New Zealand’s South Island and southern North Island struck by storms

Monday, January 2, 2006

New Zealand’s warm sunny New Year’s weather has come to a sudden end as gale force winds and rain assault southern New Zealand.

In parts of the South Island New Year campers have finished their holiday early as winds averaging 120km/h (75 m/h), gusting at times up to 180km/h (112 m/h), have blown in.

Power went out to 1300 homes in the capital city Wellington; flights were grounded at the airport, with incoming flights diverted to Palmerston North airport.

“The North Island will also be affected by the low,” says MetService forecaster Michael Short, “with heavy rain around the Tararua Ranges and Mt Taranaki.”

The MetService has issued severe weather warnings for most of the South Island and the southern portion of the North Island; bad weather is also forecasted throughout the rest of the country.

The MetService says to expect bad weather for the next 10 days as a deepening low moves south of Stewart Island, but a flow of westerly winds is expected to stay put all week.

Holiday makers have been asked by MetService to review their holiday plans and keep up to date with the latest weather.

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Gordon Brown announces new powers for UK Treasury

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced today that an Order in Council will be made tomorrow empowering the British Treasury to prevent the funding of those suspected of planning terror. Use will be made of forensic accounting and of methods similar to those employed by the code breakers at Bletchley Park. With the help of computing power to discover relations between bits of information, they cracked the German Enigma code during WWII. Gordon Brown ranks the impact of forensic accounting at the present time with the use of fingerprinting in the 19th century and of DNA in the late 20th Century.

Speaking to Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Brown defined the most dangerous sources of finance for terrorists as being charities, money service businesses and financial transactions such as bureaux de change, cheque cashers and money remitters. There will be a new licensing system requiring firms to keep more detailed records of transactions. Tougher action against non-compliance is promised. New proposals about money laundering are being prepared.

The new Order will empower the Treasury, for the first time, to use closed source evidence from classified intelligence to freeze the assets of suspects. A special advocate procedure will be put in place to ensure “fair and consistent hearing of cases”. If evidence shows it to be necessary, it is Brown’s opinion that suspects should be held, without a charge being brought, for more than the present 28 days.

The Government has been defeated once already in Parliament in an attempt, in the Terrorism Act 2006, to increase the present 28 days of detention without charge to 90 days. Public opinion was very divided on that proposal and feelings in Parliament ran high with talk of a police state and of the Government pandering to public opinion.

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‘Black box’ found near crash site of Airblue flight

 Correction — August 6, 2010 

The recording of technical data such as airspeed, altitude, control inputs etc is not handled by the cockpit voice recorder, as suggested in this article, but is in fact handled by the flight data recorder.

This article uses the term ‘black box’ for the cockpit voice recorder, a device which records all the sounds in the cockpit. However, the flight data recorder is also often referred to as a black box.

 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Investigators have found the black box of an Airblue flight that crashed into the Margalla Hills of Pakistan’s capital city on Wednesday. The flight data recorder was also recovered Saturday morning. Airblue Flight 202 departed from Karachi, Pakistan, and was bound for the capital Islamabad when it crashed into the Margalla Hills due to bad weather conditions. All 152 people aboard, including the 6 crewmembers, were killed.

Junaid Amin, the head of Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority, told CNN the recorders will be sent to either Germany or France, which have the necessary resources to analyze the data. Such an investigation could take months to complete, however.

The black box records communication data and technical information such as speed and altitude, as well as conversations in the airplane cockpit. It could thus help investigators determine why the plane crashed.

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Categories
Custom Kitchens

5 Ways To Hide An Ugly Wall

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By Alyssa Davis

Many homes have at least one ugly wall that requires some additional design to help improve its appearance. In some cases, the problem might be due to structural problems or it might simply have surface imperfections that need to be dealt with. In other cases, there are features on the wall, such as wiring or pipes which detract from its appearance. Fortunately there are many techniques you can use to help disguise and salvage an ugly wall.

