Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE

Related threads:
How old is Brit trad of music in pubs? (88)
PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas (101)
PEL: demo - pictures (14)
BS: Is Kim Howells an arsehole? (65)
Licensing Bill - How will it work ? (331)
Weymouth Folk Festival (UK) (120)
A little more news on Licensing (158)
Killed by the PEL system Part 2 (93)
The New Star Session R.I.P. PELs (55)
PEL Problems in Hull (39)
PELs: Are we over-reacting? (74)
Circus PELs - I told you so! (16)
PEL Mk II: UK Government at it again (24)
PEL stops session in Cheshire (78)
Lyr Add: PEL Song: A PEL Protest (Julie Berrill) (27)
PELs - Letters to important folk. (50)
Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs (506) (closed)
PEL: Architect)?) Andrew Cunningam (11)
UK Government to license Morris Dancing (68) (closed)
EFDSS on the Licensing Bill - PELs. (38)
PEL: Doc Roew gets through to Minister !!! (11)
PELs Dr Howells on Mike Harding Show. (106)
From Eliza Carthy & Mike Harding PELs (36)
Common's Early Day Motion 331 (new)(PEL) (69)
DANCING OUTBREAK! and definition. PELs (16)
PEL threads. links to all of them. (50)
BS: Village Greens and licences (3) (closed)
PEL's: News Blackout! (53)
PEL: Billy Bragg BBC1 Monday nite (17)
PELs: Exemptions? (107)
Petition Clarification (PELs) (9)
PEL debate on BBC TV Now. (6)
further 'dangers' with the PEL (24)
Stupid Music Law. (8)
Howells (now) asks for help PELs (68)
PEL : MPs' replies to your e-mails (40)
PEL: Where does Charles Kennedy stand? (10)
PEL: NCA Campaign free Seminar (18)
PEL: Howells on BBCR1 TONIGHT! (45)
PEL : Hardcopy Petition (44)
PELs Government v MU & lawyers (48)
PEL Pages (5)
Human Rights Committee AGREES! PELs (20)
Churches now exempt from PELs (55)
Lyr Add: PEL 'Freedom to sing' song (12)
Lyr Add: PEL Protest song (14)
Can YOU help The Blue Bell session? (9)
PEL: Urgent soundbites - CBC interview (25)
BS: Kim Howells, but NOT PELS for a change (8) (closed)
PEL: Billy Bragg on Question Time 6th Feb (15)
Kim Howells (PEL) (85)
PEL - A Reply From An MP. (22)
BS: What is PEL? (3) (closed)
PEL - 'Demo' Fleetwood 30th Jan 2003 (25)
PEL – Robb Johnson on R3, 1215h, 26/1. (8)
New PEL. An alternative argument. (31)
PEL: DEMO 27 JANUARY 2003 (95)
PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY (46)
Poet against PEL - welcome Simon (10)
PEL: First Lord's defeat of the bill (10)
PEL - 'Demo' Fleetwood 23rd Jan (5)
kim howells does it again (PEL) (69)
PEL UK - Unemployed Artist Dancer - look (22)
PEL hit squads! (16)
PELs for beginners (26)
PEL: Latest rumour/lie? It's gone away? (3)
PEL: but not music (9)
Folking Lawyers (PEL) (26)
MU campaign - Freedom of Expression (36)
PEL- Enforcement: How? (8)
PEL: Inner working of Minister's minds? (9)
PROTEST DEMO WITH GAG (PEL) (10)
PEL: What activities to be criminalised? (29)
A Criminal Conviction for Christmas? (PEL) (45)
PEL - Idea (34)
Glastonbury Festival Refused PEL (5)
MSG: x Pete Mclelland Hobgoblin Music (23)
Sessions under threat in UK? (101)
PELs of the past (13)
BS: PELs and roller skates. (1) (closed)
PELs UK Music needs your HELP (64)
Fighting the PEL (43)
URGENT MESSAGE FOR THE SHAMBLES (22)
Lyr Add: The Folk Musician's Lament (a PEL protest (2)
BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms (32) (closed)
PELs UK BBC Breakfast TV Monday (1)
PEL: Licensing Reform? (46)
BS: PELs in Scotland (12) (closed)
BS: The Cannon Newport Pagnell UK - no PEL! (18) (closed)
Action For Music. PELs (28)
Killed by the PEL system (66)
TV sport vs live music in pubs. HELP (6)
PEL and the Law: 'Twas ever thus (14)
EFDSS letter to UK Government HELP! (2)
24 July 2002 Day of Action - PELs (77)
Help: PELs & The Folk Image (12)
Official 'No tradition' 2 (PELs) (55)
Is this man killing folk music? (19)
We have PEL - Rose & Crown Ashwell, 23/6 (2)
BS: Vaults Bar, Bull ,Stony Stratford - PEL (4) (closed)
What is folk ? - OFFICIAL (26)
Official: No tradition of music in pubs (92)
UK catters be useful TODAY (70)
Help Change Music In My Country (102)
PEL-More questions (7)
NEWS for visitors wanting to play in UK (56)
Nominate for a Two in a Bar Award -UK (11)
USA- HELP Where is Dr Howells? (13)
BS: URGENT UK contact your MP TONITE (18) (closed)
ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP? (97)
Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2 (75)
UK TV Cove Session/The Shambles (24)
All UK folkies take note - the law!!! (68)
BS: Tenterden weekend (and PELs) (11) (closed)
PEL (UK) (25)
Will you write an Email for Shambles? (111) (closed)
Important - Attention All Mudcatters (99)
Council Bans Morris Part 2 (73)
Council Bans Morris Dancing (103)
Day of action for live music 19th July (44)
Traditional activities and the law (13)
Sessions under threat in UK PART 2 (15)
Making Music Is Illegal. (56)
Urgent Help Required!! Threat to UK Sessions (11)


