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MU campaign - Freedom of Expression

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The Shambles 30 Nov 02 - 10:30 AM
The Shambles 30 Nov 02 - 10:42 AM
The Shambles 30 Nov 02 - 10:50 AM
The Shambles 30 Nov 02 - 10:56 AM
The Shambles 01 Dec 02 - 10:07 AM
The Shambles 01 Dec 02 - 02:54 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 02 Dec 02 - 10:08 AM
The Shambles 02 Dec 02 - 11:10 PM
The Shambles 02 Dec 02 - 11:28 PM
The Shambles 03 Dec 02 - 07:04 PM
MikeofNorthumbria 04 Dec 02 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C) 04 Dec 02 - 12:13 PM
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Subject: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 10:30 AM

This from the UK Musician's Union.

In view of the government's proposal to criminalise the provision of almost all live music without a licence, the Musicians' Union will be making representations to the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR).

Please let me know by return if you support the MU approach to the JCHR, whether as an individual, or on behalf of any organisation, club etc. If you do represent an organisation please give details. When writing to the JCHR next week the MU will cite those in support.

Hamish Birchall
E-mail Address(es):
hab.drum@virgin.net


The MU position:
The MU believes the government's approach is disproportionate and incompatible with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, now incorporated into UK law.

There are alternative solutions (i.e. Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, New York City) which would allow the government to achieve legitimate aims, such as public safety and noise control, without criminalising the provision of unlicensed performance in almost every case.

Earlier this year the MU obtained an opinion from a leading human rights QC, Robin Allen, who concluded that the government's approach, if legislated, would be 'very clearly in conflict with Article 10'. The HRA requires all new legislation to be compatible with Convention rights, and the JCHR considers new legislation where there are potential incompatibilities.

If wish to make direct representations to the JCHR, write to: Paul Evans, Clerk, JCHR, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA
Or email:
jchr@parliament.uk



If you are unsure how Article 10 is supposed to operate, please see below. For information about the JCHR please use these links:

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/hrhome.htm

and

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/hrfaq.htm#q4



Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights - live music
Music-making, to the extent that it involves receiving and imparting 'information and ideas' is covered by Article 10(1) of the European Convention ('freedom of expression'), now incorporated into UK law with the Human Rights Act. The actual wording is:

'Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.'

However, this does not mean a free for all. Far from it. Article 10(2) allows governments, or public authorities such as the police or local authorities, to restrict the exercise of this right for various reasons, including public safety, the prevention of crime and disorder, and to protect the rights of others (such as the right 'to a quiet night's sleep', which is provided by Article 8: respect for private and family life).

But these restrictions are not regarded by the European Court as competing principles of equal weight.

Proportionality is a key concept. In order to justify interference by increased licensing controls, the government must show that these restrictions are necessary - not expedient - to serve a pressing social need in a democratic society, and that they are a reasonably proportionate response to that need. In other words, to justify increased licensing control, and criminal law sanctions, the government must show that live music is causing significant social problems.

To the best of my knowledge, Culture Minister Kim Howells has never said abolishing the two in a bar rule was necessary for public safety reasons. He has always said abolition is necessary 'because one musician with modern amplification can make more noise than three without'. In other words, to protect local residents' right to a quiet night's sleep.

It seems very strange, therefore, that the Minister is proposing to criminalise the provision of even one unamplified performer without a licence.

And, as we now know, noise complaints caused by live music in bars are a very small proportion of overall noise complaints. It would be hard for the government to show that removing the exemption for live musicians served a pressing social need.

Indeed, the government's retention of the exemption for broadcast entertainments and any incidental amplified recorded music further undermines the noise-reducing justification for increased licensing of live musicians.

The Scottish licensing regime reinforces the argument that there is no justification to treat live music more harshly in England and Wales. Incidental live music in bars or restaurants in Scotland does not require any prior permission or licence if it takes place during permitted hours. Safety and noise in those circumstances is regulated by subsisting UK-wide legislation.

Of course, the government's proposals go far wider than abolition of the two performer exemption. There has been much coverage in the press this week about the abolition of the exemption for live music in churches outside London (other than music incidental to a religious service).

Carol singing or any organised singing, out and about, would be a criminal offence without a licence. And it really does look as though the Bill means that payment to musicians triggers the licensing requirement, thereby necessitating the licensing of hitherto exempt paid private function gigs.

These are strong grounds for the JCHR to consider the Licensing Bill in terms of its potential incompatibility with Article 10. And don't forget the New York City precedent: in 1988, a three-in-a-bar rule was struck down because it was found to be in violation of jazz musicians' First Amendment rights.

