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Important - Attention All Mudcatters

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Mudcatter 19 Aug 01 - 01:33 PM
Mudcatter 19 Aug 01 - 02:57 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 19 Aug 01 - 03:12 PM
wysiwyg 19 Aug 01 - 03:31 PM
Big Mick 19 Aug 01 - 03:36 PM
Liz the Squeak 19 Aug 01 - 04:04 PM
The Shambles 19 Aug 01 - 04:10 PM
The Shambles 19 Aug 01 - 04:13 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 19 Aug 01 - 04:14 PM
Big Mick 19 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM
The Shambles 19 Aug 01 - 04:23 PM
Mudcatter 19 Aug 01 - 05:44 PM
Mudlark 19 Aug 01 - 11:26 PM
The Shambles 20 Aug 01 - 02:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 06:20 AM
InOBU 20 Aug 01 - 07:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 07:21 AM
GeorgeH 20 Aug 01 - 09:04 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 02:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 02:11 PM
Roger in Sheffield 20 Aug 01 - 02:18 PM
Murray MacLeod 20 Aug 01 - 05:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 05:56 PM
The Shambles 20 Aug 01 - 06:01 PM
The Shambles 20 Aug 01 - 07:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 07:45 PM
Terry K 21 Aug 01 - 05:18 AM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 06:03 AM
RiS 21 Aug 01 - 07:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 09:18 AM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 10:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 11:38 AM
InOBU 21 Aug 01 - 03:54 PM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 04:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 04:12 PM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 05:08 PM
Linda Kelly 21 Aug 01 - 06:32 PM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 06:46 PM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 07:04 PM
Gareth 21 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 07:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 07:39 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 03:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 05:36 AM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 01:00 PM
Roger in Sheffield 22 Aug 01 - 01:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 02:25 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 04:52 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Sheila 22 Aug 01 - 05:19 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 05:32 PM
Gareth 22 Aug 01 - 06:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 06:50 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 07:07 PM
mooman 22 Aug 01 - 07:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 08:31 PM
Alice 23 Aug 01 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 23 Aug 01 - 09:33 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 01 - 10:06 AM
Roger in Sheffield 23 Aug 01 - 01:11 PM
The Shambles 23 Aug 01 - 01:31 PM
The Shambles 23 Aug 01 - 01:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Aug 01 - 01:42 PM
The Shambles 23 Aug 01 - 02:38 PM
Gareth 23 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM
Charcloth 23 Aug 01 - 10:06 PM
GUEST,illegal musician 24 Aug 01 - 09:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 11:58 AM
Roger in Sheffield 24 Aug 01 - 01:19 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 04:12 PM
Roger in Sheffield 24 Aug 01 - 04:23 PM
Roger in Sheffield 24 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 05:02 PM
Roger in Sheffield 24 Aug 01 - 05:28 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 08:20 PM
Roger in Sheffield 25 Aug 01 - 02:26 PM
Mark Clark 25 Aug 01 - 03:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM
GUEST, Drinking Mate of Gareth's 25 Aug 01 - 07:08 PM
Alice 25 Aug 01 - 09:15 PM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 26 Aug 01 - 04:09 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 01 - 07:34 AM
Roger in Sheffield 26 Aug 01 - 11:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 01 - 11:24 AM
GUEST,Bill_ Kitchen@hotmail.com 26 Aug 01 - 12:58 PM
Gareth 26 Aug 01 - 04:08 PM
Roger in Sheffield 27 Aug 01 - 07:14 AM
Roger in Sheffield 27 Aug 01 - 01:45 PM
The Shambles 27 Aug 01 - 06:33 PM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 28 Aug 01 - 08:34 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 28 Aug 01 - 08:46 AM
Gareth 28 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 02:11 PM
Roger in Sheffield 28 Aug 01 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,confused 28 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 05:10 PM
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Subject: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Mudcatter
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 01:33 PM

Shambles needs your help.

See this thread for details

It will only take a couple of minutes, so please email the following to - ianlocke@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk

I refuse to accept that customers of all ages, sex, race or religion making unpaid music together, for the sheer joy of doing so in a public house, where the interests of the public are already assured by existing legislation, can or should be prevented.

In this activity the public's freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

Where the licensee has given permission for their customers to traditionally make music or sing, there is no additional issue of noise, nuisance or public safety, that is not already more than adequately covered by other existing legislation.

If a public house's maximum capacity is not exceeded, and all of those customers were to sing, would this activity alone make them unsafe? …..It would however make it illegal, according to WPBC policy.

This policy is that members of the public making music are performers and where there are more than two people singing along, this activity is illegal, without a Public Entertainment Licence.

Case law has not established that members of the public are performers but WPBC's policy has.

Further that traditional activities like Morris Dancing, taking place on private or land belonging to a public house, will also be illegal without this licence.

I strongly request that Weymouth and Portland Council Borough urgently re-examine both the legality and wisdom of this policy also to establish if this policy has been made in the best interests of all the visitors and residents of Weymouth and Portland?

I would be grateful for your thoughts


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Mudcatter
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 02:57 PM

The main thread gives better suggestings as to what to write in your email.

Please write something though.

This is important!


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 03:12 PM

e mail sent.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 03:31 PM

John, it helps others write if we can see what you wrote. Can you paste a copy here or in the "E-mail" thread?

~S~


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 03:36 PM

I sent one when Shambles originally asked. Happy to do it again.

Mick


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:04 PM

And a blue clicky thing to Ian's Email would be nice.... for those of us who haven't managed to cut and paste all day.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:10 PM

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:13 PM

ooops!

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

Did you ever get a reply Mick?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:14 PM

Hi Susan, I coppied the example letter that The Shambles, put in the other thread.john


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Big Mick
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:15 PM

Nope, Shambles, never heard the first word back. Didn't I send you a CC?

Mick


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:23 PM

I changed email so I would not have received your CC...... roger.gall@btinternet.com.

But I thought they may have replied, out of politeness?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Mudcatter
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 05:44 PM

So, everyone?

Why haven't you sent your email yet?

Get to it now!!!


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Mudlark
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 11:26 PM

Can't see how input from USA would help, but then, I couldn't see how it would hurt, either. So I sent them an email saying at this rate they'll be arresting parties singing Happy Birthday to a mate...

Good luck...


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:47 AM

Funny you should mention that.......

... and the bouncers were chucking them in...' This quip was a favourite of the late Ronnie Scott, who knew as well as anyone how even the best jazz gigs often fail to attract an audience.

But now it seems any pub in London that puts on live music must have bouncers on the door. This includes trad jazz, folk and traditional music.

The Globe in Hackney is one of the very few pubs that have live bands (fewer than 5% now put on more than two musicians). Landlord Steve Powell pays about £1100 a year for his public entertainment licence (PEL) that allows him to do this. Hackney council has, it seems, only granted the PEL on condition that bouncers ('door supervisors') are present whenever 'public entertainment' takes place. But Hackney is not acting alone - it is now the London-wide practice.

