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Killed by the PEL system Part 2

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McGrath of Harlow 26 Sep 02 - 04:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Sep 02 - 04:16 PM
Gareth 26 Sep 02 - 06:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Sep 02 - 07:32 PM
Noreen 07 Oct 02 - 09:10 AM
The Shambles 07 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Oct 02 - 02:11 PM
Noreen 07 Oct 02 - 02:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Oct 02 - 02:39 PM
The Shambles 08 Oct 02 - 05:18 AM
Mr Happy 11 Oct 02 - 04:56 AM
The Shambles 11 Oct 02 - 05:11 AM
The Shambles 11 Oct 02 - 09:01 AM
The Shambles 11 Oct 02 - 09:08 AM
The Shambles 13 Oct 02 - 04:24 AM
The Shambles 13 Oct 02 - 04:32 AM
BanjoRay 13 Oct 02 - 08:49 AM
The Shambles 13 Oct 02 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 14 Oct 02 - 07:11 AM
alanww 14 Oct 02 - 09:27 AM
The Shambles 14 Oct 02 - 08:15 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 15 Oct 02 - 12:46 PM
GUEST,Mike Cahill 15 Oct 02 - 01:40 PM
fiddler 15 Oct 02 - 01:46 PM
fiddler 15 Oct 02 - 01:48 PM
The Shambles 15 Oct 02 - 04:03 PM
pavane 16 Oct 02 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Chris Timson 16 Oct 02 - 01:22 PM
The Shambles 16 Oct 02 - 01:27 PM
The Shambles 16 Oct 02 - 02:08 PM
fiddler 16 Oct 02 - 03:48 PM
GUEST,Pavane 17 Oct 02 - 07:27 AM
The Shambles 17 Oct 02 - 11:10 AM
The Shambles 20 Oct 02 - 09:01 AM
pavane 20 Oct 02 - 10:22 AM
The Shambles 20 Oct 02 - 04:21 PM
The Shambles 18 Nov 02 - 02:49 AM
The Shambles 18 Nov 02 - 07:47 AM
ConcertinaChap 20 Nov 02 - 08:07 AM
The Shambles 20 Nov 02 - 08:28 AM
ConcertinaChap 20 Nov 02 - 09:54 AM
The Shambles 20 Nov 02 - 02:24 PM
ConcertinaChap 21 Nov 02 - 08:31 AM
The Shambles 22 Nov 02 - 07:11 AM
The Shambles 22 Nov 02 - 08:07 AM
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Oaklet 23 Nov 02 - 05:04 AM
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The Shambles 27 Nov 02 - 01:31 PM
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Subject: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 04:12 PM

This thread was getting a but long, so here is part two.

The idea is that this thread is for people to report cases of sessions and clubs and so forth being harassed by the Englkis Public Entertianment Licences system. Closed down, or told they aren't wanted etc - the kind of thing that people like MPS don't think happens - and even folkies don't think it happens until it happens to them. This thread is evidence that it does happen.

For discussions about the various issues, it'd be better to use another thread (and someone put in a link to a suitable one maybe?)


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 04:16 PM

To put Part 2 in front of Part 1...


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 06:34 PM

Interestingly "VIZ" Magazine - a monthly publication in the UK of mainly purile and anal retention jokes and cartoons seem to hav picked up the problem - see this months.

They do get some very good hits, but you have to wade thru a lot of dross.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Sep 02 - 07:32 PM

Here's a link to the Viz Magazine website - I couldn't spot any two-in-a-bar stuff. The Fat Slags as folksingers maybe...strewth!


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: Noreen
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 09:10 AM

The International Concertina Association has been stopped by the two-in-a-bar rule from holding a lunchtime pub session before its AGM in Ruishton, near Taunton on Saturday 2 November 2002. What an abomination!!


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 01:24 PM

Can you supply any more details of this one Noreen?

The papers may like a headline like 'The Big Squeeze or suchlike.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 02:11 PM

Since Taunton is in Somerset it'd time in quite well the Kim Howells little episode earlier this year when he slagged off Somerset folkies. Here you've got Somerset local politicians joining in the act, and that's the kind of thing to build a story round. (And I note it's a Liberal Democrat controlled council.)


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: Noreen
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 02:26 PM

The Shambles: Try contacting Chris Timson at chris@harbour.demon.co.uk. He posted the following on the to the ICA groupchat line:-
HI all,

I have just spoken with the landlord of the Ruishton Inn, who was going to host the lunchtime session on the Saturday of the AGM weekend. It seems the authorities in the Taunton area are creating problems over performing in pubs, and he has been told that if more than 2 people play he is in trouble as he doesn't have a Public Entertainment Licence, or PEL. So, with regret, he cannot now host the lunchtime session.

As many of you may know, this is an increasing problem in England and Wales, and it is difficult not to feel bitter about it (no, why should I resist, I *do* feel bitter about it) and I think the ICA's committee should make representations about this on behalf of the membership, along with all the other interested parties. In fact, I personally would welcome a motion from someone at the AGM authorising the committee to do a little campaigning on this.

There is a web site devoted to the issue: http://www.twoinabar.co.uk/

In the meantime if anyone has any useful suggestions as to what we may
do I would be glad to hear them. Our fallback of course is to play in
the village hall, but it's not the same...

Chris
--
       Chris Timson       Have concertinas, will travel
             and            Our Home Page:      
http://www.harbour.demon.co.uk
       Anne Gregson       The Concertina FAQ:
http://www.concertina.info
      
       "Sir, more than kisses, letters mingle souls" - John Donne




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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Oct 02 - 02:39 PM

Somerset County Council website including a Guest Book.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Oct 02 - 05:18 AM

The session that never was

It would be nice to have a few details here, of this incident.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 04:56 AM

shambles,

does the new proposed law include self made 'entertainment' in pubs etc other than music & singning? like pub quizzes, darts, doms,chess, pool,etc?


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 05:11 AM

http://www.culture.gov.uk/new_responsibilities/liclaw.html.



