The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #92468   Message #1768593
Posted By: The Shambles
25-Jun-06 - 07:26 AM
Thread Name: London buskers / Licensing Act
Subject: RE: London buskers / Licensing Act
To ensure that cultural diversity thrives, local authorities should consider establishing a policy of seeking premises licences from the licensing authority for public spaces within the community in their own name. [...] Performers and entertainers would then have no need to obtain a licence or give a temporary event notice themselves to enable them to give a performance in these places.

This seems to me to be a perfectly reasonable approach. The guidance goes on to say that performers still need to seek permission from the local authority.


Forgive me but I see very reason in advising a course of action to local authorities in order to ensure that: Performers and entertainers would then have no need to obtain a licence or give a temporary event notice if the same guidance goes on to say that performers still need to seek permission from the local authority.

The fact was that prior to this Act buskers did not generally need prior permission from the local authority - according to Southwark Council's interpretation of the Act - they now do.

Whatever Southwark's view maybe on obtaining blanket Premises Licence permission for their public places - it is a strange concept and one that gives even more control to the local authority in practice. Which is partly why my local authority has taken notice of this part of the Statatory Guidance but still ignores much of the rest and the Guidance's stated reasons for them. Such as the following from the (revised) Guidance.

3.47 Move to a new paragraph (3.47A) the following existing text

"Care will be needed to ensure that only necessary, proportionate and reasonable licensing conditions impose any restrictions on such events. Where there is any indication that such events are being deterred by licensing requirements, statements of licensing policy should be re-visited with a view to investigating how the situation might be reversed. Broader cultural activities and entertainment may also be affected. In developing their statements of licensing policy,
licensing authorities should also consider any views of the local authority's arts committee where one exists."


And

3.47 After 1st sentence
"In connection with cultural strategies, licensing policy statements should include clearly worded statements indicating that they will monitor the impact of licensing on the provision of regulated
entertainment, and particularly live music and dancing"

add

"for example, by considering whether premises that provide live music or culture are represented on licensing stakeholder forums, and ensuring that local cultural officers are regularly consulted
about the impact on local culture. Where appropriate, town centre managers have an important role in coordinating live music events in town centres and can be an important source of information."

The Guidance goes through the motions at least of stating its concerns for live music and dancing - whilst most local authorities continue to do their best to ignore these concerns and their statutory responsibilities underthis Act.