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PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY

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Nemesis 08 Jan 03 - 04:53 AM
sian, west wales 08 Jan 03 - 05:33 AM
Nemesis 08 Jan 03 - 05:38 AM
The Shambles 08 Jan 03 - 06:44 AM
Nemesis 08 Jan 03 - 07:20 AM
Nemesis 08 Jan 03 - 07:42 AM
Noreen 08 Jan 03 - 01:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jan 03 - 02:26 PM
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Noreen 09 Jan 03 - 10:36 AM
Richard Bridge 09 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM
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DMcG 09 Jan 03 - 03:47 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Jan 03 - 06:28 PM
Mr Happy 10 Jan 03 - 03:14 AM
The Shambles 10 Jan 03 - 04:46 AM
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ET 10 Jan 03 - 02:02 PM
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DMcG 11 Jan 03 - 04:27 PM
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Subject: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Nemesis
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 04:53 AM

Mark Ringwood
Modal UK Ltd
Tel: 0870 243 0278
Fax: 01243 789787
www.modal.co.uk
Modal 2003 - Nottingham 11-14 September
----- Original Message -----
From: Hamish Birchall
To: Hamish Birchall
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2003 9:11 AM
Subject: Licensing: Labour backbenchers to meet Howells tomorrow


With hundreds of letters now pouring into Parliament objecting to the live music provisions of the Licensing Bill, Labour backbenchers are becoming increasingly worried. At very short notice, they have arranged a meeting with licensing Minister Kim Howells. This meeting will be held tomorrow, Thursday 8 January, at noon.

I only learned of this yesterday evening when Martin Linton (Lab, Battersea) contacted me to ask for the names of other Labour MPs who have shown an interest. He wants as many as possible to attend the meeting with Howells.

If your MP is Labour please contact them immediately (the House of Commons switchboard is 020 7219 3000) and urge them to attend this meeting and to register their intention to attend with Martin Linton on 020 7219 1181. If you don't know who your MP is,

www.faxyourmp.com
will find them automatically from your postcode.

A footnote: government Ministers continue dismiss out of hand the legal advice that private events where performers are paid are caught by the Bill. In fact, on the day the Bill was published, the Arts Council received a legal opinion from one of the UK's leading licensing lawyers confirming that corporate hospitality events where performers are paid were licensable under the Bill as published. This contradicted the government's own statement published in the Explanatory Notes that accompany the Bill.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: sian, west wales
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 05:33 AM

Interesting. My MP had a surgery here in town last Friday, so I went along (I had already faxed him). We know each other from when he was on the West Wales Arts panel, and I was an officer, so he knew I knew what I was talking about; I knew he knew I knew; etc. Strange meeting as he knew that he couldn't just blow smoke - but he tried anyway.

At any rate, upshot of all this is that his researcher will be getting me the names of all MPs and Lords who will be on the Standing Committees dealing with the bill. When I get them, I'll post them here.

Also, he admitted to having quite a few concerned letters from churches and chapels, which are finally waking up to the fact that this could cause them a lot of grief. Looks like Labour will definitely back-track on a lot of the religious elements of the bill...

sian


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Nemesis
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 05:38 AM

I've heard that they are probably climbing down on the Churches aspect .. if only to a reduced fee (but that's off the top of my head .. so much information .. too little brain cells :)

Keep the pressure up everyone!


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 06:44 AM

Correction.

The meeting is Thursday 9th January at noon.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Nemesis
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:20 AM

Thanks Shambles .. phew!


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Nemesis
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 07:42 AM


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Noreen
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 01:25 PM

I have just faxed my MP re this (David Chaytor) in a continuation of our correspondece on the matter, and will try to reach him by telephone.

Unfortuntely I fear many people will not read this thread, having been swamped in the deluge of PEL information. I would make a request for future information posted here to be edited into succint points on which action can be taken, as this thread is.

Noreen Keene


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jan 03 - 02:26 PM

There's this specialist forum - which is a good place to keep up with developments, and pass on/pick up news aboiut the campaign.

Sent my MP another fax, via faxyourmp, telling him about this meeting. Third one I've sent him this week.

If things don't get sorted out pretty soon we're going to be lumbered with all this nonsense.

