JIS News

The St. Elizabeth Parish Council has passed a resolution to amend the 1999 Places of Amusement Regulation, to ease the requirement for organisers of entrainment events to present an insurance agreement before they can be granted a licence to stage activities.

The resolution, moved by Councillor for the Junction Division, Cetany Holness, seeks to have the applicant sign a letter, “indemnifying the Council from any damage done to property or person as a result of his activity."

“If you were to stringently enforce this requirement that requires that every time a man is going to have a dance, he needs an insurance policy, nobody could legally keep a dance,” stated Mayor of Black River, Councillor Jeremy Palmer, in voicing support for the motion.

“If the Council insists that it will not approve any dance without the person having insurance coverage for it, or for the place, then we might see a complete shutdown of entertainment,” he added.

Mayor  Palmer argued further that if the regulation remains as is it can put grave hardship on persons, who, for generations, have been promoting small community gatherings, without major incident or injury.

He said the insurance requirement would be more suitable for closed indoor events, and not for those that take place at small outdoor venues such as community shops.

“I think that the insurance should be applicable when you are keeping the entertainment indoors… as you are in an enclosed area (where) there can be stampeding or fires, so I believe that the requirement is too wide for somebody, who is holding a little (gathering) in a shop yard,” he noted.

The resolution, which will be sent to Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government, Hon. Robert Montague, also seeks to make it the responsibility of the applicant to provide insurance with a reputable insurance company in respect of public liability, fire, and allied perils.