So bouncers must be present throughout the Globe's Sunday afternoon trad jazz session and Thursday's traditional song night.

Satellite tv is, of course, exempt from the PEL requirement. It is not classed as 'public entertainment'.

Happy birthday to you... you're nicked Some years ago, Mr Powell decided that a PEL might be a good idea after Hackney successfully prosecuted him for allowing 7 members of the public to sing Happy Birthday. This was more than the maximum two 'performers' allowed without a PEL. The maximum penalty is a £20,000 fine and six months in prison. Mr Powell got off lightly - he was fined £500 and ordered to pay over £1500 costs.

The offending occasion was indeed the birthday of one member of a (legal) singer/guitarist duo then performing at The Globe. Friends had come along to celebrate. Sadly a council enforcement officer was in the audience.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:20 AM

Can't see how input from USA would help

Of course it would help. TOURISM!!! If they get the message that this kind of policy is going to stop Americans going to Weymouth,or even stop people coming to the UK, that is a serious reason for them to worry.

It's not so much the human rights issue that should concern you - that's more for people here to sort out. No point in having Americans tell us off for it, that just invites responses about pots calling the ketle black. (P)

But if you'd rather go on holiday to places where you can join in sessions, or sing and make music when you want to, you are going to stay away from places where that isn't true, and it's only sensible to let them know so they can consider whether to change their policies.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: InOBU
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:05 AM

Sent my two cents in...
To the Director of Tourism,
Council Offices, North Quay, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8TA.
Re: Bans on Morris Dancing and control of traditional music in pubs in Weymouth...
To whom this may concern:

Traditional culture, spontaneous and planned in public places is a great part of Britain's heritage and a big reason my wife and I - and others we know, travel to Britain. The various restrictions and controls on traditional music in pubs and on Morris Dancing in the streets is antithetical -- both to the continuation of traditional culture and tourism. In Quebec City, there were attempts at the same controls, for example on busking, it resulted in a rapid decline in traditional culture. I am happy to report that several weeks ago, Quebec City was full of buskers, and there was music in most pubs, and the place was packed with tourists bringing money into the economy of Canada. I think your policies are short sighted, and I hope you reconsider.
Regards and concerns
Larry and Genie Otway
80 Saint Marks Place
New York City, NY 10003 USA


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:21 AM

Good on you InOBU, that's the way to do it.

As I mentioned in the other thread currently going about this, it looks as if the Weymouth interpretation of the law (which is not of course confined to Weymouth) should mean that public carol singing, except I in religious services, is also illegal without a PEL.

So would singing the National Anthem for that matter - now that would be embarrassing...Like that scene in Casablanca when they sing the Marseillaise in Rick's Cafe.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GeorgeH
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 09:04 AM

email sent!

G.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:07 PM

I've been checking how many threads we've had on this, because I wanted to be able to look something up, More than I'd realised:

HELP with UK Music Licencing problem? - started December 10 2000
Sessions under threat in UK? - started February 11 2001
Help: Public Entertainment Licences - started 3rd January 2001
- started 18th April 2001
Day of action for live music 19th July - started 25th May 2001
Traditional activities and the law - started 12th July 2001
Council Bans Morris Dancing - started 11th July
Council Bans Morris Part 2 - started 6th August
And of course, this one. At least, I think that is the full list.

I see what people mean about going back and finding out what has been said. I think the paperback version should be out fr Christmas...

So I reckon taking a couple of minutes sending an email isn't too much of an imposition. (Anyone who doesn't send one will be expected to read all those threads...)


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:11 PM

Sure enough I'd missed one:

Will you write an Email for Shambles? - started on 18th August.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:18 PM

If anyone can sum it up in a nutshell I am willing to try posting on the R2 website board - though it might be better if someone else does it as I am off to a session (get 'em while they last) in about 15 minutes


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:36 PM

This issue is certainly of the greatest importance, but I find it extremely difficult to believe that Mr Powell was fined £500.00 simply because seven members of the audience sang "Happy Birthday". I can smell an urban legend a mile off and this sure smells like one. Any competent lawyer would have got him off such a charge.

As I say the issue is of the greatest importance, but let's stick to the facts at all times.

Murray


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:56 PM

Hard to get in a nutshell. Here is my effort, and it'd need a coconut. A pretty large coconut.

Our freedom to sing and make music is under attack by bureaucrats. All over the country there are people who like to come together for sessions in which we play music or sing together, for our own enjoyment.

But some pubs which allow this have been threatened with enormous fines. Some local councils are insisting that this counts as public entertainment, rather than social relaxation. They say that a special Public Entertainment Licences is needed before you can have even a sing song.

There's even been a case of a pub in London where the landlord allowed customers to sing Happy Birthday, and it cost him £2000 in fines and costs.

And down in Weymouth in Dorset a publican who applied for a licence to allow a session to continue got one - but he has been told that he can no longer allow Morris Dancers to dance outside the pub except for one session in the year.

The law needs to be changed to stop this kind of bullying. And councils which go in for it should be stopped in their tracks by ordinary people. You don't get this sort of thing happening in the rest of Europe.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:01 PM

There are many facts that I have not memtioned about the situation here locally that you may find it difficult to believe, unfortuntely they are all true.

The source for that story was Hamish Birchall who has been compiling many of these 'horror' stories. Given my experiences of the way some of our officers behave, I have no doubt that it is true. I shall bring his attention to your doubts, when he returns from holiday.

We trust in the common sense and integrity of our officers and it may be difficult to believe that they can act in the fashion described? I think you should at least give Mr Powell the benifit of the doubt, until you have some evidence to the contrary.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:06 PM

Sorry Kevin you missed another one Making music is illegal


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:45 PM

And hee is another one I missed:

MAKING MUSIC IS ILLEGAL - started 21st April.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Terry K
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 05:18 AM

I emailed a Simon King with a copy to Ian Locke. King responded with a fairly institutional answer saying how they promote live music in Weymouth. He skimmed over a reference to a report in the Dorset Times about some publican in Portland who had an issue with his PEL.

Interestingly, he said they are organising a Folk Festival for next year. I replied to him with the warning that if the festival is anything like, say, Whitby, then the best part is the informal sessions that break out in the pubs, where the landlord may or may not have a PEL. I have asked him what their policy will be in that instance.

Cheers, Terry


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 06:03 AM

Great news! It has take a letter from a fellow Mudcatter to obtain the news that Weymouth and Portland Borough Council will be organising their own Folk Festival.

It gives us the chance to have both a new festival and a new council policy.

For how can such a festival, where fringe events and sessions are so vital to enable it be a success, be so with such a policy?

Will you play there, visit and support it, with such a policy?

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. Will you let them know your view?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: RiS
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 07:14 AM

It seems that our local council is not session friendly either and problems occur when sessions are advertised in the press. So is this a national nonsense that needs a change in policy at a higher level?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 09:18 AM

The3 short answer is yes, a change in the law nationally is needed (and the right change in the law) but in practice Local Councils have the discretion to use their common sense. Some appear to have very little common sense indeed. Weymouth is by no means the only one like that, unfortunately.