Small bars and clubs (up to 199 listeners) in New York City are now exempt from licensing for live music (although 'social dancing' requires a 'Cabaret licence'). Noise is regulated by 'noise patrols' - which would be a far better use of council resources than the present practice of putting bars under covert surveillance just see whether more than two people sing.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 10:42 AM

Howells – Letter to Times - November 30, 2002

Intended purpose of Licensing Bill
From the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport


Sir, The Licensing Bill would not criminalise impromptu or spontaneous singing (letters, November 27). What it would do is ensure that, where music and dancing are to be a regular feature at a venue, local residents would have the opportunity to air their concerns with the local licensing authority before a decision was made.

The Bill would improve the opportunities for musicians to perform in public venues. The Government does not accept that certain types of music, for example acoustic folk music, are never noisy and should therefore be excluded from the new licensing regime.

The licensing authority would have the power to impose necessary and proportionate conditions in order to protect residents and customers.

The Licensing Bill would allow people to have a good night out and enjoy themselves, while making sure that those that wish to stay in for a peaceful evening can do so.

Fees for licences will be set centrally by the Secretary of State under secondary legislation, and it would be open to her, where appropriate, to set fees at a reduced level for charities and religious groups or indeed to decide that they should be waived.

Some churches fear that disproportionate and costly conditions may be attached to licences. However, under the Bill all licensing authorities would be required to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. And it is intended that this will make clear that it would be wholly inappropriate to attach disproportionate conditions to licences affecting churches and other charitable institutions.



Yours sincerely,
KIM HOWELLS,
Department for Culture,
Media and Sport,
2-4 Cockspur Street, SW1Y 5DH


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 10:50 AM

Some churches fear that disproportionate and costly conditions may be attached to licences. However, under the Bill all licensing authorities would be required to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. And it is intended that this will make clear that it would be wholly inappropriate to attach disproportionate conditions to licences affecting churches and other charitable institutions.

This begs the questions,

Why does the Bill place the requirement on these institutions, in the first place?

Why does the Bill make charitable events pay a fee?

If these activities (and others) were not placed in the Bill, NO disproportionate conditions COULD be placed on these institutions.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Nov 02 - 10:56 AM

This from Hamish Birchall

The Times has published a letter from Culture Minister Kim Howells defending the Licensing Bill (see above). Please consider sending a response to The Times letters@thetimes.co.uk

or by post:
The Editor The Times 1 Pennington Street London E98 1TA
Phone: 020 7782 5000

Here are some key points for your replies:

The Licensing Bill is draconian: any organised singing, out and about, or even in private if to raise money for charity, would become a criminal offence unless licensed. Even carol singing is caught. Max penalty: £20,000 fine and six months in jail.

The Minister says the Licensing Bill will ensure people can 'stay in for a peaceful evening', but he is proposing to exempt broadcast music or sport on widescreen tv and large sound systems.
Combined with 24-hour opening this has major noise implications for local residents.

Over 80% of noise complaints are caused by noisy people outside bars, most other complaints are about noisy recorded music - criminalising musicians will have no effect on that problem.

Does this explain why the government has hastily commissioned a study into the noise implications of licensing reform, which will not be complete until Spring 2003 at the earliest?


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 10:07 AM

Please circulate the above and do all you can to help?

I fear that this is the only chance we will have to get this right.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 02:54 PM

Dr Kim Howells on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme 26 November 2002.

JH A law has been proposed that could, it is said be the kiss of death for amateur choirs, coral societies and orchestras, throughout the country. Churches used for more than 5, and church halls used for more than 5 public performances a year will have to pay for an entertainment licence, costing up to $500 per performance.

Well Rosemary Hardy is the secretary of the Ditchling choral society at Holy Trinity church in Cuckfield West Sussex, hello to you.

RH Hello to you, good morning.

JH You're worried about this, I gather?

RH Yes, we are worried because obviously – some churches may not obtain licenses, if they don't really think its worth it and that will then deprive both choirs of venues and orchestras, and the churches themselves of the revenues from the concert lettings.

[Comments on background singing]
JH I take it that you are going to carry on are you?

RH Oh yes, most certainly.

JH So you will be able to afford it?

RH Well. I certainly hope we will be. Obviously one of the problems will be that no doubt the cost of the licence will be passed on to the choirs and orchestras, that normally sing or perform in churches. And that will no doubt be passed on to the audience, through the increase in ticket prices.

JH Well, thank you for that and enjoy the rehearsal.

Well, Kim Howells – (laughs) he is described here as the Licensing Minister, anyway he is the Minister of Culture, Media and Sport and is responsible for all of this.
Why on earth! Have we got to have yet another regulation Mr Howells?

