Essence nightclub licence suspended by Kingston Council for 28 days after mass brawl

Surrey Comet: Suspended: there will be a full review of Essence's licence next year Suspended: there will be a full review of Essence's licence next year

Essence nightclub’s licence has been suspended until the new year after a mass brawl broke out last weekend.

It comes ahead of a full review by Kingston Council and police calls for the licence to be taken away altogether.

Councillors put a stop on the licence for 28 days after hearing police testimony that the ferocity of the brawl – involving up to 30 people – matched that of the 2011 London riots.

James Rankin, a barrister representing Kingston police at last night’s licensing sub-committee meeting, told councillors a “manifest lack of control” was shown by staff after the fight began inside the club.

He added: “Not one telephone call came from the operators themselves. No call on the radio system for assistance.”

Police will press for Essence’s licence to be revoked completely, he said, before describing elements of the club’s clientele as “low-life”.

Chief Inspector Gary Taylor of Kingston police said some of his officers were “shaken up” by the violence on Saturday morning.

He added: “For Kingston it was a very big incident, unlike anything we have actually seen before in the town centre.

“We have mechanisms to debrief those officers.”

Essence’s barrister, Michael Bromley-Martin QC, blamed a recently-hired promoter for the club’s problems, and proposed a number of conditions in a bid to keep it open.

They included reducing its capacity from 400 to 300 and dropping promoter Trio, as well as giving police veto power over other promoters.

Council legal adviser Chris Warner said the seven proposals did not go far enough.

He added: “There may be a very real danger of future incidents taking place.”

 

TODAY'S HEADLINES IN KINGSTON UPON THAMES

Comments (16)

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10:09am Wed 11 Dec 13

DB says...

Great result! Now let's see if it can be kept shut.
Great result! Now let's see if it can be kept shut. DB

11:13am Wed 11 Dec 13

321200 says...

It won't be kept shut its just another Oceana- a name change will solve everything
It won't be kept shut its just another Oceana- a name change will solve everything 321200

11:56am Wed 11 Dec 13

DB says...

321200 wrote:
It won't be kept shut its just another Oceana- a name change will solve everything
Unfortunately, I think you are right.
[quote][p][bold]321200[/bold] wrote: It won't be kept shut its just another Oceana- a name change will solve everything[/p][/quote]Unfortunately, I think you are right. DB

12:19pm Wed 11 Dec 13

captain_shamrock says...

Great news.

Well done to Liz Green, her Lib Dem team and the police who supported each other to get this shut down. Working with the police, and not attacking them as the Tories have done, is the way to manage these problem nightclubs.

We all know (especially the previous 2 posters) that existing legislation means that it is highly unlikely that the club can be shut down indefinitely.

No council administration has fought harder to get Luminar and their Oceana/Prison clubs shut down permanently. Unfortunately the law is an ****, and the council were forced to back down after several months of legal action.

These shutdowns do hurt the owners right where it hurts. The multi-month shutdown of Luminar's Oceana cost them severely. The month long closure of Essence over the lucrative & critical Christmas and New Year period is a devastating, perhaps even terminal blow to this problem nightclub. Residents will hopefully have a peaceful new year.

No doubt, the club's lawyers will be working overtime, trying every means possible to make the council back down. This battle is by no means won, but hopefully residents will get a few weeks rest, and owners might start taking their resposibilities more seriously.

Going forward, the war can never be won unless this Govt starts favouring local residents over large entertainment companies and gives us the power to shut these enterprises down permantently, or at least operate on our terms.
Great news. Well done to Liz Green, her Lib Dem team and the police who supported each other to get this shut down. Working with the police, and not attacking them as the Tories have done, is the way to manage these problem nightclubs. We all know (especially the previous 2 posters) that existing legislation means that it is highly unlikely that the club can be shut down indefinitely. No council administration has fought harder to get Luminar and their Oceana/Prison clubs shut down permanently. Unfortunately the law is an ****, and the council were forced to back down after several months of legal action. These shutdowns do hurt the owners right where it hurts. The multi-month shutdown of Luminar's Oceana cost them severely. The month long closure of Essence over the lucrative & critical Christmas and New Year period is a devastating, perhaps even terminal blow to this problem nightclub. Residents will hopefully have a peaceful new year. No doubt, the club's lawyers will be working overtime, trying every means possible to make the council back down. This battle is by no means won, but hopefully residents will get a few weeks rest, and owners might start taking their resposibilities more seriously. Going forward, the war can never be won unless this Govt starts favouring local residents over large entertainment companies and gives us the power to shut these enterprises down permantently, or at least operate on our terms. captain_shamrock

12:51pm Wed 11 Dec 13

captain_shamrock says...

