CHELMSFORD Borough Council has successfully prosecuted two Earls Colne men for their involvement in an illegal rave at Montrose Road, Chelmsford on 20 and 21 April last year.
Mathew Clague and Mathew Moore pleaded guilty at Witham Magistrates Court yesterday, Wednesday 19 February, to the offence of ‘being concerned in the organisation or management of a public entertainment event without a public entertainment licence’. They were each fined £750 and ordered to each pay £750 costs.
Chelmsford Borough Council decided to prosecute after receiving evidence that the conditions in the premises were totally unsafe. Essex Police and Essex Fire and Rescue Service, who went to the warehouse (formerly occupied by A-Z Supplies), found that there was no lighting in the premises, no lit means of escape, no staff to supervise an emergency evacuation and no first aid facilities. In addition, the mezzanine floor, which was in the process of being dismantled, was found to be unbolted and completely free standing.
Chelmsford Borough Council’s Commercial Services Manager, Dawn French said: “We took this action to protect public safety. The event could so easily have ended in disaster. If something had gone wrong, like the mezzanine collapsing, revellers could have been killed.”
Anyone wishing to organise such an event should contact the Council on 01245 606940 so appropriate health and safety guidelines can be followed.
20 February 2003
good to know
interestingly enough, £750 is very close to the amount of an application fee to get an ents license! It certainly seems that these two were nicked in order to make an example of them.
Then again the Fire Brigade and council do have a point; that mezzanine floor was a deathtrap and someone could have been injured or killed.
Indeed there have been serious injuries at free parties in London due to unsafe buildings; and when this happens the ambulance and fire services have to pick up the pieces, whilst the cost comes out of the locals council taxes (this is one reason why there is a licensing process – to recover potential costs caused by an event such as a need to deploy the emergency services).
The Reading crews always used to ensure there were fire exits etc. (Many party buildings also ended up as residential squats, so the residents were equally concerned about fire safety!) One even showed the Fire Brigade round the building; but the firemen ended up having to retreat as some pissed girls thought that they were strippers rather than real firemen!
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