KH Well its not another regulation, err, it's a complete re-vamp of the way that licensing works in this country.

JH Even worse then?

KH Well, its not even worse John, well, where, one of the things we are doing and the most important thing we are doing is we are lifting the limits on when pubs and licensed premises and so on, can open, its err, a huge job.

JH This is not to do with pubs, this is to do with churches and church halls and they are going to have to have a performing licence - 500 quid a time!

KH No, its not £500 a time. No we are setting fees in bands of about £110 to £500. And it's a one off licence, for the lifetime of that premises.

JH But why do you need anything? I mean I don't know what the point of it is, this is the thing?

KH Well, I will try and explain it to you.

JH Come on.

KH The churches in London, for example have been subject to a licensing regime for 40 years. There are big churches that hold very big concerts for profit. And if something was to go wrong inside one of those churches, there was a fire or something else happened, the Local Authorities that have to inspect those premises would really be in trouble and they have to be paid for those functions. .That's why there has to be a licence - its to do with public safety.

JH But aren't we back to the old 'sledgehammer and a nut' thing here? It's hard to think, I don't know many Brownie nativity plays in church halls, where they have had big problems and had to inspected for Health and Safety

KH And they won't be charged a licence – look the Sec……

JH But - look - sorry they will, if they have more than 5 performances a year.

KH Err- no - look, are you doing this legislation or me?

JH Well, I am hoping you will explain it.

KH And I am trying to. There will not be a licence imposed on a, err, on a Brownie carol concert at a church, this is a nonsense. Err, the Secretary of State sets the fees for license, centrally and she can order that fees be waived, under certain circumstances and we have absolutely no intention whatsoever of stopping people having carol services or brownie festivals or anything else.

JH Yes – but you say, "can be waived" so therefore it must exist, in order to be waived in the first place, How many performances – is it true that they can only have 5, without having to go through this licensing nonsense?

KH Well. How many churches have 5 carol services every year?

JH Well, it might be different things, maybe a choral society, might be a nativity play, might be all sorts of things.

KH Err, well, I am saying if there is a carol service, err or a or err choral society practising or whatsoever, and its in conjunction with its religious function, then it won't be charged a fee.

JH Well, we will see how it all works out, Kim Howells many thanks.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 10:08 AM

Has Howells produced any example, any place, any time , when the performance of music in a church other than as part of a religious service has produced an indentified lack of safety or hazardous incident?

I should Coco!


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:10 PM

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-501221,00.html

Why carol singers face silent night
By Stewart Tendler



CAROL singers could face prosecution if they do not buy a licence to perform, lawyers studying the Government's Licensing Bill say.
One said that even a householder who let a group sing in his front garden could face a maximum fine of £20,000 or six months in jail if local authority inspectors applied a strict reading of the Bill.

Two weeks ago the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was forced to defend the Bill after criticism that thousands of parish churches and other places of worship would need licences for concerts on their premises. Lawyers consulted by the Musicians' Union have found other areas of the Bill that they say are open to harsh interpretations. The Bill is going through the Lords.

Christopher Hepher, an expert on licensing law, said that the problem lay in the definitions of a "performance". One of the schedules of the Bill refers to the location where an entertainment is given as "any place". An entertainment is defined as a performance provided "to any extent for members of the public or a section of the public". Lawyers for the Musicians' Union argue that this could include carol singers.

Mr Hepher said that local authority inspectors might turn a blind eye, but the Bill was supposed to bring licensing laws in to the 21st Century.

Robin Bynol, an expert on copyright consulted by the Musicians' Union, added that the Bill had very wide definitions. He said: "I am sure they did not mean to catch carol singers but they should make changes to make it clear."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport denied that the Bill would apply to carol singers. They would not, a spokesman said, have an audience and there were no premises. Carol services, being religious services, would be exempt, he added.

Guidance would be sent to local authorities, with a warning that enforcement should not be inappropriate.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:28 PM

As for how effective or urgent such guidance is considered. I sent this to my MP on 8 November 2002, to remind him about statements made in the House concerning actions under current legislation.

Mr Caborn stated to the House that he would establish (or ask his civil servants) if guidance could be provided to local authorities under current legislation.

Perhaps the House could be informed the reasons why this guidance cannot be given and Dr Howells or Mr Caborn could be asked this written question to establish this? Please advise?


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Dec 02 - 07:04 PM

27 February 2002
The Minister for Sport (Mr. Richard Caborn):
The hon. Gentleman asks whether we can give guidance to local authorities. I do not think that we can, but I take on board the point that he makes, and I shall speak to officials tomorrow to find out whether we can produce some guidance. If that can be done, I will ensure that it is.