DB,

you seem to be suffering from chronic amnesia, or exceptional churlishness, in calling for a permanent closure when there are no means to do so.

After an epic 26 post thread on the topic yesterday, I thought you'd belatedly come to accept that the council wanted to close problem nightclubs, but lack reliable means to do so.

We also established that

1. the council does support the police

2. the Tory Mayor is responsible for policing.

3. the job of our Tory MLA, Conservative Tony Arbour is to represent our policing concerns, to ensure that we have sufficient police resources.

4. the same Conservative Tony Arbour enthusiastically supported Boris' cuts to police numbers on Kingston's streets.

5. the same Conservative Tony Arbour went further and attacked the police, saying that they just sat in the office playing Angry Birds.

I'll repost my previous reply about the legal battle to shut down the Luminar Oceana/Prison. Hopefully, it will allow you to get over your amnesia.
DB, you seem to be suffering from chronic amnesia, or exceptional churlishness, in calling for a permanent closure when there are no means to do so. After an epic 26 post thread on the topic yesterday, I thought you'd belatedly come to accept that the council wanted to close problem nightclubs, but lack reliable means to do so. We also established that 1. the council does support the police 2. the Tory Mayor is responsible for policing. 3. the job of our Tory MLA, Conservative Tony Arbour is to represent our policing concerns, to ensure that we have sufficient police resources. 4. the same Conservative Tony Arbour enthusiastically supported Boris' cuts to police numbers on Kingston's streets. 5. the same Conservative Tony Arbour went further and attacked the police, saying that they just sat in the office playing Angry Birds. I'll repost my previous reply about the legal battle to shut down the Luminar Oceana/Prison. Hopefully, it will allow you to get over your amnesia. captain_shamrock

12:52pm Wed 11 Dec 13

captain_shamrock says...

DB,

if you were fair and balanced, you'd have already pointed out that the current council is desperate to close these clubs down, but lack the legal basis to do so.

I'd have expected you to highlight that Kingston Council and the police, working together, shut down Oceana in Nov 2012 after the latest stabbing (fatal) there.

The council and the police both wanted the shut down to be permanent, but Luminar then appealed the shut down notice, forcing a reopening. The council spent many tens of thousands on fighting this legal action taken by Luminar. Unfortunately, under current legislation, the council were advised that they were more likely to lose rather than win the appeal.

Faced with this, the council, the police, and Luminar came up with some agreement that is far from ideal, but the best that could realistically be obtained in the legal circumstances. That's the grim reality of the situation today.

The law desperately needs reformed so that local commuities can decide if they want these night clubs or not, and the terms on which they operate. It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence.

I agree totally with your comments about Kingston not getting any sort of quid pro quo for hosting these leech like enterprises. I made almost identical comments to your own several years ago. Analysis of the resdience of the stab victims at Oceana over the years shows that the clubbers came from a huge area stretching from SE London to Watford.

These are not well managed local clubs for local young people, and Kingston gets nothing but trouble from having them. The quicker local communties are given real powers over the terms under which these established clubs operate, the better.

In the meantime, whilst this flawed legal situation remains, it's all the more vital that the Tories are seen to support the police on the streets of Kingston.

Frankly, it's embarassing for our town to have Tory Arbour championing cuts in police numbers and then ATTACKING the police for good measure. All the moreso when Labour & Lib Dem assembly members were fighting hard to resist police cuts in their areas.
DB, if you were fair and balanced, you'd have already pointed out that the current council is desperate to close these clubs down, but lack the legal basis to do so. I'd have expected you to highlight that Kingston Council and the police, working together, shut down Oceana in Nov 2012 after the latest stabbing (fatal) there. The council and the police both wanted the shut down to be permanent, but Luminar then appealed the shut down notice, forcing a reopening. The council spent many tens of thousands on fighting this legal action taken by Luminar. Unfortunately, under current legislation, the council were advised that they were more likely to lose rather than win the appeal. Faced with this, the council, the police, and Luminar came up with some agreement that is far from ideal, but the best that could realistically be obtained in the legal circumstances. That's the grim reality of the situation today. The law desperately needs reformed so that local commuities can decide if they want these night clubs or not, and the terms on which they operate. It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence. I agree totally with your comments about Kingston not getting any sort of quid pro quo for hosting these leech like enterprises. I made almost identical comments to your own several years ago. Analysis of the resdience of the stab victims at Oceana over the years shows that the clubbers came from a huge area stretching from SE London to Watford. These are not well managed local clubs for local young people, and Kingston gets nothing but trouble from having them. The quicker local communties are given real powers over the terms under which these established clubs operate, the better. In the meantime, whilst this flawed legal situation remains, it's all the more vital that the Tories are seen to support the police on the streets of Kingston. Frankly, it's embarassing for our town to have Tory Arbour championing cuts in police numbers and then ATTACKING the police for good measure. All the moreso when Labour & Lib Dem assembly members were fighting hard to resist police cuts in their areas. captain_shamrock

