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PELs: Exemptions?

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Mr Happy 09 Jan 03 - 08:39 AM
Bagpuss 09 Jan 03 - 08:44 AM
Mr Happy 09 Jan 03 - 08:46 AM
Dave Bryant 09 Jan 03 - 08:47 AM
Mr Happy 09 Jan 03 - 08:49 AM
sian, west wales 09 Jan 03 - 08:56 AM
Mr Happy 09 Jan 03 - 08:58 AM
DMcG 09 Jan 03 - 09:11 AM
vectis 09 Jan 03 - 09:38 AM
Mr Happy 09 Jan 03 - 09:53 AM
Mr Happy 09 Jan 03 - 11:36 AM
sian, west wales 09 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM
Mr Happy 10 Jan 03 - 05:39 AM
maldenny 10 Jan 03 - 04:28 PM
Nemesis 11 Jan 03 - 06:29 AM
clansfolk 11 Jan 03 - 06:52 AM
clansfolk 11 Jan 03 - 07:23 AM
gnomad 11 Jan 03 - 01:08 PM
vectis 12 Jan 03 - 06:50 PM
DMcG 13 Jan 03 - 04:47 AM
Mr Happy 13 Jan 03 - 04:59 AM
DMcG 13 Jan 03 - 05:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jan 03 - 08:33 AM
ET 22 Jan 03 - 09:26 AM
Mr Happy 22 Jan 03 - 09:36 AM
DMcG 22 Jan 03 - 09:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Jan 03 - 10:34 AM
DMcG 22 Jan 03 - 10:45 AM
IanC 22 Jan 03 - 10:45 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Jan 03 - 03:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jan 03 - 09:37 AM
clansfolk 25 Jan 03 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jan 03 - 01:24 PM
Mr Happy 29 Jan 03 - 02:45 PM
DMcG 29 Jan 03 - 02:58 PM
The Shambles 29 Jan 03 - 03:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 03 - 03:25 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Jan 03 - 05:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 03 - 09:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Jan 03 - 09:10 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Jan 03 - 02:49 PM
The Shambles 31 Jan 03 - 08:51 AM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 05:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 03 - 07:49 AM
The Shambles 01 Feb 03 - 08:02 AM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 08:50 AM
The Shambles 01 Feb 03 - 09:48 AM
The Shambles 01 Feb 03 - 09:58 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 03 - 10:16 AM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 10:19 AM
The Shambles 01 Feb 03 - 10:37 AM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 10:38 AM
The Shambles 01 Feb 03 - 10:49 AM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 11:01 AM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 11:07 AM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM
The Shambles 01 Feb 03 - 01:03 PM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 02:54 PM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 02:59 PM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 03:16 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM
clansfolk 01 Feb 03 - 05:07 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Feb 03 - 06:12 PM
Mr Happy 01 Feb 03 - 06:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Feb 03 - 08:07 PM
The Shambles 02 Feb 03 - 04:19 AM
clansfolk 02 Feb 03 - 08:06 AM
clansfolk 02 Feb 03 - 08:15 AM
The Shambles 02 Feb 03 - 08:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 03 - 02:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 03 - 02:54 PM
The Shambles 02 Feb 03 - 03:42 PM
The Shambles 02 Feb 03 - 05:07 PM
The Shambles 02 Feb 03 - 05:39 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 03 - 07:33 PM
The Shambles 03 Feb 03 - 01:53 AM
The Shambles 03 Feb 03 - 02:00 AM
The Shambles 03 Feb 03 - 11:50 AM
Richard Bridge 04 Feb 03 - 09:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Feb 03 - 09:35 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Feb 03 - 07:33 AM
Mr Happy 17 Feb 03 - 10:15 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Feb 03 - 02:34 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Feb 03 - 01:37 PM
Folkiedave 22 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Feb 03 - 08:14 PM
Folkiedave 23 Feb 03 - 02:26 PM
The Shambles 24 Feb 03 - 10:47 AM
GUEST,Ed 24 Feb 03 - 11:44 AM
Folkiedave 24 Feb 03 - 04:05 PM
The Shambles 24 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM
The Shambles 25 Feb 03 - 05:44 AM
The Shambles 25 Feb 03 - 08:55 AM
The Shambles 26 Feb 03 - 02:15 AM
Sarah the flute 26 Feb 03 - 03:37 AM
The Shambles 08 Mar 03 - 04:03 PM
The Shambles 11 Mar 03 - 02:18 PM
The Shambles 12 Mar 03 - 09:20 AM
The Admiral 12 Mar 03 - 10:42 AM
The Shambles 12 Mar 03 - 11:17 AM
Richard Bridge 12 Mar 03 - 01:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Mar 03 - 01:31 PM
The Shambles 12 Mar 03 - 01:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Mar 03 - 09:30 PM
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Subject: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:39 AM

PELs : Exemptions

Under the present proposals the exemptions from needing a PEL include 쳌emoving vehicles쳌f.

Does this then mean all musicians & singers will be free from prosecution if they hold their sessions on modes of transport?

What could these be?

Buses
Cars
Trains & boats & planes
Horse & cart
On horseback [if a horse qualifies as a vehicle]
A pushbike/tandem
A motorbike- possible for passenger to play a melodeon if seated facing away from the driver.
Hot air balloons
Submarines


more?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:44 AM

What about if the participants at a session all ride around on a little tricyle whilst playing?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:46 AM

LOL- what a picture in the mind's eye


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:47 AM

Could be dodgy trying to play a guitar and drive at the same time though.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:49 AM

well a taxi then- or elect/hire a chaffeur


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:56 AM

I believe they actually have to be moving during the performance, therefore sessions on trains, but not when they're in the station.

sian


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 08:58 AM

no using the loo either


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 09:11 AM

Roller skates?

Vehicle are excused if they are moving, but not if they are 'temporarily parked'. I would guess, from the regulations on parking tickets, there is a legal distinction between being 'temporarily parked' and merely stopped. Sounds like a loophole to me, folks.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: vectis
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 09:38 AM

skateboards
pogo sticks
scooters
the thought of Joe Stead on a hovercraft in our folk club has me LOL.
sitting on a mobile barstool

The mind boggles

well mine is anyway :-)


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 09:53 AM

Seriously tho folks, there are some established 'folk trains' on private lines like the one they run at Bridgnorth Folk Festival.

Any more?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 11:36 AM

a chiming ice-cream van just past by my house- he's ok as long as he keeps moving.

& then there's lifts [elevators]- some already have muzak in already- d'ye think we could organise a sinaround in a lift?

but we'd have to stop at every flaw.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: sian, west wales
Date: 09 Jan 03 - 11:42 AM

There used to be a jazz train from Swansea to Milford Haven. And the Ammanford C&W club used to have the occasional outing on the mid-Wales line.

sian


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 05:39 AM

Here's some more:

From http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/two_in_a_bar17.shtml


'It would appear that historical battle re-enactments are also newly criminalised (unless licensed), as is horse-and-carriage racing indoors.'

BUT, moving vehicles are EXEMPT- more ambiguity

&



* Schedule 1 of the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations sets out the 'Main activities which determine whether local authorities will be enforcing authorities' (i.e. of health and safety legislation). Para 9 stipulates the following activities: 'The practice or presentation of the arts, sports, games, entertainment or other cultural or recreational activities except where the main activity is the exhibition of a cave
·         to the public'.


Yours sincerely

Department for Culture, Media and Sport




a cave?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: maldenny
Date: 10 Jan 03 - 04:28 PM

The Trogloditic Folk Festival!! ??

Mal


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Nemesis
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:29 AM

Oh, goody .. we all play our instruments whilst travelling to the silent demo on 27th January -- demo's on the move too?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 06:52 AM

Town centres across the UK could be brought to a stand still - vehicles filled with musicians handing out leaflets, form a circle through the town/city/village - if they are "unable to proceed" due to the vehicle infront stopped for lights etc.. (or the muso's vehicles in front of them) - vehicle would be classed as moving - no obstuction offence either!!!

anyone got a date???????


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 07:23 AM

Most of old Folkies will be taking to our "Bathchairs" (wheelchairs) - very soon anyway - so wheel(sic) be OK!!!!!!!

Pete - the Folkasaurus........


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: gnomad
Date: 11 Jan 03 - 01:08 PM

Sledges when in season, and where can we find one of those cross-chanel hovercraft that are about to (have recently?) been made redundant?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: vectis
Date: 12 Jan 03 - 06:50 PM

you'll never make yourself heard above the din from hovercraft engines :-)


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 04:47 AM

Does that matter? Is the offence in the singing or the entertaining? If its the singing, whether you can be heard or not doesn't make any difference.

I was stumped for a few minutes on Friday when I was told about someone at a club asked to mime to their own CD. I thought this might be allowed for a while, then realised its still an offence: miming is banned in its own right.

Thank heavens for consistancy!


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 04:59 AM

still trying to decipher the proposed legislation concerning recorded music.

under some parts of the bill it's exempt contadicted by other sections saying its not.

what about pub customers singing along to jukeboxes/ canned pub music?- that's illegal too- & going by above post- no-one can even mime to it!

what next?- No talking? 'and sit up straight & fold your arms that boy at the back!!'


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: DMcG
Date: 13 Jan 03 - 05:21 AM

I believe mime is banned under "performance of a play" and/or "entertainment of a similar description to" live music, recorded music or dance.


