Monday 9 March 2015

Guest Blog - Why I’m supporting #SaveLondonMusic - By Alasdair Hill

By Alasdair Hill,
Live music is one of life’s great joys. To be lost in music as it washes over you is to connect with the musicians; a transcendence that is seldom replicated on recordings. Of course the experience of live music is not in isolation; it is a social experience. For both these reasons I support the SaveLondon Music campaign.

London has some of the best big ticket venues and music groups in the world; from the LSO at the Barbican to the multitude of small venues along Camden High Road. Yet what is often lacking outside of Zone 1 are active, top quality local music venues. It is not always convenient, affordable or desirable to venture into Central London for our dose of music but we are left with little choice.
Local music venues have a range of benefits to the community. First they offer a place for aspiring local musicians to ply their trade, to get noticed and perform. Indeed in my Halcyon Days at university I played my sax weekly at local pubs. Local gigs bring people in; they help support the bars and pubs that host as well as increasing the footfall along the High Street. Local events can help support a healthy restaurant trade in the area. In places such as Mill Hill a buoyant music scene can encourage visitors and develop our unique selling point, helping Mill Hill compete with other local areas.

The benefits of a music scene go beyond the economics. Live music improves individual and social wellbeing and can support the cultural and recreational demands of the community. I am leading a campaign to save our libraries because they are central to social cohesion, cultural engagement and identity. The same applies to music venues. Any policy that encourages local music should be pursued. The SaveLondonMusic campaign has some great ideas to support music venues including protecting established sites from changes in land use, offer tax incentives for soundproofing venues and encouraging local authorities to ensure access to music venues is guaranteed. The campaign also calls for better planning so that music venues and residential properties can live together without hindrance.

I’m proud to be a Liberal Democrat because we put localism at the heart of our vision of Britain. We enacted the Localism Act which gives communities a greater say in the planning of their area; I’m excited to be part of the Mill Hill Neighbourhood Forum which hopes to make Mill Hill an exciting and unique place to live and visit. The Save London Music campaign has a positive vision for music in our community. Join me and support #savelondonmusic!

Alasdair Hill is a Mill Hill Resident and the Prospective Parliamentary  Candidate for the Liberal Democrat party for the Hendon Constituency. You can find out more about Alasdair and his campaign at his website

#SaveLondonMusic is a politically non aligned campaign and we welcome expressions of support and guest blogs from all Londoners who care about music.

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