PLANS to update the list of ‘public entertainment’ events in North Ayrshire which require a licence before being allowed to go ahead have been approved by councillors.

But members of the public will be consulted on the full list before it comes into force.

North Ayrshire Council officials proposed that a ‘public entertainment licence’ (PEL) would not be required for ‘spectator-based entertainment events’ which are provided to an audience of fewer than 200 people, provided the organisers “take appropriate steps to monitor and control capacity”.

But SNP councillor Jean McClung said she was concerned about the exception for smaller events because a group of 20 people could still “cause havoc” on council property.

Council officer Raymond Lynch said the onus was on organisers of smaller events to follow the guidelines.

The council’s licensing committee was asked to approve changes to the authority’s ‘public entertainment resolution’, which sets out the type of events that require a PEL.

Under the new resolution, the definition of ‘spectator based entertainment’ includes dance and live music events, plays, exhibitions, festivals, fairs, firework displays, circuses and sporting events.

The list of places and activities requiring a licence includes – but is not limited to – live entertainment venues, skating rinks, fairgrounds, snooker and pool halls, swimming pools, public fireworks displays, sunbed/tanning facilities, bouncy castles, boxing, wrestling or martial arts events, or contact sports where a public audience may be present on payment of a fee. 

Other venues where a licence is required include “premises used for bungee jumping, abseiling, zip slides, indoor climbing walls, tramopoling and paintball games”, as well as “a large fete with one or more marquees”, and any premises, indoor or outdoor, used for "motor vehicle stunt shows or motorsports, or quad bike events".

Any person wishing to carry on any such activity will require a licence from the council before doing so, unless the council already licenses the activity, in which case a licence will continue to be required without any delay in implementation.

There are exemptions for venues operated by a “charitable, educational, religious, youth, recreational, community, political or similar organisation”, and also where charges for donations at such events are “wholly for the benefit of the operating organisation”.

However, a report put before the licensing committee’s May 8 meeting also states that it is “not recommended that car cruise events are licensed under the PEL procedure” because they are better covered by the existing powers of the police and by road traffic legislation.

The plans will be subject to further consultation with the public through the council website.