Repaint the Wall

Sometimes an ugly wall simply is suffering from a bad paint job, or a poor choice of paint. If you have a wall that has an imperfect surface, especially if it is in a location where light reflects off of the surface, choosing flat finish paint in a light color is often the best choice. Flat paint reflects much less light than does a glossier surface, which will help hide imperfections. Before painting, scrape the wall and use joint compound to fix as many surface imperfections as possible. Then, use a good primer and finish with a coat of flat paint. It can also help to move any lights within the room that shine on the wall in a way that emphasizes imperfections. You can also use stenciling to disguise particularly difficult areas of the wall.

Wallpaper the Wall

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Using heavy textured wallpaper is a great way to hide a wall that has surface imperfections or cracks which would be difficult to repair so that the wall would look perfectly smooth. If you would prefer to keep the wall painted in the same color as the other walls within the room, choose a paintable textured wallpaper. The thickness and texture of these types of wallpapers can hide even more pronounced wall defects effectively.

Use Wall Art, Tapestries and Fabric

A quick and easy way to disguise an ugly wall is to simply hang art work to hide it. If you have larger areas that have imperfections, hanging a large tapestry or a quilt will hide the problems in a hurry. You can also use a large print or painting or group smaller pieces together to hide a wall. Hanging a rod or batten close to the ceiling and draping the wall with fabric is also a way of hiding a problematic wall as well as adding a stylish accent to the room.

Hiding Fixtures, Wires and Pipes

If you have a wall in your home that has fixtures such as wiring or pipes that cannot be moved, consider using a decorative wall divider or screen in front of the offending problem. This can be used quite effectively, especially when coordinating artwork is also used on the wall. Not only will this hide wiring and pipes while still allowing access if necessary, but it will also create a bit of extra storage space within the room.

Camouflage Wall Issues with Furniture

Large pieces of furniture, such as tall bookcases, entertainment centers and shelving units can also be used effectively to hide problematic walls. Not only will these types of furniture pieces hide wall imperfections, but they will also give you added interest in the room as well as a place to display books and collectibles.

About the Author: Alyssa Davis is a home style expert who writes regularly for Metal-Wall-Art.com and is especially knowledgeable on decorating with

metal home decor

and

decorative wall art

.

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Athletes prepare for 2012 Summer Paralympics at the Paralympic Fitness Centre

Monday, August 27, 2012

London, England — As Paralympians ready for the Games which are set to open later this week, they have access to a world class fitness center inside the Paralympic Village which is designed to maximise their pre-Game preparations.

According to volunteers staffing the center, instead of being a single large room, as in Beijing, the building has numerous rooms. It, along with the adjacent Village Services Centre, is designed to be converted into a school after the games conclude. Rooms have been structured as a gym, an auditorium, and science laboratories.

Gym equipment is supplied by Technogym, an Italian firm that has supplied gym equipment for the Olympics since 2000. Equipment has been provided not just for for the Fitness Centre, but for gyms at all the Olympic venues. The newest equipment is oriented toward maximum flexibility, allowing athletes to exercise the particular muscles that they most require for their sport.

In addition to the equipment, the Fitness Centre also provides instructors trained in the use of the equipment, the likes of which athletes from many countries have never seen before. There are also a number of instructors available to provide motivational training.

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Two Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants close in Buffalo, New York, USA

Friday, May 11, 2007

At least two Kentucky Fried Chicken [KFC] restaurants, operated by G & H Restaurant Specialties, have closed in Buffalo, New York “for remodeling,” according to signs placed on the front doors of at least one location on Elmwood Avenue and Bryant Street in Buffalo. The other KFC is located on East Delavan Avenue, also in the City of Buffalo.

Despite the claim of closing for remodeling, the Erie County Health Department says that several health code violations were found at both locations. The most recent violation was logged by the health department in March at the Elmwood location for failing to keep food stored at correct temperatures. Violations were also cited for failing to keep cooking supplies and equipment sanitary and for not supplying hot water to the bathroom for employees.

