While I'm here, anyone want to sign?
It's being reviewed in the Autumn apparently so every free signature helps...
I'm really bored of repeating myself on the subject but ...
Did you know that Westminster Council is forcing up the cost and driving down the quality of stand up comedy shows in London’s West End?
Right now, the UK leads the world in comedy and the centre of the UK comedy scene is London ’s West End.
Westminster Council, which controls the West End , has essentially banned flyering by threatening to take away the licences of comedy show venues that use flyerers. The police have told us that this is not law. But the threat to venues of having to spend tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees to retain their licences has coerced them into cooperating with the council.
This has led to the perverse situation that there are actually more flyerers now than a year ago, but they are all from a single (dreadful) club that operates out of the Thistle hotel because hotels have different licences.
A flyering ban is bad for everyone. Tourists lose out because no one is allowed to tell them what is on offer. Businesses lose out because people can’t find what they want in Leicester Square and go elsewhere, making the area less of a destination. And comedians lose out because there are fewer gigs at which to hone their craft because comedy shows are going out of business. For the surviving clubs, it means that they can no longer top up their audiences through flyering, which means higher advertising costs and less revenue forcing them to raise prices and cut pay.
Flyering is a life and death issue for small clubs that are just starting up. Already three new clubs have died because of the de facto flyering ban and there will be no replacements. It is on this circuit that comedians such as Eddie Izzard, Omid Djalili, Jo Brand, Al Murray, Lee Evans and Michael McIntyre got their start.
Finally, the ban is putting comedians, flyerers and venue staff out of work during a recession.
What you can do to help
Please send a letter or an email of complaint to the following:
Brian Connell, conservative, chairman of licensing
Louise Hyams, conservative, ward of St James
Tim Mitchell, conservative, ward of St James
Cameron Thomson, conservative, ward of St James
P.O. Box 240
Westminster City Hall
64 Victoria Street
Points to mention in email or letter:
1.It is an outrage that Westminster Council is forcing new comedy clubs out of business while giving a flyering monopoly to one club.
2.Responsible flyering provides a service to the public by giving information about the entertainment available, which has enabled the West End to be the hotbed of arts and entertainment that it is.
3.Leicester Square benefits from having information available and would suffer in the medium and long term from a continued flyering ban by hurting surviving comedy clubs and stopping new clubs from starting.
4.Westminster Council is putting flyerers, comedians and venue staff out of work during a recession.