PELs threads links to all of them


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 07:42 AM

Hi Mr Shambles!

Just a brief note to let you know that somebody out there is listening, and is grateful for your efforts to expose the PEL scandal. (And yes, I have faxed my MP – he hasn't replied.) But here's a local story which you may find interesting/relevant.

The street I live on is a lateral branch off the main North/South road through my locality. A section of that N-S road (which includes the turning for my street) has, for many years, been lined with hotels – mostly created by knocking three or four large Victorian houses into one. Until a few years ago, all these hotels were fairly drab and unexciting. Hardly any of them opened their eating and drinking facilities to non-residents.

Then, all of a sudden, their ground floors started to sprout flashy new bars and restaurants, which soon attracted a large section of the local "yoof market". Every few months another one opens, despite protests from residents who believe we already have quite enough. The authorities seem unable, or unwilling, to do anything about the racket made by inconsiderate revellers rolling home in the early hours. (Or the broken glass, take-away food wrappings, and puddles of vomit they leave behind.) Meanwhile, the owners of many of these hotels are lobbying strenuously for even longer opening hours, and later closing times.

And … can you guess the punch-line ? …        almost all these bars provide juke-boxes and televised football (often simultaneously!) but none of them feature live folk music. Kim Howells' concern for the welfare of people living close to places of entertainment doesn't seem to have had much impact here. Maybe if we could open a folk club in the neighbourhood, he might start to take notice? Or am I just being paranoid ?

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 12:13 PM

Credit where credit is due.

"Robin Bynol" (above) is Robin Bynoe, a partner on London solicitors Charles Russell.

Charles Russell have a very high profile in classical music legal work.

Happily Robin is folk musician, although a cut above many of us - he plays flute (that is to say the sideways metal one).


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 01:12 PM

From the same 27 February 2002, Common's debate.

Jim Knight: I wonder whether my hon. Friend the Member for Pontypridd (Dr. Howells) is promoting British folk music while he is in the United States.

He would be interested to know that my local paper, the Dorset Echo, has published correspondence from Americans who say how much they look forward to visiting this country to listen to folk music, what nonsense the two-in-a-bar rule is, and that they are now fearful of joining in with such music.


More overseas concern now, (to Hamish's email above) would be most useful.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 05:26 PM

The Daily Telegraph leader 30 November 2002

More red tape, vicar?

(Filed: 30/11/2002)

Only in the Orwellian world of the "Department for Culture, Media and Sport" could they come up with this one. Under the new Licensing Bill, churches which host more than five concerts a year by amateur choirs will now have to pay for entertainment licences on the same basis as commercial enterprises.

Apparently, the licences are needed to prevent crime, disorder, public nuisance and - of course - to protect children. Perhaps Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, could tell us when was the last time that the audience at a performance of Bach's Matthew Passion caused crime, disorder, public nuisance or threatened the welfare of children.

After all, even the most demotic of New Labour hacks would surely not claim that classical music lovers deserve to be subjected to the same restrictions as shaven-headed revellers at a "Blood and Honour" gig. The Archbishops' Council has expressed grave concern about the Licensing Bill - but it will be hard pressed to exorcise the powerful new gods of health and safety.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 05:55 PM

And … can you guess the punch-line ? …       almost all these bars provide juke-boxes and televised football (often simultaneously!) but none of them feature live folk music. Kim Howells' concern for the welfare of people living close to places of entertainment doesn't seem to have had much impact here. Maybe if we could open a folk club in the neighbourhood, he might start to take notice? Or am I just being paranoid ?

No Mike you are not paranoid.

PELs
Before history is completely rewritten, we must learn the lesson of the PEL regime. As we are in danger of repeating it. The fact is that this regime has not protected the public.

When Local Authorities gain revenue from the issuing of PELs, they have a vested interest in issuing as many as they can.

In premises where entertainment is unsuitable and perhaps better if it did not take place, there is the problem that by turning the applicant down, the council does not receive the revenue, so the temptation is that compromises are sought, to enable the entertainment for all the wrong reasons.

When noise complaints are made about premises with PELs, the temptation is the same.

Pressure is exerted on licensees and the benefits of holding the licences are 'sold' to them. This encourages a licensee with a PEL to 'shop' those that have not.

The only way premises can open late, is to pay the fee and obtain a PEL, even when no live music is intended to be provided. Currently all
nightclubs, with dancing to DJs and recorded music, will have to have PELs.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Dec 02 - 07:09 PM

It may all sound very remote and distant. It may not be happening to you but it is happening to some poor folk, right now. And we must bring the reality of what Local Authorities actually do (if we allow them the power to do so), to the attention of anyone who might care or will listen. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

This from Alan Wood. He is a good bloke and doing his best for all the right reasons but he needs help and wishes for a 'White Knight' now.


