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Local Politicians Disagree Over Licence Review for The Boileroom

Published on: 5 Jul, 2014
Updated on: 6 Jul, 2014
Prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate Richard ...

Prospective Labour Parliamentary Candidate Richard Wilson  with Dominique Frazer, The Boileroom’s owner (left), and Alex Wilks, Student Labour activist and indie music fan, (right).

Labour’s 2015 Parliamentary candidate for Guildford, Richard Wilson, is asking Guildford Borough Council (GBC) to allow the small independent music venue, The Boileroom, to remain open. But a Lib Dem councillor who lives nearby has accused him of not checking his facts.

The Boileroom in Stoke Fields, Guildford is said, by some, to be under threat of closure after two new neighbours lodged an application to review its licence. A petition to save the venue has attracted more than 17,500 signatures.

Richard Wilson was contacted by many constituents on Facebook and by email asking him to support the venue.

The Boileroom in Stoke Fields, formerly The Elm Tree pub.

The Boileroom in Stoke Fields, formerly the Elm Tree pub.

A Labour party press release stated Mr Wilson: “…has experience of many licensing applications, including addressing licensing committees.

“He researched the issues involved by taking a tour of the venue, which included demonstrations of the soundproofing and security measures, and talking to neighbours. He concluded that The Boileroom is a vital community and cultural hub and it meets and exceeds all the terms of its licence.”

Richard Wilson said: “I would like to thank the owner, Dominique Frazer, for showing me around The Boileroom. It is a unique venue which allows up-and-coming artists to hone their talent and audiences to see creative, independent bands which the mainstream venues overlook.

“The Boileroom care for their customers, young and old, pay their performers, which can’t be said of all venues, and live harmoniously with their neighbours.

“The complaint which is causing so much heart-ache to the staff, performers and customers, appears to be speculative and not based on any proper grounds. I urge the council to leave The Boileroom’s licence in place and commend the venue for playing such an important part in Guildford’s cultural tapestry.”

Boiler Room 3 475

But Cllr Caroline Reeves (Lib Dem Friary & St Nicolas), who lives nearby, disagreed with Mr Wilson’s description of the situation.

She said: “It’s unfortunate that Richard Wilson hasn’t checked his facts. The licence review has been requested by a number of residents, many of whom have lived in their homes for 15 years and more, who have made complaints that the venue is not operating within the conditions of the licence but only one person can sign the application.

“GBC have accepted the request. No one has asked for the venue to close.

“The request is simple, there are conditions attached to the licence and they are there for a purpose. The licence review will be held to decide if the evidence shows these have not been adhered to.”

See also: Opinion: The Internet Is A Wonderful Thing But Not If Used To Exaggerate and Bully

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Responses to Local Politicians Disagree Over Licence Review for The Boileroom

  1. Kelly-Marie Blundell Reply

    July 7, 2014 at 11:29 am

    The Boiler Room is a well known venue and indeed a hub of activity in Guildford. I am a great supporter of live music venues, as long as they comply with the restrictions in place.

    In this instance, residents have requested a review as there has been evidence that there have been occasions where where they haven’t been working within the terms of the licence.

    “The conditions are very specific and all residents are asking is that the Boiler Room work within them. It has been said that residents want it closed, which isn’t the case.

    The review of the restrictions is in the correct hands, and it is my hope that everyone complies to work towards a positive atmosphere for business and residents alike”

    Kelly-Marie Blundell is the prospective Liberal Democrat candidate for Guildford.

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