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RAINBOW PETITION SUPPORT OUT OF THE BLUE

29-06-2009

Campaigners hoping to secure the future of Digbeth's Rainbow pub have won the support of a surprise backer - Birmingham Conservative councillor Robert Alden. He's put his name to the petition calling on the local authority to drop its noise abatement order against the venue.

Alden's decision to get involved is a long overdue recognition by those involved in city politics that this is an issue worthy of their engagement - and it puts him in a position of potential conflict with his own party leadership which has promoted a relatively narrow vision for the regeneration of Digbeth, focussing on city living apartments and new hotels, rather than the more exotic pleasures already to be found there.

Talk of a petition has been gaining ground on local blogs over the last few weeks but news that a true blue Edgbaston councillor is fronting it is sure to lend an extra air of credibility.

It's a no nonsense challenge to senior officers, too, saying, "We call on Birmingham City Council EPU (Environmental Protection Unit) to drop the noise abatement order that it has issued against the Rainbow pub in Digbeth Birmingham.

"We also call on Birmingham City Council planning department to make developers put in proper sound proofing in all City Centre Apartment blocks built in future to ensure that the city's vibrant Music scene and creative industries are not suffocated by noise abatement orders in the future."

There were also more optimistic noises coming from The Rainbow Facebook support group after andlord Kent Davis was invited to a meeting at the Council House on Friday with regeneration chief Clive Dutton.

Davis reports: "Finally it looks as though some common sense may be being applied to this emotive subject. Clive Dutton (Director of planning and regeneration) and Cncllr Martin Mullaney organised a meeting attended by Jaqui Kennedy (Head of Regualtory services), Cllr Ernie Hendricks (who is looking at a music policy for Birmingham), myself and other interested parties. This was a first of its kind and more are needed if in Mr Dutton's own words we are 'to satisfactorily navigate our way through the current issues through good collaboration and common sense.

"Common sense is the key. The Rainbow hopes everyone will work towards the ultimate benefit of the greater good and is prepared to make the occasional reasonable compromise along the way, as it is not just about immediate matters - it is about the long term legacy and benefits that can be manifested not only in Digbeth - but the city as a whole. A procative and positive 'can do' spirit needs to prevail - not just enforcement.

"The first real test of a 'new way' will be the 'Raise the Roof' Summer Street Festival - a fundrasing event due to take place on August 1st. It is this event that promises to raise the funds for installing the all important sound proofing roof that will enable the Rainbow to continue. As the Rainbow courtyard is one of the venues for this event - and given this event will take place before the roof is installed - The Rainbow obviously hopes that some common sense will prevail - as otherwise a farce will ensue;

"We don't want to find the very event intended to solve our problems - becomes one of them - with EPU taking action against us after the event has happened. The Rainbow has continued its appeal to all its supporters to attend this fantastic event which includes the city's best brands - Bigger than Barry, Atomic Jam, Below, Wobble and many more. Not only will it be one of the best events of the year - but there will added poignancy and purpose which will definitely create a unique vibe amonst a 3000 capacity crowd - united in having a great time and saving an institution."

See also cut-us-some-slack-call-from-rainbow-boss

Click here to sign the petition epetition.birmingham.public-i.tv/

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