This from The English Folk Dance and Song Society
Thanks for forwarding this. If people such as Sally leave it to the EFDSS to represent them and we are not in the discussion we are not able to represent them so please circulate my letter and urge everyone to write on their own behalf to Andrew Cunningham. Perhaps that way he will start to understand our point of view.
all the best Phil
This is the letter from EFDSS to the DCMS. 23/08/02
I am disappointed at your unwillingness to include the EFDSS and it's rather substantial constituency in Licensing legislation consultation processes.
Unfortunately legislation these days is generally written with only commercial issues in mind. Civil servants can be blinkered at times and may be unaware of the people that they may be impacting through their legislation. This point is clearly demonstrated by the existing legislation which is universally agreed to be unsatisfactory.
It is important that we do all that we can to get it right this time.
In a world where social change moves at an ever increasing pace traditional culture provides a valuable anchor for society.
In many parts of the world governments fully appreciate their traditional culture recognising the important role it plays in providing identity and building social values and cohesion. They also understand that if people have a sense of their own traditional culture they able to recognise and appreciate other cultural backgrounds. It is a necessary ingredient to building harmony and mutual respect in ever increasingly multicultural societies.
Unfortunately this is not the case in England. The invaluable contribution made by our traditions to our rich cultural heritage is under threat as never before.
All over the country local authority officers are using this legislation to prevent ordinary people from keeping our precious traditional culture alive.It is clear from the public debate to date and statements from the DCMS that these local authorities are not operating within the spirit of the legislation.
People are hurting all over the country.
The EFDSS is very well placed to provide objective and sensible input to the consultation process. We are a charity and a highly respected organisation. We are committed to finding mutually beneficial solutions rather than merely create stumbling blocks.
I implore you to reconsider your decision.
Yours faithfully Phil Wilson Strategic Director English Folk Dance and Song Society.