As far as recorded music is concerned, if playing a CD is incidental to the main activity it is not banned, but if it played as an activity its own right it is banned. So, for, example, if your CD was played as incidental music in the background at a pub it is allowed, but if people turn up to listen to you and you play that same CD instead of singing, it is licensible.

No, it doesn't make sense to me either. I guess it is trying to make DJs need a licence.


Reading through the list of licensable activities, I suddenly noticed that comedians do not appear to need a licence (unless their act can be construed as a play "with improvisation"). They can't sing a comic song at the end, though.


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Subject: RE: An exemption that could sort things
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 08:33 AM

Here is a post I put up on the Online forum about the Licensing Bill, which came out of the online petition (which right at this point has ...48994 Total Signatures!).

So I thought I'd put it here as well, because I think we are in danger of thinking too negatively and defensively, and losing sight of the possibility that this could all work out very much for the best.

When this whole issue became a matter for discussion a couple of years ago we were thinking and talking about how reform of the law cold make things better. Thanks to this cack-handed Bill we've switched our attention to pointing out how it is likely to make things worse.

But we should never forget that the existing situation which we are finding ourselves defending is pretty dire. Maybe we should focus on how the Bill could be changed in a way that would actually make things a lot better.

So far as most of the things we are worried about this could be achieved - by a simple addition of a clause in the Exemptions section of the Bill, which is at Schedule 2 Part 2.

I suggest something on these lines:

"The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities or participation in such activities where the primary purpose is for the mutual enjoyment of performers is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act."

If we had this (and it is in fact in line with the "promises" that Kim Howells has been throwing out every time he gets cornered), it would mean that we could at last make music anywhere where the proprietors had no objection, so long as we didn't make excessive noise, or cause excessive crowding. Pubs, cafes, fish and chip shops... We'd have the same freedom in this respect as people in Scotland or Ireland. Informal music could flourish in a way it has never been allowed to in our lives and the lives of our parents and grandparents.

(A similar approach could be taken to deal with the worries about school performances, for example - additional clauses in the exemption section.)


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: ET
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 09:26 AM

This wretched bill seems to have got through the House of Lords reatively unscaithed. There is an amendment about trying to protect those who work in pubs from working 24 hours a day 9 days a wekk and thats about it.    Remaining includes "premises includes any place....to a field is a premise" and music includes singing and musical instruments or any combination of both.

Its ok having petitions etc and much protest from musicians but if you talk about this to memembers of the public they are generally horrified. How can we spread our concerns further?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 09:36 AM

& why is there nothing in the news about it?

or is the media content to keep fobbing the population off with stories of 'mass distraction'?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 09:41 AM

I must admit I don't fully understand the process involved in legislation here. Almost every amendment raised in the Lords Committee Stage was withdrawn (many having been declared to be a 'probing' amendments) with a promise/threat that they would "return to the matter" having studied the Ministers comments.

There is certainly a Report stage in the Lords, looking at other bills.

Can anyone provide a simple guide to the legislation process to explain when the Lords will return to it and how the various Lord's stages fit with the Commons stages?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 10:34 AM

I would hope this site might have this kind of explanation. Perhaps it does. I suppose we should study it. And if the answers aren't there in comprehensible form, use the "contact" part of the site to ask them and if need them,,keep asking them.

Or of course (or I really mean "and"), if you haven't written to your MP recently (http://www.faxyourmp.com/), send his or her a communication specifically asking that question.

But I still think an amendment along the lines I suggested just above is probably a very realistic way forward. Non-confrontational, and gives them an easy way out, which doesn't involve any u-turns or loss of face. Why, all Kim Howells has to do is come up with that one, and he could find himself, improbable as it seems right now, as some kind of folk hero. "Well of course this was what I intended to do all along - surely that should have been obvious from what I said on that Mike Harding show."


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: DMcG
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 10:45 AM

This page, on the site McGrath suggested, seems to have to info about the various stages the bill goes through.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: IanC
Date: 22 Jan 03 - 10:45 AM

Though I'd admit it's better than most, Kevin, it really only protects sessions etc. and would have no effect as far as Morris Dancers, Carol Singers, Mummers etc. were concerned.

If it does this, it is no better than the amendment put forward by Baroness Blackstone that, for the purpose of the bill, bellringing doesn't count as music.

What we need here is a bit of solidarity, not "solutions" which, however good, exempt some people at the expense of others.

I'd rather go to Gaol.

:-)


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Jan 03 - 03:45 PM

If I understand it correctly, and ET may correct me, if an amendment is put to the vote and defeated, convention requires that it be not put again in the same form. If it is withdrawn, it may be put again in the same form. I hope that makes sense to those who are not (UK)constitutional lawyers: I am not but I am having to teach the subject so I am learning!

The "please yourself" amendment is not politically workable because it will meet the objcetion fromthe public that it would de-restrict the electric jam as well: get 45 talentless musicians each with a Marshall stack and a house PA rig all trying to play "Wild Thing" and you'd deafen every living thing within 5 miles. In theory the existing law on noise nuisance enables this sort of noise nuisance to be controlled but in practice it does not work. I know because I bought a house between what were two nice quiet pubs but now both have featured electric entertainment usually DJs or the talentless musicians who cannot play without their backing tracks and rigs. If I (a lawyer, and one of the pushy middle classes) cannot get the local authority to stop it, what use is the existing law?

What might work is the "acoustic exemption" which was put in the Lords. Mind you I made the first draft of it, so I am biased. If you want to go for any sort of electric exemption it will in reality have to provide an effective means to control electric noise. Ironically, I like loud electric music, but not causing public disorder in my village.

The only alternative I see is, instead of an exemption, a deemed licence, importing some sort of noise limits.

But this is only music in pubs. Other sorts of music in other places, and, more importantly (in a sort of paleontological sense) is avoiding the smae harm to folk dance that the bill may cause to folk music, and I ahve no idea how to draft that...


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 09:37 AM

Actually that amendment I suggested would cover "Morris Dancers, Carol Singers, Mummers etc" so long as their primary purpose was mutual enjoyment, which I'd have thought is normally the case. (There's no mention of "music" as such.)

And it was just words of the top of my head, and there's no im plication on my lat that they are the last words. The point I was making was that it wouldn't take much of an amendment to drastically change the impact of the Bill from something that is restrictive to something that would have the effect of significantly expanding our freedom.

As for the mass electrified jam problem, that should be dealt with by noise and nuisance rules, in the very same way as an overamplified Televised Rock Concert, for example. The laws for that are already in place.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 12:58 PM

Quote from Kim Howells in the "The Stage"


Some of the more unhelpful rumours that have been circulating (and which I see everyday in correspondence from members of parliament writing on behalf of concerned constituents) relate to live music performances that might be licensable under the new regime. I therefore categorically state that the following will not be licensable:

1) church bell ringers practising and the testing of equipment in a music shop - but not demonstrations of new equipment by a paid artists??

2) studio recording sessions and rehearsals at a practice studio or in a private house (to which the general public are not admitted) haven't heard this one

3) school concerts where the general public are not admitted n
music lessons - what about admission charges and who is not General public?? - Parents and teachers relations???

4) singing 'happy birthday' in a restaurant - As this has been done under the current restictions what changes have been made to stop a recurrence?

5) musicians paid to perform at a private party - including a wedding - for which those attending are not charged and to which
the general public are not admitted. wasn't sure about this

I have sought here to address the most ridiculous claims made by whose who purport to be campaigning on behalf of musicians but who are in fact diverting them from the more realistic and positive
aspects of the bill.


It's great to hear all the above exemptions - if only Kim would tell us where to find them and not add so many provisos, "as long as, if they don't etc" and as long as he's on the bench when prosicutions are brought - so he can exlain what he meant and not what he wrote......


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jan 03 - 01:24 PM

I think he makes them up as he goes along.

As was demonstrated on the Mike Harding show, where in effect he said that sessions where no payment was involved would have no problems, it seems that anytime he is asked about a situation where the Bill, as it exists at present, would cause unreasonable restrictions, he says that that particular activity is not going to be hit.

I think these should be treated as promises that he will be introducing clauses in the "exceptions" part of the bill which will ensure that this is the case, and attempts made to hold him to these verbal pledges.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 02:45 PM

i was talking last night with a folkie friend who has astronomy as her other hobby. the conversation set me thinking about the 'moving vehicle' exemption from needing a PEL for live music.

the whole of England & Wales [+the rest of the world!] are perpetually 'moving' through space & time, as are all of the buildings-including pubs.

if we interpret the 'silly bill's' wording to re-define pubs as 'moving vehicles' then none will need a PEL at all [at all!]

could this be the ultimate solution?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: DMcG
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 02:58 PM

I've just had this very interesting response from my MP:


Dear Mr. McGlade

Further to our exchange of emails on EDM 331 I would advise that I have just
written to Dr. Kim Howells to ask for the current situation relating to
entertainment in 'non-pub' venues e.g. church halls, community centres, etc.
and I will let you know his response.

A letter from a Minister, like the one from Dr. Howells, must be taken into
account in Court when considering this law.

Yours sincerely

Nigel Beard MP



I do not think Dr Howells is likely to say anything startling, but this final sentence may make a great deal of difference. Every one better hold onto your letters!