For the long answer, take a week off and read through those threads I gave links to.

It would be helpfl if people could log up here on the Mudcat instances where local councils are particularly obtuse and unhelpful about this.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 10:22 AM

Current legislation does not force councils to do this, as they claim.

This is made clear in the following quote from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton), replying on behalf of HM Government to a question from The Lord Bishop of Oxford, in The House of Lords Entertainment Legislation Debate Monday 11 December 2000.

"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" .

If we all now can focus and put pressure on one such authority (WPBC, a tourist resort) where officers have taken the action based on members of the public as performers and compromised the members into endorsing it, we can start a precendent that will prevent all the other councils from repeating it.

Please write and ask them to defend this policy or change it. Many people have and it is making quite a difference already.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 11:38 AM

And there is a bulletin board on the Weymouth Council Website.

I don't know if this - topic the right to make music, and the fact that Weymouth Council's policy is probably going to stop peoople coming to the town for holidays and so cost the locals money - has come up there yet...


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 03:54 PM

I hope Mr: Gilmour does not mind me sharing his reply to my email with you good folks... but, here it is from the Weymouth council...

Before you judge us you may find it useful to know the position in Weymouth, and I would be delighted to supply you with the facts.

Weymouth is fully committed to the arts, not just in rhetoric, but in actions.

We provide a fully funded 1000 seat theatre, with a wide ranging programme from the Yetties to the Bolshoi Ballet. The Ocean Room (again provided by the Council) can accommodate 400 with a stage.
Last year we held a FREE two week music festival on the beach with professional and amateur musicians across every spectrum of music.
We have produced a Cultural strategy for the Borough and are currently consulting with the community to ensure that it reflects their needs and desires.
We have an Arts Development Offices dedicated to working with groups in the community.

These are not the action of a Council that is opposed to the arts.

For your further information over 80 of the Public Houses in the Borough have an Entertainments License as is required by law. The Council did not make the law, but is required to enforce it. As to the cost, the pub you describe with a small group of people coming together would pay 55 pence per evening for their license, hardly extortionate. I should also point out it is not the pub who are objecting to having an entertainment license, but it is one of the musicians.

Having provided you with the accurate picture, I would ask you in return to tell your friend what an enlightened and fun loving council we are.

Yours

Peter Gilmour
Publicity & Community Liaison Services Manager

MY REPLY (larry and Genie that is...) Dear Mr. Gilmour:

I appreciate your prompt reply to my email and my concerns. I understand the difficulty in accommodating the various interests in a complicated community. This is a topic with which I am very familiar as a folk artist in New York City, playing in the Irish tradition (I play the Uilleann pipes). We also have very strict licensing laws which cover music in pubs, most likely even more stringent than those in Weymouth, and certainly more costly to procure a license.
However, traditional music is often the unintended victim of license. For the most part they have been brought about to deal with the excessive noise from rock bands. It produces the opposite effect, in that the pub (bars more to the point here in New York) go for the dependable big profit of rock bands to pay for the license, and the quite traditional evening is hit squarely in the pocket book. As a result, New York, once a Mecca for folk music, is all but bereft of good folk venues.
I don't seek to pass judgment on your work as a council person. Rather, I hope you realize the fragile treasure of traditional music and take care that it is not the unintended target of laws which seek to control the more rowdy forms of entertainment (well let us say less organized rowdiness as we are considering Morris Dancing in all this...). The end product of loss of the original traditions of so many places which seem to some of to be a viral infection of American culture world wide. All the very best,
Larry and Genie Otway


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:00 PM

Thanks Larry

This appears to be the current standard reply?

I trust that you are now completely satisfied that Weymouth and Portland is such a wonderful place?

First off the number of pubs with PELs has risen somewhat. The figure supplied in March 2000 was only 71. They may have been busy 'encouraging' since then but it is worth a challenge. It would be nice to know the exact number. It would be nice to know the percentage too as this seems a large amount, compared with only 5% nationally? Why is that I wonder?

I do not understand the stuff about cost. Why should one have to pay anything to provide your own music? Who are you paying and for what? The cost of the licence is paid by the licensee anyway.

Of course it is only a mere musician who is objecting to having an entertainment licence.

Some suggested questions for Mr Gilmore.

1 Is it true that the licensee maintained for three months that the session did not require a PEL?

2 Is it true that the licensee has recently written to The Licensing Manager to point out that he only applied for the licence under duress on 01/02/01, as this was the only way the council would permit the session to continue?

3 Is it true that on the 15th December 2000 the council's legal section sent a letter to the licensee warning that if the session continued without a PEL, this would result in prosecution. With the possibility of a £20,000 fine or a six month prison sentence?

4 Is it true that the council considers that more than two members of the public singing together are performers and illegal in a pub without a PEL?

5 Is it true that the council are aware of that current legislation does not force them to do this? As is made clear in the following quote from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton), replying on behalf of HM Government to a question from The Lord Bishop of Oxford, in The House of Lords Entertainment Legislation Debate Monday 11 December 2000. "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"

There is more but that is enough for now…. He does not mention a folk festival next year?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:12 PM

I notice he completely avoided the point about Morris Dancing, where, when the pub he is talking about did apply for a PEL (a fact of which he is clearly unaware), they imposed restrictions that would sop them from having Morris Dancers except on one occasion in the year.

Still I think we've got them on the back foot. I still haven't had my answer yet.

The key thing is, that quote that Shamble gave above from the House of Lords is a killer - The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton), replying on behalf of HM Government to a question from The Lord Bishop of Oxford, in The House of Lords Entertainment Legislation Debate Monday 11 December 2000.
"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"

That completely undermines Mr Gilmour's glib response "The Council did not make the law, but is required to enforce it".

I like the friendly tone of your response.I think the Mudcat is good for developing the firm but friendly response muscles.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 05:08 PM

The following E mail from the Licensing Manager explains the Morris being prevented by the PEL being obtained.

"I am afraid that I had to rely on E-mail (which I sent to you at 8.20 a.m. this morning) as I did not have your telephone number and you are not in the directory. I can assure you that there were no "last minute behind the scenes manoeuvrings" and I find it regretful that you are so suspicious of the motives of professional Council Officers.

A compromise was reached which all objectors and the applicant were more than happy with and as you were a supporter of the licence being granted I assumed that you would be happy with the outcome (obviously mistakenly).

The terms are that Mr. Flynn will confine public entertainment to within his building. The only exception to this will be the annual charity event which will be allowed to be held outside until 6 p.m. in the evening. Morris dancing will continue to take place outside.

I explained to you last week that this Hearing would not be an appropriate venue for you to air your views on everything you perceive to be wrong with licensing law. I am led to believe that you will be receiving an invitation to speak to the Social and Commmunity Committee at some stage. In these circumstances I cannot agree that you have been denied an opportunity to address any of your concerns.