I've also suggested on the forum there that someone should start a petition specifically for people outside the country, so they can sign it, and in doing so declare that this whole thing is making them feel less like spending any hoiday time and money in England or Wales. The government is likely to take a lot more notice of that than it is of us.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 09:20 AM

72 MPs have now signed EDM 331. The following are the few brave Labour MPs.

Clark/Helen
Corbyn/Jeremy
Cox/Tom
Dobson/Frank
Follett/Barbara
Hurst/Alan
Jones/Martyn
Marris/Rob
Owen/Albert
Taylor/David


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Noreen
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 10:36 AM

Phoned the House of Commons switchboard yesterday and was put straight through to my MP, David Chaytor. Although unable to attend today's noon meeting, he agreed to follow it up and I'll try and get to see him shortly.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 01:29 PM

I think some MPs are still not there. I have one in mind who may come on side.

ANyone know what happened at the meeting, and has anyone got the current COmmons briefing paper?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 02:08 PM

This was posted on the Show of Hands list.

As you are aware today I met with Dr Kim Howells MP Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Tourism, Film and Broadcasting) to discuss concerns I have received about the Licensing Bill.

I am strongly concerned that the Musicians Union appears to be disseminating a great deal of misinformation about the Bill as the minister was easily able to refute many of the allegations that have been made.

The Bill is clearly necessary to address concerns about safety around drinking and entertainment and although many of the problems may occur primarily in city centre settings and around larger establishments, the legislation must cover all circumstances in order to close loop-holes that are currently being abused.

A universal licensing framework is to be welcomed. This will be less bureaucratic and more effective to implement. Costs should be lower to all involved. It will be a simpler system for all to understand and work within, but will remain sensitive to the vast range of licensed premises and circumstances that might exist. In simple terms a licensee will only have to make one application specifying the sorts of entertainments he/she intends to offer in order to be properly licensed. Local authority licensing committees will sit in a quasi-judicial manner to consider applications and anything that is reasonable should be automatically granted.

As an example: A pub that wants to have regular folk singing would only have to state this on their license application when it came up for renewal (3 yearly). Assuming there was no objection the local authority would grant this.

The local authorities will receive extensive guidance both from their own association (the LGA) and from the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS). There will be a right of appeal to magistrates' courts. The public will be given an avenue of input to licensing committees for the first time, but guidance will be issued to advise committees to refuse to hear frivolous objections. Local authorities will be expected to use common sense.

A number of further observations can be made to counter allegations that have been made:

·       The licensing bill does not affect private performances, music teachers, music shops, school plays, church choirs etc.

·       The bill does not prevent ad-hoc or spontaneous singing in any establishment.

·       The same conditions will apply to establishments with jukeboxes or any other amplified music as they do to live music.

·       The implications of the bill do not require any changes to premises that are not already covered by existing Health and Safety or Fire legislation.

·       Noise nuisance will continue to be assessed in the usual way by local authority environmental health officers, but records of concern could be fed into the licensing process in order to restrict offensive noise at some venues.

·       Individual performers would not be liable under the proposals in the bill as long as they had taken reasonable precautions (i.e. asked the landlord if he/she was licensed).

The bill further clarifies the existing complex set of rules about where children can be in pubs. This will make it easier for landlords to be clear about where children can be in family friendly establishments, but should also help to reduce the prevalence of under-age drinking.

I am much reassured by what Dr Howells has had to say and hope these points help you understand where the Musicians' Union has been unnecessarily scaremongering.

Regards


An amazing attack on the MU which confirms to me that everthing they say is true. It is interesting that Dr Howells does not mention to the MPs the findings on the Bill of the Common's Joint Committee on Human Rights


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 02:11 PM

Joint Committee on Human Rights AGREE!


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 03:47 PM

I presume there will be a point-by-point rebuttal to this 'briefing' by the MU?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 06:28 PM

I have done a rebuttal in red adn black but I would need an elf to put it in html for me (actually, can I just "save as" html in Word and then paste?) and perhaps I ought to wait for the rest of the Performer-Lawyer group to edit out some of my spleen.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:14 AM

Shambles,

'This was posted on the Show of Hands list.'

i've looked on show of hands page- but no mention.

can you give source of MU rebuttal please?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:46 AM

For circulation

An open letter to Chris Mole MP
From Hamish Birchall, Musicians' Union adviser - public entertainment licensing reform


Dear Mr Mole

An email from you to a constituent was yesterday posted onto a web discussion forum about the Licensing Bill and its implications for live music (see copy below - I have deleted the name of the original recipient). Your email concerns the meeting held yesterday (Thursday January 09) at which Dr Kim Howells addressed Labour backbenchers' concerns about the music provisions in this Bill.

