Letter from NUS Services Limited|
On behalf of NUS Services, I am writing to express
support for the proposals to reform the 220-year-old law that
restricts Sunday dancing.
As you may be aware, NUS represents c. 1.7 million
students in higher education and just under 4 million students
studying or training in further education colleges in the UK.
NUS is a national voice for students, a valuable source of education
research, legal advice, media work and fundraiser and a training
body for 3000 student officers each year. Nearly 900 Students'
Unions choose to affiliate to NUS, of which many operate bars
and late night entertainment venues.
There are many reasons why the wider licensed entertainment
industry supports reform of these outdated restrictions. However,
NUS welcomes these proposals for a number of further reasons specific
to the student market and our venues:
- Meeting demand: Reform
will meet demand from students for entertainment on all nights
of the week. Students often work to different and flexible deadlines
that are less clearly linked to weekends compared with workers
in more traditional employment who might work on weekdays.
- Reducing costs to students:
The majority of students have an income that is significantly
below the national average. At present, Saturday night entertainment
in commercial venues tends to be more expensive than other nights
of the week. By allowing venues to offer entertainment on a Sundays,
demand at the weekend will be spread across its entirety, allowing
the prospect of a cheaper night out on a Sunday for students and
other low-income groups.
- Increased revenue for NUS venues:
We expect that revenues will increase if venues are permitted
to apply to open on a Sunday. Experience from Scotland suggests
that Sunday has become the third most popular night of the week.
- Extra job opportunities for students:
Although most NUS venues employ full-time staff, they also provide
a valuable opportunity for students to work on a part-time basis
to supplement their income. In many cases, this extra income can
mean the difference between staying in education or leaving because
of financial hardship. We support BEDA's Code of Practice to protect
employee rights. Moreover, we envisage that reform would allow
Students' Unions to extend the benefits of part-time employment
to more students.
- Protecting student and employees' safety:
Local Students' Unions often provide venues bus services during
the week to ensure the safety of students and workers who need
to return home to halls of residence. The viability of such schemes
is often underpinned by the provision of entertainment facilities,
but the benefits are extended to all students who may be at Students'
Union venues for other reasons including meetings, etc. The provision
of entertainment facilities on a Sunday would help boost the viability
of such schemes on all nights of the week.
In conclusions, I would reiterate that NUS fully
supports the proposals to reform these outdated laws that restrict
dancing on a Sunday. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I
can be of further assistance.
Ian King, Chief Executive
1 March 2000