I hope this clarifies the situation but I would like to explain to you that I am finding it increasingly difficult to devote time to responding to the barrage of queries you are sending me. I hope you will appreciate that there are other licensing matters which I am employed to deal with which may now have to take precedence over this matter".

The idea was that the Morris could (legally) take place on land not belonging to the Cove. This was a narrow strip of sea wall with a 2 mtr drop to the beach. The licensee considered that this was not safe and held it on the Cove's land.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 06:32 PM

Same reply -patronising wasn't it? I think he completely missed the point and told him such.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 06:46 PM

Well yes it was patronising............. I don't really notice it anymore...They do not seem to learn?

This is a bit more from Hamish on the wider front.

It's not only folk and jazz gigs that get it in the neck from local authorities.

On Wednesday 1st August, a performance by the Con Tempo string quartet, due to take place at Waterstones bookshop in Hampstead, was prevented at the last minute by Camden council - because the venue did not hold a public entertainment licence (PEL). Technically even one musician's public performance is illegal in any premises (other than pubs and on-licensed venues where up to two performers are allowed without a PEL).

Camden's press office confirmed yesterday that its licensing department intercepted a promotional flyer from Waterstones on 26 July. Waterstones' Hampstead manager, Francis Cleverdon, had only days to warn pre-booked ticket holders by phone that the live music might not take place. Even the quartet itself was unsure whether or not the performance would be allowed. They turned up on the night in full concert dress, instruments in hand. Tickets for the event had sold out a week before. But as 100 guests, including VIPs, took their places, the cancellation was confirmed. A CD recording of the Amadeus quartet was played instead.

The live music was to follow a reading from 'Married to the Amadeus: Life with a string quartet' by Muriel Nissel, wife of Professor Siegmund Nissel, one of the founder members of the legendary Amadeus quartet. Professor Nissel himself also gave a talk.

The members of the Con Tempo quartet, originally from Bucharest, are currently in their third year as Foundation Chamber Music Fellows at the Royal Academy of Music. Already reckoned as among the best string quartets in the world, Con Tempo has won numerous international prizes, performed for Prince Charles and the Pope, and will record a CD and various radio broadcasts later this year.

Camden's interference does not sit well with recent public statements about its PEL enforcement policy. A letter published on 15 June by the Hampstead and Highgate Express, sought to 'correct any misleading impressions by recent press coverage' about Camden's interpretation of the 'two-in-a-bar rule' in pubs and restaurants. It also made broader claims.

'I can assure your readers that the Council wishes to encourage aspiring young musicians rather than limit their opportunities,' wrote Robert Scourfield, Assistant Director of Environment and Consumer Protection. 'Camden clearly has a responsibility to enforce the existing law and aims to do so in a sensible and properly targeted manner. Our officers have many responsibilities and do not spend their time looking for unlicensed entertainment... The idea that the Council is over-zealous in its enforcement is based on the experience of two or three promoters in a handful of the many pubs and clubs in Camden which organise entertainment without any problems.'

ENDS

The places and faces may change but the patronising bullshit remains the same........


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 07:04 PM

"I should also point out it is not the pub who are objecting to having an entertainment license, but it is one of the musicians".

It has been easy for them to dismiss "one of the musicians".

This is what is running through my head. But the first part is not true and the second is not true either.

For they have now received many objections from my Mudcat friends, who may only be musicians but, this one is not alone anymore. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 07:23 PM

First of all - please cross reference to this thread

click here

Secondly for reasons I've explained in that thread HIT THE COUNCILLORS Politely and Reasonably - by snail mail as well as E Mail

Try Here the Weymouth and Portland DC You will find Councillors addresses though if you bundle letters in one envelope to the Council offices - address =
Members Services
Weymouth & Portland Borough Council
Council Offices, North Quay, Weymouth, Dorset, England, DT4 8TA

It will be cheaper

Also on the Website you will find a bulletin board. USE IT !

You will also find a comment board/guest book under Tourism. Use It

Now come on you Cousins - The threat of the loss of the US Dollar hurts towns in Britain - To mis-quote Churchill ( or was it FDR ) "the time has come for the New World to come to the rescue of the traditions of the Old World"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 07:37 PM

That's good, the Con Tempo quartet! When they start hitting posh music events, it brings in people with political and media muscle. Like the Pope and Prince Charles. (Well the Pope used to sing Folk Songs - and I can just imagine Prince Charles in a Morris side...)

Though in fact they've a much stronger case for saying this event was public entertainment, because it obviously was, and in a bookshop there actually could be public safety issues.

What we want is a string quartet that wants to play for fun in a pub or a cafe, and that gets shut down by the jobsworths.

As you point out Shambles, under the present law, if playing for free in public counts as public entertainment, than a PEL is required for even one person singing or playing or dancing pretty well anywhere outside their home. (And you'd could well even need one in your own garden.) Pubs with two performers allowed are actually less restricted than the rest of the country is.

It's a grotesque law, and is therefore almost certainly illegal, I believe. But then that's all been said, time and time again - however I say it again because most people won't have read all the threads, and might be under the assumption that this is primarily about what is allowed in pubs.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 07:39 PM

But here is a link to the Weymouth Civic Website with its own Bulletin Board open to all. Not as good as the Mudcat, but almost as easy to use.

So why not move over and add your comments to the thread Gareth has started there, Folksinging and Morris Dancing in Weymouth ? Or the one Roger Gall (aka in these parts as The Shambles) has started Folk Festival?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 03:22 AM

I received a rather disspointing reply from Dr Kim Howlls MP. The Minister (at Culture) responsible for licesing law.

The question I asked (via my new MP) was only about the (still only proposed) reforms, when my question was what are they going to do under present legislation to ensure that council's are in complience with ALL their responsibilities.

As this was not reffered to I can only assume that the answer is nothing.........

I will post the whole thing soon.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:36 AM

The good thing about the fact that politicians never answer the question is that it means you can always slap in a supplementary question.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 01:00 PM

Thanks for all your efforts. But the pressure must continue and grow if at all possible.

The council have never taken this challenge to their authority seriously, thinking that as it was only one musician they had to deal with and he would eventually tire. If the pressure now dies down and fizzles out, their tactic will have been successful. That cannot happen. For it is only US that cares……

You will have seen the official line that has been given to many of those who have written. You will see that the same tactic is being used.

This can be done as it is not done in public. The local paper does not wish to publish any more on the subject, for fear, I assume of upsetting the council who do pay for a lot of advertising. Can we try and get this debate in the public view?

If you express your opinion of Mr Gilmour's position in the local press (and everywhere you can think of) and just copy it to him, even if it does not get published, the council will not know this for sure. If enough short emails or letters are written, with your full address (and phone No), it will make their tactic much more difficult. Especially if you are not local and say you will not be visiting until the policy changes. For they will not wish to be pressured by local Hoteliers and businesses.

Letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

I will post all those that are published (if any).

We have to try and get them to defend their policy that more than two members of the public singing along together, count as performers and will be prevented without a PEL. They have yet to debate it or try and defend it……………They will look ridiculous if they try and they know this.