The Musicians' Union (MU) has broadly welcomed the overall aim of the Bill insofar as deregulation of opening times may reduce binge drinking and alcohol-related crime and disorder. The Union would certainly agree that reform of public entertainment licensing is long overdue. We have welcomed the proposal to standardise licence fees, where licensing is necessary. However, this Bill is draconian in extending criminal law sanctions to almost all public music making in England and Wales unless first licensed.

You claim that the MU has been 'scaremongering' about the implications and 'disseminating a great deal of misinformation'. Those are serious allegations. Since the web is a public forum I am responding publicly to you in order to clarify the Union's position, to assure you that we are not disseminating any misinformation, and that our concerns are very well founded. Indeed, they are shared by several eminent QCs, many lawyers working as musicians, the Arts Council, the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR). On 5 December 2002, Labour MP Jean Corston, in her capacity as Chair of the JCHR, wrote to Baroness Blackstone asking for an explanation why the government considers that abolishing the two performer licensing exemption is a proportionate response to a pressing social need. Commenting on the government's justification published in the Explanatory Notes that accompany the Bill, Ms Corston wrote:

'This amounts to no more than an assertion that requiring the activities to be authorised would serve a legitimate aim and would be necessary for and proportionate to the aim because the activities are required to be authorised. It is not a justification; indeed, it seems to be an attempt to pull the Bill up by its own bootstraps'. [Appendix 11, Scrutiny of Bills: Progress Report, HL Paper 24, HC 191, published 20 December 2002].

As I am sure you are aware, Ms Corston is a barrister. Together with the Committee's legal adviser, she will have studied the Bill closely. As far as the MU is concerned there is no evidence of any pressing social need for additional licensing controls for live music. Indeed, safety, noise and crime and disorder legislation is now so wide-ranging that there is every justification for some relaxation of licensing controls in certain contexts, at least for small-scale music-making. In correspondence, Kim Howells has only cited noise - not public safety - as the reason for abolishing the two musician exemption that applies in bars, restaurants and other liquor licensed premises. But all the evidence suggests that the vast majority of noise complaints arising from pubs and clubs is nothing to do with live music at all, but due to noisy people outside premises.

Before addressing the examples you cite as not being covered by the Bill, I should clarify a couple of general points arising from your email: firstly, the live music provisions in the Bill apply irrespective of whether alcohol is sold; secondly, the MU does not claim music teaching per se is licensable (although government Minister Andrew McIntosh in the Lords confirmed that master classes where the public could attend would be licensable). For the Union's position please see our website: www.musiciansunion.org.uk.

The general legal consensus relating to your examples is as follows:

The Bill does capture private performance where performers charge for their performance, or private performance by amateurs for charity or fundraising purposes, or for profit.

Last November, the lawyer advising the Arts Council provided them with an opinion to the effect that corporate hospitality events were captured by the Bill. This contradicts the government's statement in the Explanatory Notes that such events were not covered.

Music shops would be caught where musician/endorsees make public appearances to demonstrate musical instruments.

Church choir performances are licensable, unless their performance is part of a religious meeting or service.

School plays are licensable if they are 'to any extent' public, or if private, if raising money for charity, or if any charge is made by any person concerned in the organisation or management of the play, and that charge is paid on behalf of some of or all those being entertained.

The Bill contains no exemption for, or definition of, 'ad hoc' or 'spontaneous' performances: as worded, the Bill renders licensable any vocal music or instrumental music, or any combination of the two, performed in public with at least some intention to entertain.

The Bill contains an exemption for recorded music (provided it is incidental to other activities - like drinking alcohol - that are not licensable entertainments or facilities). Pub jukeboxes are therefore exempt, no matter how powerful the amplification, unless they were provided in conjunction with a dance floor.

Also
The JCHR has written to Baroness Blackstone with concerns specifically about Clause 134 which criminalises any musician playing in any place without a licence.

Broadcast entertainment is exempt, no matter how powerfully amplified. That means any premises may equip itself with a number of large screens and a large sound system, without being licensed under this Bill. One unamplified singer, however, would be a criminal offence unless licensed. That makes a nonsense of the noise rationale for reform.

Prior to the Bill's publication, the Association of Chief Police Officers made representations to the DCMS objecting to the exemption for satellite tv sport on crime and disorder grounds. These were rejected.

While the present 5% of liquor licensed premises that hold public entertainment licences may well save money under the new regime, a sizeable proportion of the remaining 95% will pay more. Currently they pay £30 every three years for a justices on licence. In the new regime there is the £100-500 one-off fee for the premises licence, and the new annual 'inspections' fee of up to £150. The actual figures could well be higher, and can be raised by the Secretary of State.