GUEST 12 Mar 03 - 01:43 AM
John J 12 Mar 03 - 07:04 AM
IanC 12 Mar 03 - 08:04 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 03 - 02:09 PM
GUEST 12 Mar 03 - 02:11 PM
DMcG 12 Mar 03 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,ET 13 Mar 03 - 04:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM
vindelis 13 Mar 03 - 06:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Mar 03 - 07:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM
Alexis 14 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM
The Shambles 14 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM
treewind 14 Mar 03 - 12:43 PM
The Shambles 24 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM
The Shambles 24 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 03 - 10:03 AM
Dave Bryant 24 Mar 03 - 12:05 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 12:32 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 12:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 03 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 03 - 05:42 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 06:25 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 06:26 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 05:50 AM
Dave Bryant 25 Mar 03 - 05:55 AM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 11:09 AM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 01:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 03:41 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 06:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 07:42 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 01:37 AM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 05:12 AM
The Admiral 26 Mar 03 - 08:57 AM
DMcG 26 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 12:00 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 03:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 03 - 04:04 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 07:58 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 08:18 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 08:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 03 - 08:44 PM
The Shambles 27 Mar 03 - 12:31 PM
The Shambles 27 Mar 03 - 02:41 PM
The Shambles 27 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Mar 03 - 03:19 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 08:34 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Mar 03 - 02:48 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 03:24 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 03:27 PM
vectis 29 Mar 03 - 03:57 PM
Richard Bridge 29 Mar 03 - 06:16 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 08:07 PM
The Shambles 31 Mar 03 - 01:03 AM
Richard Bridge 31 Mar 03 - 02:48 AM
The Shambles 31 Mar 03 - 04:24 AM
vectis 31 Mar 03 - 05:41 AM
GUEST 31 Mar 03 - 02:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 31 Mar 03 - 03:06 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Apr 03 - 01:05 AM
The Shambles 01 Apr 03 - 06:05 AM
The Shambles 01 Apr 03 - 07:42 AM
The Shambles 01 Apr 03 - 07:58 AM
Dave Bryant 01 Apr 03 - 09:44 AM
Rambling Boy 02 Apr 03 - 06:22 AM
The Shambles 02 Apr 03 - 08:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Apr 03 - 10:39 AM
The Shambles 02 Apr 03 - 04:23 PM
The Shambles 02 Apr 03 - 05:05 PM
The Shambles 04 Apr 03 - 07:46 AM
ET 04 Apr 03 - 08:41 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Apr 03 - 12:27 PM
DMcG 04 Apr 03 - 12:51 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Apr 03 - 03:43 AM
The Shambles 07 Apr 03 - 03:21 PM
The Shambles 07 Apr 03 - 07:42 PM
The Shambles 09 Apr 03 - 08:09 AM
The Shambles 11 Apr 03 - 11:38 AM
The Shambles 13 Apr 03 - 04:25 AM
The Shambles 13 Apr 03 - 08:46 AM
The Shambles 14 Apr 03 - 03:33 AM
The Shambles 15 Apr 03 - 02:00 AM
The Shambles 15 Apr 03 - 02:51 PM
The Shambles 17 Apr 03 - 02:16 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 17 Apr 03 - 02:30 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 17 Apr 03 - 02:38 AM
The Shambles 19 Apr 03 - 07:26 AM
The Shambles 23 Apr 03 - 06:41 PM
GUEST,John Barden 25 Apr 03 - 06:58 AM
The Shambles 25 Apr 03 - 01:36 PM
ET 26 Apr 03 - 06:29 AM
The Shambles 27 Apr 03 - 12:46 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Apr 03 - 02:19 AM
GUEST,ET 28 Apr 03 - 03:25 PM
The Shambles 29 Apr 03 - 03:29 AM
The Shambles 30 Apr 03 - 02:48 AM
nickp 30 Apr 03 - 04:36 AM
The Shambles 30 Apr 03 - 05:13 PM
The Shambles 01 May 03 - 09:54 AM
The Shambles 07 May 03 - 03:01 PM
The Shambles 08 May 03 - 12:56 PM
The Shambles 09 May 03 - 09:17 AM
The Shambles 09 May 03 - 09:34 AM
The Shambles 10 May 03 - 04:02 AM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 03:08 PM
The Shambles 12 May 03 - 05:51 PM
The Shambles 13 May 03 - 02:30 AM
The Shambles 14 May 03 - 01:57 AM
The Shambles 14 May 03 - 05:38 AM
The Shambles 21 May 03 - 01:46 PM
The Shambles 21 May 03 - 03:56 PM
ET 22 May 03 - 02:44 AM
Kaleea 22 May 03 - 03:31 AM
ET 22 May 03 - 12:47 PM
ET 22 May 03 - 12:52 PM
Folkiedave 22 May 03 - 04:40 PM
GUEST,The Shambles 05 Jun 03 - 05:22 AM
GUEST 05 Jun 03 - 05:25 AM
The Shambles 05 Jun 03 - 12:56 PM
BanjoRay 06 Jun 03 - 06:56 AM
The Shambles 06 Jun 03 - 07:24 AM
The Shambles 06 Jun 03 - 05:47 PM
Richard Bridge 06 Jun 03 - 06:17 PM
The Shambles 07 Jun 03 - 12:23 PM
The Shambles 11 Jun 03 - 12:54 PM
The Shambles 11 Jun 03 - 01:05 PM
John MacKenzie 11 Jun 03 - 01:19 PM
The Shambles 12 Jun 03 - 05:08 AM
The Shambles 12 Jun 03 - 07:03 AM
The Shambles 16 Jun 03 - 01:55 PM
The Shambles 16 Jun 03 - 03:46 PM
The Shambles 16 Jun 03 - 05:10 PM
The Shambles 17 Jun 03 - 05:43 AM
The Shambles 17 Jun 03 - 06:23 AM
The Shambles 17 Jun 03 - 11:23 AM
The Shambles 17 Jun 03 - 12:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jun 03 - 02:32 PM
The Shambles 17 Jun 03 - 04:10 PM
The Shambles 17 Jun 03 - 04:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jun 03 - 06:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jun 03 - 07:01 PM
The Shambles 17 Jun 03 - 08:39 PM
alanww 18 Jun 03 - 06:54 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Jun 03 - 05:19 PM
The Shambles 19 Jun 03 - 07:52 AM
The Shambles 19 Jun 03 - 10:18 AM
Richard Bridge 19 Jun 03 - 01:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jun 03 - 01:45 PM
The Shambles 19 Jun 03 - 01:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jun 03 - 02:02 PM
The Shambles 19 Jun 03 - 02:31 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Jun 03 - 03:26 PM
ET 19 Jun 03 - 03:26 PM
The Shambles 20 Jun 03 - 02:35 AM
The Shambles 20 Jun 03 - 04:42 AM
The Shambles 20 Jun 03 - 05:10 AM
The Shambles 20 Jun 03 - 05:56 AM
The Shambles 20 Jun 03 - 10:24 AM
The Shambles 20 Jun 03 - 12:30 PM
ET 20 Jun 03 - 01:53 PM
The Shambles 20 Jun 03 - 05:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Jun 03 - 08:53 PM
The Shambles 21 Jun 03 - 05:04 AM
The Shambles 22 Jun 03 - 01:58 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Jun 03 - 03:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jun 03 - 02:29 PM
The Shambles 23 Jun 03 - 03:31 PM
Richard Bridge 23 Jun 03 - 03:47 PM
ET 23 Jun 03 - 04:40 PM
The Shambles 23 Jun 03 - 08:17 PM
The Shambles 24 Jun 03 - 10:24 AM
ET 24 Jun 03 - 12:55 PM
The Shambles 24 Jun 03 - 04:50 PM
The Shambles 25 Jun 03 - 04:22 PM
The Shambles 25 Jun 03 - 08:52 PM
The Shambles 26 Jun 03 - 02:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Jun 03 - 03:53 PM
The Shambles 27 Jun 03 - 05:22 PM
Richard Bridge 27 Jun 03 - 07:30 PM
The Shambles 28 Jun 03 - 05:30 AM
The Shambles 28 Jun 03 - 05:44 AM
The Shambles 29 Jun 03 - 05:59 AM
ET 29 Jun 03 - 06:40 AM
ET 29 Jun 03 - 07:53 AM
The Shambles 29 Jun 03 - 04:28 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 03 - 02:05 AM
ET 02 Jul 03 - 02:43 AM
The Shambles 02 Jul 03 - 05:36 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 03 - 05:53 AM
The Shambles 02 Jul 03 - 06:21 AM
The Shambles 02 Jul 03 - 07:03 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Jul 03 - 11:04 AM
DMcG 02 Jul 03 - 11:44 AM
GUEST 02 Jul 03 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,The Admiral 03 Jul 03 - 02:56 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Jul 03 - 03:53 AM
The Barden of England 03 Jul 03 - 05:36 AM
Richard Bridge 03 Jul 03 - 08:18 AM
GUEST,ET 03 Jul 03 - 09:15 AM
The Shambles 03 Jul 03 - 06:38 PM
The Shambles 04 Jul 03 - 06:57 AM
BanjoRay 04 Jul 03 - 07:05 AM
GUEST 04 Jul 03 - 07:12 AM
The Shambles 04 Jul 03 - 07:14 AM
The Shambles 04 Jul 03 - 07:23 AM
The Shambles 04 Jul 03 - 01:16 PM
The Shambles 05 Jul 03 - 11:45 AM
The Shambles 08 Jul 03 - 05:54 AM
Richard Bridge 08 Jul 03 - 06:35 AM
DMcG 08 Jul 03 - 07:15 AM
nickp 08 Jul 03 - 07:52 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jul 03 - 08:15 AM
The Barden of England 08 Jul 03 - 09:40 AM
The Shambles 08 Jul 03 - 10:16 AM
The Barden of England 08 Jul 03 - 10:52 AM
Richard Bridge 08 Jul 03 - 12:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jul 03 - 01:05 PM
The Shambles 08 Jul 03 - 01:21 PM
Richard Bridge 08 Jul 03 - 03:33 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jul 03 - 07:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jul 03 - 07:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Jul 03 - 07:25 PM
The Shambles 08 Jul 03 - 09:28 PM
The Barden of England 09 Jul 03 - 02:38 AM
ET 09 Jul 03 - 02:38 AM
The Shambles 09 Jul 03 - 05:20 AM
DMcG 09 Jul 03 - 05:24 AM
The Shambles 09 Jul 03 - 06:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 03 - 06:49 AM
The Barden of England 09 Jul 03 - 07:17 AM
Richard Bridge 09 Jul 03 - 10:01 AM
DMcG 09 Jul 03 - 10:57 AM
The Shambles 09 Jul 03 - 01:20 PM
The Shambles 09 Jul 03 - 01:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM
The Shambles 09 Jul 03 - 01:37 PM
The Shambles 09 Jul 03 - 01:45 PM
Richard Bridge 09 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 03 - 02:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 03 - 02:59 PM
DMcG 09 Jul 03 - 03:10 PM
The Shambles 09 Jul 03 - 04:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jul 03 - 04:58 PM
Richard Bridge 10 Jul 03 - 05:00 AM
The Shambles 10 Jul 03 - 07:22 AM
ET 10 Jul 03 - 07:51 AM
The Shambles 10 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jul 03 - 01:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Jul 03 - 01:10 PM
The Shambles 10 Jul 03 - 01:12 PM
The Shambles 10 Jul 03 - 01:25 PM
The Shambles 10 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM
The Shambles 11 Jul 03 - 07:06 AM
The Shambles 11 Jul 03 - 01:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 03 - 02:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 03 - 04:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 03 - 04:25 PM
The Shambles 11 Jul 03 - 04:57 PM
The Shambles 11 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge 11 Jul 03 - 07:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Jul 03 - 07:41 PM
The Shambles 11 Jul 03 - 10:20 PM
The Shambles 12 Jul 03 - 05:15 AM
GUEST,ET 12 Jul 03 - 07:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jul 03 - 07:31 AM
The Shambles 12 Jul 03 - 07:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Jul 03 - 08:36 AM
The Shambles 12 Jul 03 - 10:02 AM
The Shambles 12 Jul 03 - 10:19 AM
The Shambles 15 Jul 03 - 05:58 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Jul 03 - 03:03 AM
ET 16 Jul 03 - 05:43 AM
The Barden of England 16 Jul 03 - 05:46 AM
DMcG 16 Jul 03 - 07:17 AM
Dave Bryant 16 Jul 03 - 09:04 AM
Snuffy 16 Jul 03 - 09:16 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Jul 03 - 10:13 AM
Dave Bryant 16 Jul 03 - 10:18 AM
The Barden of England 16 Jul 03 - 10:38 AM
Richard Bridge 16 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM
Dave Bryant 17 Jul 03 - 04:20 AM
cockney 17 Jul 03 - 08:48 AM
The Shambles 17 Jul 03 - 10:51 AM
Richard Bridge 17 Jul 03 - 11:11 AM
Dave Bryant 17 Jul 03 - 11:54 AM
The Shambles 18 Jul 03 - 09:58 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:43 AM

