The Griffin Homepage

Disgraceful restriction placed on pub

I’m a local reader who has recently become very, very concerned about the activities of Mendip District Council’s Environmental Health Department in relation to what I consider to be discriminatory, disproportionate and heavy handed restrictions placed on the Griffin, in Frome.

The background is that, for some reason, Mendip has imposed impossibly stringent noise restrictions on the pub, a well known music venue for many, many years.

The decibel limit imposed is so ridiculously taught and constraining that live performance has been rendered impossible.

I’m not sure of the exact decibel limits being applied, but, as an example of how ridiculous the constraints are, during the Frome Festival the landlady was outside the pub in light rain, worried to death because the band sound-checking inside that evening appeared to be over the limit on the db meter she was using to check outside noise levels.

I was watching events as they unfolded when she realised it was in fact the rain landing on her umbrella that was causing the reading, generating a noise level higher than the council has specified and allowed live music to be play at.

No band has been able to play inside the Griffin at the ridiculously low levels imposed – festival gigs have had to be shortened or abandoned part way through this year and many musicians have found that even without an amplifier, their instruments far exceed the level Mendip requires not to be exceeded when measuring from inside the venue.

All in all, the levels imposed are both ridiculous and unachievable.

We all know that public houses are having a really difficult time at the moment and as a result our social heritage is disappearing before our very eyes.

I am of the opinion that from a cultural perspective, Mendip should be supporting local businesses which provide such an important social function. But here we seem to have an example of an out of control jobsworth department of Mendip acting in such a heavy-handed and unnecessary fashion that, in my opinion, they are most likely going to be responsible for putting this long-established and much-loved music venue out of business altogether. It is disgraceful.

All in all, the whole thing is a total disgrace and I feel something must be done to redress the activities of this council department.

CLINT DANDO

Frome

The July 16 edition of the Somerset Standard features a typical example of Mendip District Council’s capacity to attempt to baffle brains with cow manure.

In the article about the campaign to save live music at the Griffin pub (“Petition over restriction on pub noise”) the council spokeswoman said “Good working practice has been relayed to the Griffin by the environmental protection team at the council and we will continue to work with them to assist them in complying with the operating schedule and to promote the licensing objectives”.

What on earth does she mean?

DUNCAN CAMPBELL

Butts Hill, Frome

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