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Music Venue Trust petition update: Defra responds

The UK government replied to the MVT's second national campaign in defence of Britain's live venues.

The Music Venue Trust’s second national campaign to save the UK’s live venues, as reported on by PSNEurope last month, is now approaching 15,000 signatures – well above the 10,000 mark needed to receive an official response from the British government.

And respond they have. An official from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) posted a reply to the petition, stating that “[the government] has recently reviewed its noise legislation as part of the ‘Red Tape Challenge’, and believes that the law, as currently constituted, strikes the appropriate balance between managing the noise environment and considering the needs of business.”

The response can be read in full here.

Kelly Wood, of the Musicians’ Union, says: “It’s a disappointing response that further demonstrates the need for a review of legislation.

“Whilst we agree that the Live Music Act [of] 2012 was a cause for celebration, it can only reach its full potential if venues are afforded suitable protection whilst operating within the terms of their licence.

“Several venues that have been operating responsibly and successfully for decades are currently under threat due to noise abatement notices that often emanate from just one local complainant. These small venues are a great asset to the community, the wider music industry and the local economy, but the current system for dealing with (often vexatious) complaints doesn’t recognise their real value.”

Among the venues believed to be facing closure are the Night and Day Café in Manchester, The Fleece in Bristol (pictured – photo: stringberd on Flickr) and the Boileroom in Guildford.

The petition is open for signatures until 28 August, and will be “considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee” if it passes the 100,000-signature threshold. There’s still time – so get signing!