Look, I know this is a new thread on a huge old one but the Sign an E pettion thread is so large it takes ages to download so I thought I'd try a new one as the Bill is about to leave the Lords and go to the Commons.
If this isn't the way to do it no problem with another way!

IMPORTANT NEWS

----------------------------------------------------------------

TELETEXT News
>
> Government defeated on music licence
>
> The government has been defeated in the Lords after peers voted to exempt
> small premises from the planned enforcement of licence regulations.
>
> Peers votes by 150 to 120 in favour of a Tory Amendment which would exempt
> from a licence live music in a pub before 11.30 pm.
>
> the rule would apply to those premises with 250 people or fewer.
>
> Tories believe the amendment would encourage live music.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

This is important and needs to be broadcast far and wide. Government bound to want to amed this with their huge commons majority so please write to your MP.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: John J
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 07:04 AM

Does this mean we've won?

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: IanC
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 08:04 AM

No. They'll reverse it in the Commons.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 02:09 PM

If they can - see below extract from Lawyers e-mail


And the real beauty of this is that, because the government started this in
the Lords, it cannot use the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 to override the
Lords, so if the Lords stick to their guns and no compromise is possible,
the government will have to withdraw the whole bill and re-introduce it as a
Commons bill, which will really disrupt their parliamentary timetable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 02:11 PM

THESE ARE GOVERNMENT CONCESSIONS!!

I forgot to add to yesterday's circular two more important concessions made by the Government in the form of amendments to the Bill. These are very clearly a response to lobbying pressure.

The first removed the paragraph in Schedule 1 that catches private events raising money for charity (para 1(7) in the Bill as amended on Report). Such events are now out of the licensing regime altogether. The second inserts a new paragraph which exempts the provision of any regulated entertainment or facilities at garden fetes, functions or events 'of a similar character' (provided these are not for 'private gain'). The term 'private gain' is further defined as 'to be construed in accordance with section 22 of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 (c. 32)'.

I think IF we win we all owe Hamish of Musicians Union and Richard Bridge, Lawyer, a few pints!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 05:09 PM

Yes, but I think 78,641 pints (at the current count) might do a little liver damage. Perhaps we should send vouchers redeemable of the next couple of centuries instead.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 04:28 PM

Given that the Lords have just about wrecked the bill there are dangers that Howells will rally MPs to his cause by pointing out what the effects will be. Could I invite you to look to
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/2842595.stm). Good read.

I think we need to think of a way of plea bargining to get what we want in exchange for a less completely wrecked bill because of the dangers of the government starting again in the commons.

Personally I think the Government will want us all to be seat belted into our armchairs, wearing crash helmets, knitting with blunt, sound profed needles, making fair isle jumpers, watching 1920's movies, then dropping dead suddenly one month before we draw our pensions with no dependants, no will and any assets going to the treasury!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM

(I can't see why the longest thread takes any longer to download, so long as you click on the numbers in the "Messages" column, and not on the heading in the left hand column - the long threads are broken into 50s, and it opens up on the first 50, with a choice of all the others - so you click on the most recent one, and bingo, it's open - and it keeps the discourse in one place, which is handier.)