G & H Restaurant Specialties has not released a statement regarding the violations, but the corporate offices in Louisville, Kentucky for KFC said, “our franchisee has finalized a plan for some structural repairs… The units will be temporarily closed while these building maintenance issues are addressed. [They will be] re-opened as soon as the repairs are complete.”

The health department also gave violations out to the East Delevan store for failing to maintain a clean floor throughout the restaurant and for not stopping food from becoming contaminated. Several rat traps were also found inside the storage cooler and around the kitchen area, but the establishment was “not free of rodents,” said Commissioner of the Erie County Health Department, Dr. Anthony Billittier.

Billittier also said that caulking and traps were seen on the outside of the East Delevan restaurant, which was an attempt to keep the rats out. “It shows that they’re trying to take care of a problem. But it also shows that they have a problem.”

As of Thursday, May 10, 2007, the Elmwood KFC has yet to reopen. It is not known if the East Delevan location opened today or not.

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Categories
Equipment

Kent Air Conditioning Service Keeps You Cool}

Kent Air Conditioning Service Keeps You Cool

by

Banks JohnstonThe advantages of a good air conditioning and heating system are many. The top advantage is comfort – no one likes to be too cold in the winter or hot in the summer. Being able to maintain a constant temperature means you can stay comfortable indoors no matter what Mother Nature is doing outside. There are proven statistics concerning staying cool indoors during the heat of summer that should have you thinking about making sure you either maintain the system you have in place now or replacing it if it isn’t performing well enough to keep you from overheating.

Being overheated reduces productivity whether at home or at work. Employers should definitely be concerned about keeping to a regular maintenance schedule for their air conditioning system to ensure it is running well at capacity when the temps outside rise. A staff that is too hot will not be nearly as efficient or productive as when they are cool and comfortable. Overheating causes tempers to fray and can cause employees to not be able to deal with each other, and more importantly, the business’s customers effectively. At home, it is particularly important to keep moderate temperatures indoors when children, the elderly and pets are ensconced in the home. The very young and the very old are not able to deal with extreme temperatures, and overheating can actually cause physical damage including death. The same goes for pets that might be closed up in the house while you are away at work – overheating is one of the leading causes of death in pets that are unattended in homes that are not properly air conditioned.

During the winter months, most of the same applies. Although cold doesn’t affect tempers quite like heat, being cold is miserable and miserable staff won’t work for you as well as employees who are warm and toasty when the winds outside are blowing hard. Likewise at home, there’s nothing quite like coming into a cozy home where you can peel off your outerwear and relax with a cocktail and your dinner. Walking into a cold bathroom in the morning can be torture if you don’t have adequate heating capability in your home to stay warm.

Whether you need to update or upgrade your heating or cooling systems or both, you need a qualified expert team to help you decide what kind of system would provide you with the service you want while staying within the budget you can work within. All throughout the Sevenoaks, Bromley and Kent areas, your expert professionals at Kent Air Conditioning are ready and willing to assist you with all of your air conditioning and heating needs. From central heat pump systems to broilers and individual room systems, Kent Air Conditioning knows and understands what will work best for your environment when they visit with you to make an evaluation. Even if the system you have in place is working for you overall, should you need maintenance service or repair, Kent Air Conditioning has over 40 years of experience to apply to your situation. The Heating and Air Conditioning Sevenoaks residents need or the Air Conditioning Service Bromley home owners require is equally well handled by Kent Air Conditioning Service – feel free to give them a call.

Kent Air Conditioning Service Keeps You Cool. Visit today to learn about better

Heating and Air Conditioning Sevenoaks

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Oklahoma trooper on leave after altercation with ambulance personnel

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Oklahoma police officer is on paid administrative leave, following an altercation with ambulance personnel while they were transporting a patient to the hospital. Trooper Daniel Martin, a member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), was caught on video by his police vehicle’s dashboard-camera in a physical struggle with paramedic Maurice White, Jr. after Martin pulled the ambulance over. Martin had previously passed the ambulance while en route to another call, but came back and pulled over the ambulance. The incident occurred on May 24, and footage from the police dash-cam was released following a tort claim filed by paramedic White.