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 03:08 PM

And do get all the specific questions to him now, that you wish to know the answers to, via your MP.

All of the questions from bell-ringing to locked pianos and what is dance floor, village dancing, sessions, parties, house concerts, EVERTHING.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 03:25 PM

"A letter from a Minister, like the one from Dr. Howells, must be taken into account in Court when considering this law."

Any lawyers out there who can say if that is in fact true? It goes against what I've seen written. I know that when there was a prosecution against Lady Chatterley's Lover, under the then new Obscene Publications Act, Roy Jenkins who as Home Secretary had had the central role in shaping this Act and getting it through Parliament was not allowed to tell the jury that the prosecution went quite against his intentioins and his interpretation oif the Act.

Of course it might be that that was because he was talking to the jury, and maybe there is a different rule for judges and magistrates.

Can anyone enlighten us? If what that MP says is the truth, Kim Howells words in respect of sessions and singarounds in premises without entertainment licences might be of crucial importance: "As long as money isn't changing hands, then there's no reason why they should have to have a licence."


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 05:26 PM

Not my words, but the result of a little research.

It will be seen that a ministerial statement IN PARLIAMENT may under the rule in Pepper -v- Hart assist in the construction of a statute that is otherwise ambiguous or of unclear meaning in context. Asserting that a minster's assurance in correspondence governs otheriwse clear statutory words? Put it this way, don't expect me to do it on a contingency basis!

Long quote follows: -

EXTRINSIC AIDS
Royal/Law Commission reports and White Papers
These have been admissible since the case of Davis v. Johnson [1978] AC 264, which said that "the report may be used to identify the mischief the legislation is intended to remedy but not to construe the enacting words") and other travaux préparatoires providing (Fothergill v. Monarch Airlines Ltd. [1980] 3 WLR 209) that it is material in the public domain clearly intended to be the first stage in the legislative process and, if the document is a treaty, that a literal construction is in conflict with the purpose of the treaty, or if the legislation is ambiguous.

However, documents released under the 30 year rule may not be used (JH Rayner v. DTI 1987, affirmed by Pepper v. Hart), since it is unreasonable to allow secret documents to be used in court.

Hansard
Hansard has been officially used (judges used it before this case unofficially) since the case of Pepper v. Hart, in which the question was whether the taxable benefit of providing the children of teachers with free education should be taxed at the nominal extra cost to the school, or at the normal cost of the school's fees. It was decided using Hansard that it should be taxed at the lower cost.

In this case it was said that if Hansard "clearly discloses the mischief aimed at or the legislative intention lying behind the ambiguous or obscure words", then it is an admissible aid to construction.

However, it was said that "I cannot foresee any statement other than the statement of the minister or other promoter of the Bill is likely to meet the criteria".

In addition it was said that "if a minister clearly states the effect of a provision and there is no subsequent relevant amendment to the Bill or withdrawal of the statement it is reasonable to assume that Parliament passed the Bill on the basis the provision would have the stated effect".

Pepper v. Hart means that the will of Parliament will more frequently be followed, thus reinforcing parliamentary supremacy.

However, it the inevitable result is increased costs as more research is conducted into Hansard and other sources.

Hansard is, of course, not binding on the courts - there is no reason why they should not ignore the intent of Parliament unless it is expressed in a statute. Hansard has the same legal status as any other interpretative aid.

The question arises whether Pepper v. Hart affects stare decisis, that is to say whether a court can overrule an otherwise binding case on the basis of Hansard showing that the previous construction was wrong. If this question were to be answered in the affirmative, magistrates courts could overrule the House of Lords.

Common sense might suggest that incorrect interpretations should be overruled, but there is the issue of separation of powers - according to the traditional doctrine of the separation of powers the judiciary must be free to reject the Hansard material, since it is nothing more than an interpretative aid, which were it to be binding, would make Parliament both legislator and interpretor: legislation has traditionally been seen as an abstract document not tailored to particular situtations, but rather being a list of abstract principles interpreted and applied in individual cases by the judiciary. Taken this way, to give Hansard such as status would apparently contravene HA Hayek's conception of the rule of law.

On the other hand it seems rather futile for Parliament to make laws if the courts are not going to enforce them according to its intention.

Other aids
Dictionary definitions - this implies a literalist construction of statutes, since a purposive approach would seek to enforce what Parliament intended, rather than enforce the meaning of what it said.
Legal textbooks
Treaties (e.g. EU treaties), where the law was intended to enact the treaty
EU directives


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 09:09 PM

I'd put more faith in Richard than I would in that MP. Or Kim Howells.

The moral is, get it in writing.

Would a response by a minister to a question in Parkiament count as a ministerial statement? I'd think not.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Jan 03 - 09:10 PM

And by "get it in writing" I mean in writing in the Act.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 02:49 PM

Oral Reply by Minister in Parliament just fine - but remember, only if the Act is ambiguous: no such statement can override teh clear words of an act.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 08:51 AM

I hope that you will forgive me for also not typing out the long introduction to this? I have also attached an earlier Radio 4 interviw, where Howells defended the licensing of chuches etc........on public safety.

BBC Radio 3 Money Matters 26 January 2003

I started by asking Kim Howells why, since pubs clubs, churches and many other venues had been managing perfectly well for all theses years without a licensing charge, he felt the need for change?

KH Well, you say they have managed quite well, of course that's only if you have two musicians in the licensed premises. If you want to have three, or you want to have a quartet, you've got to get an entertainment's licence. At the moment these can be very, very expensive, and what we're going to do is to try to ensure that in the future, it'll be very easy for a licensee, whether it's a pub, a restaurant or a night-club, or whatever. Simply to go along to the Licensing Authority – pay one fee, which will be very strictly controlled by the Secretary of State, and that will include, if the licensee wants it err, permissions to put on entertainments. And that gives much more scope for more musicians to be playing in those kinds of venues and we think that this is going to strengthen the number of venues, and deepen quality too.

But of course many of the venues will say that they simply can't afford this, so what are they supposed to do?

KH Well at the moment of course, we've head horror stories of venues, especially in central London who have to pay thousands of pounds for an entertainments licence. Now we're gonna set a fee that is going to be between £100 and £500, which is a lifetime fee for a premises licence and a annual charge, if you like of £100 - £150, so these are hugely reduced costs. And it should put the whole thing on an even keel, people will know where they are and there will be real consistency there.

OK, I'm going to bring in Robb Johnson there, who is manger of Irregular Records, a songwriter and guitarist but more importantly for us today. a performer. Who goes around doing exactly the sorts of things that a lot of people are saying will maybe stop. Robb you are not particularly happy about all of this, are you?

RJ No I think its going to do away with a very important part of the spectrum of the musical life of this country. It's going to hit ordinary people hardest. It's gong to stop creativity in ordinary people. A lot of the venues I play in, I feel sure, I think the minister is being rather economical with the truth, when he says, simply going along to Licensing Authority, like just like popping down to the chip shop, it is bound to be more complicated than that. And I'm sure that a vast number of venues are not going to go simply along to their Licensing Authorities. And a lot of the gigs that people in this sort of music play, they are benefits or they're informal occasions they're privately organised gigs, That's going to stop.

KH Can I ask you a question? Why would a licensee, who regularly has two musicians playing in his or her pub, not want to tick a box or fill in a form which says, 'when I have my licence renewed I would like to have the right to stage music in it. At no extra cost, this is the misinformation that's gone around –

Didn't you say there was a fee of £100 - £500?

KH No at the moment, if you want a licence to sell alcohol, that's one licence which you pay for. If you want to have music, you have to go along to a different Licensing Authority and ask for that particular entertainment licence and that costs you more money. What we are going to do is make one Licensing Authority who will issue you with a licence to sell alcohol, plus a licence for music if you so desire it. What id the big problem with that, if it does not cost anymore? I don't understand this argument, you see it seems to me that you're the victim of misinformation, quite frankly.

I want to more on to churches and cathedrals and how this affects them. Richard Chartres Bishop of London, you have been quite vocal already of, not least in the House of Lords about the effect this Bill will have on you and the churches. Just tell me what the position is now and how it is going to change?

RC Well, as I understand that although the intention, as the minister has said of much of this Bill is deregulation. One of the respects in which it is going to extend regulation is it is going to demand that churches, outside London should come into the licensing regime, in a way that they haven't before.
And the question I've got is. What's the evidence of abuse, which has persuaded the Government to remove the exemption that Parliament provided as recently as 1982?

Kim Howells?

KH There is no evidence of abuse, and we are trying very hard to ensure that all churches, including those in London will be exempted. What we've got to do is try and find a way of doing it properly.

RC I do appreciate the difficulty of finding the right sort of language, That why I suggest the phrase 'a place of public religion worship', which I understand has already been 'trialed' in the local government legislation. It relates to rating relief and it does seem a phrase that is tested by the courts and has some kind of substance to it. And I can understand the desire to avoid any kind of abuse of that sort of privilege and exemption, but that does seem to be a phrase that has some legal force to it.

KH It sounds very good to me and Bishop your colleague in the House, Baroness Blackstone is still engaged in the committee stage of the Bill. And she is very much hoping that something can be brought forward at the report stage of the Bill to ensure that these changes are made.

Richard Chartres, you have done some sums on this, you feel that you know what the impact of this Bill is going to be on you?

