ADD2270 Safer Nights Partnership (working title)

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Code: 
ADD2270
Date signed: 
17 December 2018
Decision by: 
Shonagh Manson, Assistant Director of Culture and Creative Industries

Executive summary

The Mayor recognises the importance of growing London’s night time culture and economy in a safe, sustainable way that meets the needs of all Londoners. His Rescue Plan for Grassroots Music Venues recommended greater partnership working between police borough licensing authorities and the music industry to help venues avoid unnecessary licensing costs and remain safe and economically viable. His Vision for London as a 24-Hour City promotes partnership working to create a diverse and sustainable night time offer. The Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan recommends that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), boroughs and businesses work together to improve consistency of licensing practice across London.

The MPS recently removed the Form 696 risk assessment process. This process identified risks associated with the promotion of music events in London. The form was widely criticised for unfairly targeting events featuring BAME artists and audiences. A vacuum has appeared since the form was scrapped leaving venues and promoters unclear how to seek advice and support from the licensing authorities. There have been reports of shows being threatened with cancellation and relationship breakdown between the music industry and licensing officials. This discourages the industry from programming new acts, making London’s music scene less resilient and diverse.

This decision seeks approval to award one-off grant funding to the Safer Business Network. It will part-fund the start-up costs of a new Safer Nights Partnership to address these issues. The Safer Nights Partnership will help to safeguard the future of London’s music scene by providing business support, an intelligence sharing service, mediation, a central resource hub and forums for the sharing of best practice in licensing, safety and the good management of night time events.

Decision

That the Assistant Director of Culture & Creative Industries approves:

One off grant funding of up to £35,000 to the Safer Business Network as a contribution to its costs incurred in starting up the Safer Nights Partnership.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

London is the home of the UK music industry, which was worth £4.4 billion in 2016, growing by 6% from the previous year.

 

London’s diverse music offer is a key driver of domestic and international tourism. Music tourism alone contributes over £1 billion every year to the capital’s economy. It is also a key part of London’s night time offer and an essential part of London life, encouraging participation and social cohesion.

 

However, London has lost 35% of its grassroots music venues since 2007 due to rising rents and business rates, the challenges of balancing night time activity with local residential population and pressure from new development.

 

The Mayor recognises the importance of growing London’s night time culture and economy in a safe, sustainable way that meets the needs of all Londoners. That is why he has appointed London’s first Night Czar, set up the London Night Time Commission and established the Night Time Borough Champions network.

 

The Mayor’s Vision for London as a 24-Hour City highlights the need to work collaboratively to promote a diverse and sustainable night time economy and challenge the negative attention it often unfairly attracts around crime and nuisance.

 

The Mayor’s draft Culture Strategy emphasises the importance of protecting London’s grassroots music venues and commits to improve licensing practice across the capital.

 

The Rescue Plan for Grassroots Music Venues recommended greater partnership working between licensing authorities (boroughs and the police) and the music industry to ensure that music venues remain economically viable.

 

The music industry has identified the opportunity to build a strong, collaborative relationship between venues, clubs, promoters, the police and local authorities to share information and best practice and support the live music industry, including the many small businesses that make it such a vibrant and innovative sector. This will bring benefits to audiences and artists, as well as workers and businesses in the live music sector.

 

Following discussion with the music industry, police, MOPAC and boroughs, it is proposed that the a pan-London partnership is set up. The network will based on the established model of a Business Crime Reduction Partnership (BCRP). There are several successful BRCPs already in operation across London including Westminster, Lambeth, Southwark and Hammersmith. BCRPs are promoted by the Mayor and MOPAC and supported by the MPS and boroughs.

 

The partnership will be music industry led and will promote the interests of the music industry, working with all responsible authorities designated under the Licensing Act. It will contribute to the development of a skilled and well managed sector, with safe events. It will help reduce costs on venues and promoters by enabling issues to be identified early and resolved informally through the network, rather than through costly formal licensing processes. The network will develop and share key and timely intelligence, address shared operational issues and promote best practice across the music industry, and will provide regular updates on information which may impact events using a secure intelligence platform. The initiative will also support the implementation of the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter.