The Government's too tied up in all kinds of other stuff to fancy starting the whole thing again, I reckon. They might be more likely to drop it - but, given that the music bit is only a small aspect of it, and the pub hours bit is seen as quite important, I can't see them doing it.

Also the question will arise, how reliable are the Labour MPs? Given that a lot of them are going to be feeling a bit bloody-minded now. The Iraq rebels will have their tails up, and some of the ones who have toed the line on that might like a chance to show that they aren't to be taken for granted, and have some backbone of sorts.

I think it's quite on the cards that the Government will accept the amendments, or most of them anyway, and say that this was what they intended to achieve through the regulations and guidelines anyway.

If the one exempting unamplified music gets through, which I read somewhere is quite likely to be accepted, I'll be very happy. And I think that if that gets through, it'll probably mean that lowish level amplification will be ignored by the authorities in practice. The small premises one would be brilliant, but I can see them pulling the stops out to defeat that one - which puts it back to the Lords.

The thing with the Lords is, there's not much predicting what will happen, because they aren't whippable in the same way as MPs.

Writing to MPs again specifically supporting the non-amplified and small premises amendments is well worth it. I suspect a lot of them are feeling very vulnerable these days, and might fancy some populist stuff about what jolly good sports they are in their local papers., Remember http://www.faxyourmp.com/ - it's free and it lands on their desk in the House tomorrow, looking quite impressive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: vindelis
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 06:32 PM

I hate to put a damper on things, but does this mean that we could be back to square one, two-in-a-bar rule et al? I sincerely hope not.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 07:18 PM

Unlikely. Though thee's ways in which it'd be better than none-in-a-bar.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM

The point is, two-in-a-bar isn't actually a restriction - it's an exemption from a general restriction. A daftly inadequate exemption, but better than nothing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Alexis
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM

McGrath-re the labour MPs my local kali Mountford would`nt sign the EDM, just sent me the 20 myths bollocks. Any chance of an idiots guide to the possible ammendments so I can ask her to agree to them? I have to reply to the 20 myths bollocks so I might as well try to appear informed.
Alex


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM

This will help for the answer to the 20 myths.

http://www.does4you.co.uk/REPLY.htm

As will the MU site http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/latest_news.shtml


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: treewind
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 12:43 PM

Our MP (Tory) has replied to faxes from Mary and myself with a standard form letter. It wasn't very informative the first time and was thoroughly depressing after we got the third copy, in reply to specific questions which it didn't answer.

Mary's just tried again, asking him to support the amendments. If he sends the same letter again I won't be impressed. But then it's a safe Tory seat - what to do? He'll probably support them anyway just for party reasons.

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM

Commons business 24 March 2003.

LICENSING BILL [LORDS]:      Second Reading.
[Until 10.00 p.m.]

The Sixth Report from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee, Session 2002-03, HC 541, The Licensing Bill [Lords] and the Evening Economy, is relevant.

    The First, Fourth and Seventh Reports from the Joint Committee on Human Rights of Session 2002-03, on its scrutiny of Bills, HC 191, HC 397 and HC 547, are relevant.

You can listen to it live on the following.....

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/hocvid.asp


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM

The following is a letter sent today.

Dear Mrs Bottomley

Licensing Bill - Public Entertainment Licence Provisions - Lords Small Premises Amendment.

I have learnt today that the bill returns to the Commons on Monday 24th March. My concern is that the proposed legislation bears heavily, clumsily and destructively upon a part of English social and musical life. I participate, as singer or listener, in various traditional music sessions or singarounds in and around South-West Surrey. These take place on licensed premises, usually small pubs.

What happens is that people gather to sing, play acoustic instruments or to simply listen and perhaps join in choruses. There is also conversation, and friendships are formed or reinforced. It is a thoroughly benign part of the social fabric. There is no perceptible disorder.

It seems likely that the proposed legislation would bring many of these to an end. Locally, these include: ['Descriptions withheld of sessions and singarounds in some seven licensed premises of which all but two are likely to be in breach of existing law.'] Of these, I am not aware that any hold an existing Public Entertainment Licence. I would guess that [some] are most likely to, and that most or all of the remainder may not. Certainly we were aware that the _______did not.

At present, folk music in England is mostly played in public illegally. With variable local enforcement, we have had the spectacle of publicly-paid officials taking action to close sessions in Dorset and Greenwich to name the first two that come to mind for no reason other that they are unlicensed. The 'two-in-a-bar-rule' has been taken by the authorities to mean only the same two in a bar all evening, and does not remotely sanction present practice.

The mechanism for starting a session is that someone will discuss with the landlord whether such might be accommodated on the premises, usually on an otherwise quiet evening. If so agreed, word will be spread, perhaps supplemented by press or website publicity. Performers may be unremunerated, or there may be sandwiches or perhaps beer for them. Licensing will not be in the forefront of anyone's mind, nor, I submit, should it be.

Mr Howells and his staff seem not to understand how this part of life works.

Mr Howells states, disingenuously, that the legislation would be enabling and would encourage live music. Alas, he or his officials seem to lack everyday experience of the licensees as they are. From my personal and business experience, licensees are not the most organised or far-sighted amongst us. Faced with the need to specify what entertainment may be presented, they may not apply for future or even present folk or acoustic sessions. There is a strong risk that public performance of English traditional music and song will be outlawed except on the concert stage.

It seems to me that is absurd and iniquitous that in England, unlike Scotland, we shall be denied the freedom to entertain ourselves by song, music and dance as we see fit, whilst no such licensing is needed for satellite television or karaoke in licensed premises.

I understand that the Lords amendment for small premises up to 11.30 pm would permit these sessions and singarounds to continue, but that the Minister is advise that it should be overturned. I make no comment on the minister's motivation except that he has publicly denigrated folk singers.

Should the Lords's amendment be overturned, we would necessarily resort to Human Rights legislation. However, it seems to me desirable that the legislation be dealt with at this stage so as to enable people in England to enjoy the liberty to entertain ourselves as traditionally we have done. May I ask for your help to uphold the Lords' small premises amendment, please?

Yours sincerely
Peter Thomas


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:03 AM

Remember, if the House of Commons reject the Lords amendments, and the Lords insist on them, or on any one of them, the Lords can't be overuled. The version the House of Lords insists on has to become law, unless the Government decides instead to ditch the whole bill and start all over again.

That's because the Bill was introduced by the Government in the House of Lords, not in the Commons.

If all this seems frivolous, in the context of the present war, it's as well to remember that the laws restricting pub opening times, and all kind of other stuff, were pushed through while people were looking the other way, during the Great War. And we were stuck with them for the best part of a century.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:05 PM

What's the betting that if the Commons do accept the Lord's ammendments, Mr Howells will then try to take all the credit for rationalising Entertainment Licensing ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:32 PM

Listening Live: the Government says it will try to overturn the small events exemption because of its potentially perverse effects on protecting children, etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:50 PM

Listening live: Government "Intend to accept the incidental live music amendment"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:58 PM

But no word on the unamplified amendment that I've heard.

