Simple Minds concert will go ahead

Jim Kerr
Jim Kerr
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Stonehaven’s planned Open Air in the Square concert on Hogmanay will go ahead, after councillors voted unanimously in favour of the event which will feature Simple Minds.

The decision was granted at a meeting at Viewmount today, subject to conditions.

Stonehaven Festival and Events applied for a Public Entertainment Licence to hold its Open Air in the Square event on Hogmanay 2013.

Police Scotland objected to the application as a statutory consultee, believing the event to be too big for the venue to ensure public safety.

The applicant and Police Scotland, as objector, were given a hearing at a special meeting of the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee today. (Thursday, September 5)

The applicant moved the application, before Police Scotland representatives put their objections to the committee.

Stonehaven Festival and Events representatives had a chance to address the police comments before councillors were given opportunity for questions.

A range of questions were addressed to the applicants and to Police Scotland representatives by the area committee.

It then unanimously decided to grant the application for the event in 2013/14 only, subject to conditions relating to public safety and event management.

The public entertainment licence application has progressed through normal channels and both the police and the applicants had opportunity to put their views across.

The meeting of councillors was specially convened to give parties the due period of two weeks notice from the end of the consultation period, as required by law, and in order to have the matter considered as soon as

possible.

After the meeting, Area Committee Chairman, Carl Nelson, said: “This was obviously a significant licence application for the local area and one which we have treated very seriously.

“While there were significant police concerns about allowing the event to go ahead, if the applicants are able to comply with the range of conditions attached by the area committee we believe these concerns will be addressed, and Police Scotland will be involved further in the process.”

All relevant agencies and the organisers have been working cooperatively, and a number of meetings have been held over the course of this year to consider the issues which arise in planning a major event such as this.