Membership of the network will be open to all stakeholders who are involved in the running of live music events, including venues, promoters and artists.

A steering group made up of at least six members will be appointed from the members of network and other interested agencies. This group will meet at regular intervals throughout the year and oversee the aims and objectives of the partnership, monitor progress and impact and be responsible for compliance with its purposes.

 

Management of the new network will be carried by the Safer Business Network. It is a not for-profit organisation which has relevant experience running business led Business Crime Reduction Partnerships across the capital. Safer Business Network is an established and reputable provider that is promoted by the Mayor and MOPAC and supported by the MPS, boroughs and businesses. They deliver multiple Business Crime Reduction Partnerships in London including several in thriving night time economy areas such as Lambeth and Westminster. Each of these partnership is self-funding through membership fees.

 

Venues and promoters across London will be invited to join the network. It is proposed that the Mayor’s Office, the MPS and local authorities will support the network by providing briefings and advice, sharing information and intelligence and offering training and development opportunities.

 

The network requires funding of £75,000 for startup costs in the first year. This will cover:

 

Funding breakdown

Year 1

Website costs

£5,000

Staffing (inc full time network manager)

£56,000

Other running costs (events, meetings, comms)

£14,000

TOTAL

£75,000

                                                                       

This decision seeks approval for grant funding of £35,000 from the GLA’s existing Culture and Creative Industries budget towards these costs. The Safer Business Network will match this to provide the remaining funding for the costs of start-up and year one of operations.

 

In order to build the network, members will not be charged for involvement in year one. This approach recognises the need to build a new partnership of organisations across London and demonstrate the impact and value of the network to members in year one. The network aims to become self-funding in year two through the charging of membership fees. This would bring it in line with all other BCRPs which are funded through membership fees.

  

If in year two, the partnership is deemed to be operating successfully and fulfilling its objectives, but membership fees are not sufficient to sustain the partnership, there are various options available.

 

  • The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is looking to secure funding in principle for 2019-20, should it be required to help the partnership reach the point of becoming self-funding through membership fees. MOPAC is pursuing this through the annual budget setting process.

 

  • Safer Business Network will also investigate alternative funding streams, including from industry bodies, that could supplement any gap in grant funding.

 

  • The partnership can also be scaled back to reduce costs until additional membership fees are secured.

 

  • The partnership will be monitored throughout to ensure that it is meeting the agreed outcomes and objectives.

 

The charging of a small fee to members to fund the network long-term follows the established model of Business Crime Reduction Partnerships across London. The fees will be set with the agreement of the Steering Group at an affordable level to ensure wide and diverse participation is achieved.

Objectives and expected outcomes

Approval is sought for grant funding of £35,000 to the Safer Business Network to support the creation of the industry led Safer Sounds Network. GLA funding will match funding from the Safer Business Network, and, in year two onward, funding will come from members and the industry.

The objectives of the Safer Music Network are to:

· Provide a mechanism for venues and licensing officials to share evidenced and up-to-date intelligence that supports the risk assessment of events
· Support and develop London’s music industry through multi-agency co-operation and sharing of good practice sharing
· Improve consistency in the approach to licensing across London’s 32 boroughs and 12 police borough command units.
· Support the industry in protecting vulnerable audience members, artists and workers by helping them to put the Mayor’s Women’s Night Safety Charter into practice
· Provide a forum for night time workers and managers to develop their skills and knowledge through training, workshops and events
· Advance the GLA’s commitment to the industry by enabling a music industry led approach to promoting safety at music events
· Involve a range of stakeholders that represent the diversity of London’s music scene

The GLA investment will ensure:

· Greater collaboration between the industry, police and local authorities and other key stakeholders in relation to assessing and mitigating against risks at live music events
· Greater confidence and trust towards police from industry
· Greater consistency in delivery of live music events through targeted training opportunities for staff
· Introduction of models of good practice which support the promotion of the four licensing objectives (the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm)

Equality comments

Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as a public authority, the Mayor of London must have ‘due Regard’ of the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation as well as to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who have a protected characteristic and those who do not.