Lobbying Lords is more complicated than lobbying MPs, but I imaginbe it'll be a good idea to check up how to go about doing that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:42 PM

Any one got an update on how it went today?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:25 PM

The opposition decided not to put anything to a vote today, but said that unless the amendments passed in the laws were largely incorporated, at least in spirit, they would vote against when it returns to the house after the committee stage. The Government intends to oppose seven of the nine amendments agreed in the Lords, but didn't say exactly which they were prepared to accept, apart from the incidental live music amendment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:26 PM

For 'laws' read 'Lords' (well, its getting late.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:50 AM

The full debate in Hansard, on the following site.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030324/debtext/30324-14.htm#30324-14_head0


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:55 AM

I take it there's no "potentially perverse effects on protecting children, etc" possible from satellite tv (with all those porno channels) or video juke-boxes then. I've heard language on one of Tom's Enimem CDs that would get you thrown out of most folk clubs, and the behaviour of some audiences watching televised sport can leave a lot to be desired.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 11:09 AM

The BBC online news of Tessa Jowell's intentions for the Bill.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2882751.stm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 01:25 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

For circulation

The following update will repalce the 'Latest News' section on the MU two in a bar site tomorrow:

During yesterday's (24 March) first Commons debate of the Licensing Bill, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced that the Government would accept the Opposition Peers' amendments for a licensing exemption for schools and sixth form colleges. She also accepted their exemption for 'incidental' live music. However, she indicated that the Government would seek to overturn the small events exemption.

The full debate can be downloaded from Hansard online:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030324/debtext/30324-14.htm#30324-14_head0

The Bill will now enter the Committee stage in the Commons, the first of these being Tuesday 1 April. About 20-30 MPs will sit on this Committee, and the proportion from each Party will reflect the make-up of the House of Commons. Government and Opposition Whips choose the MPs to sit.

This phase of the Bill's passage through Parliament must be completed by 20 May. Report and 3rd Reading follow, probably on the same day. The Bill will then go back to the Lords (if the Government has amended the Lords amendments, as is very likely). Once the Lords have considered the Government's amendments, and either introduced further amendments, or reintroduced their ealier amendments, the Bill is returned to the Commons. The Government are still aiming for Royal Assent in July.

During yesterday's debate the Culture Secretary again claimed that the Musicians' Union had misrepresented the Bill:

'I would like to pay tribute to the Musicians Union, which has certainly won the Oscar for the best spin on this matter. I say that with unbounded admiration, rather than acrimony. The union has misrepresented the position with great success, and, in doing so, greatly raised the profile of live music.'

Conservative Shadow Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, defended the Union:

'... despite assurances to the contrary, fears remain that the Bill may well cover many events such as wedding receptions, private parties, the demonstration of musical instruments, the provision of rehearsal rooms, even carol singingand, as was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Mr. Steen), wassailing.

The Minister has sought to dismiss such claims as scare-mongering and a "pernicious lying campaign" by the Musicians Union. I am glad to note that he [Kim Howells] recognises his own words. But while he may give assurances that the Bill does not cover such events, a large body of legal opinion has advised the Musicians Union and others that it will have exactly those effects.

We are pleased that the Government have now said that they are prepared to sit down with the Musicians Union and others whom the Bill will affect and look at it again. I hope that that will lead to further Government amendments to prevent any possible doubt that the Minister's assurances are supported by the Bill, but if they are not forthcoming, we will not hesitate to table our own amendments.'


Mr Whittingdale also said that having consulted 30 licensees in his constituency on whether they would 'tick the box' to obtain a public entertainment licence, none said that they would. Worryingly, a similar reaction was reported by Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Minister, Nick Harvey.

Mr Whittingdale also commented on the exemption for broadcast entertainment: 'On the point that the Government seem to consider that live performance poses such dangers that it requires a licence, whereas the televised screening of a soccer match or a concert poses no dangers, the Minister [Kim Howells] said on Radio 1 a couple of months ago that in 14 years as an MP he had never received a complaint about a folk group or anybody else playing acoustic music, but that he had had lots of complaints about loud televisions and loud piped music. It therefore seems extraordinary that he proposes to regulate the former but to exempt the latter.'

Mr Whittingdale added that the Conservatives would defend their small events exemption amendment in the Lords if the Government overturned it in the Commons.

Several other MPs spoke in favour of live music and the small events exemption, including David Heath (Lib Dem, Somerton & Frome), and Bob Blizzard (Lab, Waveney).

Mr Blizzard said: 'Small, live venues are a serious issue if we are to avoid that monoculture of mass entertainment...'. He added: 'I am very pleased with the idea behind the Lords amendment that grants exemption to live music at small events and premises up to 11.30 pm, as it is an attempt to deal with the issue. If I understand why my hon. Friend cannot support that measure, I hope that he will find an alternative way forward that satisfies the concerns of those small premises. I hope not only that he will meet the Musicians Union, but that he will be willing to receive a delegation from the all-party jazz appreciation group in the House to work through some of those issues.

David Heath said: 'All acoustic performances should be exempt from the provisions, as they are not capable of causing the nuisance that the Bill attempts to remedy. Whether we limit numbers or types of performance is a matter of opinion, but there should be a threshold below which the full licensing provisions do not apply. We need to examine the transitional arrangements, as well as the licence variations, which are a significant barrier.

If a licensee does not initially apply for an entertainment licence but wants one at a later stage, it could prove too costly for them to countenance and we could thus eventually see a contraction in the number of live venues.

I genuinely believe that the Government are listening to some of the points that have been made. Some of us have been accused of scaremongering, but any scares that I have mongered were manufactured in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The more that the Minister can allay fear by changing the precise terms of the Bill and by what he includes in the regulations and guidance, the more he will receive my support. The measure would then be genuinely deregulatory. I commend the Minister on listening, but I am worried that there will be backsliding from the position established in another place.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:41 PM

Just read through the debate. I was interested to note that when Kim Howells came to sum up at the end he completely ignored the music and entertainments aspects of the Bill.

Tessa Jowells, who opened for the Government (it sounds a bit like a Cricket match) didn't give too much away. She said they mean to reverse the "small premises" amendment, accept the "incidental music" one (whatever that actually means, which is far from clear), and for the rest, either seek to modify them or reverse them. Which could mean anything or nothing.

But it was good to see that a fair number of the MPs had at least some idea of the issues involved especially maybe the point that unless they do something about the power of local authorities to insist on excessive conditions, most pubs are not going to tick the entertainments box.

Now is the time to redouble pressure, because this is the point at which significant concessions could be obtained.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 06:20 PM

Is Tessa Jowell with her gruding acceptance of some but not all of the Lord's amendments, from now on going to be known as 'Seven of Nine'?

Yes I noticed that Dr Howells ignored the entertainment aspects, no change there then......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:42 PM

Could someone indicate what exactly it is the "incidental" amendment actually says?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 01:37 AM

This is how this part of Schedule 1 now looks.

Music incidental to certain other activities.

7       The provision of entertainment consisting of the playing of music is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity which is not 25 itself—

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

             (b)             the provision of entertainment facilities.


The original wording was only to the playing of recorded music. So all is clear now, isn't it?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 05:12 AM

The following today from Hamish Birchall.