The details can be found above, but a one word answer to your question would be no. Only live music and or dancing.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 09:01 AM

The monthly acoustic session at the Blue Bell (John Clare's old pub) in Helpston village got hit last night Wed 25.9.02 by Peterborough City Council. pete.shaw@(nospam)peteshaw.co.uk

I asked for some details that could be circulated and Pete Shaw has kindly supplied the following.

It looks like the pub was warned in Apr and promised to carry out PEL works but, due to the illness of the licencee, did not. The monthly acoustic music session does not run in the summer anyway. Two Council mini-Hitlers turned up for the Sept session and closed it down, telling the Blue Bell (the pub next door to John Clare (1793-1864), where he worked and probably played his fiddle) that they may now be prosecuted.

The situation there appears to be delicate one and it is important not to risk anything that may make matters even worse for the licensees.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Oct 02 - 09:08 AM

http://www2.phreak.co.uk/tlio/history/clare.html#Mores.

The link exlains who John Clare was and his peom The Mores,(actually about the enclosures but could well be about this issue), hits the mark.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 04:24 AM

"The International Concertina Association has been stopped by the two-in-a-bar rule from holding a lunchtime pub session before its AGM in Ruishton, near Taunton on Saturday 2 November 2002. What an abomination!!"

Re the above, I asked Chris Timpson the following.

It would be helpful if you could supply a few details. I see that this is not the first such event you have organised and advertised, so how and why are you having trouble now? Did they visit

He replied

Briefly, the AGM of The International Concertina Association was planned
to include a session at a local pub (in Ruishton near Taunton) with the
agreement of the landlord. Subsequently he backed out because another
local pub had been fined a lot of dosh for a PEL violation. I know no
more details than that. The AGM of course is still going ahead, and will
include a motion for the ICA to associate themselves with campaigning to
reverse this idiotic situation.

Best regards,

Chris Timson


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 04:32 AM

PEL threads links to all of them


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: BanjoRay
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 08:49 AM

"The International Concertina Association has been stopped by the two-in-a-bar rule from holding a lunchtime pub session before its AGM in Ruishton, near Taunton on Saturday 2 November 2002. What an abomination!!"

So, it's not all bad then!
Ray


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Oct 02 - 12:44 PM

The above comments are Chris Timson's own, he would like to make it clear that he is not speaking on behalf of the ICA.

At the AGM of the ICA next month there will be a motion on the subject authorising the ICA to get involved in the campaign, but it hasn't yet been passed.

The following from the originator of this thread.
The idea is that this thread is for people to report cases of sessions and clubs and so forth being harassed by the Englkis Public Entertianment Licences system. Closed down, or told they aren't wanted etc - the kind of thing that people like MPS don't think happens - and even folkies don't think it happens until it happens to them. This thread is evidence that it does happen.

For discussions about the various issues, it'd be better to use another thread (and someone put in a link to a suitable one maybe?)


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 07:11 AM

As just sent to my MP (I've been busy)

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard McD. Bridge [mailto:mclaw@btinternet.com]
Sent: 14 October 2002 11:01
To: Marshallandrewsr
Subject: Government Ban on Folk music


Dear Mr Marshall-Andrews

I have recently heard of further local authority attacks on acoustic folk music. These are by no means the first.

I entirely support the goverment's efforts to ensure that electrically amplified music is properly controlled to prevent noise and social disturbance to those living near pubs - but the fact of the matter is that there is no equivalent case to control acoustic unamplified music. Unamplified music is not like amplified music.

It does not create enough noise to need noise control.
There appears to be no (sic, no!) documented case of antisocial behaviour of any kind at or in connection with an entirely acoustic music event.
It does not attract the hurly burly of crowds to necessitate special safety measures, and, in any event, pubs should be safe up to their licensed maximum capacity (and yes, the law does permit the setting of maximum capacities, do not believe assertions to the contrary), so folk music in pubs does not need any kind of safety regulation.

The current goverment plans will enable local authorities to insist on measures being put in place as a condition of a licence for premises with an operating plan including acoustic music. These local authorities are the same local authorities who are closing down acoustic music venues at the moment. Their tendency and instinct is towards regulation.

The government says that it will create statutorily enforceable codes of conduct to prevent local authority over-regulation. This is not an answer to folk music's problem. If a local authority becomes over-zealous (and history teaches that that is extremely likely to happen) then it will refuse a licence for premises inclusing acoustic music in their operating plan until specifed measures are put into effect. The landlord or pub chain has a stark choice: -
1.        Shut
2.        Remove acoustic music from the operating plan
3.        Comply and bear the cost of the measures; or
4.        Litigate.

As a lawyer you will be able to predict the relative impact of the cost (and risk) of litigation on, on the one hand, the landlord or brewery and, on the other hand, the local authority. To the former it is a matter of life-and-death or a substantial provision in the accounts. To the latter it is a mere bagatelle.

This is not a matter of speculation. It is a matter of experience. User groups of rights of way are, by reference to costs risks, regularly oppressed by local authorities and prevented from obtaining their statutory rights.

Accordingly it is wholly predictable that the new licensing regime, as it stands proposed, will add to the costs of presentation of folk music. It will evidently tend to damage it. My experience is that it is likely to destroy folk music as a living art form. Much the same applies to folk dance, although the difficulties of definition are greater there.

To promote a scheme with such effect is not a proper exercise of power by a ministry of culture. It will in fact be harmful to the British cultural heritage, and it will also be harmful to the wider social environment.

I appreciate you are busy with the Cliffe Airport proposal which also greatly concerns me, but I should value knowing of your continued support on this issue.



Yours sincerely

Richard McD. Bridge


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: alanww
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 09:27 AM

I'll be at the ICA AGM on 2 Nov and will be pleased to report back on any resolutions passed.
" ... for now he's free to run and play!"
Alan


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Oct 02 - 08:15 PM

More info from Pete Shaw

I'm writing to you upon behalf of Alan Wood (Woody) who has run the monthly acoustic music and song session at the Blue Bell, Helpston.

