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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
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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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