The GLA contribution to the activities as set out in this report will create both positive social and economic impact in the capital. The GLA funding of this project will also foster community cohesion and improve the wellbeing of Londoners, for example supporting protected groups, such as women, through the Women’s Night Safety Charter.

The GLA funding will promote wider City Hall work designed to support equality across London, including the Women’s Night Safety Charter.

The activities set out in the main body of this report provide opportunities for organisations from a range of cultural and business sectors to engage with each other in order to work collaboratively, actively fostering closer working between a wide range of both organisations and individuals.

Other considerations

Safer Business Network is a not for profit organisation which manages several successful local evening and night time economy business partnerships in some of London’s most varied and challenging boroughs.

The following risks to the success of the Safer Nights Partnership have been identified:

Low member sign ups to the network

The industry is calling for a new system of coordinated intelligence sharing to be established as soon as possible to ensure safety at events and to enable and support diverse programming. Many venues and promoters are already supportive of the principles of the network. We will continue to work with key stakeholders to develop the project and to ensure a broad membership of the network, and that the development of the future fee-based membership structure supports this.

Issues at live events may still occur

The intelligence sharing platform and training provided by the network will equip members with tools to help support the safe running of events and to reduce the risk of issues occurring. Should an incident occur, an evaluation will allow learning to feed back into the network.

Police intelligence not provided to the network

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has agreed in principle that it will securely share intelligence with the network that is not available via other sources. If this information is not made available, it will affect the way the network is able to assess risk. Regular dialogue with the MPS will continue to ensure appropriate intelligence is shared with the network.

Funding not confirmed after year one

If in year two, the partnership is deemed to be operating successfully and fulfilling its objectives, but membership fees are not sufficient to sustain the partnership, there are various options available.

• The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is looking to secure funding in principle for 2019-20, should it be required to help the partnership reach the point of becoming self-funding through membership fees. MOPAC is pursuing this through the annual budget setting process.
• Safer Business Network will also investigate alternative funding streams, including from industry bodies, that could supplement any gap in grant funding.
• The partnership can also be scaled back to reduce costs until additional membership fees are secured.
• The partnership will be monitored throughout to ensure that it is meeting the agreed outcomes and objectives.

Funding not confirmed from members

The financial sustainability of the network will depend on members paying a small, affordable subscription fee once the GLA startup funding has come to an end. The industry is calling for the network to be set up and therefore there is a low risk of the partnership not delivering value to the industry and membership subscriptions not being secured. The Safer Business Network will work with the industry to ensure that the scheme is delivering value and benefits for all members. This will include regular consultation through the steering group, events and online activity. This follows the Business Crime Reduction Partnership model already delivered successfully by the Safer Business Network. Partnerships have previously become self-sustaining after 18 months, with other sources of funding also investigated.

Financial comments

A contribution of £35,000 is required from the Authority to fund the creation of a Safer Sounds Network. The Safer Business Network will work with the music industry to secure the remaining match funding.

This contribution will be issued as one-off grant during 2018/19 with no plans for future funding.

To mitigate any risk, payment will be made in arrears once key milestones have been met.

The expenditure will be met from within the Culture and Creative Industries 2018/19 budget and subsequently managed by the Unit.

Activity table

Activity

Timeline

Funding agreement completed

End of 2018

Meeting with music industry stakeholders to agree next steps

End of 2018

Appoint network coordinator

February 2019

Set up steering group and hold first meeting

February 2019

Launch of the network

March 2019

First members signed up to the network

March 2019

First network event held

March 2019


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