Council refutes film club censorship jibe

PUBLISHED: 15:46 12 August 2008 | UPDATED: 09:28 10 June 2010

TUESDAY, AUGUST 12: BUDLEIGH Salterton Town Council has denied holding a dictatorial hand over the new film society and censoring what it can show. A row broke out recently when the council asked Budleigh Film Society to submit a programme of the films it was scheduled to sh

BUDLEIGH Salterton Town Council has denied holding a dictatorial hand over the new film society and censoring what it can show.A row broke out recently when the council asked Budleigh Film Society to submit a programme of the films it was scheduled to show when it starts in the autumn.Some councillors said the move was heavy handed, draconian - and smacked of censorship. Budleigh Town Council mayor Councillor Chris Kitson said the reason behind the programme request was to safeguard the Public Hall's licence - which could be taken away if any performance breached strict legal guidelines."There's a nasty rumour going around the town saying the council wants to censor what the film society shows. This is blatantly untrue," he said. "The programme request was to make sure what's being shown is appropriate. Otherwise the licence for the hall could be withdrawn - and that means for all our activities."Concerns were raised by the council at its August meeting after the film society refused to sign a 12-point agreement outlining the Public Hall hiring conditions - which specified the town clerk would be shown details of films prior to their broadcast.The agreement would 'ensure films shown are appropriate' and allow the town council the right to request the film society 'removes films from its draft programme should it be felt the film content is, for any reason, not appropriate to be shown on council premises'.Speaking after the meeting Budleigh Salterton Film Society chairman Stuart Yerrell said the refusal to sign the agreement was because the document failed to relate more closely to the society's equipment installed in the hall. "I was a bit nervous this would be onerous and disparaging against our society," he said.Mr Yerrell said he was meeting with the council next week to further discuss the agreement, adding the films shown by the society had been regulated by the British Board of Film Classification.

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