Apparently Sue, licencee of the Blue Bell, was visited by the Local Authority at the end of last year and told of works that had to be carried out to allow the acoustic sessions to continue - there being more than two people "performing" in the course of one evening. I understand that she agreed to carry out works and was given a provisional PEL to June. The folks in the session raised £200 odd to help her a little towards the works. Due to illness or whatever, the works were not completed nor a renewed PEL applied for.

When the session restarted in September after the summer break, it was visited and closed down.

The situation now is that Sue has to be interviewed by the local authority and has been warned that she may be prosecuted. Letters of protest to the local paper (Peterborough Evening Telegraph) will not result in a new item because Sue has not returned any of the paper's calls (said the paper last week). At the moment therefore, sessions cannot be held at the Blue Bell.

Woody would like to see if the session will work elsewhere, and will run a "one off" just over the local authority border in South Kesteven, at the Horseshoe pub, in Thurlby (on the A15 between Peterborough and Bourne, just south of Bourne.

He has decided to change the night to Thursday. The first of these will be held THURSDAY 24th OCTOBER 2002. Whether there will be any more, and what night depends upon the attendance, enthusiasm and wishes of those who turn up.

If you can make it, please go along.
If you can't, ring Woody on 01778 560497 before or after the day with your comments.
Future details of any continuing session will be posted by Colin Turner on the Peterborough Folk Diary http://www.pborofolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 12:46 PM

I wrote to my MP again after another alert from ROger Gall.

Roger's alert follows, then my letter to my MP.


ROGER SAID


Subject: Council fears new fees too low!


Please note that this article states that the officer quoted here, sits on the sub committee that is now drawing up the new Bill.

From Morning Advertiser (26/09/02),

Council wants local discretion' to recover £2.5m costs of overseeing licensing
Camden to lobby for fees leeway
BY PAUL CHARITY

Camden Council is to lobby the Government for "leeway" in charging licensees to process liquor licence applications when licensing is transferred to it after reform. The council will see the number of licences it oversees leap from 300 to 1,500 after reform and believes its running costs may rise from £500,000 a year to £2.5m. It wants "local discretion" to be able to recover its costs in fees.

PELs cost an average of £1,000 to £1,200 in Camden but two or three premises pay £20,000 a year - it has been suggested by trade leaders the licence fee will be a maximum of £300 after reform.

"It can't be a blanket fee if we are to recover our costs," said Trish O'Flynn, Camden licensing and safety manager.
The council also believes that it will need two or three years for the job to be transferred to it smoothly - the Government wants a one year transition period.
O'Flynn, who sits on the subgroups drawing up the licensing bill, said: "If the money isn't there the whole system is going to seize up with people waiting inordinate amounts of time for their licences to be processed.

"The London boroughs, in particular, are arguing for a higher fee, because our running costs are that much higher. I know the industry is pushing for the lowest fee level. But if there's no leeway there, then ultimately, it's the licensees that will suffer because their licenses won't be processed."

O'Flynn thinks that boroughs like Camden, with an "articulate population very interested in licensing" might see many more reviews of licensed premises requested by residents than a rural authority, which could add substantially to Camden's costs.
On the issue of the transition period, she said a 12-months period meant the council would have to be issuing 25 licences a week. "We're suggesting a two or three year transition period."
Camden's lobbying campaign will also argue for greater sovereignty for local authority policy. "We Want to look beyond individual premises to the cumulative impact of premises. Government policy is that there should be less discretion for local authorities than now."
Currently, applicants for contested PELs in Camden can expect to wait all average of six months for a decision. "That's why we would like to see the transition staged over two or three years, so you get them arriving 50 at a time or something. It'd be very difficult to process [1,500] all at once."
O'Flynn believes a number of local authorities will not be as prepared for reform as Camden. "Everybody needs to understand the complexities of the situation. We're planning ahead - it worries me that not every borough is doing that."

Camden Council is to push ahead with a cheaper "unplugged PEL licence" as part of its new "Night in Night Out" licensing policy. The licence is aimed at pubs which want to showcase acoustic, folk and jazz performances. It would cost just 25% of the normal PEL fee.
The licence requires less paperwork and limits premises to a 100 capacity and a midningy terminal our.
Camden licensing and safety manager Trish O'Flynn said "It's a regular music and dancing licence but with a condition that says there's no amplification whatsoever of any part of the performance. The licence conditions relating to noise will be simpler for licensee and for the officers who are enforcing it."

Pictured above is Billy Bragg, who has campaigned for a relaxation on rules governing live music in pubs.

Pub promo laws unlikey
British Beer Pub Association guidelines on pub promotions such as happy hours and drinking games are unlikely to be included in a new licensing bill- despite pressure within the industry from the Portman Group. The alcohol watchdog had originally   expressed a preference for reform to incorporate such a code. . But the Portman Group last week published it own tougher code of practice, finally agreed to leave the issue to the BPPA, 'this is somebody else's territory, and, although there were suggest ions that we should get involved, in the end we felt this was adequately being dealt with," said Portman Group Director Jean Coussins.
BBPA communications director Mark Hastings commented 'we shall be revisiting the guidelines after   about a year to see if, they need strengthening, but we're not asking for them to be in a new act as the police already have considerable new powers, including the ability to close a pub for 24 hours."


SO I SAID TO MY MP



Dear Mr Marshall-Andrews

When even Camden, perhaps the local authority featuring in the most horror stories about PELs, proposes less regulation on acoustic music, can there be any real doubt that acoustic music does not need the rules and regulations that amplified music does?

I might also point out that Camden is undoubtedly right that the cumulative effect of multiple premises with electric music exceeds the impact of one such set of premises (I live between two pubs, so I DO know).

Also, the effect that a nationwide application of the goverment's stated principle - that it cannot distinguish between different types of music - (which not only is idiotic in itself but also is in practice disproved by the existing uses in Camden of the acoustic-only mini-licence) will have upon folk music (and dance) is highlighted: the fees in the goverment paper will not work because they are uneconomic for local government, so they must in practice rise (or be, for example, cross-subsidised by fees for inspecting building works required as a condition of the grant of licences, etc). Therefore minority cultural interests such as folk music and dance will be squeezed out by more obviously commercial entertainment. Is this the new democracy of New Labour, goverment by the philistine for the philistine?