RC Well I've been trying to do some very conservative calculations. It seem that to us alone with 16,000 venues countrywide, it is going to be a considerable additional cost. And also of course a disincentive to PCCs who are volunteer to make their place available to the area that I am particularly concerned about, which is that borderline between professional and amateur. Which churches so often do provide the launch pad for them. So the conservative calculations that I have made show it will probably cost us in the initial year, a couple of million, but I am open to correction on that and it is extremely difficult to work out precisely what the figures would be.

It is a lot of money, Kim Howells?

KH It certainly is a lot of money and that is why I want to make sure that churches are exempted from having to pay it.

Culture minister Kim Howells there, with some good news then, possibly for Richard Chartres, Bishop of London? Though I have a suspicion that things aren't going to be quite as simple as that. Thanks also to Robb Johnson of Irregular Records.

The opposition to this part of the licensing Bill is raging, and will no dim by the looks of it, until concessions and amendments are made. But the Government are holding steady and all indications suggest that the Bill will go through, unaltered………….. ENDS.

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: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 05:39 AM

Comedians unless playing an instrument (according to new letter being sent from MPs) and other forms of street entertainment are not included - haven't seen new proforma yet but will post when I get a copy - several people who have received it say "they're not sure what all the fuss is about now!" "it doesn't seen that bad a law......"


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 07:49 AM

A pro-forma letter from an MP doesn't carry any weight whatsoever in a court of law.

What matters is what is actually written down in the Act, and to a lesser extent what is written down in official guidelines sent out from the Ministry of Silly Walks.

(And if that is the pro-forma letter I've seen on the net, anyone who is impressed by it that way must be very naive indeed.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 08:02 AM

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.

KH It certainly is a lot of money and that is why I want to make sure that churches are exempted from having to pay it.

I wonder who now will be paying it? Or which of the above views will appear in the new pro-forma?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 08:50 AM

Mc Grath - people who are not directly involved maybe "naive" - but a well presented document "from the house" pointing out only the "good points" of the proposals, ridiculing outlandish remarks made, and supporting their own claims with relevant sections of the exemptions - all this supported by the person's own MP is a very powerful weapon!

Let's not forget many of the things that are being quoted as being effected by the proposals are already happening illegally (without a required license) e.g. Morris Dancing, carol singing, sing arounds in pubs (without a license)etc. and although I feel this would be the ideal opportunity to exempt such activities - they are not an argument that they are being introduced in the new proposals.

NB I am not in favour of all the proposals, the underhanded way that the government is dealing with the complaints, and will continue to do everything I can to resolve the situation by whatever legal means I can - just pointing out that the governments dealing with request to MPs to sign EDM 331 IS having an effect on recipients of the letters - naive or not.........

Pete


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 09:48 AM

Good point - but cooks can describe their dish as being the finest dairy farm ingredients, heated slowly of a bed of the finest organic stonground produce. Up to the point where it is placed on the table, and you see that it is cheese on toast................

I mean to say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. The words of the Bill are just as they are, no matter how cunningly presented the intentions of the Bill may be stated.

And they are cunningly presented. Perhaps those who may be so easliy swayed should question why The Times leader described Howells and his Bill as an illogical wet blanket?

Or why the JCHR are questioning the legality of the Bill?

Or why the Bill is going to be re-drafted because the church objects?

Or why satellite TV is exempt because the 'Leisure Industry' ie, big money, objects?

Or why the Association of Chief Police Officers object to this exemption on crime and disorder grounds but are ignored?

The following from The Portsmouth Evening News 30/01/03

On the day England sent Denmark packing in their second-round World
Cup tie police were called to 24 football related incidents.
Within hours of the June 15 win a brawl spilled out of the White
Hart pub and a series of disturbances broke out across Havant and
Waterlooville - despite a voluntary two hour pub closure.
The violence came eight days after 50 fans fought in North Street
outside the Five Bells following Englands win over Argentina.


Or why The Performing Lawyers query the wording of the Bill as being open to legal misinterpretation?

Or why The Lords criticize because the Bill is so badly worded and the Government bleats "That's not what we meant"?

Or why we're expected to simply trust local authorities who already treat existing legislation as 'a nice little earner' and have prosecuted for allowing people to 'sway'etc? http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/two_in_a_bar16.shtml


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 09:58 AM

Dr Howells 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: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 10:16 AM

The distinction between something that is "put on by a public house", which would be licensable, and something which is "allowed to happen by a public house" which would noty be, is an interesting one. If only we could get it pinned down in such words in the Act or maybe the guidelines.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 10:19 AM

Note - you are preaching to the converted in my case!!

Simply pointing out that people have received what is to them a convincing explanation that on the surface quiet reasonable - two people who were worried enough to write to their MPs took the trouble to come back to me and show me the letters allowing me to explain the anomalies and what had been left out of the letter... How many will receive such letters and not think to take it any further????

Thursday at The Steamer showed that many folky's were not aware of the current laws let alone the new proposals - likewise several landlords in the area are misinformed - two quotes from the day....

"It's alright for sessions in pubs without a licence as long as everyone is sat down" - musician of 30years

"Jam sessions don't need a license - your OK" - Landlord of Blackpool Town Centre Pub where a weekly sessions is advertised.


Let's ensure the information that we give out isn't exaggerated to have more effect on the people we are trying get to support us - let Dr Kim do that in his comments - The actual proposals are, as has been said are enough to convince people..... No scare mongering just facts...............


Pete


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 10:37 AM

I do agree but what scaremongering are you referring to?

Pete the problem is that the facts are so bizzare, especially of current enforcement.............But they do remain the facts.

Have a look at the latest in the Mummers thread. You couldn't make that up. Mummers stopped, Cerne Abbas


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 10:38 AM

PS I like "cheese on toast"! - unlike the bill !!!


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 10:49 AM

Even when you mention the fact that playing from the back of a moving road vehicle is exempt, it sounds like you are scaremongering!

The key is to keep asking how these exemptions can be justified, given the stated objectives of the the Bill. For in the above case and TV, they simply can't be justified.

But we must, through our MPs, force Howells and Co to keep making the attempt........


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 11:01 AM

OK - yes there has been a prosecution for people singing Happy Birthday to you - the banning of carol singing without a license?? whistling postmen - No music allowed in pubs??? etc... etc..but how many examples can we document over the last 40 years.......? and how well do they compare to law breaking sessions etc being ignored??

across the net like many newspapers (and I have been guilty of) headline are made to attract and grab attention - the proposals if they go ahead in all honesty will affect my life style very little - yes it will affect some areas and it will also affect my friends and the community in general - I am involved in the "industry" - but the general public will be affected very little - some will be please to see the changes...

So many times I have seen the implication that the new proposals will impose radical changes - in some areas this is partially true in other areas there will be little if any changes to current (however unfair) laws....

I just think we all should be concerned with areas being added to licensing and restriction that will be imposed by those changes - otherwise Kim Howells response of - there will be no changes to the current requirements - or the new proposal will be an improvement on current licensing can be used without redress.


Pete


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 11:07 AM

I should have mentioned in the first bit re this proforma that the two people in question received the letters from MPs who were not signing EDM 331 and used the proforma as the reason..


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM

....Have a look at the latest in the Mummers thread. You couldn't make that up. Mummers stopped, Cerne Abbas.....


Howell speak - under the new proposals a license will still be required for such events - but the licence will be available free so all the Landlord will neesd to do is tick a box on the application form for the new license

were they honestly not aware or just naive of the fact they would be breaking the law?? and have been doing for how many years......

Pete


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 01:03 PM

The devil is bad enough Pete, and does not need any avocados....Leave the Howell's speak to the master.

As know well, the simple tick box idea is nonsense and of course none of the three licenses is free. And the idea that singing in a pub without the entertainment licence is illegal and makes the premises unsafe is dangerous and completely unacceptable, when TV sport crowds are exempt.

The Bill is sold as making things better. If it fails to do this, than the fact that we may just be able to live with it, given our lowered expectations is hardly the point. But the truth is that no one really knows what the effect will be, as not enough consideration has been given to find out.

But are we just not tired of this stupidty? Do we not deserve better than arguments about what is and what is not licesable, when what matters is if it is safe.

If we ever accept this unprincipled rubbish, every other aspect of our life will follow it down the drain.

As with police statements, the more you can get the accused to say and write down, the more material and opportunity is presented to prosecute them with. Howells has already provided plenty, and if we keep on he will provide more. When the heavyweights do get to him and these defenses, I suspect things will start to look up.

As for the mummers, The law is not clear that the mummers were/are breaking the law, but if the Council say they were, then the council have been placing the public at risk, for not preventing it for the last 20 years. But there are other laws that should be protecting these activities, we must not forget these.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 02:54 PM

...............??? QED - Scaremongering


Hi All

Many of you may be aware of the Government's proposed Licensing Bill which, if passed in its current form would be extremely detrimental to live music, in particular, it would outlaw the traditional music session, music teaching, rehearsals and fundraising events in any unlicensed premises, with a fine of up to £20,000 and possible imprisonment - It really is that ridiculous! It is very important that we all register our opposition to the bill. The following examples which have been forwarded on to me should illustrate some outrageous implications of the proposed Bill being passed, some of it is already happening:

As an example, if you put up a marquee in your garden for your daughter's wedding, and hire a band to play, you will be a criminal if you don't have a licence. The bandleader will be a criminal too. Both of you may go to jail, and gain a criminal record. Other soon to be illegal activities: Busking, Music Teaching, Selling musical instruments, Rehearsing, Hospital concerts, Fundraiser in the village hall, and much more. Many authorities enforce the current laws very zealously at present. A landlord has recently been fined a considerable amount for allowing four customers to sing Happy Birthday. Many other pub based folk clubs and sessions have been shut down. We must expect this over zealous interpretation to be applied to any new law, so it is very important that no ambiguity is there for the local authorities to exploit.

