A few months back, I took the unusual step of writing to my MP. Why? Because moves were afoot to close down long-standing small music venues (including village halls etc) if new housing was built nearby. The logic (?) behind this plan was that the new residents would be unreasonably disturbed by the noise from the hall. No-one seemed to view the entertainment on the doorstep as an asset, which I certainly would. Not to mention that the hall would be useful for playgroups, scouts, community gatherings and the like.
I was surprised to receive a fulsome and personalised letter from the MP, although he was able to offer no concrete hope. But today my copy of the Musicians’ Union magazine flopped onto the mat, with the great news that the bill has been changed: now it’s the builders’ responsibility to make the homes sufficiently sound-proof and the halls can stay open.
I’m not patting myself on the back for this change of heart, though. It looks as though Sir Paul McCartney was the prime mover and shaker on this one, backed by Jools Holland, Brian Eno and various other worthies. Nice to hear that sense can, however, prevail at some points in the mad times we’re witnessing.