They hide behind the claim that the law makes them do this, the law does not.

Thanks to everyone for what you have done but we have to keep the pot stirred, and as publicly as possible.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 01:28 PM

where do we find any precedents on this?
I am searching Hansard and have only found this so far


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 02:25 PM

That's an interesting parliamentary exchange Roger in Sheffield - even though it goes back to 1992.

The MP Hugh Bayley is Labour Labour MP, who in the quote complains about "an absurd anomaly that section 182 of the Licensing Act 1964 requires a public entertainment licence where more than two live musicians gather at a venue such as a public house, but not when a discotheque is held there or, worse still, when muzak is played on the pub's loudspeakers" is still MP still for the city of York.

I think it would make sense to email him quoting the exchange, and putting him in the picture about sessions. ("inspiring young musicians indeed - rank age prejudice showing there. I found two emails for him - I suspect the second just gets the agent): hughbayley-york@geo2.poptel.org.uk Hugh Bayley johntaylor@cityofyorkclp.new.labour.org.uk

The MP for Weymouth is also Labour, and he's called Jim Knight, and his email is: jim@labour4dorset.net Jim Knight.

I found those email addresses (well, not the York agents one) on thi site

MPs respond best to people who are their constituents, so I suggest we pick out our own, and harry them.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 03:05 PM

House of Lords Entertainment Debate December 2000.

The governments proposed reform have yet to appear in the Queen's speech. They are unlikely to come into effect until 2004 and there is no indication that the situation for live music will be any better under these anyway?

Traditional events and folk music will be completely overlooked (as usual), if we don't stand up and make our views heard.

What does your MP think?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM

I noticed in that quote from the House of Lords where Lord Bassam of Brighton (!!) says: "We worked with the Local Government Association earlier this year and jointly published guidance to local authorities on how to act on these matters. We are working very closely with local authorities to ensure that fair enforcement is carried out."

Now here is a link to a webpage linking to this guidance:

"The finalised Conditions and Explanatory Notes are published below (August 2000). These documents were not prepared by the LGA, and any queries on them should be made to Dr Colin Manchester, University of Birmingham, email: manchecd@law.bham.ac.uk"

I think we should take him up on that invitation: "any queries on them should be made to Dr Colin Manchester".

The specific query should be specific I suggest, namely "What is the definition of "public entertainment", and would that include people singing or maming music together for their own enjoyment in a pub or a cafe? And do the guidelines specifically address this point? (I mustbadmit I haven't read it yet, but I very much doubt if it does address the point.)

Since this is information-seeking rather than lobbying, I would suggest that a single email is appropriate, rather than all at once - and I think Shambles, as the person who is at the heart of this, might be the person to send it.

Good luck with the Chief Executive tomorrow anyway (if that is still on).

Still not many on that Weymouth bulletin board. Though it is getting quite interesting.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 04:52 PM

Just skimmed through those LGA guidelines. Lots of stuff about hypnotism and about lap dancing, but our sort of stuff doesn't seem to get a mention.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 04:53 PM

Yes tomorrow it is, thanks I think I will need it.

Is THIS (on Trevor Gilson's site) not the final results of their labours?

Dr Manchester has been consulted. he is of the opinion that there is no case law determitive of what a performers is. Hamish Birchall has the details...


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,Sheila
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:19 PM

E-mailed. Thanks for the links. You made it easy for us.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:32 PM

Thank you Sheila. I will thank you here as I can't send tou a personal message of thanks as you are a guest.

Will you let us know if you receive a reply and what that reply is?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 06:02 PM

Interseting Links - a point to bare in mind is the financial cost to the Council. They may set the licence fee to cover costs - But not to generate income To do so would be beyond thier powers - and a case for the District Auditor. Perhaps some W&PDC resident could make the proper complaint particullay in view of Shambles comment that the Council will not provide the information.

Secondly the cock up in issueing the licence for a short term is definitely one for the Ombudsman - as I understand matters the Publican need not be the one to complain, anybody effected can complain.

By Law the Council has to provide the address of the Distric Auditor, and the Ombudsman's Office responsible.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 06:50 PM

"There is no case law determitive of what a performabce is" - so why the bloody hell didn't he write a definition in his proposed guidelines for the various authorities to kicjk around and agree on? These academics are supposed to use their brains aren't they?

Rhetorical rant over.

Looking through the House of Lords stuff, what struck me was that, every time they came up with an example of the current law being used inappropriately and repressively, the response from the good Lord Bashem or whatever his name is, was that such stupid things couldn't happen, and they'd involve a perverse interpretation of the law and so forth. And he was talking about the kind of thing the Chief Executive is going to be defending.

Go get 'im!


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 07:07 PM

I take your point but to be fair, a definition is not the same thing. What it means (I think), is that case law that has not determined what a performer is.

They could come up with a definition but until it was tested in court, it would not be determinative.....

Lord Bash'em indeed.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: mooman
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 07:50 PM

Dear Shambles,

Living as I do in Brussels (though not a Eurocrat I hasten to add and I am certainly not a legal expert) and while reading through this and other threads concerning this nonsense "law", I wondered whether I might do some enquiring to check whether this outmoded, outdated and patently ridiculous UK legislation infringes some European law.

Maybe someone has already done this but perhaps it could be an additional angle and I am happy to initiate some enquiries if needed.

Best regards,

mooman


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:31 PM

True - but such a definition would be appropriate within what are meant to be guidelines. A council acting within these guidelines would have a good defence against the accusation that it was acting arbitrartily and unbreasonably. And vice versa.

The court could always decide in any case that the guidelines were mistaken in their interpretation of the actual law.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Alice
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 12:00 AM

Shambles, I added a couple of messages to the board. I hope it helps. Good luck.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 09:33 AM

Glad to see so much input on this thread.

A footnote about the Con Tempo quartet and public safety: in previous years Waterstones in Hampstead had put on live music to accompany book readings on a fairly regular basis. The recent interference by Camden is a first for them.

The public safety issues (of having 100 or so people sitting listening to the readings - or music) would have already been addressed. As a 'workplace', under existing safety legislation, employers have a statutory duty to undertake risk assessments that take into account ALL actitivies on the premises. They must then ensure that appropriate safety measures are implemented.

Irrespective of whether that activity requires a PEL, the local authority is the enforcing authority for this safety legislation. They must inspect workplaces, and if they find that health and safety is not properly managed they have the power to request that improvements be made or that the activities stop until the required standards are met. These inspections may cover 'practice or presentation of the arts, sports, games, entertainment or other cultural or recreational activities...' [para 9, Schedule 1, Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998].

This same principle applies to pubs or bars - they are all 'workplaces' for the purposes of safety law.

In short, there is a perfectly adequate legislative framework already in place to address the safety issues of live music in pubs. In this context, PELs are merely duplicating an existing provision. This has been the case for at least 10 years.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 10:06 AM

I don't think Ken Livingstone should be left out when it come to making out views felt about this kind of nonsense. Especially by Americans and other swho mioght feel that this is a reason to go to other capital cities when on their travels.

