I'm a mother. I love my son. I want what's best for him. But I have to find the balance between leaving him to live his own life: have fun, take risks, make mistakes; and knowing when it's time to step in, stand up and speak out in fighting for his safety. Now is that time.
The Warehouse Project (WHP) is planning to take over Mayfield Depot in Manchester and turn it into the biggest rave cave in the world by Autumn 2014. My son has just started university in MCR and I'm worried sick over the serious risk this poses to his safety. Furthermore I feel obliged, indeed compelled, to do more than fight for my own son, but help mothers and fathers alike fight for their own children by informing them about things they may be unaware of and what they can do about it.
Disturbingly WHP haven't been overt about their plans, instead opting to veil their intentions behind an application by The Addy Consultancy. It is now known to be fact that it is intact WHP behind the application. That resolved let's detail the concerning problems this poses.
You may have heard about the recent tragedy and hospitalisations that have occurred at WHP this year and all at the evil hands of a lethal new drug epidemic. The problem I have is that this underground rave club is infamous throughout the nation's student population as the go to place for clandestine clubbing. This very club culture was born out of an underground scene specifically curated to allow for partying outside of society's rules and regulations - I'd even go as far as to say that WHP's entire brand is founded on the sub-culture of drug-taking and hard partying.
I'd be a fool to think this kind of problem could be eradicated entirely from every student's life, but I gravely fear that the vast expansion of WHP into Mayfield encourages this dangerous behaviour out of the realms of risky experimentation into the territory of mainstream partying - this petrifies me.
To be fair to the organisers, they invest an enormous amount of effort, time and money into making their event as safe as they can and have responded to the recent tragedy with resounding resolve, pulling out every stop to try their best to stop people falling foul to these devastating drugs. But this level of retaliation draws my attention to that age old idiom, there's no smoke without fire.
WHP are only having to fight so hard, harder than any other club, because it's their very rave, more than anywhere else, that attracts exactly the kind of dangers that need fighting. WHP is currently teetering on the very sharpest of knife edges and that's in a venue with a 5000 capacity, located outside of the city's tempting centre. Imagine the risks involved for our children if WHP were allowed to double their size at Mayfield Depot, providing the largest rave cave in the world right in the city centre and smack bang next to a major train station.
If that wasn't bad enough, there's a wave of new age drugs hurtling straight toward our children. One in which criminal chemists spend their days sneaking one step ahead of the law - tweaking a newly illegal drug to allow it to slip under the fence without a damn care in the world for the associated dangers. There are so many different drugs now, some masquerading as "legal highs", that it's more likely than ever before for young people to get into serious trouble.
Although not new, a nightmarish example of the black market's determination to skulk past the law on their road to immoral money comes in the fatal form of PMA. Due to a crack down on the chemicals required to make MDMA (Ecstasy), devilish dealers have turned to more available substances and the result is the aforementioned and significantly more dangerous drug, PMA.
In the last 10 months this horrific chemical has been connected to 7 deaths in the North West, with a further 4 connected to some derivation of Ecstasy and the latest at WHP to "bad" Ecstasy. This problem needs managing and fast. My firm and insatiable opinion is that WHP's Mayfield will simply bare a breeding ground for this unpredictable, savage and unforgiving gang of drugs.
I'm not suggesting we simply shut down WHP and other clubs like it and be done with the matter. I want my son to make memories with his new friends, but I want them to be good memories and most of all I want him to be here to long enough for them to be memories.
The solution to me is simple, the growth of WHP needs to be curbed with a measure of responsibility, ethics and morality. I'd like to say that they'll do that themselves by u-turning on their decision to move into Mayfield, especially given the laudable stand point they've vehemently adopted in the media recently. However I fear the seductive lure of capitalism may be too tempting for them to resist. That's where we come in, the parents of the students who'll be most at risk if this is allowed to happen. We really can make a difference.
By making a formal objection to Manchester City Councillor's Licensing Committee our voices will be heard, a difference will be made and we can sleep at night knowing we fought for our children when it mattered most.
Please feel free to discuss any and all matters in this thread, I'll be more than happy to answer questions, quell concerns and get into a good old bit of debating.
PLEASE OBJECT TO: firstname.lastname@example.org Please make objections by: 14th OCTOBER 2013
When detailing your objection please consider: 1) Is it going to be a safe environment for staff, customers and the public? 2) Does it add to rather than detract from its environment? 3) Have the organisations behind the application established a dialogue with the local population?
Sorry for taking a little time to respond to your comments, I've been very busy with the campaign, which is going very well.
I've now joined forces with another campaigner who's focusing on the broader issues of WHP operating in Mayfield. Hopefully this will balance the arguments I have to make in a wider context. The feedback I've had on Mumsnet has certainly helped in that regard too - Thank You.
Just for the record, I'm not a rival club promoter, although I understand why you might think so. I am a resident of MCR. but I'm not local to Mayfield.
All said and done, It looks to me that Mumsnet is not the right place for me make my case. Although this thread has seen much disagreement, the responses I've been witnessing elsewhere suggest that there is much support for this cause. Student accommodation providers Liberty, Unite and Opal all object, and Manchester Metropolitan University vehemently objects - they suffered the tragic loss of one of their students, Souvik Pal, at WHP back in Jan. In addition, the Fire Safety Chief is in the process of conducting a survey of the building amidst concerns that the building is not safe, whilst the NHS is considering their objection in light of several members of staff having to receive counselling after the recent influx of WHP casualties.
This is my first experience on Mumsnet and I have to admit it's been a difficult one. For the sake of other first timers may I remind all you regular Mumsnetters of a particular part of the troll policy:
"Unfortunately, it's not always immediately obvious whether a poster is, in fact, a troll. We all tend to be a bit suspicious of new folks posting things of a sensitive or inflammatory nature, but we would rather Mumsnetters erred on the side of giving folks the benefit of the doubt, and risked being made to look a bit foolish once in a while, than pounce on someone who may turn out to be genuinely in need of help. We hope you agree."
julieleigh there are a number of Mumsnet local sites - there should I'm sure be one for Manchester, where you'd be able to find people local to the area who have more in-depth knowledge of the area and its specific issues.
No-one on this thread wants youngsters to be at risk of drug-related death or injury, but I think it's fair to say there is a lot of disagreement about how we (as a society) go about tackling the problem.