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Save music at Studio 18

Stroud District Council has served Studio 18 organiser Zac Walsh with an official written notice which could stop music events at Studio 18. A Community Protection Notice (CPN) is like an ASBO but can be issued by just a council officer, rather than a court. A Community Protection Notice deems that the community needs protection from Zac Walsh because he is a 'threat' to the community for organising music events. This is of course nonsense.

Studio 18 actively contributes to the well-being of the local community by providing art and music entertainment opportunities for the local and wider community. Post corona-virus and lock-down, Studio 18 had a surge of interest, especially from young people, seeking to organise/attend creative activities and music nights at the Studio. As such Studio 18 is a highly beneficial resource for the young people in our community. In the last five years there have been many successful, trouble free, events held at Studio 18. These have included art exhibitions, children's art workshops, Band It ( the four day rock/pop workshop for students aged 8 to 17 ), live music, charity fund-raisers and DJ disco nights. Studio 18 serves all age groups in a safe and friendly atmosphere.

However, following three noise complaints after a music event held on the 24th March, Stroud District Council judged that these complaints were enough to take the first legal step towards issuing a Community Protection Notice.

Worryingly, the written warning could have serious legal consequences if it leads to Zac Walsh being issued with a Community Protection Notice.

Breaching a Community Protection Notice is a criminal offence. The Notice would effectively put a stop to future music activities at Studio 18. Music events bring in valuable revenue, enabling other community focused activities to be held. Also, the Notice could subject Zac to a fine amounting to £20,000 - enough to shut down Studio 18 for good.

Whilst Studio 18 has put in place measures to mitigate noise, Stroud District Council has not come out to monitor, or record sound levels to determine if the noise complaints are reasonable-or not. They have also failed to canvass the opinion of local community members that support Studio 18’s music activities, including near neighbours who have not been disturbed by noise. Stroud District Council have chosen instead to take the word of just three complainants to start the process of issuing a full blown Community Protection Notice. This is a heavy handed, totally disproportionate and unreasonable response from Stroud District Council. It does not take into account the high level of support that Studio 18 has within the local community which is amply demonstrated on the ‘Brimscombe and Thrupp Community Development Group’ Facebook page concerning an anonymous note stirring up anti-Studio 18 sentiments. Brimscombe and Thrupp Community Development Group

Please help save music at Studio 18 by signing this petition to demand that Stroud District Council: 1. Act fairly in responding to noise complaints against Studio 18 by properly investigating the validity and reasonableness of noise complaints; 2. Revoke the legal written notice threatening a Community Protection Notice against Zac Walsh and Studio 18; 3. Take full regard of the Councils own plan to support creative and cultural industries; value more highly places like Studio 18; and ensure all council departments move out of the silo way of working to support arts and culture, especially in this post lock-down era.

Please state in the comments why you think Studio 18 is a valuable community asset and why music at Studio 18 must continue. Also, please state if you are a local resident as this will have a big impact on Stroud District Council.

Sign the petition here:

Please like our Save Music At Studio 18

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