will feel okay keep it as is, which is great for a club if it stops more competition but there comes the issue of just what happens if the public are split over how many? The council can use the split to limit/close or block clubs even though the majority are for the clubs.
Lets say there is only one club and 40% want no clubs and 30% want it as just 1 whilst 30% want as many as the market can bear. The council COULD claim that the majority want the clubs closed, I would not ever say a council would be awkward about the truth about how clubs are dealt with after a consultation but better safe than sorry in my opinion. Now the clubs have hundreds of people passing through each week, yet the consultations seem to hang on a handful of people making the effort. So clubs here is the point of this piece, when you find out about a consultation then you need to engage with your customers and dancers to get involved.
And by involved I would suggest that we get everyone to go the same way and push for no limit. There will always be those who will want the market to decide how many so rather than split opinions lets mobilise and push for no limit on every consultation from now on. The York consultation I was busy with trying to get more people involved but club owners you have so much more in the way of reach than me as a blog. I would ask customers/dancers/staff to point out this to club managers, I would hope that people would e-mail me with the contact details of the chair of any SEV licensing committee that is going to consultation, I want to be able to pick up and follow what is going on. We are still waiting on York to publish their results and I have no idea if the people I approached made any effort to complete the consultation.
So for once this is not about anything other than club owners please mobilise your customers and if possible I would like to get involved in terms writing to councils and publishing pieces about what is going on. My e-mail address is the one at the bottom, that is the one I will respond to fastest. And I know you may not want any more competition but given that or no club well you need to have a think about it!