I have just received notification about the following and hope that in the first instance (if you read this before noon on the morning of 9 January) that you will contact your local councillor as soon as possible to encourage them to attend tomorrow's meeting regarding the bill and after that it would be ideal if each one of us could write letters to register our opposition to the bill. (Much more information below, please do read ).

Best wishes

Karen


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 02:59 PM

http://www.irishinbritain.com/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=358

IrishinBritain


reference for last entry....


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 03:16 PM

snip.....As know well, the simple tick box idea is nonsense and of course none of the three licenses is free. And the idea that singing in a pub without the entertainment licence is illegal and makes the premises unsafe is dangerous and completely unacceptable, when TV sport crowds are exempt..........


Hamish Birchall interview transcript.............

HB: Yeah, but this is a none-in-a-bar rule, and contrary to what the
minister claimed, of course, there is an exemption in the schedule - it's Paragraph 8 - for the provision of broadcast entertainment. And this Bill applies to any place, it's not just pubs. We've welcomed the (proposal?) and we accept that on the point of application, later on this year, if the Bill is enacted, it will be no additional cost in applying for permission we know the way local authorities operate, they've already said to us that they'd like to stipulate the maximum number of musicians, where in the premises, when they're to perform, and making - treating all live music in that special way when you've created an exemption for a pub to be crammed with people watching a big match just seems disproportionate to us............


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 03:55 PM

Sorry, but this is a longish post. It's a complicated issue - and at least I have broken it up into paragraphs to make it easier to read.

The trouble is when you read the actual Bill - and here it is - pretty well all those things actually are open to prosecution. We keep on getting airy announcements that of course "this" isn't going to happen, and "that" isn't going to happen. But the words of the Bill are what counts, and the words of the Bill are, at the very least, open to those interpretations.

It would be very easy indeed for Howells and company to put exemptions in the Bill that would make certain that the activities which they say should not be adversely affected will not be adversely affected. But so far they have refused to do so - except in the case of churches, where they upset too many of the wrong people. (Having initially dismissed their objections as nonsensical scaremongering.)

And even when they have come out with what look like firm promises, we then find them twisting round the meaning of the English language to allow them to escape. For example read this post which I made on another thread. It shows how what looked like an "absolutely" firm promise to exempt sessions and so forth from licensing requirments has been turned into the reverse by means of a thoroughly dishonest quasi-logical trick of the department's devising.

As for whether it will really make things worse in practice, we'll find out. But this is the "reform" that was supposed to make a pretty unsatisfactory situation better, and it could so easily have done this - still could with a few simple amendments. But instead, here we are worrying over how far it's going to be worse.

And there are real reasons for thinking it will make things worse. Up until now a lot of the stuff we have been doing has been in a grey area. All right, we were going over the two-in-a-bar limit in pubs often enough - but then that was an exemption, not a limit. Two-in-a-bar meant that two-in-a-bar was defintely legal, but it has never been too clear what under what circumstances more than two was illegal, and the same went for Morris Dancers and so forth, and for activities in other places than pubs.

But now the law is frighteningly clear - virtually any musical or dramatic performance anywhere which is open to the public which is not covered by a licence is going to be defined in law as a criminal offence. And that is not exaggeration, it is what the Bill says, and what the Act will say if it is not altered.

And when I say that you need to be naive to believe that letter from MPs, I'm not suggesting that everybody ought to know the ins and outs of these strange things we go in for. But I am perhaps implying that anyone who lives in our society should surely know by now that you cannot just trust the people we employ to govern us, and assume they are telling the truth. You always have to check and double check, and look out for the omissions and the ambiguities.

The journalist Claude Cockburn used to say the basic rule for interviewing anyone important was "Why is this lying
bastard lying to me?" (Jeremy Paxman is said to have tghsi as a favourite maxim, which is why I wish so much he could get Kim Howells in front of him.) I think we should all have that question in mind any time we get a letter from a government department or from a minister, or read an article or a press release or hear a broadcast.

No hard feelings, but - "Why is this lying bastard lying to us?"


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 05:07 PM

I agree - I never except anything from the house as gospel - like wise I would also not accept anything from a union or such a body at face value more so information posted on the internet would be under close scrutiny......

My view (which is as much as I feel entitles to say...)

At present (correct me if you can show me different) the proposals apply to

         a performance of a play,
         a performance of live music,
         any playing of recorded music,
         a performance of dance,
         entertainment of a similar description,

where the entertainment takes place in the presence of an audience or spectators and is provided for the purpose, or for purposes    which include the purpose, of entertaining that audience or spectators

The proposals carry on from the current license and are there to protect the entertainer and the public I'm also amazed that comedians (amongst others) are not included unless the comedian carries a deadly weapon e.g. a guitar.

At present a public house doesn't have a "capacity limit" if it doesn't apply for a PEL.


----- what I would like to see........

Removal of the inclusions of the above sections of entertainment totally from the licensing law

An inclusion of a "capacity limit" for all public venues.


- and may I add I am amazed in the amount of hackles that have been raise by me simply trying to inform readers of the PEL threads that a new tactic was being implemented by MPs in responses to the request to sign EDM 331 - Don't shoot the messenger et al.....


bye..........


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 06:12 PM

I am working on the Minister's standard letter and attachment.

May of the assertions about things that will NOT (the minister syas) be licenseable are false.

But it will take me soem time to finish nailing it all - maybe the rest of the week.

When I do, I will circulate all on my mailing list and post it here.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 06:18 PM

is there a specific reason that Hamish & Richard B haven't yet challenged lying bastard Howells & co for libel, slander etc?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Feb 03 - 08:07 PM

It all depends what is meant by "a performance" and "an audience" and "provided for purposes ...which include the purpose of entertaining".

There seems to me every reason to understand that "an audience" just means anyone who is in earshot, "a performance" takes place whenever a tune is played or a sung is sung, and "include the purpose of entertaining" applies if you try to play music which listeners might enjoy - as evidenced for example if someone asks for a song and you sing it. And as is only good manners, when you are playing in a room in which other people have as much right to be as you, as is the case in a bar in a public house, by definition.

Those meanings may not be the intention of the drafters of the Bill - but if so, this needs to be made clear in the Bill before it becomes an Act. There is a section on definitions, but it doesn't contain the more limited and commonsense definitions we all might prefer. (I fact that is the place where "premises" is defined as "any place" - which is not exactly a limited definition - in fact, when you think of it, it is a pretty breathtaking definition in its scope. )

If all those assertions about what is not covered by the requirements of the Bill were included in the Bill, a lot of the dangers which have been descibed as "scaremongering" would indeed cease to apply. But they have not been, and there appears no intention that they will be.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 04:19 AM

First off Pete I agree that we should be careful about the claims that are made. For the simple reason that they will provide ammunition to fuel the only defence Howells and Co have, that of claiming that the Bill is not as bad as it is claimed.

But this speculation is the Governments own making by trying to catch everything in the licensing net. They can prevent this simply by making the Bill say what they are claiming for it.

But, this is politics, it is rough and if we are really serious about fighting HM Government, we will just have to do what we must. That means finding a way to make more people care about being lied to.

This was Dr Howells on Radio 3 (the whole thing is in this thread).

But of course many of the venues will say that they simply can't afford this, so what are they supposed to do?

KH Well at the moment of course, we've head horror stories of venues, especially in central London who have to pay thousands of pounds for an entertainments licence. Now we're gonna set a fee that is going to be between £100 and £500, which is a lifetime fee for a premises licence and a annual charge, if you like of £100 - £150, so these are hugely reduced costs. And it should put the whole thing on an even keel, people will know where they are and there will be real consistency there.


He is trying to give the impression that the one-off fee is a lifetime fee for the building, when it is only for the lifetime of the business, in that building.

Fact: The only licensees who may initially be paying less under the Bill overall, are some the 5% who currently pay for PELs in the areas where councils are over-charging, many of these not providing any live music at all.

Everyone else will be paying more per year. For all pubs without PEL now, even the £100 annual inspection charge is an increase.

The 'hugely reduced costs' are only for the larger establishments, who had rather a large input into wording the Bill. The ones who can best afford to pay. The smaller places, like The New Star, whose licensee have said they will give-up, get little real encouragement to provide live music, under this Bill.

Me
snip.....As know well, the simple tick box idea is nonsense and of course none of the three licenses is free. And the idea that singing in a pub without the entertainment licence is illegal and makes the premises unsafe is dangerous and completely unacceptable, when TV sport crowds are exempt..........

Hamish Birchall interview transcript.............

HB: Yeah, but this is a none-in-a-bar rule, and contrary to what the
minister claimed, of course, there is an exemption in the schedule - it's Paragraph 8 - for the provision of broadcast entertainment. And this Bill applies to any place, it's not just pubs.
[New PARA]
We've welcomed the (proposal?) and we accept that on the point of application, later on this year, if the Bill is enacted, it will be no additional cost in applying for permission we know the way local authorities operate, they've already said to us that they'd like to stipulate the maximum number of musicians, where in the premises, when they're to perform, and making - treating all live music in that special way when you've created an exemption for a pub to be crammed with people watching a big match just seems disproportionate to us............