I understand that the licensing of all church concerts was referred to at yesterday's meeting as a 'drafting error'. If this is so, I should point out that during the Bill's drafting consultation at which the MU was represented by me, and sometimes also by Bob Wearn, the MU Assistant General Secretary for Live Engagements, the intention to abolish the exemption for secular music in churches outside London was made absolutely clear. Along with the Arts Council, we opposed the abolition of this exemption. We were told, however, that if performance in churches were not licensed in future this would represent an unfair commercial advantage over premises that were required to be licensed for live music. This DCMS rationale, quite outside the stated aims of licensing, was also quoted in The Times:

'... The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is piloting the Licensing Bill through Parliament, said that churches and places of worship did not need a licence for entertainment being used for the purposes of a religious meeting or service. "Where a church, other place of worship or meeting hall stages a secular concert, in competition with other concert halls, they must obtain a licence".' [Bill 'will damage music in churches', Richard Ford, The Times, p8, Sat 23 November 2002]

Thankfully, the government has since decided to rethink its position over the licensing of secular music in churches.

The whole point of revamping public entertainment licensing is, surely, to clarify and simplify the rules, to remove unnecessary rules, and not to extend rules where they are not required. The fact that some very fine legal minds profoundly disagree with the DCMS analysis of the Bill indicates, at the very least, that the wording is unclear and needs clarification.

If this is not done within the primary legislation, rest assured it will lead to untold waste of money and human resources in pursuing clarification through the courts. Local authorities have shown themselves very willing to do this. For example, a recent case brought by Southwark sought to determine, among other things, whether or not the 'two in a bar rule' means two performers at any one time together, or only the same two throughout the course of an entire day/evening. Sadly, the courts have decided in favour of the latter interpretation. There is also little point, it seems to me, in making primary legislation all-embracing, but relying on guidance to say 'but don't enforce this rule here'. Far better to have clear and unambiguous primary legislation.

Lastly, I would urge you and your backbench colleagues to read for yourselves, if not the entire Bill, then at least Schedule 1 and clauses 134, 137, 174, and 188.

Yours sincerely
Hamish Birchall


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 01:21 PM

>http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?view=HOME&grid=P18&menuId=-1&menuItemId=-1&_requestid=46354


The above is yet another letter from Dr Howells and another better letter by far.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: ET
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 02:02 PM

Will pass Hamish's response to John whittingdale, OBE MP, the Shadow Culture Secretary. His e-mail address is jwhittingdale.mp@tory.org.uk

Wilst the Tory Party supports the main aim of the legislation they are very concerned about this intrusion into mainstream activities.

Does anyone know why the Government is interested in this issue. With Iraq, Gun Crime, the Ecconomy etc it is hard to understand why they want to control melodeon players and people in unusual hats dancing in the Town Square?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 03:38 PM

I think there are two angles that make up the subcurrent. The first is funding for local authorities, to take them out of central funding, to keep headline tax rates down, and the second is thought control - "this dog is free from fleas", for those remember 1984 (the book, not the year)


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 04:14 PM

Refresh.

Daily Telegraph (UK broadsheet) have info about the Howellspin and our rebuttals.

I gather You and yours on Radio 4 are covering the bill almost every day.

I owe some input to BBC local SE TV and to the Kent Messenger Group of newspapers who are also interested.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: DMcG
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 04:27 PM

Richard: The DT articles don't seem to be on their website. Can you post a link or copy them here?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 05:39 PM

Letter from Dr Howells. Daily Telegraph 10 January 2003

Does Licensing Bill threaten freedom?

SIR- Your report (Jan 7) suggests that the future of the Three Choirs Festival will be jeopardised by changes to public entertainment licensing contained in the Government's Licensing Bill.

The last thing any of us would want is to threaten this country's great traditions of church music, which is epitomised by this rich and vibrant festival. Your readers can rest assured that, as minister with responsibility for licensing, I won't let this happen.

If an unintentional result of the Licensing Bill is that the future of church music is threatened, then we will amend it. As I told the House of Commons on December 16, we are reconsidering our position on this issue and we will announce our conclusions as soon as possible.

The report also stated that the Bill would mean that singing Happy Birthday in a restaurant would be illegal without a licence.

This is absolute nonsense. It is just one of a flurry of myths being put about by the Musicians' Union and others, who would be much better advised to work with the licensed trade to stimulate maximum take-up of the highly deregulatory reforms that the Licensing Bill offers.

