Headlines: June 6th, 2007

COUNCILS GET GUIDANCE AS FEAR OF ILLEGAL RAVES GROWS

 

Councils are being given a five-point action plan to help them deal with a possible new wave of illegal raves across the country this summer. The guidance has been issued by the Local Government Association, which says ‘war will be waged’ on ravers who, it says, damage the countryside and ruin the lives of local people while putting their own lives at risk.

The LGA fears raves could be a problem again this summer with many likely to take place around festival days. It says the message to organisers of the events is simple – get a licence. Raves and free parties first took place in the 1980s and were a part of youth culture until the mid-1990s. Now there is a revival, with ‘Nu Rave’ music acts becoming more popular. The LGA says, too, that communication via the internet and mobile phone technology have made raves easier and quicker to organise.

The five steps for councils are to help organisers apply for a temporary event licence on suitable land within the the law; to work with the police and landowners to set out plans and powers; gathering intelligence of future events by scanning the internet and by visits to pubs and clubs; to ask landowners and local people to remain vigilant and finally to consider setting up designated ‘free party’ sites and a hotline local people can call if they have concerns about illegal events.

Chris White, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board said, some raves were simply a nuisance but others posed a more serious threat to the environment and to public safety. Some party-goers took dangerous drugs but had only limited access to the emergency services. “The impact of raves can be more than just a bit of noise and a minor disturbance. Councils strive to keep the places where people live clean and tidy and the effects on wildlife and farmland can be irreversible, causing financial and natural ruin as a result of land being littered with human waste and rubbish,” he said.