Here is an extract from the relevant website for the London Mayor:

Getting in touch by letter or telephone The address of the Mayor and Assembly is:

Romney House
43 Marsham Street
London SW1P 3PY
Tel: 020 7983 4000
Minicom: 020 7983 4458

Hours of operation will be between 0830 to 1800 Monday to Friday.

Getting in touch by email
If you have a question that you wish to raise with the Mayor, you should send your correspondence to:

mayor@london.gov.uk

Getting in touch by fax
Fax number: 020 7983 4057


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:11 PM

I know its probably in one of the other threads but the whole passage that the Lord Bassam quote comes from is wonderful - has anyone sent the whole passage (highlighting the important points) to the council?
invite the local authorities not to behave in such a silly manner?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:31 PM

I presented it personally into the Chief Executive's hands a few hors ago. The important bits were indeed underscored in red. He has got the message now........

He did not appear to know about it. Which is a little annoying as I presented to them via my councillor in January 2001.......

I basically requested that they accept that whether more than two members of the public were performers and to be prevented without a PEL, was now their policy.

I asked them to defend it or change it. They are to consider and come back.

The fact that they are even considering anything is a great leap forward and due almost entirely to your efforts. Please keep the pot stirred??

I will come back with more details when it has all sunk in.....


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:40 PM

The following was sent to WPBC.

Dear Mr Gilmour

I realise that you are paid to emphasise the positive in Weymouth Borough Council's arts policy. But it requires special gifts to reconcile the description 'enlightened and fun loving' with a council that puts local amateur music-making under covert surveillance, and then prevents its performance on the basis of case law from 1793 - even where there were no noise complaints, and no public safety risks.

Any decent licensing lawyer, not under council employ, will tell you that there is no need to interpret the law so restrictively. The handful of 18th and 19th century case law precedents cited in support of the Council's enforcement policy bear little relevance to contemporary informal folk sessions in pubs. Indeed there is one case, Brearley vs Morely (1899), conveniently ignored by Weymouth, which would appear to be in the musicians favour.

In this context, being 'fully committed to the arts' really does sound like rhetoric. What would seem to be a more accurate statement is that Weymouth is fully committed to providing the arts on its own terms, rather than fully committed to allowing the community to make its own cultural life.

The hint of a somewhat patriarchal, and patronising treatment of the local community tends to be reinforced by your comments about Weymouth's 'cultural strategy'. The production of a Cultural Strategy for the borough should follow wide-ranging consultation with the community - not, as your statement implies, the other way around.

A senior Weymouth police officer said to me that he would rather see the council strictly enforce public entertainment licensing conditions in nightclubs than come down heavily against innocuous live music in local pubs.

And one significant fact you do not mention is that the premises that cause most nuisance to local residents already hold public entertainment licences (PELs). That is because having a PEL is an administrative prerequisite before a Late Opening Certificate can be granted.

Yours sincerely

Hamish Birchall


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:42 PM

Well done!

He did not appear to know about it. Which is a little annoying as I presented to them via my councillor in January 2001

Well, it could be that he might find it equally annoying. "Those idele bastards landed me in it!" I can imagine him saying to himself.

Anyway, it sound as if things might be moving. Did he give any indication of when they'd "come back". I seem to remember you wrote something about a consultation process that they put back to happen in September.

Another possible front occurred to me - the Rotten Borough page in Private Eye. The idea of a council stopping people singing in pubs should be the kind of things they'd enjoy poking fun at.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 02:38 PM

Even better news. both Allison's and Jacob B's leeters were published in the Dorset Evening Echo today 23/0801...

Plus another one of mine and a photo of poor old Brian, the licensee, (who is now trying to keep a low profile and was not mentioned in any of the three letters).

Thanks again. I think they may come back pertty soon if these letters keep on coming.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM

McGrath - Private Eye is a good idea - but if they run true to form, it will be "Bearded Beer Drinkers V The Council" not that that will matter much.

If you go digging on the Weymouth Web site You will find a tourists guest and comment book.

Not a bad place to hit with your comments I Would suspect

In mean time - Polite letters to the local Councillors - by snail mail will help - the address of the Council Office is on the Website. There's plenty of munition on this thread - and cross ref with This Thread

I say snail mail as never underestimate the difficulties that some/many local government councillors ( elected) have understanding and using E-Mail.

Gareth

PS funny example - during General Election Party Offices somewhere in South Wales. Telephone rings Councillor X answers. "I sent [name of Candidate] an E-Mail yesterday, and I haven't had a reply !". "Oh!", says X, "I'll see if it's in the post today. What Colour envelope was it in ?" - Warranted true - I know 'cos I was there !"


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Charcloth
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 10:06 PM

sent one hope it helps. Charcloth


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,illegal musician
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 09:30 AM

just contacted the local council and they say 2 people fine otherwise a PEL needed, I explained why I thought sessions should be exempt but they were not interested, they just enforce the law
Then I tried the local councillor whos advice was keep quiet about it to which I explained that it is the principle. Next stop the MP
What exactly was the law made to prevent?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 11:58 AM

Probably designed in the first place to stop people singing songs in taverns in support of the rebellious colonials in America, or Bonnie Princ Charlie or some other 18th century priority...

Essentially, it's there because it's there because it's there - and nobody has made sufficient fuss about it to bring about a change. Inertia.

If anyone reads through the threads about this (which I listed with links on 20 August at 7.21 on this thread, with a couple added in later), especially with the links to Hansard and so on and so forth - they'll know far more about this than any councillor or MP or Minister they'll come up against. So you'll win the arguments, but that's not good enough to win the war.

If keeping the law this way can be made a nuisance, I imagine it'll change, because it's not really to anybody's positive advantage to keep it the way it is. And if it ever gets into a court which has to take Human Rights into consideration, the current law hasn't a chance.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 01:19 PM

I put a message up on the Radio 2 message board
Please feel free to add more info to it, links and web addresses aren't allowed though

Roger


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:12 PM

Deputising for The Shambles as he has gorn away over the Bank Holiday weekend - Yes he needs a break !!

Herewith the text of the letters published in the Echo this week.

I put the JPG file Roger sent me through "TextBridge v9" and then "Word 2000" Any mistakes are mine.

I will put a Webpicture of the Newspaper up later tonite - if I am sober enough.

Music policy is down to council WILL the borough council please finally explain to the people of Weymouth and Portland why they choose to hold a policy that considers more than two members of public singing along together in a pub as performers? As a consequence this activity is illegal and will be prevented without a public entertainment licence (held by only six par cent of licensed premises) .

This stifle policy also prevents Morris dancing on private land. Current legislation does not force them to do this, as they claim.

This is made clear in the following quote from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Home Office (Lord Bassan of Brighton) replying on behalf of HM Government to 2 questions from The Lord Bishop of Oxford in The House of Lords Entertainment Legislation Debate (Monday, December 11, 2000) "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." (I have supplied the council with the full minutes of this debate).

