The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54781   Message #850239
Posted By: The Shambles
19-Dec-02 - 07:49 AM
Thread Name: PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas
Subject: RE: PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas
Dorset Evening Echo 18 December 2002
Editorial Comment

Wanted: Some common sense.

So MUM is no longer the word in Cerne Abbas – not indoors, at any rate.

Morris dancers, who have staged their traditional Christmas mumming play in pubs for many years were told this year by council officers that there was no room for them at the inn.

After an apparent complaint to West Dorset Council that the event did not have a public entertainment licence, the dancers found themselves out on the street.

Many people's first reaction may be to say that the council was being heavy-handed, but councils, with responsibility for applying the licensing law, have a difficult balance to strike.

They are required by the Government to enforce the law, but will always find themselves under fire if they do it with too heavy a hand.

The episode certainly reinforces the arguments of those who are calling for a review of the law surrounding entertainment licenses on the basis that the current legislation is simply too petty.

We do need legislation which balances a light touch with a concern for the real issues of public safety at all places of entertainment which are likely to draw a crowd of people.

It is common sense, you might think, but sometimes common sense is difficult to express in law.

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