12:54pm Wed 11 Dec 13

captain_shamrock says...

I'll also repost my Quiz, as I don't seem to ahve any entries from the resident multi-pseudonymed Tory trolls that lurk here:

1. What local politician is meant to represent our policing concerns, to ensure that we have sufficient police resources? Is it

A. Marilyn Manson
B. Charles Manson
C. Patrick Bateman
D. Conservative MLA Tony Arbour


2. What local politician in June 2013 enthusiastically supported Boris Johnson cutting the number of police on Kingson's streets? Is it

A. Mollie King (clue: the blonde from The Saturdays)
B. General Pinochet (clue: you Tories know him already)
C. Ted Bundy
D. Conservative MLA Tony Arbour


3. What local politician in June 2013 famously attacked the police, stating: "Regarding the loss of police officers in Kingston, XXXXX said: “It does not matter how many you have got, if they are all sitting in the office playing Angry Birds”. Is it

A. Mylene Klass
B. Vlad the Impaler
C. Dr. Hannibal Lecter
D. Conservative MLA Tony Arbour


Answers on a postcard to Sociopaths'R'Us, c/o Kingston Conservative Association, NoSuchThingAsSociety Street, Kingston. Closing Date 22nd May 2014. No complaints of cronyism, automatic planning permission for El Gordo's consultancy clients, tax dodging, tax cuts for the rich, public sector asset stripping for Eton mates, privatised schools with unqualified teachers, NHS shambles, etc etc accepted after this date. Selfish Bstard Bullingdon Dining Club rules apply.
I'll also repost my Quiz, as I don't seem to ahve any entries from the resident multi-pseudonymed Tory trolls that lurk here: 1. What local politician is meant to represent our policing concerns, to ensure that we have sufficient police resources? Is it A. Marilyn Manson B. Charles Manson C. Patrick Bateman D. Conservative MLA Tony Arbour 2. What local politician in June 2013 enthusiastically supported Boris Johnson cutting the number of police on Kingson's streets? Is it A. Mollie King (clue: the blonde from The Saturdays) B. General Pinochet (clue: you Tories know him already) C. Ted Bundy D. Conservative MLA Tony Arbour 3. What local politician in June 2013 famously attacked the police, stating: "Regarding the loss of police officers in Kingston, XXXXX said: “It does not matter how many you have got, if they are all sitting in the office playing Angry Birds”. Is it A. Mylene Klass B. Vlad the Impaler C. Dr. Hannibal Lecter D. Conservative MLA Tony Arbour Answers on a postcard to Sociopaths'R'Us, c/o Kingston Conservative Association, NoSuchThingAsSociety Street, Kingston. Closing Date 22nd May 2014. No complaints of cronyism, automatic planning permission for El Gordo's consultancy clients, tax dodging, tax cuts for the rich, public sector asset stripping for Eton mates, privatised schools with unqualified teachers, NHS shambles, etc etc accepted after this date. Selfish Bstard Bullingdon Dining Club rules apply. captain_shamrock

2:57pm Wed 11 Dec 13

DB says...

captain_shamrock wrote:
DB, you seem to be suffering from chronic amnesia, or exceptional churlishness, in calling for a permanent closure when there are no means to do so. After an epic 26 post thread on the topic yesterday, I thought you'd belatedly come to accept that the council wanted to close problem nightclubs, but lack reliable means to do so. We also established that 1. the council does support the police 2. the Tory Mayor is responsible for policing. 3. the job of our Tory MLA, Conservative Tony Arbour is to represent our policing concerns, to ensure that we have sufficient police resources. 4. the same Conservative Tony Arbour enthusiastically supported Boris' cuts to police numbers on Kingston's streets. 5. the same Conservative Tony Arbour went further and attacked the police, saying that they just sat in the office playing Angry Birds. I'll repost my previous reply about the legal battle to shut down the Luminar Oceana/Prison. Hopefully, it will allow you to get over your amnesia.
You can trot out the same old rubbish all you like, but all I have established is that we have a council who are rendered powerless to push anything through in support of their local residents.

