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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Stephen Kellett Your views wanted by UK Government (21) RE: Your views wanted by UK Government 20 Apr 06

And ... "... what could be done to make the whole thing easier or better for you?" ...

Make it so that pub sessions do not require a licence. That will prevent things like the closure of the music session in village (Sutton, Ely, Cambridgeshire), which happened recently. On the one hand you have a department promoting culture and on the other you have a department actively hindering a key part of any culture (its musical heritage). Regardless of whether the minister likes the music he/she has to promote they should promote it not deride it.

You don't need nonesense such as no drums or a ban on amplification. All you need is a simple statement of X decibels must not be exceeded between the hours of A and B. You get to set A, B and X. These may different for different times of day and for different venues. A pub in the middle of nowhere wouldn't need a limit on A, B or X as they couldn't possibly disturb anyone whereas a pub in a sidestreet of a housing estate may be treated more strictly.

You'd probably need to state that it must be a free session, that is no paid musicians and no entrance fee otherwise some politician with a point to make will claim the White Stripes or The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will play my at local pub (nevermind that such gigs could be prevented by the police claiming the attendance for a White Stripes gig could create a safety/security hazard due to numbers).

If you don't need a license for a pub full of drunken football fans (that is clearly unsafe on capacity grounds) why should you need a license for ten people armed with mandolins and whistles, most of whom won't drink more than 2 or 3 pints all night? One if clearly a much greater public nuisance risk than the other and yet that one is the one receiving the more lax licensing attention. The solution is not to tighten up on the football fans.

This is not hard to do, or to get right. The fact it is so wrong at the moment is hard to believe.

Stephen Kellett.

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