It has also been suggested that the previous call had in-fact been to pick up his wife from a police station who was then present in the car during the incident between Martin and the ambulance.

Footage by the OHP released Friday shows the ambulance personnel repeatedly informing Trooper Martin that they have a patient in the back of the ambulance that they are in the midst of transporting to the hospital. Martin yells at the ambulance driver for making what he claims was an obscene gesture – the ambulance driver asserts he raised both hands signalling confusion at the police officer’s actions. Trooper Martin can be heard telling the ambulance driver “I’m going to give you a ticket for failure to yield, and when I go by you saying ‘What’s going on?’ you don’t need to give me no hand gestures now, I ain’t going to put up with that [expletive], do you understand me?”

The video from the police dash-cam is eight minutes long, and paramedic White can be seen twice being pushed up against his ambulance by Trooper Martin. In one instance, Martin shoves White up against the ambulance while gripping his neck tightly with his other hand. In a written statement, paramedic White described the hold placed on him by the Trooper, stating “he engaged my trachea in a claw-like grip digging his nail into my neck while partially shutting off my air supply.”

[Paramedic Maurice White, Jr.] never once became aggressive to that trooper.

The sister of the patient in the ambulance, Clara Harper, was following the ambulance and witnessed the incident. Harper later viewed the footage from the police dash-cam, and she stated to Tulsa World paramedic White “never once became aggressive to that trooper.” She asserted that “He did nothing wrong.” After the ambulance was allowed to continue transporting the patient to the hospital, Harper got into the ambulance to be with her sister. “She was scared, and I was trying to calm her down and telling her everything was going to be all right,” said Harper.

My biggest concern was for the patient. If there’s any nightmare from this, it’s because of what that mother, that patient, had to go through.

Paramedic White was interviewed by KOKI-TV, and recounted his thoughts as the incident was taking place. He stated his main concern was for his ambulance patient: “It was surrealistic because I’ve never had such an experience. My biggest concern was for the patient. If there’s any nightmare from this, it’s because of what that mother, that patient, had to go through.” White’s attorney told KOKI-TV that if White deemed the arrest to be unlawful, he had the right to resist it. White is a paramedic for Creek Nation Emergency Medical Services in Oklahoma. He told FOX News he was surprised at the actions of the police trooper. “He’s taken an oath, just as I have, to protect and serve. I could not believe that this was happening,” said White.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety decided to release the police dash-cam video publicly after amateur video of the incident was posted to the video-sharing website YouTube. Captain Chris West, spokesman for the OHP, explained why the video was not released earlier. “We’ve been well aware of the fact that this incident has drawn enormous attention, but made the decision to protect the integrity of the investigation, any and all relevant evidence, as well as the rights of the department employees,” said West. Prior to the release of the dash-cam video, a relative of the patient had posted video of the incident to YouTube. The son of the ambulance patient can be seen in a video stating to the camera “Highway patrolman pulled over my mom’s ambulance because he’s mad we didn’t pull over, and he tried to arrest … the EMT from taking my mother to the hospital.”

One man is there protecting a patient and one man is there abusing his authority and throwing his weight around.

Richard O’Carroll, the lawyer for paramedic White, said that Trooper Martin abused his authority as a police officer. “Everything on this needs to relate back to why are we here? One man is there protecting a patient and one man is there abusing his authority and throwing his weight around,” said O’Carroll. White’s attorney filed a tort claim on behalf of his client in order to get the video of the police vehicle’s dash-cam released. Trooper Martin’s lawyer says he did not realize a patient was in the ambulance at the time of the incident.

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O’Carroll explained the decision of paramedic White not to use sirens while transporting his patient to the hospital: “There was a reason he wasn’t running sirens. There was a suggestion of chest pains and a heart condition and sirens aggravate these conditions by increasing the blood pressure.” However the attorney for Trooper Martin, Gary James, said that the ambulance was not exempt from regulations because it did not have its sirens on. “If they’re not running their sirens or lights, they don’t get afforded any emergency vehicle exemptions,” said James. The OHP chief is handling an internal review into the incident. As of June 1, Trooper Martin has been on paid administrative leave.