I think it is you who has amnesia, or perhaps you just haven't read my replies to the original story, but I DON'T CARE which aspect of the legal system or other state department is making the bad decisions and wasting time and money on this stuff.

I am not attacking the council or your precious party for what they have done, which in this case seems quite good, it is the environment which they work in which makes them largely useless to me.
[quote][p][bold]captain_shamrock[/bold] wrote: DB, you seem to be suffering from chronic amnesia, or exceptional churlishness, in calling for a permanent closure when there are no means to do so. After an epic 26 post thread on the topic yesterday, I thought you'd belatedly come to accept that the council wanted to close problem nightclubs, but lack reliable means to do so. We also established that 1. the council does support the police 2. the Tory Mayor is responsible for policing. 3. the job of our Tory MLA, Conservative Tony Arbour is to represent our policing concerns, to ensure that we have sufficient police resources. 4. the same Conservative Tony Arbour enthusiastically supported Boris' cuts to police numbers on Kingston's streets. 5. the same Conservative Tony Arbour went further and attacked the police, saying that they just sat in the office playing Angry Birds. I'll repost my previous reply about the legal battle to shut down the Luminar Oceana/Prison. Hopefully, it will allow you to get over your amnesia.[/p][/quote]You can trot out the same old rubbish all you like, but all I have established is that we have a council who are rendered powerless to push anything through in support of their local residents. I think it is you who has amnesia, or perhaps you just haven't read my replies to the original story, but I DON'T CARE which aspect of the legal system or other state department is making the bad decisions and wasting time and money on this stuff. I am not attacking the council or your precious party for what they have done, which in this case seems quite good, it is the environment which they work in which makes them largely useless to me. DB

9:57pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Beverly RA says...

Very strange remakes from Cllr Captain Shamrock.
As I understand it the Licensing Sub Committee that suspended the Licence consisted of Two Conservative Cllrs and one Lib Dem .
I also note that he made no mention of the fact that Grove ward residents were let down by Cllr Green and Cllr Merza both Lib dems who backed away from challenging Oceania after agreeing not to do so. Then holding meeting excluding the Public from taking part .
Not that this worries me. But Im sure the Grove Ward residents will not forget this treachery in a May.
Very strange remakes from Cllr Captain Shamrock. As I understand it the Licensing Sub Committee that suspended the Licence consisted of Two Conservative Cllrs and one Lib Dem . I also note that he made no mention of the fact that Grove ward residents were let down by Cllr Green and Cllr Merza both Lib dems who backed away from challenging Oceania after agreeing not to do so. Then holding meeting excluding the Public from taking part . Not that this worries me. But Im sure the Grove Ward residents will not forget this treachery in a May. Beverly RA

10:28pm Wed 11 Dec 13

kingstonpaul says...

Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny.
But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.
Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises. kingstonpaul

8:16am Thu 12 Dec 13

Beverly RA says...

Kingstonpaul, you are not along Capt Sham (look up this word) is just that.
My husband says that he must be a local Councillor or someone who works for them. He must remember if you cry wolf to often no one will believe you.
He,s now gone well past that stage but in some ways doing his Party no good.And that in some ways my be good.
Kingstonpaul, you are not along Capt Sham (look up this word) is just that. My husband says that he must be a local Councillor or someone who works for them. He must remember if you cry wolf to often no one will believe you. He,s now gone well past that stage but in some ways doing his Party no good.And that in some ways my be good. Beverly RA

10:24am Thu 12 Dec 13

DB says...

kingstonpaul wrote:
Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.
I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them.

However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks.

The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case.

Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston.

That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.
[quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.[/p][/quote]I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them. However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks. The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case. Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston. That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view. DB

3:21pm Thu 12 Dec 13

kingstonpaul says...

DB wrote:
kingstonpaul wrote:
Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.
I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them.

However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks.

The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case.

Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston.

That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.
Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now.
But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl
e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap.
[quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.[/p][/quote]I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them. However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks. The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case. Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston. That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.[/p][/quote]Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now. But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap. kingstonpaul

4:27pm Thu 12 Dec 13

kingstonpaul says...