As a counterpoint to the last paragraph, may I also emphasise that a study by Shepherd Neame appears to demonstrate that the White Paper overstates by at least seven times the aggregate cost to the brewing industry of the present licensing system, so a key plank of the argument for the new system (that it would lower overall costs to industry) may well be a terminological inexactitude.

I continue to look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Richard McD. Bridge


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: GUEST,Mike Cahill
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:40 PM

Having sent a complaint to somerset County Council, threatening never to darken somerset's doorstep again, I recieved the following e-mail back:-

"As the Licensing Manager for Taunton Deane Borough Council I have been asked to respond to your email.

Contrary to your email we are not preventing the Ruishton Inn from Holding a music night at their premises we are endeavouring to issue a Public Entertainment Licence ASAP in order for licensee not to be prosecuted for allowing entertainment without the requisite licence.

The reason for issuing a PEL are two fold; The safety of the public and performers at the venue and to minimise nuisance to neighbours.

Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards Jim Hunter 01823 356343"

Perhaps this is a way forward, most local authorities want to promote tourists to their area, out of town complaints might have more effect than local ones


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: fiddler
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:46 PM

Sorry the last one is a load of old tosh!

I have been told informally and cynically I beleive it that there is an element of local gov't who see this a s a way to making a few extra bob in the kitty.

At new year and christmas a landlord fills a pub to bursting point with punters - what a danger I don't see the LA doing anything about that!

I was part of the session that never was it related to a new music session in Berkshire Uk - an earlier mudcat thread!

I suppose now we'll get the LA accoountatn on Justifying it and showing how they will not make a profit and it will ultimately cost the ratepayers rather than make a profit! One authority is chargin 800 squids - times that by teh number of pus in an authority!!!!
A


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: fiddler
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 01:48 PM

Sorry angry so spllng worse than usual!!!!


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Oct 02 - 04:03 PM

Contrary to your email we are not preventing the Ruishton Inn from Holding a music night at their premises we are endeavouring to issue a Public Entertainment Licence ASAP in order for licensee not to be prosecuted for allowing entertainment without the requisite licence.

They are obviously under pressure from somewhere, so keep it up.

Two things. First have they established that the activity is a public entertainment provided by more than two 'performers'?

If so, in order to obtain even a temporary one-off licence to enable the event, the licensee must first agree to apply. The licensee had earlier decided to cancel the session but must have been approached with the licence suggestion and offer. From the council?


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: pavane
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:14 PM

This is all very well, but does anyone keep a nice simple list of sessions/clubs/events which have been cancelled, and/or pubs which have been prosecuted by council 'Jobsworth's that I can send to my MP? (Peter Hain)

I have already tried a couple of letters, he passed them on to the culture secretary, and I just got back standard replies that indicate no-one read what I had written.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: GUEST,Chris Timson
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:22 PM

I'm sorry, but I am very unhappy by actions taken by members presumably of this list. Without contacting me or the ICA, indivuduals have taken it upon themselves to contact the Council and notify the press and all sorts of other things.

Please note that this is not at all welcome. I consider it grossly discourteous for people to take these sorts of actions without bothering to find out whether they are welcome. I was intending to raise the matter of the two-in-a-bar rule at the AGM, and get the ICA to sign up to the idea of doing a little campaigning on the subject, but right now I am feeling very pissed off about the whole thing.

Chris Timson


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 01:27 PM

Well I think the answer is no, but I will work on it.

By going back over these two threads it will be posible to come up with some names. It would not be a complete list of course.

I think if you can find just one example from his area or constituency, that would be more effective. A current one would be best. Perhaps one can be found for you? Where in the country would this need to be?

Failing that, a hypothetical example and question, may do the trick.

Failing that a new MP? *Smiles*

Thanks for your persistence anyway.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 02:08 PM

Please note that this is not at all welcome. I consider it grossly discourteous for people to take these sorts of actions without bothering to find out whether they are welcome. I was intending to raise the matter of the two-in-a-bar rule at the AGM, and get the ICA to sign up to the idea of doing a little campaigning on the subject, but right now I am feeling very pissed off about the whole thing.



I understand Chris that you are upset and I am sorry for my part in this but perhaps you can acccept this response is a little unfair and that the responsibilty is largely your own? For I have consulted and informed you at every step and folk can be forgiven for thinking that your free choice to publicly post these details, was asking for help.

Perhaps you could explain why you freely provided the information publicly, both of the name of the pub and that the session was not going to take place? Having provided folk with this you must surely accept that subsequent events will be out of your control?

You did not request or stipulate that folk should check with you first or state that the council concerned may not have even been aware of the pub and the activity, or that there was any possibility that the session may still take place.

I did ask you for more information, largely to prevent any problems resulting to the licensee, but you claimed you had supplied all that you knew. As you can see I posted your request that you were not speaking on behalf ot the ICA.

It would appear, if the information is correct, that the session may now be able to take place and if so, this must be good news? Even if the Council will not allow it without a (temporary) PEL.

Perhaps a lesson can be learnt from this before any more enforcements are posted here?

To check all the angles have been covered before making enforcements public, whether you are involved or if you are posting someone else's difficulties. For it is too late, after this point.


We live and learn.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: fiddler
Date: 16 Oct 02 - 03:48 PM

I'm agast at the attitude.

This was put in to public domain therefore public took action, the banning of a session is not the personal property of the man who organised it or wh0os group was affected. We all are - that time was your turn. This one is going to run and run like pass the parcel but without a prize in teh middle at present!

We lost the Lands End in Berkshire on its first night after only 1.5 hours. BTW it is John Redwoods constituency and he hasn't signed the EDM yet - if anyone wants to badger or beleagure him feel free, I won't object. I'm not a jobsworth we are all in this together.
Sorry - didn't mean to sound personal.