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News briefs:July 14, 2010

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Petition pressures City of Edinburgh Council to review clause affecting live music scene

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Live music venues in Edinburgh, Scotland are awaiting a review later this year on the 2005 licensing policy, which places limitations on the volume of amplified music in the city. Investigating into how the policy is affecting the Edinburgh music scene, a group of Wikinews writers interviewed venue owners, academics, the City of Edinburgh Council, and local band The Mean Reds to get different perspectives on the issue.

Since the clause was introduced by the government of the city of Edinburgh, licensed venues have been prohibited from allowing music to be amplified to the extent it is audible to nearby residential properties. This has affected the live music scene, with several venues discontinuing regular events such as open mic nights, and hosting bands and artists.

Currently, the licensing policy allows licensing standards officers to order a venue to cease live music on any particular night, based on a single noise complaint from the public. The volume is not electronically measured to determine if it breaches a decibel volume level. Over roughly the past year there have been 56 separate noise complaints made against 18 venues throughout the city.

A petition to amend the clause has garnered over 3,000 signatures, including the support of bar owners, musicians, and members of the general public.

On November 17, 2014, the government’s Culture and Sport Committee hosted an open forum meeting at Usher Hall. Musicians, venue owners and industry professionals were encouraged to provide their thoughts on how the council could improve live music in the city. Ways to promote live music as a key cultural aspect of Edinburgh were discussed and it was suggested that it could be beneficial to try and replicate the management system of live music of other global cities renowned for their live music scenes. However, the suggestion which prevailed above all others was simply to review the existing licensing policy.

Councillor (Cllr) Norma Austin-Hart, Vice Convenor of the Culture and Sport Committee, is responsible for the working group Music is Audible. The group is comprised of local music professionals, and councillors and officials from Edinburgh Council. A document circulated to the Music is Audible group stated the council aims “to achieve a balance between protecting residents and supporting venues”.

Following standard procedure, when a complaint is made, a Licensing Standards Officer (LSO) is dispatched to investigate the venue and evaluate the level of noise. If deemed to be too loud, the LSO asks the venue to lower the noise level. According to a document provided by the City of Edinburgh Council, “not one single business has lost its license or been closed down because of a breach to the noise condition in Edinburgh.”

In the Scotland Licensing Policy (2005), Clause 6.2 states, “where the operating plan indicates that music is to be played in a premises, the board will consider the imposition of a condition requiring amplified music from those premises to be inaudible in residential property.” According to Cllr Austin-Hart, the high volume of tenement housing in the city centre makes it difficult for music to be inaudible.

During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during the summer, venues are given temporary licences that allow them to operate for the duration of the festival and under the condition that “all amplified music and vocals are controlled to the satisfaction of the Director of Services for Communities”, as stated in a document from the council. During the festival, there is an 11 p.m. noise restriction on amplified music, and noise may be measured by Environmental Health staff using sophisticated equipment. Noise is restricted to 65dB(A) from the facades of residential properties; however, complaints from residents still occur. In the document from the council, they note these conditions and limitations for temporary venues would not necessarily be appropriate for permanent licensed premises.

In a phone interview, Cllr Austin-Hart expressed her concern about the unsettlement in Edinburgh regarding live music. She referenced the closure of the well-known Picture House, a venue that has provided entertainment for over half a century, and the community’s opposition to commercial public bar chain Wetherspoon buying the venue. “[It] is a well-known pub that does not play any form of music”, Cllr Austin-Hart said. “[T]hey feel as if it is another blow to Edinburgh’s live music”. “[We] cannot stop Wetherspoon’s from buying this venue; we have no control over this.”

The venue has operated under different names, including the Caley Palais which hosted bands such as Queen and AC/DC. The Picture House opened in 2008.