I was going to keep my head down for a few days and let others sound off, but some of last night's exchanges gave me a concern that the 'wheels were coming off'.

I'm directing this missive at you to answer some of the specific questions which you asked about the background to the Helpston saga, and also to comment on the issues which you raised on the 18th.

I think the answers may be of interest to a wider audience, particularly if the Bluebell story and worries about the future Licensing Laws are merging into a blur and the focus is being lost with some of our Peterborough readers.

Firstly, no other musical events take place on a regular basis at the Bluebell to the best of my knowledge. Visiting morris sides and the annual Clare Society gathering are the only other times when anything spontaneous of a folk music / entertainment nature might occur.

My chief aim in pursuing the Bluebell case is to try and ensure that the licensee does not get prosecuted.

The opening paragraphs of Bosworth letter 1 is a plea for leniency, if a misdemeanour has occurred. I am asking people to join me in making this plea. The Peterborough Folk scene should have the opportunity to register their feelings and make a protest if they think it appropriate.. If sufficient members of that community don't come forward then I think we will be perceived as irrelevant.

Secondly, I would have no intention of running further sessions at the Bluebell unless a PEL ( or its future equivalent ) is in place.

If a PEL is granted to this pub then we would ask to go back. I don't know if the landlady is likely to apply - I'll ask her when I get the opportunity ( hopefully in the next few days - she is proving elusive. )

Thirdly, the local definition of 'performers' is not known to me. I would welcome some research into this if anyone has the time and energy to root out the Councillors who sit on the Licensing Authority.

I am fully in agreement with your sentiments about the possible folly of going head-on combat with Council employees. The officers may be digging in, but so far we have no evidence that the Councillors are supporting them.

Karen's feedback seems to suggest the opposite. The situation may change, but I can't tolerate the prospect of Sue Furness climbing the steps of the Magistrates Court totally deserted by the local folk community.


More details here. Look for a flashing link called 'Pellets'.

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


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 07:09 AM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/letters/story/0,3604,853923,00.html



Nothing to sing about for Three Choirs
Thursday December 5, 2002
The Guardian

The likely effect of the licensing bill on concert-giving in cathedrals and churches is a cause for the utmost concern (Church alarm at licensing charge, November 29). The Three Choirs Festival, held in succession in Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester cathedrals for 275 years and the only surviving large festival of major choral works in the world, can only continue by keeping costs to an absolute minimum. Were we to seek to recover the suggested licence fees from our audiences, we would almost certainly price ourselves out of existence.

All three cathedrals are inspected by the fire and healthand safety authorities before each festival. Is there evidence that the safety of our audiences is at risk?

The government's funding of classical music and its provision for the teaching of music in schools are at an all-time low - and as a result the cost of both promoting and attending concerts is almost impossibly high. As fewer young people are introduced to classical music, so audience numbers are likely to decrease, and thus the costs of concerts will increase still further. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport seems to be promoting a scheme which could well result in the virtual cessation of classical concerts in our great cathedrals and churches.

Everyone who holds the festival dear should write a letter of protest to the minister and to their local MP.
Sam Driver White

Three Choirs Festival Association PvaManLtd@aol.com


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 10:01 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall

Robin Bynoe, a musician/lawyer friend of Richard Bridge, has already
established contact with Baroness Buscombe, shadow culture minister in the Lords.

I am also liaising with Robin. We met a couple of days ago, and worked together to get the carol singing story into The Times. Another expert licensing lawyer, Chris Hepher, also helped by providing quotes.

Robin and I have discussed the proposed MU amendments and he has now
produced a series of elegant amendments of his own which include an
exemption for unamplified music.

I can't confirm just yet, but I think this will be accepted by Baroness Buscombe and put down alongside the growing list of amendments (which can all be downloaded from the Parliament website: www.parliament.uk, look for Public Bills before Parliament).



http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/001/amend/ldam001.htm


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 10:44 AM

How much money does the "New Labour" party expect to get as contributions from the record and professional music industry in return for it's attempts to stamp out competition from amateur and semi-pro sources ? - try asking your MP that !


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Dec 02 - 01:50 PM

Our noble Lords are 'tinkering', I mean making amendments to the Bill. See link above.

This is an example/

After clause 20
THE LORD CLARKE OF HAMPSTEAD
Insert the following new Clause-


"Maximum permitted occupancy figure
Where the licensing authority deems it appropriate, a condition shall be attached to a premises licence specifying the maximum permitted occupancy figure when the premises are being used for a licensable activity and this figure must be specified on the premises licence and on the summary of the premises licence.