DB wrote:
kingstonpaul wrote:
Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.
I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them.

However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks.

The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case.

Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston.

That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.
Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now.
But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl
e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap.
[quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.[/p][/quote]I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them. However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks. The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case. Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston. That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.[/p][/quote]Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now. But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap. kingstonpaul

4:50pm Thu 12 Dec 13

DB says...

kingstonpaul wrote:
DB wrote:
kingstonpaul wrote: Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.
I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them. However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks. The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case. Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston. That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.
Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now. But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap.
Good points kingstonpaul. The only thing that I can't agree with is the part about people not wanting to go to Kingston being an urban myth.

I know quite a few people who just totally refuse to go to Kingston, despite it being the most local good-sized centre to them for just this reason.

I personally agree that Kingston's nightlife has got better and more varied in the past 10 years, but people's memories are long and news of 'Kingston's biggest ever brawl' outside Essence and the embarrassing zoo-like atmosphere that you still experience when walking to the cinema past Oceana and the Kings Tun does little to convince people it has changed much.

I am sure there was even a comment on here on few weeks ago from someone that they drove to the cinema in Esher rather than walk to the one in Kingston. That is a bit of a damining indictment if you ask me when you compare Kingston's modern cinema to the old fashioned smelly one at Esher.

For me, Kingston has got a lot to offer, and I go out there a lot without any worries. It is certainly not scary like Croydon and when you think of most other centres of this size outside of London (Guildford, St Albans etc) they have all got their own bad nightclub areas. It is just a shame that Kingston seems to have become quite a centre for it in SW London.
[quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.[/p][/quote]I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them. However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks. The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case. Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston. That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.[/p][/quote]Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now. But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap.[/p][/quote]Good points kingstonpaul. The only thing that I can't agree with is the part about people not wanting to go to Kingston being an urban myth. I know quite a few people who just totally refuse to go to Kingston, despite it being the most local good-sized centre to them for just this reason. I personally agree that Kingston's nightlife has got better and more varied in the past 10 years, but people's memories are long and news of 'Kingston's biggest ever brawl' outside Essence and the embarrassing zoo-like atmosphere that you still experience when walking to the cinema past Oceana and the Kings Tun does little to convince people it has changed much. I am sure there was even a comment on here on few weeks ago from someone that they drove to the cinema in Esher rather than walk to the one in Kingston. That is a bit of a damining indictment if you ask me when you compare Kingston's modern cinema to the old fashioned smelly one at Esher. For me, Kingston has got a lot to offer, and I go out there a lot without any worries. It is certainly not scary like Croydon and when you think of most other centres of this size outside of London (Guildford, St Albans etc) they have all got their own bad nightclub areas. It is just a shame that Kingston seems to have become quite a centre for it in SW London. DB

2:12pm Fri 13 Dec 13

kingstonpaul says...

DB wrote:
kingstonpaul wrote:
DB wrote:
kingstonpaul wrote: Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.
I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them. However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks. The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case. Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston. That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.
Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now. But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap.
Good points kingstonpaul. The only thing that I can't agree with is the part about people not wanting to go to Kingston being an urban myth.

I know quite a few people who just totally refuse to go to Kingston, despite it being the most local good-sized centre to them for just this reason.

I personally agree that Kingston's nightlife has got better and more varied in the past 10 years, but people's memories are long and news of 'Kingston's biggest ever brawl' outside Essence and the embarrassing zoo-like atmosphere that you still experience when walking to the cinema past Oceana and the Kings Tun does little to convince people it has changed much.

I am sure there was even a comment on here on few weeks ago from someone that they drove to the cinema in Esher rather than walk to the one in Kingston. That is a bit of a damining indictment if you ask me when you compare Kingston's modern cinema to the old fashioned smelly one at Esher.