One of the venues which has been significantly affected by the licensing laws is the Phoenix Bar, on Broughton Street. The bar’s owner, Sam Roberts, was induced to cease live music gigs in March, following a number of noise complaints against the venue. As a result, Ms Roberts was inspired to start the aforementioned petition to have Clause 6.2 of the licensing policy reviewed, in an effort to remove the ‘inaudibility’ statement that is affecting venues and the music scene.

“I think we not only encourage it, but actively support the Edinburgh music scene,” Ms Roberts says of the Phoenix Bar and other venues, “the problem is that it is a dying scene.”

When Ms Roberts purchased the venue in 2013, she continued the existing 30-year legacy established by the previous owners of hosting live acts. Representative of Edinburgh’s colourful music scene, a diverse range of genres have been hosted at the venue. Ms Roberts described the atmosphere when live music acts perform at her venue as “electric”. “The whole community comes together singing, dancing and having a party. Letting their hair down and forgetting their troubles. People go home happy after a brilliant night out. All the staff usually join in; the pub comes alive”. However licensing restrictions have seen a majority of the acts shut down due to noise complaints. “We have put on jazz, blues, rock, rockabilly, folk, celtic and pop live acts and have had to close everything down.” “Residents in Edinburgh unfortunately know that the Council policy gives them all the rights in the world, and the pubs and clubs none”, Ms Roberts clarified.

Discussing how inaudibility has affected venues and musicians alike, Ms Roberts stated many pubs have lost profit through the absence of gigs, and trying to soundproof their venue. “It has put many musicians out of work and it has had an enormous effect on earnings in the pub. […] Many clubs and bars have been forced to invest in thousands of pounds worth of soundproofing equipment which has nearly bankrupted them, only to find that even the tiniest bit of noise can still force a closure. It is a ridiculously one-sided situation.” Ms Roberts feels inaudibility is an unfair clause for venues. “I think it very clearly favours residents in Edinburgh and not business. […] Nothing is being done to support local business, and closing down all the live music venues in Edinburgh has hurt financially in so many ways. Not only do you lose money, you lose new faces, you lose the respect of the local musicians, and you begin to lose all hope in a ‘fair go’.”

With the petition holding a considerable number of signatures, Ms Roberts states she is still sceptical of any change occurring. “Over three thousand people have signed the petition and still the council is not moving. They have taken action on petitions with far fewer signatures.” Ms Roberts also added, “Right now I don’t think Edinburgh has much hope of positive change”.

Ms Roberts seems to have lost all hope for positive change in relation to Edinburgh’s music scene, and argues Glasgow is now the regional choice for live music and venues. “[E]veryone in the business knows they have to go to Glasgow for a decent scene. Glasgow City Council get behind their city.”

Ms Martina Cannon, member of local band The Mean Reds, said a regular ‘Open Mic Night’ she hosted at The Parlour on Duke Street has ceased after a number of complaints were made against the venue. “It was a shame because it had built up some momentum over the months it had been running”. She described financial loss to the venue from cancelling the event, as well as loss to her as organiser of the event.

Sneaky Pete’s music bar and club, owned by Nick Stewart, is described on its website as “open and busy every night”.”Many clubs could be defined as bars that host music, but we really are a music venue that serves drinks”, Mr Stewart says. He sees the live music scene as essential for maintaining nightlife in Edinburgh not only because of the economic benefit but more importantly because of the cultural significance. “Music is one of the important things in life. […] it’s emotionally and intellectually engaging, and it adds to the quality of life that people lead.”

Sneaky Pete’s has not been immune to the inaudibility clause. The business has spent about 20,000 pounds on multiple soundproofing fixes designed to quell complaints from neighboring residents. “The business suffered a great deal in between losing the option to do gigs for fear of complaints, and finishing the soundproofing. As I mentioned, we are a music business that serves drinks, not a bar that also has music, so when we lose shows, we lose a great deal of trade”, said Mr Stewart.