The maximum permitted occupancy figure must be determined by the licensing authority in consultation with the police, the fire authority and the responsible authority as defined in section 13(4)(d)."
In other words no safe capacity needed for drinking or Live TV sport crowds but only where a licensable activity is applied for, (i.e. you and me singing) and only then if and when the LA thinks it necessary.

So much for public safety, just let the councils do want they want, as they are allowed to do now.

Why not that the Fire/Safety inspection, that has to take place, imposes a safe capacity on all premises?

How can you ever accuse premises of being overcrowded when this cannot be established? Oh, I forgot, if the council officers say it is overcrowded, that is good enough. Or if they don't?


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 07:03 AM

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dai Crowther"
Newsgroups: uk.music.folk
Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 12:58 AM
Subject: Re: Announce Licesing Bill - Lord's Amendements

"Roger Gall" wrote in message
news:asnsom$2uq$1@helle.btinternet.com...
: Why not that the Fire/Safety inspection imposes a safe capacity on all premises?

: Agreed Roger.

I am a publican as well as being a folk performer/organiser for thirty
years or so. I have a PEL because I have live music on four nights of the week, including a folk session on a Thursday.

The above proposal is the status quo. This means that I can have a soft rock duo on a Saturday night with 150 people in the pub, no doorperson, no firedoors open (indeed the can be barred if I so wish), no need for my emergency lighting etc to be operable and free from any inspection by the council.

However, on a Thursday, with thirty or so people in the pub for the
session (including audience and casual drinkers/diners) and possibly
only a guitarist, a fiddler and a singer, I must pay a doorperson
(£10.00 per hour cheapest) to oversee that numbers in the lounge bar
does not exceed 50, check and keep fire doors and beer garden gates open and clear of obstruction, with a full first aid kit ready for use. I can have the guitarist and singer back next evening, amped up to the gills, playing to a full house with none of the above in operation.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with public safety.

Di.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 08:02 AM

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/001/amend/am001-f.htm

THE LORD REDESDALE
THE BARONESS HARRIS OF RICHMOND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE LORD LUKE

Page 110, line 32, at end insert—


"Unamplified Music incidental to certain other activities

The provision of entertainment consisting of the performance of live music (and not comprising or including the playing of recorded music) is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act to the extent that the conditions specified in paragraph (2) are satisfied and to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity that is not itself—

a)entertainment of a description falling within paragraph (2), or

b)the provision of entertainment facilities

(2)The conditions referred to in paragraph (1) are that—

a)the other activity referred to in paragraph (1) is the subject of, and is undertaken in accordance with a licence granted under this Act; and

b)the number of persons undertaking the activity referred to in paragraph (a) above does not exceed 100 or such other number of persons permitted to be present in accordance with the licence referred to in paragraph (a); and

c)the live music being performed is not provided in whole or part by means of, or with the assistance of, electrical or electronic amplification, or made more readily audible by such amplification either in the place where the performance is occurring or in any other place."

Page 110, line 32, at end insert—

"Small premises

The provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities is not to be regarded as regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act if—

a)it is undertaken on premises on which no more than 250 persons are present;

b)no charge is made for entry; and

c)the provision of the entertainment creases no later than 11 pm"

THE LORD REDESDALE
THE BARONESS HARRIS OF RICHMOND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE LORD LUKE

Page 110, line 32, at end insert—


"Educational and social establishments

The provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities is not to be regarded as regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act if it is undertaken on the premises of—

a)an educational establishment for purposes directly connected to the activities of the establishment;

b)a prison for purposes incidental to the activities of the prison;

c)a hospital for purposes incidental to the activities of the hospital; or

d)a museum or public gallery for purposes incidental to the activities of the museum or public gallery."

THE LORD REDESDALE
THE BARONESS HARRIS OF RICHMOND
THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE LORD LUKE

Page 111, leave out lines 13 and 14


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 01:59 PM

The first part of the Robin Bynoe draft above (the acoustic exemption) is actually language I suggested to Robin for thought a little earlier - and also to some others (they know who they are) who suggested it was incomprehensible.

Actually I don't like the 250 exemption - it would make it pretty noisy near either of the pubs in my village.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 02:52 PM

and also to some others (they know who they are) who suggested it was incomprehensible.

Richard, I accept that it remains as comprehensible (to me) as the rest of the Bill. *Smiles*


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Dec 02 - 05:36 PM

Letters in The Times 6 December 2002

Licensing Bill to 'penalise' live music
From Mr Dave Gelly


Sir, If Mr Kim Howells, the Culture Minister (letter, November 30), is keen to ensure that people who "wish to stay in for a peaceful evening can do so", he is going about it in a very strange way.