This clearly demonstrates that as the licensing authority it is the council's decision and councils policy alone. Why do we have this ridiculous policy? If the Council is not pre pared to defend it! then will they please take urgent steps to change it before many more valuable act activities are lost ?

ROGER GALL Wakehan Portland

Make song and dance on policy

I HAVE recently learned that public houses in the Weymouth and Portland area are being discouraged from holding music sessions and from having Morris dancing.

My understanding is that the discouragement takes the form of requiring the public house to get an entertainment licence for an open music session.

On my last trip to England Morris performances and music sessions were the most enjoyable parts of my visit. I look forward to bringing my family for a visit. But I certainly would want avoid any parts of the country where these things were not available.

Can you tell me if there is any chance these policies will be reversed soon?

JACOB BLOOM Arlington MA. USA

I AM an American Morris dancer folk Singer and music teacher looking forward to a visit to England next summer to make music with friends new and old, not as a paid performer but as a friend among friends. I am distressed to learn that the age-old tradition of making music in a public house is being threatened by what seems little more than bureaucracy .

A licensed house can only benefit lit from peaceful music making or dancing, and indeed, could suffer from Overly-stringent laws requiring public entertainment licenses, I strongly request that Weymouth and Portland Borough Council urgently re examining both the legality awl wisdom of this policy and also establish if this policy has been made in the best interests of all the visitors and residents of Weymouth and Portland.

I do hope to visit and sins and dance in the home of my ancestors, freely and without fear of reprisal!

ALLISON ALDRICH COBB Keene, New Hampshire USA

Hope this HTML works

If it don't can a Muslef/Joclone please fix or delete

Gareth - for The Shambles

and Roger - if you see this over the weekend you owe me at least three choruses of Crawshaw Bailey


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:23 PM

I was going to give Weymouth Council a link to the R2 forum so they can debate in public, if the BBC don't delete it first


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM

Gareth any chance you could send me copies of the JPEG? I am putting together some background info to give to my MP and councilor

Roger


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:02 PM

Any other mudcatter wanting the picture PM me but folks

Here it is

Gareth


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:28 PM

Thanks Gareth I realised as soon as I posted that I would be able to grab the pictures off the webpage you just put up


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 08:20 PM

The Shambles is away and computerless untill Tuesday, he has asked me to continue in his abscence - don't know why - there are others who are better at this than me !

And if Catters are being bored by this - well your folk night may be the next to suffer !!

Well thank you all - I've been a bit naughty and checked up the traffic figures on the Website since putting it up.

Nice number of hits but joking apart.

The battle in not won, we need to continue the fight, so if you have a moment or two to spare keep those Emails and letters comming in

The addresses of Weymouth Councillors and the Bullitin Board can be found Here

An E-Mail to the ( ianlocke@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk )Director of Tourism

An E- Mail to the cheif executive of the Council tomgrainger@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk ( what used to be known as the town clerk

And the Local paper, the Dorset Echo letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

It takes little effort to copy an E Mail !!!!!!!!!!!!!

NB if the Echo runs true to most local papers the letters section will close for press at about 1700 hrs GMT on the Monday of each week.

Remenber it's not just those bits published that count. Its the continued pressure that counts - this is why we ask you to keep it comming, and spend the odd postage stamp on letters to Councillors.

Have a good, musical weekend y'all

Gareth


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:26 PM

Friday afternoon I sent this to Tom Grainger

I am still at an utter loss as to the purpose of taxing pubs (by way of PEL) that support our musical heritage. Do local people realise that council employees are employed for such farcical duties - hardly best value. The lack of response from your council departments seems to suggest you have no answers. Please give me some justification for this mean spiritedness towards people who wish to express themselves musically. I am really trying to understand but I am guessing the Law was created to prevent some problem and folk musicians have not been exempt? Is there no interpretation in the Law for the council to give leeway to folk musicians. I am getting fairly angry about this as no one seems to want to explain the situation to me




Fairly Quickly a response arrived
from Tom Grainger Cc Sue Allen
I'm not sure what you've been told or your source of 'information', but it is entirely untrue to suggest Council officers have not supplied answers or explained why a PEL is needed. One of the Council's Committees had a report and a discussion in June on the subject. Both the report and the discussion were in public. I can supply a copy of the report if it of interest to you- just supply your address.

The issue is quite straightforward. The relevant Act says that if there is entertainment carried out, then a PEL is needed, unless it is covered by certain exemptions. The exemptions covers several things - including some religious activities and performances by less than three people. The purpose of the legislation is primarily to ensure public saftey (eg numbers attending) or noise dosen't become a nuisance.

Where entertainment is regularly provided (eg most weeks) and that entertainment is provided by more than two people, then unless other exemptions apply a PEL is needed. Over 80 pubs in Weymouth & Portland have PELs. The cost to many pubs is quite low - typically #180- pa. The Council has also said that if local musicians have views on how the law should be changed will collate these and pass them on to Government.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Mark Clark
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 03:07 PM

Here in the States, I believe such licenses are controlled by each municipality, not by county or state governments. Of course if the establishment is not within the boundaries of a municipality, then the county government has jurisdiction.

It's typical in most U.S. jurisdictions to require a license to serve any alchoholic beverage and an additional license, often called a cabaret license if live entertainment of any type is to be featured. Some jurisdictions have one license for serving beer and wine and another more expensive license for serving liquor. Of course a license to serve any food is another expense altogether.

On top of the licenses, enforcers from the local musician's union may insist that any entertainers working in an establishment be members of the union and be paid union scale. On top of that, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) representatives will come around to collect royalties for any copyrighted music performed in the establishment. If the owner doesn't have a verifiable list of titles and times played, they have the option of paying a flat fee to ASCAP sufficient to cover any contingency.

Of course there are also the guys in fedoras and dark glasses who make sure every establishment has a jukebox and a cigarette vending machine supplied by their chosen “service” operation.

And still people gather to sing... go figure.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM

Just send my previous, unacklowledged email tomian ,ocke with copoy to Tom Grainger, with addition:

I sent this email on 18th August. However, since I haven't had a reply or acknowledgement I am sending it again in case it went astray.

Since sending this I have been doing a certain amount of investigation through the internet, and am a bit clearer about the situation.

The essential question is, am I right in understanding that there are in fact no circumstances in which it is possible to sing or play a musical instrument, (apart from the case where this is being done within a private home with no visitors, or in the course of a music lesson), when this will not be counted as "public entertainment" by Weymouth Council?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST, Drinking Mate of Gareth's
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 07:08 PM

Sorry if this seems a bit fuzzy. I've just had pint or so in Gareth's company down in the village pub. He gave me this Wed address to look at.

Now I'am not a folk fanatic, and if you have ever Gareth singing you will know why. More to the point the local drunks started singing, and it was not entertaining.