Campaigning by many groups can help. The sufragettes won in the end I hope we don't need such extreme lengths but we do need informed decisions and we need councils to realise that the public interest may not be best served by enforcing laws which many JPs and magistrates think are grossly out of date and need a serious overhaul. I have that from an ex morris dancing JP (or magistrate I can never remember) who raised this at a local bench meeting!!!!


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: GUEST,Pavane
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 07:27 AM

Quote: Failing that a new MP? *Smiles*

Fat chance of that. He was given this constituency (Neath) because it was one of the safest in the country, even though he had no local connections.

I don't know of any local clubs or sessions that have been killed off by PEL, but then there aren't many anyway.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 11:10 AM

How about it our people in Wales, does anyone know of any PEL problems in or near Neath?


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 09:01 AM

This is only the visible 'tip of the iceberg' but as requested, here is a list of the events listed in the Mudcat Café, 'Killed by the PEL system' threads.

All of these have been affected, terminally in some cases, by local authority enforcement and all of this enforcement is broadly based on the interpretation of the 'two in a bar rule' that members of the public, making music, are counted as performers in a public entertainment.

An interpretation that Greenwich Council (who appear in the list twice) accept and freely state that this interpretation has never been tested in Court.
And the Government Minister responsible, Dr Howells states in a letter to Michael Portillo 14/03/02.
"However, under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 1964 a public entertainment licence is not required if music or dancing is performed by less than three performers on licensed premises i.e. the 'two in a bar rule'. The rule is intended to apply to public performances put on by a public house to entertain the public and should not prevent ordinary people singing together or dancing in public houses".

Sessions/singarounds

The Old Ale House, Oxford April 2000
The Cove House Inn, Portland December 2000
The Welsh Harp, Waltham Abby ….2001
The Cock, Stansted Mountfitchett, May 2002
The Guildford Arms, Greenwich, May 2002
The Cricketers, Greenwich, May 2002
The Cannon, Newport Pagnall, May 2002
The Bull, Stony Stratford, June 2002
The Blue Bear, Helpston, September 2002
The Lands End, Twyford, October 2002
The Ruiston Inn, Taunton, Oct 2002

Menbers only clubs

The Old King's Head, The Belper Folk Club, May 2002
Broadacres, The Bridlington Folk Club, July 2002
The Henry VIII Hotel, Bayswater, Tall Poppy Presents, July 2002

Miscellaneous

Waterstones Book Shop, London, 2001
Broadstairs Folk Festival, One-Man-Show, August 2002.

Please help to ensure that we do not lose even one more event to this stupidity.

http://www.faxyourmp.com/


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: pavane
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 10:22 AM

Thanks for the info, I will try and use it as soon as possible


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 04:21 PM

Correction to the list

The Blue Bear, Helpston, September 2002 should be the The Blue Bell.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 02:49 AM

The latest on the Blue Bell can be found on the 'Pellets' section of this site.

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~pfd/

Perhaps some help can be provided?


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 07:47 AM

This update on the Blue Bell from Alan Wood.

Hello all

Ignore night's attempt to send this - I think only half of it left this machine. ( Still struggling to get my head round this e mail business. )

Thought it might be productive to collate some of last week's traffic and news and give you the opportunity to fire off any questions or shout out, if you think I'm getting on the wrong side of events. - I am aware that there is a danger I may be too close to all this.

Broadly I would like to see us keep the pressure going with Peterborough Environmental Health and also help spread awareness around the local scene on the implications of the proposed reform of the Licensing Laws. It looks like we are living in 'interesting times.'

1. Bosworth letter

There has been an acknowledgement of the letter ( sent 8.11.02 ) which I received yesterday ( 16th ).

This communication also contains the draft of a 'Statement of Witness' which Jane Bosworth has worded on my behalf, (with an invitation to make any amendments), following a telephone conversation which I had with her on the 5th Nov. I am in no hurry to sign this. It will clearly be used as a major piece of evidence against the Licensee. Hamish has advised me to seek some legal advice with this document and suspects that it may be a ruse to turn the prosecution on me. Does anyone know a musician lawyer, pref. cheap !

It does show that the Authority is still chasing this case - I don't think they will give up. If this is how they operate now, then heaven help us all when the new legislation comes in. Remember full responsibility for local licensing of all public entertainment is likely to be in their hands, possibly by the summer of 2003 !

2. Karen Cheale's initiative

Writing so strongly to all City Councillors was a tremendous initiative and resulted in a number of very positive responses. Let's hope the Councillors involved will apply some pressure. It will certainly heighten their awareness of the new responsibilities which are going to come their way, if the new Bill goes through in its present form. ( see Roger's document enclosed )

3. John Nix v Peter Newman

John enjoyed a vigorous exchange with our Principle Cultural Officer which illustrated that Peter Newman, although very sympathetic, has little influence over the alligators swimming beneath Town Bridge. PN is likely to receive more brickbats but I hope future correspondents set their sights firmly on The Environmental Health Dept. ( Hamish has already crossed swords with their boss, Trevor Gibson, who he described as a 'very tough cookie.' ) Well done, John - you ruffled his feathers, and gave us a clear picture of his ability, or otherwise, to play a part.

4. John Clare Society

Peter Moyse ( not a Parish Councillor, by the way ) was very quick to give vocal support. He also alerted the publishers of the George Deacon book ( Francis Boutle Pub.) to our plight. They in turn put me in touch with Maev Kennedy, Heritage Correspondent, at the Guardian ( yes the national one ). Despite 2 attempts I couldn't get her to bite - failed to see the John Clare connection ! One of the disappointments of the week.

I haven't had any response from Rodney Lines, Chairman, which has surprised me. The Clare Society proved to be a very vociferous pressure group over the 'Clare meadow building application' a few years back.
They were having a meeting today ( 17th ) so I might hear from PM this week. The 'cultural argument came across strongly in Karen's letter to the Councillors - let's hope the John Clare Society put their weight behind us.