Kim Howells
Minister for Licensing
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
London SW1


kim.howells@culture.gsi.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 05:48 PM

I had forgotten the exemption that would enable Happy Birthday to be sung in restaurant......Of course you just sing it from the back of a moving road vehicle being driven around the resturant.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:24 PM

Page 7 - Daily Telegraph 10th January 2003
Church Concerts exempted from new licence rules
BY ANDREW SPARROW
POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT


Churches will be given some form of exemption from the Government's Bill, Kim Howells, the culture minister, says today.

He promises that the Government will make sure that the Bill does not threaten the country's 2great tradition" of church music.

Under current licensing rules churches only need to obtain a licence to stage concerts if they are in London. Churches outside the capital are exempt.

The Bill as it stands says churches that are used for more than five performances a year will have to have a licence. The Government has not said what the cost will be but churches fear that that they could be landed with bills for thousands of pounds.

There have also been fears that events such as the Three Choirs Festival, the world's oldest music festival that takes place at Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester cathedrals, will not be commercially viable when the new regulations come into force.

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, Mr Howells says; "The last thing any of us would want is to threaten this country's great tradition of church music that is epitomised by this rich and vibrant festival."

"As minister with responsibilities for licensing, I won't let this happen. If an unintentional result of the Licensing bill is that the future of church music is threatened, then we will amend it."

The bill, which mainly deals with pub licensing, is still going through its committee stage in the Lords. The Government is expected to introduce an amendment dealing with the church issue at a later stage in the Bill's passage through Parliament.

Ministers are also expected to address two complaints about the Bill made by the joint committee of the Lords and the Commons on human rights.

The committee suggested that the Bill might be incompatible with Article 10 of the Convention of Human Rights, guaranteeing freedom of expression.

This right will be restricted because it will become an offence to stage a performance in a venue without a licence.

The Government argues that it is entitled to interfere with a an article 10 right on the grounds of public safety, the prevention of crime and disorder and the protection of the rights of others.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: GUEST,Dave Kenningham
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:43 PM

We need more famous names to make people aware of this proposed bill. I was at a public meeting on monday, that was addressed by David Heath MP. He said that our greatest asset is that we are in the entertainment buisness. If ANY of you mudcatters know any famous musicians - tell them now! WE NEED YOU!


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: GUEST,Robbie Williams
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:49 PM

I personally don't know what all the fuss is about!


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Baby Custard
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 03:25 PM

this can not happen!!! my whole family earns their living from live music! if this law happens it will be disasterous! i would have thought the MU and Equity would have been sorting it out!
luv baby custard


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: pavane
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 12:54 PM

Here is another thought - if prerecorded music is exempt, then we all need to come along to clubs and sessions with 'one we made earlier', in CD or other suitable format, and a powerful PA. Are we allowed to mime, or is that entertainment?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: pavane
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 12:56 PM

Or would miming contravene the noise regulations?
PS Does anyone have feedback from Thursday's meeting?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 02:39 PM

I have had a response from my MP, Nigel Beard. He has been assured by Kim Howells that morris dancing or any other musical performance in a public place will be restricted, so he will not be signing the EDM.

I have written back:

Dear Mr Beard:

Thank you for your comments. I am interested to see that you have been assured that, for example, morris dancing will not be restricted. My concern is that in law it is the words of the Act that matter, not assurances. May I quote the relevant part of the bill?



I would be interested in hearing how you reconcile the assurance with the proposed Act. There are, as far I can see, no relevant exclusions. If there are, I would be grateful if you could quote their paragraph numbers.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 02:40 PM

Oops, he's been assured it will NOT be restricted. This bill is getting to me!


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 02:09 AM

Clark/Helen
Corbyn/Jeremy
Cox/Tom
Dobson/Frank
Follett/Barbara
Hurst/Alan
Jones/Martyn
Mann/John
Marris/Rob
Owen/Albert
Taylor/David

75 MPs have now signed EDM 331. To their great credit, the above are the only Labour MPs to do so.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: vectis
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 06:44 AM

What's EDM 331?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 08:36 AM

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

EDM 331


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Bagpuss
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 09:45 AM

Our choir sent this to our local MP and copied it to other MPs in the vicinity:

Throughout the year, our community choir (about 50 - 60 members)
performs a
variety of concerts on behalf of a variety of causes. We have sung at
Friend's of the Earth 'Green Day' at the Piece Hall in Halifax; Peace
concerts; May Day concerts; at the switching on of Hebden Bridge's
lights at
Christmas, amongst others.

