I am the interim Director at BOST and have been working with the charity for almost 6 years now. I writing to give you some more background on BOSTís recent application for a premises licence at Waterloo Millennium Green
(WMG). Many people have been in touch already and we really appreciate your feedback. We just wanted to let people know our thinking behind making the application and to reassure you that our aims in doing so are to benefit the local community by looking after the Green in the best way possible.
So our main aim in applying for a licence is to be able to animate the site in order to deter and combat anti-social behaviour.
You will be aware of the constant and increasing challenge we face in the area. At Waterloo Millennium Green
, particularly over the past year, anti-social behaviour has been an increasing battle. In our 20yrs experience of running open spaces we have found one of the best ways to tackle this is by regularly animating the space with controlled activities. By doing this we can then engender an atmosphere of the park being used and cared for, bringing local people in more, and create a climate where anti-social behaviour cannot happen comfortably. Having a premises licence is the most cost-effective and simplest way of us doing this.
We do not want to hold events on Waterloo Green that disrupt our neighbours or exclude people from using it, far from it. Beautiful, high quality open spaces for the whole community is at the heart of what BOST aims to do. Indeed, we have been working closely with the steering group for many years and in particular on planned physical improvements to the park which we are undertaking now.
In the past couple of years WMG has hosted a number of brilliant events such as RISE community theatre in partnership with The Old Vic
. With a premises licence we will have more freedom and flexibility to work with trusted partners on similar initiatives. It will also mean we are able to support community groups, like Waterloo Carnival, and other charities as they wonít have to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TENS) for small one-off events themselves. Even a PA system requires a TENS at the moment.
Additionally, the rules for TENS limits events to only 21 days per year, so if we held a longer event such as RISE then weíd be unable to host anything else for the community through the rest of the year.
In regards to alcohol, we have absolutely no plans or desire to run bars on site as a regular feature. We only want to make it simpler for theatre companies or similar to run a small bar for a particular event and for community/charity groups to use the space. Often for guests attending this is an added bonus, and provides a small income to generate funds to pay for the event itself. In our application we have clearly addressed the licencing objectives particularly to do with alcohol and are fully aware of the issues around these. We have trained and qualified people in our team that understand what these are and how to manage them so as to not impact on the community.
In terms of noise and disturbance, we already have policy of strict monitoring and control. With The Old Vic
for example we always consult on noise levels as amplification can have an adverse effect on their performances which we want to avoid.
Finally, events do sometimes of course generate income. We do not have full funding to run the site so a small amount of additional income generated for the sustainability of the Green is welcome. However, this really is only moderate given the type of events we are able to host because of the location of the site near to housing, and its size. So this is in no way the key motivation for us.
We love all our green spaces and we would never want people to feel excluded from them. We do not anticipate how we run the Green to change on a day to day basis other than improving. This licence should allow us to bring more community fun to the area and reduce the parkís antisocial behaviour by taking more control over what happens on the Green.
Regarding the gravelled stall areas, this was actually done in partnership with Lower Marsh
Market who we were working with to extend the market and bring some stalls onto the green - again to animate the site and discourage anti-social behaviour. They suggested that making some areas for a stall to pitch on would make it easier for traders to set up. However, this project did not work out as planned but we do still have the ability to host a couple of stalls so may be looking at this for next summer.
We hope that the way in which we have run the Green up until now, with local community input, demonstrates that we fully respect our neighbours and would never do anything to jeopardise the relationships we have built up.
We are completely open to further discussion and welcome local peoples input, so please do keep talking to us about this and anything else you feel is important. Please feel free to call us on 020 7403 3393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.