5. Local MPs

Pete is hoping for an interview with Helen Clark MP shortly.
I contacted John Hayes MP (Sth Holland and Deepings ) ref. Early Day motion 1182 and also sent him some background to the Bluebell story - so far no response.
Brian Mawhinney is the MP for Helpston ( yes, I too thought it was HC ) and as far as I know has not been given any info. about the case - can anyone correct me? I understand he is very good at picking up local issues and is not afraid to challenge the Local Authority. An approach by a constituent is required. Can anyone help ?

6. Local press and radio

I was surprised that the Evening Telegraph 'cultural bunker' story ( ET 11.11.02 covered by gareth.rose@peterboroughnow.co.uk ) didn't enjoy a link with the Bluebell saga. Perhaps no one told him. It may be that the carcass of the Bluebell story has not moved on since it last enjoyed coverage in late September. A reply from the Bosworth letter or a definite decision to prosecute could revive the story .
I will contact Mike Peat ( BBC Midlands Folkwaves) and possibly other local stations this week to see if they can give us an airing.

7. Sue Furness

No contact, despite leaving phone messages and sending an e mail with the Bosworth Letter 1.
I will go and see her tomorrow - please alert me anyone thinks this is not a good idea ! I suspect she is sick of the whole thing.

8. MU response to DCMS launch of the Licensing Bill ( enclosed, thanks to Roger Gall )

I know Colin will flag this up with everyone on the Peterborough Folk Diary Mailing List. The organisations promoting big events ( Straw Bear ) are sure to be up to speed with the implications, - its the small venue people ( and Dancers ), currently operating in pubs with no PEL who are going to need a shake. No doubt some will want to shoot the messenger !

Colin's idea to cultivate local Councillors needs to be actioned by these groups now. If the policy makers have no idea about our harmless activities then the heavy hand of authority will strike again.... and again. ( Remember the officers who raided the Bluebell couldn't differentiate between acoustic and electric instruments ! - they thought we were all plugged into the mains !)

Please accept apologies if I haven't acknowledged your contribution to the first week of dissent. Colin and Pete and been superb - sincere thanks.

One correspondent informs me that the great City of Sheffield has now been ethnically cleansed of all sessions and singarounds - so we're in good company !

ALAN WOOD


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 08:07 AM

With regard to the ICA / Ruishton Inn saga listed above. I haven't looked in on this thread for some time, so here is an update.

But first, just to pick up on something The Shambles said:-

Perhaps you could explain why you freely provided the information publicly, both of the name of the pub and that the session was not going to take place? Having provided folk with this you must surely accept that subsequent events will be out of your control?

I would like to make it clear that I never posted anything publicly. The information I posted was on a closed mailing list restricted to ICA members. Somebody else (I imagine a member of the ICA, though I still do not know whom) took it upon themselves to repost it to here, along with my contact details and all the rest. That is why I was so annoyed to find that what I thought was a private communication had spawned all sorts of unwanted action by people I had never heard of.

Right, well that hopefully is that. I did put forward a motion at the AGM, which was passed overwhelmingly by the membership present, authorising the committee to campaign on this topic.

I would like to ask the combined wisdom here present for advice on what the best next step would be for us. The International Concertina Association, despite its grand title, is not a large society, and we have quite a few concerns right now which take the time of the committee. But nevertheless we want to get behind and push. In the first intance I would like to write to members and advise them what would be appropriate action for individuals to take. I realise that with the Queen's Speech we are now in a different arena, and I would like to be able to offer the best advice to our members.

Chris Timson


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 08:28 AM

Chris if you were to kindly take my address off of your 'killfile', I could then Email you (in private) with some of the help you request.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 09:54 AM

Fair point. Will do.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 02:24 PM

Thanks Chris

However, could you let us know what actually happened to the planned session?

Did you move it to the village hall or did the council enable it to take place in the pub?

As they indicated below.

Contrary to your email we are not preventing the Ruishton Inn from Holding a music night at their premises we are endeavouring to issue a Public Entertainment Licence ASAP in order for licensee not to be prosecuted for allowing entertainment without the requisite licence.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: ConcertinaChap
Date: 21 Nov 02 - 08:31 AM

Well, it didn't really happen at all, in the end. It was a busy day (we had Tim Laycock and Stephen Rowley, the well-known Charles Wheatstone impersonator, in attendance, and a whole collection of events), and so people mostly went off and had lunch. Had the session been scheduled to happen in the pub rather than the village hall, I reckon the chances are it would have happened.

When I spoke to the landlord the previous night he was still under the impression that the two-in-a-bar rule applied to him, certainly. I am not sure what music night is being referred to above, but I guess that it wasn't us, maybe some confusion over different events?

Anyway, as I say, that is now past history and only a minor annoyance in what proved to be otherwise an excellent and enjoyable weekend.

Chris


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 07:11 AM

Fancy footwork lands pubs in the dock

Colin Blackstock
Friday November 22, 2002
The Guardian

The pub owners tried everything to stop it including putting up signs, rearranging the furniture and even asking people to refrain. But it was all to no avail: council officials diagnosed outbreaks of spontaneous dancing, and the owners were fined £5,000.
Officials from Westminster city council initially spotted four people dancing to piped music at the Pitcher and Piano pubs in Soho, central London. Later, as the rhythm took control, that figure rose to five. On another visit as many as 11 people were dancing. Something had to be done.

The council took action against Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries, which runs the two pubs, where customers had been spotted getting down to the piped music.

With their patrons caught red-footed, the company pleaded guilty to not having a proper licence which allows dancing.

It was fined £2,500 for each offence, plus costs of £1,600 at a London magistrates court on Wednesday.

Derek Andrews, Wolverhampton and Dudley's managed house chief, said the company had tried everything in its power to stop customers from breaking into dance, even going so far as to turn the music off, but people still continued to dance.

Council officials have also served two written warnings on another pub in Wardour Street, Soho, about people found "swaying", according to the licensed trade's newspaper the Publican.

Under current law, dancing is only allowed if premises have been granted a public entertainment licence.

Bob Currie, director of the community protection department at Westminster council, said in a letter quoted in the Publican: "Dancing could be described as the rhythmic moving of the legs, arms and body usually changing positions within the floor space available and whether or not accompanied by musical support."