Legal advice provided to the Musicians' Union is that 'incidental' would not cover advertised, featured entertainments. Thus a weekly amateur folk session in a pub, if advertised, would not fall within the 'incidental' exemption.

It would be helpful if the Government could confirm whether or not they share this view.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Admiral
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:57 AM

I see that the Petition now stands at over 80,000 names online and who knows how many in hard copy but when it is going to be presented? With discussion of the Licencing Bill in the Commons for the 3rd (and last) time last Monday there can't be much time left for it to make any difference?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM

The petition has already been quoted in the debate in both the Lords and the Commons; I doubt if physically having it will actually that much difference. I don't think its the last time in the Commons either - it goes to the committee stage now and then will get voted on back in the house. Hence the opposition's comments. And of course, if the Government does overturn anything the Lords said, as they intend, it goes back there. There's a couple of laps still to run on this one!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 12:00 PM

Does anyone here have the misfortune of having this lady as their MP?

Diana Organ (Forest of Dean): Snip

Many myths have surrounded the Bill. Like other hon. Members, I have heard people suggest that the measure makes carol singing, bell ringing, singing "Happy Birthday" in a pub illegal, and provides that music tuition and rehearsals must be licensed. I am glad to say that that is all unfounded nonsense.

The Government have made it clear that they will agree to some Lords amendments but that they cannot accept others. I understand their reasons for not agreeing with Lords amendments that would provide
for not licensing an event of 250 or fewer people.

That is a matter of public safety and misuse of alcohol. It is right to examine all places where alcohol is sold and not simply base decisions on numbers. We would all be severely worried by a dangerous or disorderly incident involving 200 people in a village hall going on the rampage, especially if the event were unlicensed.


We have much health and safety law plus now the premise licence and the personal licence to ensure that the serving of alcohol is controlled, but still they plough on wanting to duplicate the measures, and insist on more control, but strangly only where live music is concerned.........It is not music making that is not going to incite village halls to go on the rampage.

The amendment is not going to permit unlicensed small events it just exempts small events from additional licensing control, duplication and more unnecessary red tape. Most peers accepted that existing legislation provided adequate cover, obviously this MP does not. Or does not understand.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 03:37 PM

The MPs nominated for the Licensing Bill Committee are as follows:

       (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee D, and has appointed Mr Roger Gale and Mr Joe Benton Chairmen; and (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee:

Mr Bob Blizzard, Mr David Crausby, Mr Mark Field, Jane Griffiths, Mr John Grogan, Nick Harvey, Mr Mark Hoban, Dr Kim Howells, Mr Kevan Jones, Mr Fraser Kemp, Jim Knight, Martin Linton, Mr Malcolm Moss, Mr Adrian Sanders, Mr Graham Stringer and Mr Andrew Turner.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 04:04 PM

Roger Gale for Chairman??? That's confusing, but maybe a good omen.

Do committees like this take evidence? What's the form for lobbying them?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 07:58 PM

The commons guide to Standing Committees.

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/fs43.pdf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:18 PM

The MU's website.
http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/latest_news.shtml


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:36 PM

The Bill will now enter the Committee stage in the Commons, the first of these being Tuesday 1 April. About 20-30 MPs will sit on this Committee, and the proportion from each Party will reflect the make-up of the House of Commons. Government and Opposition Whips choose the MPs to sit.

The Labour whips have chosen my MP Jim Knight to sit on the Committee.

If anyone would like to post short constructive comments/suggestions for the Committee here, or to me via PMs, I can certainly pass these on to him.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:44 PM

The paper about Standing Committees appears to assume that the amendments are ones which have been put forward by MPs, rather than ones which have already been passed by the House of Lords, where the Bill was introduced.

I'd imagine that might change the proceedings a bit - for example, the paper talks about them having the right to decide which amendments to consider, and I can't imagine that would apply in these cases, since unless and until the Commons throws them out and the Lords accepts that, they are surely part of the Bill.

If any of the MPs on the Committee are the MP of Mudcatters, that might be useful. MPs are generally supposed to read letters from constituents, and not from constituents of other MPs. I don't know if a different rule applies when they are being approached not as constituency members but rather by virtue of being Committee Members. But anyway faxyourMP only works for your own local MP.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 12:31 PM

The following correction from Hamish

Sorry. I got the this wrong, partly because Tessa Jowells' own comments recorded in Hansard were confusing (they fooled the BBC too, and she has had to write to Opposition Front Bench Ministers setting the record straight).

The Government is NOT exempting schools and sixth form colleges from the licensing regime, only exempting them from licence fees. The Government intends that these premises will need a premises licence, or Temporary Event Notice, if they are to put on regulated entertainment. Universities and places of higher education will be liable for licence fees if they host regulated entertainment.


Also on the question of lobbing MPs who are on the Standing Committee.

I am sure anyone can and should lobby these MPs - by writing, emailing, or faxing. If they are constituents so much the better - then they can get to talk to them in person. The Chairmen don't participate, so best to leave them out of the loop.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 02:41 PM

The following five Standing Committee members have signed EDM 331.

Mark Field, Mark Horan, Malcolm Moss - Conservative.

Nick Harvey, - Lib Dem.

Graham Stringer - Labour!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM

The rest have not.

Labour
Bob Blizzard, David Crausby, Jane Griffiths, John Grogan, Kim Howells, Kervan Jones, Fraser Kemp, Jim Knight, Martin Linton.

Conservative
Andrew Turner.

Lib Dem
Adrian Sanders

Chaiman Roger Gale Conservative
       Joe Benton Labour.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 03:19 PM

Here is a link to an alphabetical list of MPs, with biographies, email addresses, and in some cases websites.

Time to try to cajole them into seeing sense. I suppose it's more important to try to work on the Labour ones.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 08:34 AM

Is this Kervan Jones anyone's MP?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 02:48 PM

I have written at length to all the committee MPs and the Joint Committe on Human Rights.

I don't know if it'll get put up on does4you. I hope so. The MU may not post it as I am now not in complete agreement with them, see below. The EFDSS may or may not (although I hope they do) because my preferred amendments will not permit amplified folk (or any other) gigs without some sort of regulation.

There are three big problems, and one little inaccuracy above.

Little inaccuracy first. If the commons reject any amendments then the bill has to go back to the lords. If the lords make any more amendments (which includes reversing any of the commons rejections), then it will ahve to go back to the commons again and so on. This is because a bill only becomes law when passed by both the lords and commons and getting the royal assent.

Now the big ones.

First, I disagree with Hamish's interpretation of "incidental" - but it is not impossible, So the "incidental" exemption, and my narrower (because I was trying to draft something the government could not possible rationally object to) "acoustic exemption" (which the government actually accepted in the Lords) may not go far enough to permit sessions as we know them - or advertised amplified music either. I have drafted some further amendments (actually I did it before the Lords 3rd reading, but they were a bit technical to be suitable for third reading amendments) and they are in or with my said letter.

Second, I do not think the "small premises" exemption can remain as it is, and it is hard to get it right, although I have tried.

Third I do not think the "incidental music" exemption can stay as it is either.

This is because of Human Rights law. Article 8 requires respect for (amongst other things) home and private life. This was why the Joint Committee on Human Rihgts said that it was ESSENTIAL that licence appications had to be advertised, so that people could know when they could object, to protect thier himes and private lives. I live between two pubs (and run a PA rig for a couple of local bands) and believe me the JCHR was sooooooooo right.

