The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54781   Message #851384
Posted By: The Shambles
20-Dec-02 - 05:23 PM
Thread Name: PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas
Subject: RE: PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas
We know that events like these which, in Committee Chairwoman Jill Haines's words 'put the public at risk', are going on, not only in West Dorset but all over the country.

Licensing officers are like a chemical reaction. If they have two elements: 1, that an activity is happening and 2, that the premises do not have a PEL, and off they go. on an automatic and inevitable course.

For it is only these officers that generally know if premises do have PELs, if an event should be advertised.

Officers will not of course take any responsibility for this, and will pass the buck and blame the law and some poor, real or imagined complainant.

For a public complainant is not even necessary. Except to be used try and deflect any criticism away from the officers or the council and excuse their actions. This tactic does tend to work, to some degree.

But the buck remains squarely with the members of each individual council. Who as the Licensing Authority, can decide if unpaid pub customers in activities like sessions, singarounds and mumming plays, are to be considered as 'performers'.

It is to their great shame that even now, not one has decided to use the sensible definition of the word performer' that is open to them.

Licensed Premises: Entertainment Legislation

House of Lords Monday 11 December 2000

2.53 p.m. The Lord Bishop of Oxford asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 1964, members of the public count as "performers" if they sing on licensed premises; and, if so, how local authorities can enforce public entertainment licensing legislation in a proportionate manner that is compatible with performers' rights under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): My Lords, Section 182 of the Licensing Act 1964 exempts licensed premises from the need to obtain a public entertainment licence where the entertainment provided consists of music and singing by not more than two performers. Whether members of the public who sing on licensed premises count as performers is a matter for the licensing authority to decide, depending on the circumstances.

Ultimately, the compatibility of this provision with the European Convention on Human Rights would be a matter for the courts to determine. As part of our proposed general reform of the licensing and public entertainment laws in England and Wales, we propose to do away with the Section 182 provisions.