From Hamish but todays the day
The Lib Dem/Conservative coalition in the Lords is under pressure. Within the last 24 hours the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have written to all Peers warning against the exemption. This development, combined with limited and somewhat irrational concessions by the Government for unamplified performance (licensable, but not subject to conditions initially) might persuade Liberal Democrats to accept the Government position and not to vote with the Conservatives tomorrow. The Conservatives will stick to the small events exemption, but unless they have the support of Liberal Democrats, or Cross Benchers, they cannot win a vote.
Lobby Liberal Democrats and Cross Benchers now!
Remember, with faxes you are restricted to ONE fax to SIX peers (names below) on this number (the Peers Lobby): 020 7219 5979.
Email Lord Redesdale, leading for the Lib Dems in the Lords: firstname.lastname@example.org, cc to Nick Harvey MP, leading on the Licensing Bill in the Commons: email@example.com .
Draft text (your own words are best):
Licensing Bill - House of Lords - Thursday 03 July 2003
Live music - small events exemption
I ask that if possible you attend this debate and strongly urge you not to accept the Government's amendments that overturn the small events exemption for live music. It cannot be right in principle that live music, even unamplified, should require licensing when the provision of big screen broadcast entertainment, or jukeboxes, can be exempt no matter how powerfully amplified.
It must be possible for the Government to devise a regime where live music, alongside other entertainments, is regulated proportionately and consistently according to risk. Arbitrary discrimination through licensing which favours recorded music is bound to restrict opportunities for live performance, particularly in smaller venues.
The police have the power to close noisy licensed premises immediately, and local authorities will have that power when the Anti-social Behaviour Bill becomes law. Local authorities already have the power to seize noisy equipment immediately, or to serve anticipatory noise abatement notices. Local authorities are also responsible for enforcing Noise at Work Regulations, which can bear down significantly on noise breakout from within premises. The Government's exemptions for places of public religious worship show that, as far as safety is concerned, it is possible to regulate performance without licensing.
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Liberal Democrat Peers (incl. some email addresses):