He wishes to impose licensing on even the mildest of live music, yet has not brought in any similar measure to curb the growing nuisance of pubs and clubs showing football matches and other sports on large screens.

These showings are commonly attended by crowds of noisy, excited, lager-filled young men. After the match they disgorge into the street, still shouting and chanting, and occasionally fighting, too.
If Mr Howells wants to do something for culture he will strive to encourage live music, not to penalise it.
Yours, etc,
DAVE GELLY
(Musician and music journalist),
16 Poplar Walk, SE24 0BU.
December 1.


From the Reverend Oliver R. Osmond
Sir, This season the church of which I am vicar is hosting musical events ranging from recitals by such international soloists as Tasmin Little and John Lill to concerts involving local amateurs and schoolchildren. This is the only building in the area able to accommodate an orchestra or large choir and seating 400 people with reasonable sightlines. People come here because they have no alternative.

Except in the centres of a few major cities, cathedrals and churches are this nation's concert halls. Most of the events held in them already operate on very tight margins. The effect of the proposed Licensing Bill will not be to create some kind of even playing field between different types of venue but to reduce drastically the number of live musical events taking place around this country.
Yours faithfully,
OLIVER R. OSMOND,
John Keble Vicarage, 142 Deans Lane,
Edgware, Middlesex HA8 9NT.
December 5.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 02:50 AM

And the 7 December

Licensing Bill
From Mrs E. M. Thomas


Sir, Never mind a quiet evening in (letters, November 30 and December 6); some of us would welcome a quiet evening out. The Culture Minister should leave live music alone and impose licensing on piped music.

Yours faithfully,
E. M. THOMAS,
10 Clarence Crescent,
Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5DT.
December 6.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 04:54 AM

Letters intended for publication on the
Letters Page of The Times should be e-mailed to letters@thetimes.co.uk
Please include a full postal address

You can email letters to the Guardian at the following address: letters@guardian.co.uk, fax them to 0207 837 4530, or post them to: 119 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3ER
They do not publish letters where only an email address is supplied; please include a full postal address and a reference to the relevant article. If you do not want your email address published, please say so. They may edit letters.

Daily Telegraph
Letters to the Editor
dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
Please include a full postal address


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: ET
Date: 07 Dec 02 - 06:02 AM

I have written to Tony Balir and many others in terms below :-

Date : 6th December 2002

Re Licensing Reform and the Death of Live Music.

I appreciate that there are many and great issues of state pressing at the moment but I and thousands of like minded amateur and professional musicians would be grateful if you would kindly consider the contents of this e-mail and reflect on these provisions in the licensing bill.

Does the Department of Culture really want to reflect the culture of the Taliban. Does it really want to make criminals of musicians and organisers of charity events etc outlined in this e-mail?

I have recently visited York Minister. It advertises numerous events over the next two months, including Early Music, Classical Concerts, etc. None of these are religious services and none would therefore be exempt.   If York City Council is zealous will the Archbishop be charged under the act or ought he to apply for a liquor licence for York Minster stating in his action plan that he does not intend to sell alcohol?

I wonder how many MPs have considered this situation in this light. I am aware that many have signed an Early Day Motion expressing concern about the two in a bar rule. I am aware that the Department thinks it is freeing up musicians to restore live music.   In doing so though the "jobs worth" attitude of many local authority officials has to be seen to be believed. I know that Council Officials scoure the classified adverts of local papers looking for small events in pubs etc which do not have a public Entertainment Licence.

Please be aware of these concerns and avoid the UK becoming a world laughing stock.


Yours faithfully


Eric Twigger

To The Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Culture, Minister for Tourism, Malcolm Moss MP, John Whittingdale MP, David Davies MP.


I see that the Lords have put in proper amendments including exemptions for un amplified music. This gives some hope but there are hundreds of cannon fodder labour MPs who will toe the party line in exchange for some vague hope of promotion no doubt.


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 09:45 AM

This letter to Hamish Birchall.

Dear Hamish

We, the three Chairmen of the Three Choirs Festival, wholeheartedly support your initiative with regard to what is, in effect, yet another stealth tax. The fees proposed would put our festival, held annually for the last 275 years, in the great Cathedrals of Hereford, Worcester and Gloucester, in serious doubt. Thus, the oldest music festival in the world could well cease to be. Given the comparatively small seating capacities of our cathedral venues, there is no way in which we could increase ticket prices. Our associations with orchestras such as the RPO, RLPO, Philharmonia, BSO etc would terminate.