Link to story, and details of how you can write to the Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,845266,00.html


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 08:07 AM

Who is correct, Dr Howells or the Council?

>Government Minister responsible, Dr Howells states in a letter to Michael Portillo 14/03/02.
"However, under Section 182 of the Licensing Act 1964 a public entertainment licence is not required if music or dancing is performed by less than three performers on licensed premises i.e. the 'two in a bar rule'. The rule is intended to apply to public performances put on by a public house to entertain the public and should not prevent ordinary people singing together or DANCING in public houses".<


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 04:31 AM

At the moment the licensee of the Blue Bell Helpston, Peterborough
is under threat of prosecution. The following link is to a site where you can follow progess and contribute to the effort.

Look for flashing link called, PELlets, where email and letters, specific to this action are being displayed.

http://www.users.waitrose.com/~pfd/

Please help.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: Oaklet
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 05:04 AM

The Hope and Anchor pub in South Ferriby has just fallen victim to North Lincolnshire Council's insistance on enforcing the PEL requirement without any complaints from neighbours from this sleepy village. This is the e-mail that I sent to the members of Punch the Horse on Friday 22nd November:

"Bob has completely enthused all the boozers in the village with his hard work and enthusiasm in rescuing a dormant pub. He took over what he thought was a musical venue and planned to develop it by booking fine musicians and Punch the Horse. What a pity that his adverts in the Evening Telegraph were examined by the forensic party-poopers in North Lincs Trading Standards department who compared the venue with a list of those who hold PELs and asked him to cease. He is rightly livid. As I understand it, North Lincs have given him permission to hold the Cara gig on the 5th. After that; no more gigs for 28 days, during which time the pub will be assessed for the issuing of a PEL. Mary, you can expect a call from him soon during which he will explain his frustration. When the Nelthorpe Arms went through the excercise, it took 3 months to secure the license. But I understand that he is going to endure the process. If I hear any more, I'll get in touch."

Pity, isn't it?

Oakley


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 06:03 AM

Before the 'naysayers', decend upon us.

It is indeed a pity and the current law is not a good one, but it is unforunately the law until it can be changed (even if the new one is worse).

The locals and licensee certainly have my sympathy but this law is at least clear that conventional paid entertainment, with more than two 'performers' does need a PEL. You don't say how many 'performers' were involved, but as the officers have prevented the gigs, the assumption is made that there are (at least sometimes) more than two?

This does flag up the all too common problem and it is useful to list them here. But unlike many of the council actions listed here where the interpretation of the law being used is not so clear, this enforcement is not possible to address without a change in the law.

And the Government are at least recognising that the law needs to change!!!

It may possily be a cheaper option, for the licensee to wait now until the new Premises Licence comes in (set to be July 2003) and limit the bands to duos, in the meantime. Especially if the officers prosecute them now.

Do Please keep us informed of any more details and progress.


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: ET
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 12:54 PM

I wonder where the truth lies. I wrote to Tony Guitarman Blair and my letter was passed of course to the Dept of Culture. I had been therefore before but they said

AIrnhA nnd Pntprtiinmpnt 1 it?pncina        1 nnrinn rZW1Y rnW        P:nv wn 7711 AR
Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing        London SW1Y 5DH        Fax 020 72116319
        www.culture.gov.uk        claire.vickers
                @culture.gsi.gov.uk



Our ref: 02/17246
1 91h November 2002

Thank you for your letter of 28 October to Tony Blair in connection with the EDM 1182 and our proposals for the reform of the current public entertainment licensing laws. 1 am replying on his behalf.

We fully support the sentiments of the EDM 1182 and 1 appreciate your concerns with regard to the proposals but would like to assure you that the new licensing system would provide increased opportunities for musicians and other performers. It may be helpful if 1 explain in detail what is proposed. Although the "two in a bar rule", which is an exemption from the normal requirement for a public entertainment licence, will be abolished for the perfectly sound reason that one musician with modern amplification can make as much noise as three without, 1 am confident that the proposed reforms will provide a licensing framework within which musical performance and dance could thrive and develop, while providing adequate protection for the local people in the community.

Under the new licensing regime, the concept of a public entertainment licence will completely disappear. Permission to sell alcohol, provide public entertainment, stage a play, show a film or provide late night refreshment will be integrated into a single licence ? the "premises licence". This will integrate six existing licensing regimes into one, cutting at a stroke significant amounts of red tape. Accordingly, under our proposals, any public house will need to obtain permission to sell alcohol for consumption on those premises and will be free to apply simultaneously for permission to put on music or dancing or similar entertainment whenever desired. The fee for such a premises licence will be no different whether the pub simply seeks permission to sell alcohol or if it decides to go for multiple permissions. There will therefore be no deterrent to seeking multiple permissions. The position now is that many pubs are wary of obtaining a separate public entertainment licence because the costs can be prohibitive in some local authority areas. Subject to our continuing discussions with stakeholders, any

_Ulk

X5 v

INVESTOR IN PEOPLE




Department for Cutture, Media and Sport

variation in fees will more likely relate to the capacity of the venue so that smaller venues pay less than large ones. The fees will also be set centrally by the Secretary of State to eradicate the wide and sometimes unjustified inconsistences that presently exist

The premises licence will also set the hours that the premises may open for its activities, and set fair, necessary and proportionate conditions under which these activities may take place. This will achieve three important purposes: the prevention of crime and disorder; the assurance of public safety and the prevention of undue public nuisance. It is essential that the greater freedom and opportunities which will be available to licensees and performers are balanced with powers to deal with the small minority who might abuse such freedom, damage communities and bring the industry into disrepute. Under the new regime, local residents will have the right to object to the grant of a licence or certain parts of the operator's proposals and to have their views considered. This means, for example, that any conditions affecting noise being emitted from the premises might be more restrictive after, say midnight, than before.

Public entertainment, which will be covered by the premises licence, will be defined as music or dancing, or entertainment of a like kind, which is presented publicly for commercial purposes or for gain. Public singing which is not undertaken for profit or gain will not be affected.

