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GUEST,ET Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs (506* d) RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs 18 Jan 03

There are some interesting letters in Traditional Music Magazine on this subject.....extracts below.....

From The Times, November 27 2002

Implications of new Licensing Bill From Mr Howard Jones


It is not only music in churches which is placed in jeopardy by the proposed Licensing Bill (report, November 23). The proposals will criminalise any musical performance in a public place without a performance licence. This will include carol singing, morris dance displays, and informal song and music sessions including pub sing?songs.

These are not commercial events. England's heritage of traditional music and song is in danger of being stamped out by this unnecessary legislation.

The licensing requirements have nothing to do with public safety ? no one has explained why a pub which is perfectly safe for people to sit in and talk suddenly becomes unsafe if they burst into song. Neither will it achieve its purported aim of public order ? one might think that a bar full of football fans has more potential for disorder than a few acoustic folk or jazz musicians, but a licence will not be required to show TV programmes. There is already legislation to deal with both public disorder and noise nuisance.

This legislation will do what the Puritans failed to do 350 years ago and stamp out informal music and dance in this country. Anyone who values our musical heritage and community participation in musical arts must protest against this Bill.

From The Times, November 27 2002

From Dr G. M. Leuty


On Sunday mornings the choir sings during the service at our city centre church. The Department of Culture graciously concedes that no licence is needed for this ,,entertainment".

Sometimes on Saturday mornings the choir gives a "Coffee Break Concert" for passing shoppers, with a retiring collection for a local charity. The building, music and coffee are the same, but the congregation is smaller.

In future the retiring collection may have to be spent on a licence rather than charity. What good purpose is to be served by this?

From The Times, November 30 2002

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