WeAre 500 – Update from Upminster Councillors
We, your local Upminster Residents’ Association Councillors, have received complaints/queries regarding the WEAre 500 events and share the concerns raised by you. With this in mind we would like to update you with the following details.
The operators of the WeAre 500 in Upminster, applied for a series of Temporary Event Notices (TENs) for five consecutive weekends of events, commencing the 5th of September 2020. A Temporary Event Notice is a form of licence, which permits the sale of alcohol and regulated entertainment at the specified venue on certain dates. There is a limit on the number of persons attending the event, which is 499 at any one time, and includes staff who work at the event.
As part of the TENs process there are no formal requirements to consult with residents or councillors and therefore, unlike other years that the WeAre Festival was held in Upminster, there was no consultation. In short, it is only the police and the council’s Environmental Service that can object to the events. However, any objections can only be made in line with a set criteria.
The organisers approached the London Borough of Havering’s Licensing Authority and the Metropolitan Police, prior to the submission of the TENs, in order to outline their plans and detail how they intended to operate a Covid secure event. No representations were received against the event.
The Council sought specialised advice regarding this matter and were satisfied that the events could go ahead. Clearly, this was on the condition that strict Covid 19 guidelines are observed/adhered to by the organisers and patrons. The Local Authority was, and will be, on hand to monitor further events and are in constant dialogue with the organisers. The organisers are fully aware of their obligations in relation to ensuring the event is compliant with Covid guidelines. The organisers have a seated outdoor event with table service. Live music will be played with limited volume, to prevent excess noise transmission.
Your local Upminster Residents’ Association Councillors have concerns regarding the above events, but also recognise why the Government has taken steps to stimulate the economy, whilst balancing the risks around the Covid-19 pandemic. We have seen this supported by schemes such as Eat Out to Help Out. We have also relaunched our Shop Local, Hire Local scheme, where we have been actively supporting our local businesses.
Your local councillors will continue to work with Council Officers, to ensure the WeAre 500 events are managed effectively and comply with the strict Covid-19 Guidelines when patrons arrive and leave Upminster, as well as at the venue itself.
We have received feedback back from last weekend’s event(s). It was confirmed by Council Officers that WeAre 500 were fully compliant particularly for both noise and Covid secure (social distancing) requirements. Officers did not observe any issues in Upminster before and after the event. Patrons observed at the station were seen getting straight into cabs to be taken to the site.
Patrons arrived and left the event maintaining social distancing. They had their temperatures checked on entry and were escorted to their seating area for up to six individuals only. The site was set up so movement around it was limited as much as possible and the toilets were sanitised in line with regulations.
The Council will continue working with the WeAre 500 organisers, ensuring that further events comply with the relevant requirements. The Council will consistently review the viability of holding the events in line with rates of infection of Covid-19 in the Borough. The Council’s Licensing and Trading Standards team have sought legal advice and the events will continue after the 14th September 2020. There will be a full deployment of four council officers for each event.
If you have any concerns regarding the events, please use the following contact details –
Noise complaints – 01708 961 218
Other complaints – 07753 870 707