On the other hand there were 4 of them. Having had G bending my ear on section 182, then the Landlord was in danger of prosecution. That this bunch should have been prosecuted for cruelty to music was a matter any jury would have convicted on. On the general point I agree, about Public Entertainment. There is something wrong, and it's up to all of us to make the protest.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Alice
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 09:15 PM

In my message posted to the Weymouth board on their website, I mentioned that I was considering adding an advisory to my website for musicians traveling to Britain to play and sing in public sessions - Weymouth or anywhere else where this is a problem should be known to folk musicians in order that time and money not be wasted on visiting a spot where music can't be played. I have added a link at my website HERE. If anyone could give me a list of SESSION FRIENDLY towns in Britain, where singing and playing is encouraged, let me know, and I will post a list of places where musicians are Welcome!

Alice


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 04:09 AM

Re McGrath's question:

Even one musician playing is illegal without a public entertainment licence if the 'performance' is open to the public. The legal interpretation of the word 'public' can be a bit fuzzy, but a gig in a nursing home, if it were in the reception area, could be counted as public.

The exceptions to this general rule are:

a) if the music is part of a religious service b) on Crown land c) up to two live performers in on-licensed premises (but be warned: any combination of live and 'recorded sound' which includes MIDI, is illegal without a PEL)


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 07:34 AM

That's my understanding, Hamish - the problem is to get them to admit that in so many words.

Though in fact it could be a bit more extreme than this, if you go by the resposne Shambles had to one of his letters to Weymouth, when he was told:

A performance of music and dancing taking place in the open and on private land i.e. land to which the public has access only with the permission of the owner, will be subject to SS3 and SS4 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 (Schedule 1), which requires a licence to be granted by the Local Authority.

And to me that looks very much as if they are saying that even if the public is not admitted, it could still need a Public Entertainment Licence. For example, if you had something happening on your own garden by private invitation, such as a party or a wedding reception.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 11:08 AM

One thing I am still not clear on is this
Is the Council able to interpret section 182 sensibly or are they not allowed to interpret it?
Basically is the council(s) behaving badly or are they tied by the legislation?

What else can you suggest I get my MP to look at to enlighten him? I am going to show him the Guardian article, one from Folk on Tap, the Dorset Echo letters page and the Lords discussion.
Also back up this thread I was told The purpose of the legislation is primarily to ensure public saftey (eg numbers attending) or noise dosen't become a nuisance. surely this is a nonsense as both these matters are covered by other laws?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 11:24 AM

"The purpose of the legislation is primarily to ensure public safety (eg numbers attending) or noise dosen't become a nuisance." Surely this is a nonsense as both these matters are covered by other laws?

I think the thing is that back in the 18th century there weren't the other laws. But in bringing in new laws about these things, noone ever seems to have thought it worth looking at the old ones - and it's when the two work together that you get this kind of nonsense.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,Bill_ Kitchen@hotmail.com
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 12:58 PM

I've just discovered this e-discussion,and I thought that I'd mention that we run a very successful folk/blues/roots accoustic session in a public house here in Brightlingsea, Essex (now in 4th year)often with as many as 15 musicians playing together (plus free drink and food for performers) in case anyone is interested in joining in, we hold it on the 3rd Thursday every month 8 til 11 pm. For further info, phone me Bill @ 01206304245. Hoping some of you get in touch, cheers.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 04:08 PM

Alice - nice, and accurate, coment on your website.

Roger - as I interperet matters in the light of Home Office 2000/13, and Lord Bassam's comments councils do have discretion in this matter.

And know I am of to the pub to have serious words with my drinking mate over my singing !!!!

Gareth


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 07:14 AM

Have I missed something? what (and where do I find) Home Office 2000/13 Gareth?

I have just finished a letter to my MP and have included the relevant documents from the links given here and elsewhere – discussion in the Lords, Guardian article, Dorset Echo Letters etc.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 01:45 PM

I found 2000/13
so far the jobsworths are searching through the local press, just hope one day they don't start searching the web...it would be hard to deny the evidence of pictures published innocently into cyberspace


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 06:33 PM

The Council has also said that if local musicians have views on how the law should be changed will collate these and pass them on to Government.

Why?........ Are not the council in agreement with the current legislation, that they claim makes them count members of the public as performers, for the sole reason of preventing sessions and Morris without a PEL?

Good try to pass the buck, but Lord Bassam's reply makes it clear that the buck stops with the licensing authority i.e the local council. Do they not then agree with their own policy?

But whoever is to blame, the next session here that comes to their attention will be prevented if the licensee does not obtain a PEL.

The future of traditional cultural events is also the local authorities responsibility.....What are they going to do about it?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 05:30 AM

They have had this local musician's comments for over eight months. I am not aware that these have even been read, let alone collated or passed on to central government?

I was not awake last night. Mr Grainger's reply to Roger in Sheffield, was after our meeting, which was on the Thursday.

He does not appeared to have replied to anyone else?

What's in a name? Maybe he thought this Roger had gone to Sheffield?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 08:34 AM

It is quite true that the stated purpose of the legislation relating to public entertainment (Local Government [Miscellaneous Provisions] Act 1982) is to maintain public safety and control noise.

But it is also true that for many years there has been very effective separate legislation that addresses both these issues. We are also shortly to get the Police and Criminal Justice Bill which will give police officers the power to close nuisance premises on the spot.

For most live music in pubs, PELs are duplicating existing legislative provision.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 08:46 AM

Expert opinion re councils' separate legal powers to deal with noise and nuisance issues. The following quote is from leading licensing solicitor Peter Coulson, also a columnist for pubs trade paper 'Licensee and Morning Advertiser':

'...the police and local authorities now possess powers to control or curb noise and nuisance, to close premises which are the source of disturbance, or to revoke licences. Justices have the power to impose a restriction order to curtail hours where they think it necessary for the protection of neighbours'.

From Licensee and Morning Advertiser, p 18, 16 August 2001.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Gareth
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 01:49 PM

I retrieved the following off the Radio 2 massage/bulitin board,

re: Session legal? - PEL - session tax? Mel McClellan - HOST - 28 Aug 2001 10:33 - 25th post There's been a lot of coverage about PELs in the folk press lately and action is being taken. The EFDSS and Musicians' Union backed a Musicians' Day of Action in July and various groups have been set up, eg. The Campaign For Live Music, to battle the legislation. If lots of us get involved, maybe we can make a difference

Look as if some results are starting to come through

Here is Clikky for Radio 2 board Click here
please note that you will have to register.

And don't forget those E Mails clickkys in thread.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 02:11 PM

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. Don't forget to copy your emails to The local paper letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

Also the WEYBOARD (to be found on the above link), now has some interesting discussions.


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 04:07 PM

Can a new thread(s) carry this on now its taking ages to load


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: GUEST,confused
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM

and I am getting confused between this issue and the mudcat future threads. Can the follow on have a title that is more obvious as to what its about?


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Subject: RE: IMPORTANT -ATTENTION ALL MUDCATTERS
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 05:10 PM

Thanks for your help o' confused one.

Click here for Write an Email for Shambles Part 2


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