Fact: The tick box just triggers exactly the same process as the current PEL. Despite Howells keep making reference to one licence. There are two (including the personal licence), required to provide alcohol, and the optional entertainment licence, for which a one off fee and annual inspection charge are payable for premises not proving alcohol. For those providing alcohol, the one-off fee and the annual inspection charge are payable, even if the premises does not wish to provide entertainment.

Accepting that there is no additional cost for a pub applying to provide entertainment, is not the same as accepting that they is no overall cost increase. You don't need to tax moving, if you increase the tax on just standing still. Hamish did of course go on the explain that the disincentives for pubs wishing to provide entertainment were not just the level of the fee.

If under the Bill there was no cost to provide entertainment, why are the places that don't wish to serve alcohol complaining about paying for? And Kim Howells accepting that for the Church of England alone, it is a lot of money and NOW, trying to ensure that they don't have to pay it? Possibly the tax on just standing still will have to be increased to cover the shortfall? Or perhaps now, a tax on moving?

We do indeed know the way local authorities operate and the LGA have said those things and Hamish's Council, Camden have already said that the fees are too low and will lobby to get them set locally.

The truth they say is stranger than fiction.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 08:06 AM

Fleetwood Friendly demo 30.01.2003 BBC Pre show transmission

I'm sure we basically agree!

Pete


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: clansfolk
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 08:15 AM

Re above real audio clip - it was highly edited by the BBC to fit a 3 min pre run up slot to the show that went out from 4.05pm - my audio links to the petition and fax your MP were left out likewise information on who set-up the petition (Graham actually came along during the day but had to leave prior to the live show when he along with everyone else who attended would have had an oppertunity to speak on air) also included on the day was an excellent interview with Alan Belldirector of The Fylde Folk Festival and an interview with the local licensing officer I will add these to the above link when I obtain copies...

Pete


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 08:22 AM

I'm sure that we do agree, especially about the safe capacity on public places, whatever activity. It is such basic common sense and would do away with all of the public safety concerns, and leave the only concern to music making to be one of noise. So why is it not part of the Bill?

Portsmouth Evening News 30 January 2003-
On the day England sent Denmark packing in their second-round World Cup tie police were called to 24 football related incidents. Within hours of the June 15 win a brawl spilled out of the White Hart pub and a series of disturbances broke out across Havant and Waterlooville - despite a voluntary two hour pub closure.
The violence came eight days after 50 fans fought in North Street outside the Five Bells following England's win over Argentina.


Perhaps the above could be passed on to our MPs, in the light of the extract from the following Common's exchange?

1. Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden): If she will make a statement on her policy towards the licensing of televising of sport in public houses under the terms of the proposed Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Bill. [68956]

The Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting (Dr. Kim Howells): As is the case with existing legislation, the proposed Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Bill will not include the licensing of the televising of sport in public houses in its definition of public entertainment. A publican, of course, already requires and will continue to require a normal domestic television licence.

Siobhain McDonagh: thank my hon. Friend for his answer. However, given the licensing disparity between televised football and live music in pubs—the former is subject to no regulation but the latter is subject to a complicated regulation mechanism—will he encourage members of the Cabinet to look at introducing legislation in the Queen's Speech that will reform the public entertainment licence system and encourage live music and particularly young musicians in small venues?

Dr. Howells: We will certainly look at getting rid of the absurd two in a bar rule. I have looked long and hard at the evidence, but we have never received any to suggest that watching television in a pub causes the kinds of scenes that have sometimes occurred in pubs with live music. Nor, indeed, have we had any reports of disturbances caused by watching television in a pub—we have certainly received some reports of incidents following the playing of live music in pubs. Generally speaking, however, pubs are excellent venues for live music. We want to make sure that that continues to be the case and that there are more venues for live music, not fewer.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 02:53 PM

Perhaps the bizarre thing of all is that comedians is exempt in a place that is not licensed for entertainment, so long as they are just telling jokes. But if they break into song, in the same place, with the same audience, in the very same performance, they are breaking the criminal law.

I'm sure if that were put to Kim Howells he would immediately break into one of his "scaremongering" raps, saying it's not true. But in doing so he would be completely ignoring the actual provisions of the Bill.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 02:54 PM

Perhaps the bizarre thing of all is that comedians are exempt in a place that is not licensed for entertainment, so long as they are just telling jokes. But if they break into song, in the same place, with the same audience, in the very same performance, they are breaking the criminal law.

I'm sure if that were put to Kim Howells he would immediately break into one of his "scaremongering" raps, saying it's not true. But in doing so he would be completely ignoring the actual provisions of the Bill.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 03:42 PM

I wonder what the source of the scaremongrering is?

Had anyone heard, of this 'whistling postman' story, before Dr Howells himself mentioned it and rubbished it?

It was certainly the first time that I saw it.........


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 05:07 PM

Given the effect of the new Licensing Bill, as regards concerts in churches, I thought the following information would be of interest.

Being concerned about this issue, I wrote on the 3rd May 2002, to Dr Kim Howells at the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).

On 7th June 2002, I received reassurance in a letter from the DCMS, replying of behalf of Dr Howells. This letter explained that under current legislation, church concerts outside of London did not require additional licensing.

The letter further explained that intention for the new legislation was to address this anomaly and I quote. "It is currently the Government's intention to make all places of religious worship exempt from the requirement for permission to stage a public entertainment in so far as it is possible."

Having been pleasantly reassured by this information, and being unpleasantly surprised on reading the final Bill, I pose the question:

What factors have caused the final Bill to propose the very opposite of this stated intention, and to require all churches to obtain and pay for additional licensing permission?

Or is the 'exemption/fudge' that The DCMS are now 'working' on to free churches, always the original intention?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 05:39 PM

For the 'Happy Birthday' story.....................

http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/trg/SCoFF/session.htm#hacked


I think we may have to ask Howells for the source of the 'whistling postman'?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 03 - 07:33 PM

"...in so far as it is possible" - that's a traditional poltician's escape hatch, along with "we have no plans to..."


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 01:53 AM

Don't forget the phrase that they have adopted from the legal profession- 'it could be argued'.

Agreed they did say, 'in so far as it is possible' but it was a clearly stated intention. If it was not possible, the reasons why it was not, should be made available.

We have Howells, in one of his letters to the papers, saying that to include all the churches in the final Bill was an unintentional effect of the drafting.

I will look up the actual words of this Howells statement, unless someone can beat me to it.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 02:00 AM

Letter to the Daily Telegraph 10 Jan 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


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Feb 03 - 11:50 AM

14/03 3 February 2003

Government announces licence exemption for entertainment in churches


The Government today announced it will amend its Licensing Bill so that places of public worship across the country will not need a licence to put on entertainment performances of any kind.

The announcement follows concerns that the Government's original proposal - to make performance of secular music in places of public worship licensable throughout the country - would threaten the future of church music.

Kim Howells said:

"The exemption I am announcing today will enable religious institutions and music societies to flourish.

"It will bolster the measures already contained in the Bill that are
designed to foster live music, by opening up greater opportunities for
musicians to perform.

"Concerns were raised about our original proposals for licensing regulated entertainment in places of worship by a range of groups. We have listened to their concerns and taken them on board. I would like to thank them for their input which has helped make this a better Bill."

Kim Howells also announced that the Government intends to exempt village and community halls from fees associated with the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities under the licensing regime.

He said: "I recognise that church and community halls are integral to community life and provide a social hub in a great many rural and urban areas. I am determined to enable them to continue to play this essential role."

Notes to editors

1 Under current public entertainment licensing law, outside London, music (only) in "a place of public religious worship or performed as an incident of a religious meeting or service" is exempt from needing a licence. "A place of public worship" means only a place of public religious worship which belongs to the Church of England or to the Church of Wales or which is for the time being certified as required by law as a place of religious worship. Inside Greater London, churches enjoy no exemption.

2 Under current public entertainment licensing law, any premises in a London Borough or the City of London putting on public dancing or music and any other public entertainment of the like kind, needs a licence. There are no exemptions for community or church halls. Outside London, community or church halls need a licence, but are exempted from having to pay for it.

3 The exemptions were announced through Parliamentary statement. The text is as follows: Licensing Bill: Exemption for secular music in places of worship

Following further consideration and consultation with faith groups, the Government has tabled an amendment to the Licensing Bill that would exempt secular entertainment provided in places of public religious worship and the provision of entertainment facilities in such places from the need to obtain a licence under the Bill when it is enacted. Music for the purposes of or incidental to a religious service or meeting is already exempt.

The exemption reflects the current position outside Greater London. Within Greater London, the provision of secular entertainment at places of public worship has for many years been licensable. The amendment the Government has tabled will add further to the deregulatory measures already contained in the Bill.

The Government also wishes to make plain its intention to exempt church halls, chapel halls or other similar buildings occupied in connection with a place of public religious worship, and village halls, parish or community halls or other similar buildings from the fees associated with the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities under the licensing regime.

