The Council has admitted that it received a lot of complaints about noise levels experienced during the Balloon Fiesta which took place on the Knavesmire at the end of September.
The noise complaints didn’t relate to the balloons themselves (which mostly failed to get off the ground because of weather conditions).
The event was organised by Events and Attractions Limited, a York based company.
Officials of the Council firmly put the blame for lack of
control on the premises license holder for the Knavesmire. This they identify as
“Make it York”.
Make it York is the
secretive QUANGO set up by the Council several years ago to run tourism and promotional
events in the City.
Make it York were apparently told that a statutory noise nuisance
was witnessed by Council officials over weekend of the 27th and 28th
According to an email seen by a local Councillor,
“Make it York were asked to provide details of how they
were going to prevent any further recurrences of noise nuisance from events at
the Knavesmire and they have, as a result, submitted an application for a minor
variation to the existing premises licence. This application requests
that an additional condition is added to the existing premises licence and will
require Make it York to submit a noise management plan for approval by City of
York Council within two months of the licence being varied. Once approved the
noise management plan would be implemented immediately for any events held on
the Knavesmire and operated under the premises licence”.
“It is anticipated that any submitted noise management
plan will identify all potential noise sources associated with events taking
place on the and provide details on strategies which will be implemented to
minimise the disturbance caused to residents from those sources, especially
those activities where amplified music is involved. It is also anticipated that
any submitted noise management plan will also detail methods for monitoring and
controlling the noise and how Make it York will respond to any noise complaint
received in the future.
As a result of the above it is the
view of officers in Public Protection that such a condition should, if
implemented correctly and adhered to, result in any noise from events taking
place on the Knavesmire, and operated under the premises licence, being reduced
to a satisfactory level such that it shouldn’t cause any further noise nuisance”.
The issue comes to a head at a difficult time for tourism support organisations in the region. “Welcome to Yorkshire” had to sack their Chief Executive following allegations of extravagance. The organisation subsequently had to be bailed out by taxpayers with a new Chairman promising more transparency in the future.
it York” is likely to be subject to similar calls.
It receives a substantial taxpayer subsidy, but its meetings
are held behind closed doors.
The only sliver of accountability comes through brief and infrequent
updates to a Council committee. The Council nominates two representatives to
the Make it York 12 person Board (currently Cllrs Mason and Taylor)
According to the organisation’s web site, “The current
turnover of Make It York is around £4.8 million per annum, generated
commercially from a range of revenue sources. Other than any dividends payable
to the Shareholder, any surplus is invested back into the city.
With respect to its corporate structure, Make It York is a private
limited company limited by shares and has an independent Board of Directors.
Shareholder is City of York Council”