We are an open choir - the only qualification is that you enjoy
singing. The
joy of singing, whatever you sound like, is something our choir, and
many
others like it, actively promote.

Last year, Calder Valley Voices hosted the National Street Choirs
Festival.
More than 500 singers, from over 30 choirs from around Britain joined
together in Hebden Bridge for what was generally agreed to have been
one of
the most successful festivals in its history. The event involves
singing
workshops in a variety of venues, concert performances, busking on the
streets, and a mass sing of all the choirs. The feedback we got from
the
people of Hebden Bridge was that it was a very enjoyable weekend;
wherever
they went around town on the Saturday, they came across different
groups
singing. It raised everyone's mood and the many visitors boosted the
town's
economy.

The festival is hosted in a different town or city every year; this
year it
is to be hosted by Rough Truffles from Belper.

The new Licensing Bill puts all this at risk - every choir is going to
have
to pay more for their practice spaces - as these will have to be
licensed
this will incur a cost inevitably passed on to user groups. Most groups
operate on a shoestring budget - all out of choir members' pockets;
their
very existence is threatened.

The performance spaces, workshops, massed singing and busking are all
at risk
because of this bill. The tourist and catering industries of future
hosts of
the festival will be affected.

We strongly urge you to take a stand against this miserable, joyless,
pernicious bill.

Thank you.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 11:17 AM

Interesting you use the word "pernicious".

I wonder if the government is using that very word about us?


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: vectis
Date: 14 Jan 03 - 06:03 PM

Have e-mailed my MP to tick him off for not signing EDM331 yet.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: GUEST,Chippinder
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 11:43 AM

I emailed my MP and got a standard "thank you for your email, have a look on my website to see if I've got an opinion on this". He appears not to!
Chips


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: vindelis
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 12:42 PM

I e-mailed my MP 10 Jan, no reply to date.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jan 03 - 06:53 PM

One MP has not only given his support but has even been photographed signing the petition.

http://www.lemonrock.com/index038.php3


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: pavane
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 07:39 AM

Every time I contact my MP, Peter Hain, he just sends my fax to Kim Howells, even when I ask him not to.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jan 03 - 02:51 PM

Does anyone else share Peter Hain as their MP, a few more concerned voters may wake him up?

How about asking to meet him at his surgery?

This from The Stage 16 January 2003

Licensing plans will violate human rights, claims Commons committee
by Sally Bramley


Government plans to license all public live entertainment have been dismissed as unjustifiable and a violation of the right to freedom of expression, according to the Commons Joint Committee on Human Rights.

The committee, chaired by Labour MP Jean Corston, said claims that the new rules would protect the public on health and safety grounds were "not justification - indeed it seems to be an attempt to pull the bill up by its own bootstraps".

In a letter to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, the committee demanded a better explanation for the proposals, which will mean that every venue putting on live entertainment, secondary to its normal activity, will need to get a public entertainment licence.

Pubs, in particular, will be affected. Under current law, they can operate a 'two in a bar' rule where two musicians or less can perform without a licence. This will be scrapped and replaced by the 'none in a bar' rule where pubs can get a joint alcohol and entertainment permit.

A report from a committee meeting held in December suggested that the bill was incompatible with Article Ten of the European Convention of Human Rights covering the freedom of expression.

It said: "We consider that there is a significant risk that the provision would amount to an unjustifiable interference with, and hence violation of, rights under Article Ten."

http://www.thestage.co.uk/paper/0303/0102.shtml


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 02:58 AM

How is the response going?

The DCMS recent 'Comentary' gives plenty of demonstration of the inconsistent nature of the Bill. Specific questions to your MP on theses may be the best way forward.

On the lines of how can many of the statements in this and exemptions to the licensing requirement can be justified given the stated objectives of the Bill. For of course they simply cannot.

They argue that charity events present the same safety issues but then try to argue that an event that only breaks even is safe without a licence.

And crowds attracted to TV evnts do not need this licence but just having a piano will...........The list is endless and we have yet to see the fudge for church concerts.


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jan 03 - 03:02 AM

Many Mps will be directly lobbied today at the Commons, if you can't be there, send them your support by contacting your MP today - again if necessary.

PEL DEMO 27 January


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Subject: RE: PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jan 03 - 01:56 AM

This in the Guardian 27 Janauary 2003

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/features/story/0,11710,883633,00.html


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