Use of such premises to put on entertainment will still require a licence as such provision can and does give rise to issues of nuisance, public safety and crime and disorder. However, the Bill provides for a streamlined and straightforward licensing scheme with minimum bureaucracy.

In addition, the Guidance to be issued by my Right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, under the Bill will make it clear that conditions attached to any licences for such premises must be proportionate to the risks involved, which are likely to be minimal in most cases.

Where a premises licence authorises the sale of alcohol in premises of this nature, however, the normal licence fee will be payable. This is entirely in line with existing arrangements.

In addition, those wishing to use village, church and parish halls, and other community buildings will all be able to take advantage of the simple and easy notification procedure that the Bill provides for temporary events.

The precise details of the fee structure will be the subject of consultation with interested parties.


The Government hopes that religious institutions, music societies and other community groups will derive great benefit from the exemptions and that the initiative will further strengthen our drive to increase the diversity of cultural experience available to people and communities throughout England and Wales.

Furthermore, the exemptions will bolster the measures already
contained in the Bill that are designed to foster live music by opening up even further the opportunities for musicians to perform.

Press Enquiries: 0207 211 6267 Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 0207 211 6200 Internet: http://www.culture.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 04 Feb 03 - 09:22 AM

See the new PEL thread for my refutation of some of Howells' errors as to the effect of the bill.


A libel writ could easily stifle debate at the critical time. It's what Robert Maxwell used to do. My then partner Anthony Julius used to act for Maxwell at the time, as many people knew. Contempt of Court Act 1981.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Feb 03 - 09:35 AM

The trouble is that the bare facts can sound like scaremongeriong.

Take the one about pub pianos having to be locked if there is no music licence. That sounds like an urban legend. Or that a comedian can tell jokes, but if he or she opens his mouth to sing, that needs a licence. You wouldn't believe it, and yet its true.

Tell people those ones and they think you are going over the top with daft exaggerations. But they are cold sober crazy truth.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Feb 03 - 07:33 AM

A libel writ could easily stifle debate at the critical time.

One implication of this could be that Kim Howells might be intentionally saying things thta could be construed as libellous towards the Musicians' Union and Hamish Birchall, in the hope of achieving this. And that they are putting up with the libel so as to avoid this effect.

Another is that people and newspapers need be wary of saying things about Kim Howells in case he pulls this trick.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 17 Feb 03 - 10:15 PM

based on the success of the big petition so far, could not singearounds & music seshes in pubs have all the inmates sign a petition to state that no-one is being entertained & they are definitely not enjoying themselves, to be presented to folk music police if raided.

is this a loo phole?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Feb 03 - 02:34 PM

No it aint


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 01:37 PM

But the wording of the church exempiton amendment is so wide (a place of public worship) tht there might be an idea in that....


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 07:41 PM

We need to persuade the C of E and others that a church is a good place to hold a folk session..........

Dave


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Feb 03 - 08:14 PM

Bishops Stortford the Thursday Folk Club is in the church vestry (with a bar too!)


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Feb 03 - 02:26 PM

Errrr...........what religion are they?..........sounds like a good one to me............clearly unlikely to be Methodists!!

And away, away with rum by gum.........

I'll get mi coat.

Dave


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 10:47 AM

This is a copy of a press release issued by the Musicians' Union this morning (Mon 24 Feb). Note that today is not the last day on which amendments can be proposed. There is a final '3rd Reading' debate scheduled for early March. The Bill will go to the House of Commons in mid- or late-March:

Members of the House of Lords are expected to vote today on a series of live music amendments to the Licensing Bill. Opposition Peers are hoping to defeat the Government's proposed legislation that would make even solo acoustic performance illegal unless licensed, abolishing a long-standing exemption for up to two live performers. The Government claims reform is necessary to control potential noise nuisance.

General Secretary John F Smith said: "Given the Bill's exemptions for big screen broadcasts or pub jukeboxes, no matter how powerful the amplification, we have never understood the Government's position. There is plenty of legislation that already covers both noise and public safety. It applies across the UK, and in Scotland no licence is required for live music that is secondary to the main business of restaurants and bars. Similarly liberal regimes work well in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe.

"We accept that licensing may be necessary to control premises that specialise in music or music and dancing. But where live music is secondary to the main business, licensing is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. There are many hoops to jump through, including public consultation. Being exempt, jukeboxes and big screens will be the easy option for many licensees.

"Now more than ever we need to stimulate the grass roots of the music industry. Most of our 32,000 members will seek work in this sector at some time in their careers, but never have there been fewer places to play.

"Many Peers have spoken eloquently on our behalf. I would like to thank all of them, particularly Lord Redesdale and Baroness Buscombe. I only hope their amendments succeed today".

The Marshalled List of Amendments is available at the Parliament website:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/021/amend/ml021-i.htm

A number of Lords have put down amendments relating to live music, including Baroness Buscombe and Lord Beaumont of Whitley. Lord Redesdale's Amendments 8 and 12 provide exemptions for the playing of live music that is incidental to other activities (giving parity with the Government exemption for the playing of recorded music in this context), and an exemption for acoustic or minimally amplified live music.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 11:44 AM

There's apparently going to be a piece on this on tonights Radio 5 'Drive' programme. Sometime between now and 7pm. Don't have anything more specfic, I'm afraid. (just caught the end of a trail)

Ed


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 04:05 PM

It seemed like the government was defeated on the first and AGREED the second - at least that's what I heard.

Anyway confirm it? Shambles?

Dave Eyre
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk
www.holmfirthfestival.com


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Feb 03 - 04:32 PM

That is about right. They agreed the second one to avoid losing that one too.

Details to follow.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 05:44 AM

Western Morning News

25 February 2003


Plans to allow around-the-clock drinking in pubs, clubs and other licensed premises suffered a setback when the House of Lords voted against the moves.

Peers also defeated the Government by voting to continue to allow live music to be played in pubs.

Ministers are expected to overturn all last night's defeats when the Licensing Bill returns to the Commons.
In the first setback, peers voted by 151 to 115, majority 36, to exempt most unamplified live music in pubs from restrictions in the Licensing Bill.

Ministers suffered a second defeat when Opposition peers backed a call to exempt schools from what they regard as an over regulated entertainment licensing regime. Voting was 169 to 107, majority 62.

In a third defeat for the Government, peers backed a Liberal Democrat move to set up a central authority to vet licensees' applications to sell alcohol. Voting was 143 to 111, majority 32.

The Government suffered a fourth defeat when peers approved an Opposition move to put a new duty on the licensing authority to protect the "amenity and environment" of local residents.

A spokesman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: "As part of the normal parliamentary process we will consider the applications of the Bill and whether we need to take any further action."

Many of the current licensing restrictions on pubs date back to the First World War and the Bill is seen as the most radical reform for almost 90 years

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=115989&command=displayContent&sourceNode=115987&contentPK=4359341

And for their campaign articles against the Bill.

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=116762&command=newPage


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Feb 03 - 08:55 AM

The whole debate here.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/monday/index.htm


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 02:15 AM

This from Hamish Birchall.

Yesterday's Report Stage debate of the Licensing Bill saw opposition Peers defeat the Government over key live music provisions.

The Lib Dems teamed up with the Conservatives, winning amendments to the Bill that would exempt certain categories of live performance (incidental, acoustic), and certain categories of premises (educational establishments). For reference, these amendments were 8, 12 and 13 respectively. Press coverage today included 'Lords pull plug on rule for unamplified music', Daily Telegraph 25.02.03, p10.

View the Marshalled list of amendments online at:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/021/amend/ml021-i.htm

And read the debate: [See above link]

This is good news, but it is not the end of campaigning. Why? The reason is clearly stated in the Daily Telegraph report: 'When the Bill is returned to the Commons, MPs will be asked by the Government to throw out the amendment approved in the Lords' (specifically refering to the unamplified music amendment).

Direct lobbying of MPs continues to be essential. Encourage them to support the Lords' amendments. If they decline, ask why. If they say licensing is necessary for safety or noise reasons, ask them to explain in detail what licensing achieves in terms of safety and noise control that cannot be achieved by subsisting legislation. Ask them why subsisting legislation is good enough for Scotland but not for England and Wales. Ask whether the government has evidence that live music in England and Wales is a greater noise or safety risk than in Scotland. Ask them what data for noise complaints does the government rely on. Ask whether the statistics discrimate between complaints caused by live or recorded music. No doubt you can think of better questions.

If enacted, the Lords amendments would mean that live music 'incidental to other activities' (i.e. not featured entertainment), amplified or acoustic, would be exempt. Folk sessions would be exempt, as would a jazz trio or solo pianist playing background music in a restaurant.

However, I think it is debateable whether the amendments would exempt a pub that made live gigs an advertised feature. So, while falling short of a total exemption for small-scale performance in this type of premises, the amendments would bring the licensing regime very close to the Scottish example for which the MU has been lobbying.

The Government also introduced two of its own amendments that would:
1) limit the potential criminal liability of performers to those organising their own events (Amendment 218, applies to Clause 134), and
2) Amendment 2 (and 3) clarifies, in their view, the following circumstances:

'Amendment No. 2 makes clear in Schedule 1 that for private functions, an individual who simply makes facilities available, but is not concerned with the management or organisation of the entertainment for which the facilities are used, is not to be considered as doing so for a charge.