Our Fringe Festivals, which run alongside the main festivals and which successfully involve and encourage all genres of music emanating from the community, would be stifled.


Paul Vaughan
Chairman - The Three Choirs Festival - Worcester 01905 640663


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 02:04 PM

The following from Dick Gaughan, which he has agreed to be circulated (or regurgitated).

I will travel anywhere and take part in any effort to publicly break this law should it be passed. I am prepared to take the full consequences of doing so, including being arrested and imprisoned should that prove necessary. I don't just sing about this stuff, I try to live it and I don't sing or say what I'm not prepared to do in practise.

You organise the event and I'll be there (allowing for things like actually being in the country at the time, obviously.)

I will not, however, give my support in any way to any campaign to create exemptions within this law for any group or subgroup which will leave other groups and subgroups abandoned to it. That would be anathema to everything I've spent my life fighting for.
DG


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 10:44 AM

Keep it up Sham.

A bunch of film industry people (a club which once unwisely let me become a member) has Kim Howells to talk to them in teh new year.

I have tried to start a ball rolling....


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 04:25 PM

Save the nation's music
Churches should not be licensed
Leader
Wednesday December 11, 2002
The Guardian


The government's licensing bill, which reaches its committee
stage in the House of Lords tomorrow, is essentially a deregulation measure. Its headline proposals liberalise the hours for licensed drinking of alcohol. But the drafters have also taken the opportunity to review the law on licensed activities of other kinds, not just concerning alcohol.
The result is that in some areas of British life the bill promises more regulation and not less.

One activity that would be drastically affected by new regulation is music in churches. Under the bill, any premises which host more than five public concerts a year will be required to apply for, pay for and comply with a licence on the same basis as commercial concert venues. While musical performances which form part of a religious
service would remain exempt, many other musical events, including performances of sacred works and even Christmas carol concerts, would be affected.

According to the Bishop of London, the costs for the Church of England's 16,000 parish churches are likely to add up to £2.6m in the first year of the new scheme alone. It is beyond argument that the new scheme will mean fewer concerts of every kind.

It no doubt seemed utterly logical to the bureaucrats at the Department of Media, Culture and Sport when they drafted the bill that the 1982 exemption of churches from such measures should be tidied up. What the drafters have failed to grasp is that churches are the lifeblood of live music throughout much of these islands. In villages and small towns, never mind in larger towns and cities, churches play an unrivalled role in keeping music of all kinds alive.

To destroy this life-enhancing role of our churches with a stroke of the legislative pen would be an act of utter cultural vandalism. Peers must strike it down tomorrow. In the meantime, be warned. Enjoy this year's church carol concert while you may; for, if the government gets its way, it could be your last.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,3604,857648,00.html


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 10:15 AM

http://edm.ais.co.uk/weblink/html/motion.html/ref=331

LICENSING OF LIVE MUSIC 10.12.02
Whittingdale/John


That this House expresses concern that the Licensing Bill proposals to make the performance of live music licensable in pubs and clubs, in places where alcohol is served, in churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, in schools and colleges, in community centres and village and parish halls, and in private homes and gardens where private parties and weddings may be held will have an enormously detrimental effect on musicians and live music performances; fears that the raising of money for charities by musicians will be seriously compromised; considers it will seriously impinge on the folk community including folk music and traditional folk activities such as morris dancing, wassailing, &c; believes that the penalties for breaking the law of a six month jail sentence of a £20,000 fine are far too draconian; considers it grossly unfair and inconsistent that live music will not be licensable in Scotland but will be in England and Wales; regrets that the Government has decided to replace the anomalous two in a bar rule with a none in a bar rule which will catch all live music performances; believes that the requirement for the provision of entertainment facilities to become licensable which will ensnare music shops, music and dance studios and teachers, represents a totally unacceptable regulatory intrusion into mainstream activities; and calls on the Government to amend the relevant parts of bill in order to remove the iniquities faced by musicians and the music industry as a whole.

Please circulate this and get your MP to sign?


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 05:06 AM

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds02/text/21212-01.htm#21212-01_head2

The Lords debate 12 December 2002


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Dec 02 - 07:13 AM

I am interested to note that it is repeatedly in the Lords debate stated that "carol services" are excluded from the bill. But all religious services (in churches, etc) are excluded. What is the position of "carol concerts" and what, if anything, is the legal difference between a "carol concert" and a "carol service"?


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Subject: RE: MU campaign - Freedom of Expression
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jan 03 - 01:37 PM

http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/welcome.shtml

The above link is to the MU's site. It is now well worth a look.


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