But neither the small premises exemption nor the incidental music exemption nor the broadcast exemption make any provision about amplification. THerefore anything exempt by them can be any loudness at all adn will still be exempt from needing a licence. The home-owner's only redress is an action in private or public nuisance or the Environmental Protection Act 1990. But an action under the EPA depends on the thing objected to being a nuisance (public or private) and both the law of public nuisance and the law of private nuisance are notoriously difficult. THere are also House of Lords cases that might enable a local authority to wriggle out of haveing to enforce the EPA on the pretext that they had not got enough money. Therefore the existing exemptions (except the acoustic one that I drafted) do not provide the necessary protection for home and private life and may turn out to be illegal if litigated - which could really bugger things up, 'cos either there would then be no exemption or the goverment might make another and who knows what they might say, or teh courts might decide to interpret the exemptions in some funny way to try to give effect to the convention but then who knows what they would do for music.

So it has to be got right now or thiere is a risk (I say a big risk) it will go wrong in teh future.

Now Hamish wants to protect the work of MU members. They use amplifiers, mostly. I live between two pubs and I don't want amplifiers, mostly (and I certainly don't want them on TVs or discos or juke boxes). So I want schemes to monitor noise breakout, as a condition of any of the exemptions apart from the acoustic one - because acoustic music does not need monitoring for any such purpose. It also does not pose any electrical safety risk, and although the Health and Safety at Work Act usually covers this risk, it only does it in the workplace, so free festivals where the staff and performers were unpaid volunteers (maybe Hollow Shore, as an example) would not have HSA cover.

If you think this is long, believe me it's a lot shorter than what I wrote to the MPs.

I hoe that's not too long


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 03:24 PM

Third I do not think the "incidental music" exemption can stay as it is either.

This is because of Human Rights law. Article 8 requires respect for (amongst other things) home and private life. This was why the Joint Committee on Human Rihgts said that it was ESSENTIAL that licence appications had to be advertised, so that people could know when they could object, to protect thier himes and private lives. I live between two pubs (and run a PA rig for a couple of local bands) and believe me the JCHR was sooooooooo right.


Not going to argue this noise issue with you yet again Richard but if the 'incidental' recorded music exemption is OK, surely so must the the Lord's 'incidental' live music amendment. Or do you wish to do away with the original exemption too, not that I see either make much practical sense? If so what chance is there of you doing away with them?

Can you also explain why the acoustic exemption will not exempt acoustic sessions?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 03:27 PM

But is or can the process of amendments ever turn this 'pig's ear' Bill into a silk purse?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: vectis
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 03:57 PM

This whole Bill appears to me to a real shambles (sorry The Shambles, no offence intended). Why don't they just chuck the bloody mess out and get someone who knows what s/he is doing to re-write it from scratch? That way there is a better chance of a bill that will be workable, less complicated and will have fewer loopholes that will enable greedy officials to extract money for alleged breaches or close long running and harmless events.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 06:16 PM

The live music incidentals need to make sure that incidental permits advertising etc. Otherwise advertised sessions may be in jeopardy.

All the incidentals (except for teh acoustic one) need to make sure that amplification is restricted, or there will be a breach of Art 8 and then we have no idea what will follow.

Have I clarified?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 08:07 PM

Why can't the 'incidentals' get around article 8, the same way as the 'two-in-a-bar-rule' did and all the exemptions for church concerts and music from the back of a moving road vehicle will? As there was and will be no amplification restrictions on these.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 01:03 AM

The plans for the Standing Committee, this week in the Commons.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm/cmwib/ahead.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 02:48 AM

Interestingly still no amendments listed on parliament website.

All the old and new exemptions that did not recognise the impact of amplification on home and private life were, I have now to say, not compliant with Art 8 ECHR.

Therefore those relying on tehm as a safeguard might easily find the effect of them changed by intervening Human RIghts legislation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 04:24 AM

Then why on earth can't we not have a Bill that gives the public safeguards where there may be a problem and doe not insist on imposing them where there clearly is not?

The JCHR and everyone else will support such a Bill, but it does not appear to be this one, and I really can't see that tinkering with it by amendments, is going to acheive that end.......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: vectis
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 05:41 AM

WELL SAID.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 02:45 PM

LICENSING BILL IS INNOCENT;OK?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 31 Mar 03 - 03:06 PM

Surely an exemption from a need for licensing is just that. It doesn't mean that the activity which doesn't need to be licensed is legal, if the way that it is exercised offends against other legal requirements, by interfering with the rights of people living next door and so forth.

In the same way an activity that is duly licensed might be illegal, if on any occasion it involves excessive noise and so forth.

The fact that someone has a driving licence doesn't mean they have a right to drive dangerously - and the fact that you don't need a licence to ride a pushbike doesn't make it legal to run down pedestrians with it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 01:05 AM

If you accept that some form of licensing is necessary for "full-on" public entertainment (which I think most people do) then the probelm becomes deciding what can be exempted and what cannot. If you accept that some things need regulating then you have to decide whather a licensing regime is necessary or whether something else will do.

If the other methods do not produce effective regulation then you are bound to go for licensing. But the law relating to noise is not an effective control for (for example) juke box noise emanating from pubs. First the Environmental protection Act duties on a local autority may very well be unenforceable if the local autority has not got sufficient resources to impliment them. Second the law on public and private nuisance is far from clear or instant. THird, most pubs make most racket over the weekend when the local authority is shut and unless you ahve already been given a "noise hotline" emergency number and permission to access that service you can't get anything done until Monday. If the pub next door has a 5 kilowatt juke disco in the garden with kids also screaming on a bouncy castle, a fat lot of use that is.

I ahve, however drafted a partial defintion of "incidental" which might go some way to helping if teh government decides to take it on board and polish it up. Here it is: -

1        For the purposes of paragraphs 7, 10 and [(the new one for partly electric music if adopted)] of this Schedule 1, in determining whether a performance is incidental to another activity or not: -
(1)        subject to sub-paragraphs (2) (3) (4) and (5) below, a performance shall be regarded as incidental to another activity if it is carried on in conjunction with that other activity (whether before, during, or after that other activity), but is subordinate to that other activity;
(2)        a performance or performances may be regarded as incidental to another activity despite the frequency regularity advertisement or promotion of performances of that or another type at the same place or in conjunction with that other activity, but regard may be had to the numbers typically attending;
(3)        a performance of live music may be regarded as incidental to another activity even though the provision of that music is a substantial part of the purposes of the use at that time of the premises at or in which the respective performance occurs
(4)        a performance of recorded music shall not be regarded as incidental to another activity if the provision of that music is a substantial part of such purposes;
(5)        subject to sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) above regard may be had to the extent to which music is amplified in determining whether or not it is incidental to another activity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 06:05 AM

If the other methods do not produce effective regulation then you are bound to go for licensing.

They are not effective because they are not currently used by local authorities, who prefer PELs as they then get both control and revenue, so no one really knows if they are effective against noise, or not

But the law relating to noise is not an effective control for (for example) juke box noise emanating from pubs.

This is crazy reasoning, because it is not used and as there is currently running alongside entertainment licensing which actually legalises some noise and legally exempts others (i.e. juke box noise), as the Bill will just continue to do.