In practical terms, that means that an individual—perhaps someone who owns or manages an historic house or other suitable venue—will not be subject to the licensing regime simply because he hires out the venue to a third party, perhaps for a wedding or other function, and that third party then chooses to provide regulated entertainment using the venue's facilities unless the person hiring out the room becomes concerned with the organisation and management of the entertainment.'

And '...A private wedding would have to be a rather peculiar wedding to be licensable, anyway. It would have to be open to the general public, and there would have to be an entry charge. I am not aware of any private weddings that do that. So, that would be exempted to start with. The noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, asked me about band leaders who negotiate with the organisers. They would not be responsible, and the amendments cover that point. '

However, a close reading of Amendments 2 and 3 (which are somewhat convoluted I'm afraid), does not yet, in my unqualified opinion, make it unambiguously clear that private functions are exempt where musicians are closely involved in the organisation of the entertainment and providing a service for which they charge a fee paid for by those being entertained. The Performer-Lawyer Group will no doubt offer an opinion.
Any considered comments welcome.

The performer-lawyer group offered an opinion when the governemnt amendments were first canvassed.

They do not exempt the captain of the darts team, or the bandleader who tells others how to play, or (maybe) the band member who lends equipment to another band member, and the result is also that where this happened otherwise unregulated entertainment (for example the wedding party where the band does not organise anything, just turns up and plays) into regulated entertainment.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Sarah the flute
Date: 26 Feb 03 - 03:37 AM

So where do "callers" stand on this .... just don't organise the band???? or anyone else????? that would make life easier!!!!


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Mar 03 - 04:03 PM

From Hamish Birchall

Many Musicians' Unionmembers had understandable reservations
about theincidental and unamplifiedlive music licensing exemptions
won in the Lords on 24 February. While encouraging, the amendments
would not have exempted featured entertainments in pubs or anywhere
else.

These concerns will be now be addressed during the 3rd Reading
debate on Tuesday 11 March.OppositionPeers will propose a
furtheramendment that would exempt small events or premises
altogether from the requirement to be licensedas public entertainment.
The conditions are that the entertainment ceases no later
than11.30pm, andan audience of no more than 250 people are
present at any one time. See text below, or go to:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/

This amendmentwould allow not only featured live music, but also
plays, the playing of recorded music,and dancing. Premises selling
alcohol would of course already hold a premises licence; but the
amendmentwould also permit premises that do not usually sell alcohol,
such aslibraries, hospitals, prisons, village halls and other workplaces, to hold regular events without the need to obtaina premises licence.

The main reason Peers have decided to back such a radical amendment is due to a briefing by a lawyer,organised and jointly funded by the MU and the Arts Council of England.The lawyer in question has expertise in licensing, safety and noise nuisance legislation.

Opposition Peers at least now accept that this legislation is sufficient to address public safety and noise nuisance issues that may arise in connection with small-scale entertainment.

THE BARONESS BUSCOMBE
THE LORD LUKE
THE LORD REDESDALE
THE VISCOUNT FALKLAND
Page 112, line 25, at end insert—
"Small premises

(1)The provision of entertainment is not to be regarded as the provision
of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act, where—

    (a)the number of persons attending the entertainment at any one
time does not exceed 250, and

    (b)the entertainment terminates no later than 11.30 pm on the same day.

(2)The provision of entertainment facilities solely for the purposes of the entertainment in sub-paragraph (1) above is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act."


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Mar 03 - 02:18 PM

Breaking news

The abave amendment has been passed in the Lords, Another big embarrassment for the Government.....Details to follow.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 09:20 AM

The details from the Lords.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds03/text/30311-14.htm#30311-14_sp


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Admiral
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 10:42 AM

I've just received this update from EFDSS EFDSS Update


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 11:17 AM

From that document.

From comments made during the debate, it appears that the Government will now support previous live music amendments. However, it is highly likely that they will attempt to overturn the Small Premises exemption (less than 250 people and before 11.30pm) in the House of Commons.

I don't think we should rely on this asumption that the Government will support any amendments, other than their own, when the Bill goes to the Commons. It would be far safer to assume that they will wish to leave the Bill as they proposed it. Unless they specifically state otherwise..........


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:07 PM

Two of the Lords amendments are actually dangerous, becuase they fail to protect (I think) the Article 8 ECHR rights. Exempting ALL incidental music (and, incidentally, in my opinion music is "incidental" if it is not the primary but a subsidiary purpose of the business or event) is dangerous because it does not effectively enable the nearby householders to protect themselves.

The various duties on local authorities are not absolutely obligatory. If resources are inadequate, some shortfall in observance of the duties is permissible.

Consequently the government can point to this to justify reversal of some Lords amendments, and will try of course to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Therefore, I submit, the only way to provide both for article 8 and the more familiar article 10 freedom of expression) is properly in the bill to distinguish between the things that need regulating (generally amplified music) and those that do not (generally unamplified music) and to provide for schemes involving noise monitoring equipent in between.

However bear in mind that because the bill started in the Lords the government cannot use the Parliament Acts to force its passage, and if the lords stick to thier guns (and risk a constitutional crisis) the only way for the govt to force the bill through in their terms will be to withdraw it and re-start it in the Commons, so disrputing thier legislative timetable.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:31 PM

That's interesting about the Parliament Act not being applicable here...

I still haven't worked out how it is possible to lobby Peers.

Excessive noise is prohibited in any case, from any place, as I understand it. The problem being that the people with responsibility for enforcing that have never got their act together.

How does this all work in Scotland where the situation is more or less as it would be with if the small premises amendment were to stand? Any reason to think there would be any more problem than there is with amplified TV and suchlike?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:40 PM

However bear in mind that because the bill started in the Lords the government cannot use the Parliament Acts to force its passage, and if the lords stick to thier guns (and risk a constitutional crisis) the only way for the govt to force the bill through in their terms will be to withdraw it and re-start it in the Commons, so disrputing thier legislative timetable.

Why would the Lords not stick to their guns? They have honestly debated, voted on and passed these amendments, are they to be asked to now vote against them?


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 09:30 PM

I imagie it all depends who's there on the day. They are mostly part timers, after all.


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: IanC
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 04:08 AM

No

It's actually all to do with compromise. My reading of the debate is that the 250 people limit was deliberately set high so as to give the Gov. some leeway to lower it.

:-)


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 05:13 AM

To no more than two 'performers'? *Smiles*


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Subject: RE: PELs: Exemptions?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 02:51 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

The small events licensing exemption won on Tuesday 11 March in the Lords has provoked extreme comment from the Government. BBC News Online quotes Lord McIntosh: 'They have voted for eight-year-olds to watch the unexpurgated Texas Chainsaw Massacre.' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/2842595.stm)

In fact, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre was broadcast on Channel 4, at 11.45pm, on 28 October 2000 and such a broadcast falls within the Government's own exemption for broadcast entertainment in the Licensing Bill. (For further broadcasts to date, available to pay to view customers, see below).

Cinema operators are also worried about the Lords' small events exemption. They argue it could create an unfair commercial advantage, and a public safety risk. Interestingly, major cinema operators are in any case already exploring the possibilities of digital broadcasts. This would be not only film into their own cinemas, but also music and sport more widely via satellite or webcasts. It is possible that such transmissions could fall within the broadcast entertainment exemption in the Licensing Bill (which could be in 'any place', and imposes no limit on numbers attending or amplification).

As far as safety is concerned (which in cinemas particularly relates to fire safety and means of escape) a radical new fire safety regime is due to become law in the Spring of 2004 (well within the Transition period for the Licensing Bill). Called the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, it will replace the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997. This will create one simple regime that applies to all workplaces including pubs, theatres or cinemas. It is risk-assessment based, with responsibility for fire safety resting with the person responsible for the premises. It will apply to entertainment irrespective of any licensing requirement.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister oversees this reform. A consultation document is available online: www.safety.odpm.gov.uk/fire/consult/legislate/

The report states in relation to cinema: 'The safety provisions of the licensing arrangement for cinemas [meaning Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations 1955] include fire safety. To the extent that we wish to remove fire from licensing, the fire provisions of all cinema licensing could be removed.' [my emphasis]

Indeed this is what will happen; the repeal of this legislation is acknowledged in the Licensing Bill's accompanying Guidance. Paragraph 8.25 states: 'The 2003 [Licensing] Act repealed the Cinematograph (Safety) Regulations 1955 which contained a significant number of regulations in respect of fire safety provision at cinemas.'

~ ~ ~

Texas Chainsaw Massacre - Channel Four broadcasts on pay to view to date:
Film Four or Film Four Extreme (asterisk indicates Film Four Extreme) on: 16 June 2000, 00.05am; 1 July 2000, 2.45am; 10 July 2000, 00.20am; 29 Aug 2000, 2.15am; 28 October 2000, 11.35pm; 15 November 2000, 10.05pm; 29 November 2000, 1.35am; 13 April 2001, 10pm; 18 June 2001, 10pm; 14 September 2001*, 00.05; 15 March 2002, 0025am; 12 May 2002*, 10.05pm (repeated at 2.05am); 10 July 2002*, 00.05am; 9 August 2002*, 2.05am; 28 August 2002*, 00.05am; 9 March 2003*, 2.35am;

Film Four and Film Four Extreme (also Film Four Plus One and Film Four World) are subscription film channels only available for home use. Applicants must subscribe to a digital platform, such as Sky as NTL, and then pay to view as a premium service.


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