For me, Kingston has got a lot to offer, and I go out there a lot without any worries. It is certainly not scary like Croydon and when you think of most other centres of this size outside of London (Guildford, St Albans etc) they have all got their own bad nightclub areas. It is just a shame that Kingston seems to have become quite a centre for it in SW London.
I've stopped going to the cinemas in Kingston because there's a 50/50 chance you end up sitting next to some slob munching their way through a dustbin size stash of popcorn; or a smelly hot dog. Uugh.
Recommend the Curzon Cinemas in Richmond/Wimbledon, and better still, the new Olympics Studio cinema in Barnes with its club-class seats and drinks tables. Now these are what I call grown-up cinemas.
[quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DB[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Am I alone feeling a tad irritated by the antics of Mr/MsShamrock? A thousand words over four consecutive postings, in the space of one hour feels like a form of discursive self gratification. Has he/she not heard that less is more? As for his/her smart a*se quiz, which he/she clearly feels has a quirkish humour, it's lamentably unfunny. But, if I may pick up on one point. He/she says "It's shameful that the clubs hoover up the money, yet aren't legally obliged to pay for the police, A&E, cleaning, and vandalism bills that result from their presence". On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, but unfortunately every economic enterprise has some social cost. Should we ban McDonalds because it makes people fat? Do we ban sweet shops because the chewing gum they sell gets deposited on the streets? Do we ban cars because they kill and maim people? Clubs like Essence bring economic benefit to Kingston in the form of rates, taxes, and job creation. Patrons of the clubs also spend money in other Kingston enterprises.[/p][/quote]I agree that the approach taken by Capt_Shamrock is very bizarre. He/she seems to take every bit of criticsm given to any council action as a mortal attack on the council and the Lib Dems. I think these type of postings do the party very little good, but respect his/her right to make them. However, I personally do agree with Capt_Shamrock on the issue of Essence/Oceana. You are right that there are economic benefits to Kingston from having this type of club in the area, but for me these are outweighed by the drawbacks. The disproportionate amount of police time spent at these places costs a lot of money and arguably increases the risk of crime elsewhere because of lack of police to cover the rest of the area. The amount of money spent by the patrons in other Kingston enterprises in undoubtedly a good thing, but on the other hand I know a lot of people who won't go to Kingston town centre at all now in the evening because of the fear of violence. The Rotunda could be a lot more busy if this wasn't the case. Of course, this alone does not mean that we should shut these clubs down. It is not just an economic decision, more a decision about whether they provide an overall benefit to the majority of residents in Kingston. That is down to each person's opinion. I am biased against them because I am over 25 and would never go to one of those clubs, but would like a safer and more inviting atmosphere when I go to Kingston in the evenings. I am sure someone younger than me would have the opposite view.[/p][/quote]Agreed with much of this. The economic benefits argument can of course be subsumed by the blight these places do impose on their immediate surroundings. But clubs are testosterone laden environments, I think the only thing that has changed since you and I used to inhabit them is their much bigger scale. Although I think the notion that people avoid Kingston is a bit of an urban myth now, although I'd acknowledge ten years ago the town was a wash of clubs, bars, pubs and nought else. We have a better leisure mix now. But, much of what we see now dates back to the 90s, when local authrotities offered huge financial incentives to lesiure operators to build a night time economy. Its ally was Blair's nonsensical vision of European cafe culture spreading into our high streets, with civilised/responsibl e drinking flowing from the relaxation of the licensing regs. Fat chance. But remind me, wasn't it a Lib Dem coun council that would have been at the front end of pushing this policy through in Kingston? What you sow, you reap.[/p][/quote]Good points kingstonpaul. The only thing that I can't agree with is the part about people not wanting to go to Kingston being an urban myth. I know quite a few people who just totally refuse to go to Kingston, despite it being the most local good-sized centre to them for just this reason. I personally agree that Kingston's nightlife has got better and more varied in the past 10 years, but people's memories are long and news of 'Kingston's biggest ever brawl' outside Essence and the embarrassing zoo-like atmosphere that you still experience when walking to the cinema past Oceana and the Kings Tun does little to convince people it has changed much. I am sure there was even a comment on here on few weeks ago from someone that they drove to the cinema in Esher rather than walk to the one in Kingston. That is a bit of a damining indictment if you ask me when you compare Kingston's modern cinema to the old fashioned smelly one at Esher. For me, Kingston has got a lot to offer, and I go out there a lot without any worries. It is certainly not scary like Croydon and when you think of most other centres of this size outside of London (Guildford, St Albans etc) they have all got their own bad nightclub areas. It is just a shame that Kingston seems to have become quite a centre for it in SW London.[/p][/quote]I've stopped going to the cinemas in Kingston because there's a 50/50 chance you end up sitting next to some slob munching their way through a dustbin size stash of popcorn; or a smelly hot dog. Uugh. Recommend the Curzon Cinemas in Richmond/Wimbledon, and better still, the new Olympics Studio cinema in Barnes with its club-class seats and drinks tables. Now these are what I call grown-up cinemas. kingstonpaul

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