We will not accept that it is the case that certain types of music, for example acoustic, are never "noisy" or that they should be excluded from the licensing regime. If public music is to be performed at a premises, then the licensing authority will have the power to impose necessary and proportionate conditions in order to protect residents and customers. The conditions will not be standardised. The licensing authority will be required to tailor them to the style of venue. Major venues staging rock bands will be likely to be the subject of more restrictive conditions than a small pub or club which puts on unamplified live music.

The new reform Bill will require local authorities to follow rules and procedures. They will have no discretion to refuse a licence or impose any condition unless a reasonable objection to the licensee's operating plan has been raised by the police, an environmental health officer, the fire authority or local residents. In granting or refusing licences, or imposing any conditions, the local council will be legally bound to take into account guidance issued by the Secretary of State. Departure from this guidance, without a good or valid reason, will provide grounds for an appeal to the courts.

We are confident that the licensing reform proposals will provide a major boost for tourism by sweeping away considerable red tape and making our cities, towns and countryside more attractive to visitors from the British Isles


and Abroad. As you may know the Licensing Bill has been introduced and it is now for Parliament to debate its contents however 1 hope the information 1 have provided helps to clarify the proposed reforms.

Yours sincerely

c ~, d',

Claire Vickers
Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing Division


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Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 01:31 PM

This is the latest on the Blue Bell, from Alan Wood.
alan.wood27@btopenworld.com

Hello all
Enclosed is the reply which Jane Bosworth has sent me to the letter I sent on 8.11.02.
There is a lot of scope for analysis.

City Councillors have contacted by e. mail and telephone and have expressed great concern about the whole Bluebell affair. A 'white knight' would be welcome at the moment.


Dear MrWood
Bluebell Ph House. Helpston Musical Folk Eveninas
PETERBOROUGH
CITY COUNCIL
ENVIRONMENTAL AND LEGAL SERVICES
Bridge House Town Bridge Peterborough
PE11HU
OX 12310 Peterborough 1 Telephone: (01733) 563141
21 November 2002

write in response to your letter dated 8 November 2002.

The current position is that investigations are still being carried out in respect of the Bluebell Public House, Helspston in order to piece together the full picture before any decision is made.

As you rightly say in your letter, we do have procedures and guidelines laid down for us to follow and these comply with the rules of natural justice. Also as the enforcing authority we have a duty to implement this legislation. In this particular case, it is the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

For your information, a licence is required under the 1982 Act for 'public dancing or music or any other public entertainment of a like kind'. A licence is required whether or not the public are entertained by a performer or music or dancing, or where the public themselves take part in the dancing or music.

Payment to gain admission is not relevant to deciding whether the public is being admitted to an entertainment that requires a licence.

I trust this helps to clarify the reasons why a licence is needed.

In response to the remaining points mentioned in your letter, I will reply to these in the same order.


1        It is not the intention of this Council to stop these folk sessions taking place; indeed the contrary. Once a licence has been obtained then members of the public can again enjoy these sessions.

2        The consistent enforcement of public entertainment legislation to ensure public safety and minimise nuisance from noise also ensures fairness between businesses whilst complimenting the Council's promotion of cultural well being in their area.

3.        Environmental Health and Community Services work closely together on a range of events requiring public entertainment licences to ensure that they are safe and do not cause unnecessary disturbance to residents in the area. I have discussed your letter with them and requested they reply direct to you on the issues within their areas of responsibility.

4.        We have a statutory duty to investigate all complaints received. In the case of the Bluebell we received an anonymous complaint alleging that entertainment was being held without the benefit of a Public Entertainment Licence and this was happening on a regular basis. Our impartial investigation confirmed that the matters raised in the complaint were justified.

5.        Until changes have been made to the relevant statutory requirements we have an obligation to implement the relevant legislation as it has been enacted and interpreted by the Courts. It is not acceptable for officers, or the Council, to act outside the law as it stands. If the Government, or Government Ministers, consider that the current law is not acceptable it is for Parliament to amend the law or introduce new legislation.

If you have any questions, or queries, which you require answering please contact me on the above direct dial telephone number. I will not be available this coming Friday 22 November or Monday morning 25 November. If you wish to leave a message for me I wiJI contact. you when I. return.

Yours sincerely
Jane Bosworth
Technical Officer (Licensing) Environmental Health and Legal Services

Director of Environmental Services: Trevor Gibson
Director: Gillian Beasley Solicitor to the Council



I wrote back to Alan as follows.

So far so good..........But

Note that Mrs Boswell has not mentioned the S 182 Licensing Act exemption and that had there been only two 'performers' the Blue Bell event would NOT have required a licence under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

They will not mention this unless they have to, for they feel safe with the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

Having clearly looked at the exemption re the Blue Bell action, they now wish to forget it and won't like to be reminded of it.

However, the fact remains that they MUST have counted the participants and be including you as 'performers' to establish that the exemption (for two or less 'performers') to the LG (Misc) Act licensing requirement, did not apply and that a PEL was required.

If you can get the elected members of the COUNCIL to not consider you as 'performers' - (and that a performance of public entertainment requires 'performers') - the licensee did NOT put on a performance of licensable public entertainment, with more than two 'performers'.

As there were NO 'performers'. My math is not good but I think zero is less than two?

Remember there is no case law that determines the definition of 'performer'. Who counts as this, is a matter, not for the law, but for your Local Licensing Authority to decide. NOT MRS BOSWORTH.

If the elected members are forced by you to fight off the officers and decide a 'performer' is one who is paid to perform, they can prevent prosecution and enable this and other sessions, perfectly legally without a PEL.

In fact they can only legally prosecute the licensee and prevent the session, by describing you AS 'performers'. Were you all 'performers'?

Will you agree to being so described?

Do you become one just because it suits a council officer to so describe you, and for the sole reason of preventing your activity and prosecuting the licensee?

From the letter, it looks as if you will have a fight to the death, but do it through your elected representatives and there is a good chance that you can win it......having taken it this far, you really must win.
Good luck and keep us informed.

Roger


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