He believes there is a better way to go about handling complaints and fixing public nuisances. “The local mandatory condition requiring ‘amplified music and vocals’ to be ‘inaudible’ should be struck from all licenses. The requirement presupposes that nuisance is caused by music venues, when this may not reasonably be said to be the case. […] Nuisance is not defined in the Licensing Act nor is it defined in the Public Health Act (Scotland) 2008. However, The Consultation on Guidance to accompany the Statutory Nuisance Provisions of the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 states that ‘There are eight key issues to consider when evaluating whether a nuisance exists[…]'”.

The eight key factors are impact, locality, time, frequency, duration, convention, importance, and avoidability. Stewart believes it is these factors that should be taken into consideration by LSOs responding to complaints instead of the sole factor of “audibility”.He believes multiple steps should be taken before considering revocation of licenses. Firstly, LSOs should determine whether a venue is a nuisance based on the eight factors. Then, the venue should have the opportunity to comply by using methods such as changing the nature of their live performances (e.g. from hard rock to acoustic rock), changing their hours of operation, or soundproofing. If the venue still fails to comply, then a board can review their license with the goal of finding more ways to bring them into compliance as opposed to revoking their license.

Nick Stewart has discussed his proposal at length with Music is Audible and said he means to present his proposal to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Dr Adam Behr, a music academic and research associate at the University of Edinburgh who has conducted research on the cultural value of live music, says live music significantly contributes to the economic performance of cities. He said studies have shown revenue creation and the provision of employment are significant factors which come about as a result of live music. A 2014 report by UK Music showed the economic value generated by live music in the UK in 2013 was £789 million and provided the equivalent of 21,600 full time jobs.

As the music industry is international by nature, Behr says this complicates the way revenue is allocated, “For instance, if an American artist plays a venue owned by a British company at a gig which is promoted by a company that is part British owned but majority owned by, say, Live Nation (a major international entertainment company) — then the flow of revenues might not be as straightforward as it seems [at] first.”

Despite these complexities, Behr highlighted the broader advantages, “There are, of course, ancillary benefits, especially for big gigs […] Obviously other local businesses like bars, restaurants and carparks benefit from increased trade”, he added.

Behr criticised the idea of making music inaudible and called it “unrealistic”. He said it could limit what kind of music can be played at venues and could force vendors to spend a large amount of money on equipment that enables them to meet noise cancelling requirements. He also mentioned the consequences this has for grassroots music venues as more ‘established’ venues within the city would be the only ones able to afford these changes.

Alongside the inaudibility dispute has been the number of sites that have been closing for the past number of years. According to Dr Behr, this has brought attention to the issue of retaining live music venues in the city and has caused the council to re-evaluate its music strategy and overall cultural policy.

This month, Dr Behr said he is to work on a live music census for Edinburgh’s Council which aims to find out what types of music is played, where, and what exactly it brings to the city. This is in an effort to get the Edinburgh city council to see any opportunities it has with live music and the importance of grassroots venues. The census is similar to one conducted in Victoria, Australia in 2012 on the extent of live music in the state and its economic benefit.

As for the solution to the inaudibility clause, Behr says the initial step is dialogue, and this has already begun. “Having forum discussion, though, is a start — and an improvement”, he said. “There won’t be an overnight solution, but work is ongoing to try to find one that can stick in the long term.”

Beverley Whitrick, Strategic Director of Music Venue Trust, said she is unable to comment on her work with the City of Edinburgh Council or on potential changes to the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy. However, she says, “I have been asked to assess the situation and make recommendations in September”.

According to The Scotsman, the Council is working toward helping Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment scene. Deputy Council Leader Sandy Howat said views of the entertainment industry needs to change and the Council will no longer consider the scene as a “sideline”.

Senior members of the Council, The Scotsman reported, aim to review the planning of the city to make culture more of a priority. Howat said, “If you’re trying to harness a living community and are creating facilities for people living, working and playing then culture should form part of that.”

The review of the inaudibility clause in the Licensing Policy is set to be reviewed near the end of 2016 but the concept of bringing it forward to this year is still under discussion.

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