Control of excess noise by licensing it is never necesary. When it proves to be necesary, the laws to protect the public from damage from exessive noise should be enforced or improved. For example this Bill gives me no protection from my neighbours noisy firework displays as this excessive noise, is not covered.

Large gatherings, like Glastonbury may require special measures to ensure the public's safety but these should only 'kick-in' when a specified number of people are catered for, rather blanket licensing and exemptions for events for less than 250.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 07:42 AM

Thanks to Ric Spencer for this evidence of trouble at TV sports events in pubs, that Dr Howells claims he has not seen.

Portsmouth News 31 March 2003

Court: Prison sentences of between eight months and a year handed out to thugs who brought terror to town.   

Six men are jailed after World Cup street brawl.
By Kushwant Sachdave The News


Six thugs who got involved in drunken brawl after an England victory in the World Cup last year have been jailed. The men ended up in a mass punch-up in the streets of Havant after England beat Argentina.

Fighting first irrupted outside the Six Bells pub in North St Havant, shortly after the match, which took place on June 7. The violence spilled into nearby streets and more and more people got caught up in the clashes. Police were called but they were attacked as they tried to arrest those at the centre of the trouble.

One officer described the fight as the most frightening incident he had encountered during his many years of service. Other witnesses described how they were left terrified for their safety by the violent scenes.

Now six men – Raymond Green 28, Jonathon Japp 28, Derek Benfield 30, Roger Carroll 32, Paul Hughes 21 and Lee Brough 31 have been jailed for their part in the trouble.

All six men were described by their barristers as hard-working, decent individuals who had made a mistake in getting involved. At Portsmouth Crown Court Judge Tom MacKean told them he had no choice but to send them to prison to show the public that street violence was not acceptable.

But handing them their sentence for violent disorder, Judge MacKean condemned their behaviour. He told the six men: "After a successful World Cup football match you all celebrated by drinking large amounts of alcohol in public houses in Havant and there were incidents of public violence in which you were all heavily involved. "Members of the public were left frightened for their safety. "The violent behaviour was unacceptable and the matter is so serious that I must impose custodial sentences upon each of you as a clear message that violence in public places will not be tolerated."

Two of the men sentenced have been found guilty after a jury after a seven-week trial earlier this year. A third changed his plea from not guilty to guilty half way through the trial. The jury failed to reach a verdict on three other men. They will have to face a fresh trial in front of a new jury. The new trial is likely to take place in the autumn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 07:58 AM

Amendments for the Common's Standing Committee.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmbills/073/amend/cmam073.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 01 Apr 03 - 09:44 AM

Are they accepting the Lord's amendment for exempting unamplified music ? I wonder also if they would agree to the small events clause if the number was lower ie 150.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Rambling Boy
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 06:22 AM

Any News from yesterday ??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 08:34 AM

This from ET.

Have now applied the amendments to the bill as it comes from the Lords

Some of the amendments do not make sense and conflict with others but
in the main provisions one amendment changes "regulated entertainment" to "premises for public gatherings".
Another removes Schedule 1 (the dreaded "entertainment" schedule - Well done Andew Turner MP but doubt if this will hold)
Another removes enterainment Facilites from licensing (handled by Tory Lead on this Malcolm Moss MP.

Many changes to list of entertainments, adding martial arts to boxing and comedy not a play.

Playing of live music becomes perforamnce of live music (don't understand this) - its from Kim Howells so bound to be dodgy!
Howells seeks to strike out the entire amendments from the Lords on unamplified music incidental to other matters (fearing Japanese Drummers at Morris Dancing no doubt) and also seeks to strike out all the small premises exemptions.

Others seek to limit this to 200 (not 250) and to make sure the entertainment is within a building and not outside
Another attempt to exempt schools and educational establishment providing there is a direct connection between the entertainment and the establishment (presumably school concerts ok but not visiting meetings of pipers etc).

I gather that whatever is agreed or not goes to the Commons for a vote, but only on the amendments. The bill then is returned to the lords who by tradition, only deal with amendments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 10:39 AM

"Playing of live music becomes performance of live music" - that would presumably open up the old issue of what constitutes "a performance", which nobody has ever determined.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 04:23 PM

See the following thread for more idiotic comments from Dr Howells in the commons. Read and dispair....

E Petiton etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Apr 03 - 05:05 PM

The full proceedings here.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/cmlicen.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 07:46 AM

More evidence from Ric.

Social Worker Hit Officer.
By Victoria Taylor The News.


A Social Worker who hit a police officer in a brawl after a World Cup match has been given a conditional discharge. Alison Carter lunged at PC Gary Jones as he tried to arrest her boyfriend Neil Mitchell in the disturbance outside a Porchester pub.

The 39 year-old ran to the aid of Mr Mitchell who was being arrested for allegedly assaulting fellow police officer Peter Parkes by squeezing his testicles and biting his hand.

Fareham magistrates had been told that Carter has slapped Fareham PC Jones and jumped on his back as he restrained Mr Mitchell outside the Wilcor pub in White Hart Lane, Porchester last June.

Carter, of Kingfishers Fareham was then arrested after the brawl following England's match against Denmark. Carter was given a 12 month suspended sentence for 12 months after she was convicted of assault.

Mr Mitchell, 36 of Olive Cresent, Porchester was earlier aquatinted of assault after magistrates had found flaws with the policeman's evidence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 08:41 AM

The difference now is Playing to Performance. Its is bit subtle and may be around the question of playing to the audience - a performance - and playing for yourself - playing.

If so sessions maybe ok. One reading of Howells idiotic comments is that "Iam important and get taken out to freebies in posh restaurants which have jazz "in the corner". I like this and want it to continue hence music which is "incidental" being exempt. Its a vague sort of word. Howells had a "pop" at its definition - not advertised, not too loud to become the main event etc. Stuff that sounds alright but its not Howells who will do the testing.

There is likely to be a mjaor cabinet re-shuffle in Jule, July. Suggestions for Howells on a postcard please to Tony..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 12:27 PM

Typo of the week: "Mr Mitchell, 36 of Olive Cresent, Porchester was earlier aquatinted of assault after magistrates had found flaws with the policeman's evidence".

I love spellcheckers sometimes...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Apr 03 - 12:51 PM

There is likely to be a major cabinet re-shuffle in Jule, July. Suggestions for Howells on a postcard please to Tony..

If he stays a minister, I would regretfully have to leave him where he is. The thought of what he could do in education, the home office, the foreign office, etc, fills me with dread!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Apr 03 - 03:43 AM

refresh


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 03:21 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall - Please circulate

Last Thursday, 03 April, the Commons Licensing Bill Committee concluded its debate of Schedule 1 that deals with definitions and exemptions for 'regulated entertainment' and 'entertainment facilities'. As predicted, Culture Minister Kim Howells and fellow Labour MPs on the Committee have voted to remove the Opposition Peers' exemption for educational establishments (paragraph 14). The Committee now moves on to other parts of the Bill, a process that must be finished by 20 May.

Given that the Government can simply reverse anything the Lords have changed, people understandably ask: 'what is the point of continuing to lobby MPs?'. This circular attempts to explain why it is not just important but essential to continue lobbying MPs, particularly Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs. Part of the reason is that the show-down, if you like, is yet to come. The other part concerns Parliamentary process, and how this can work in our favour with the Licensing Bill.

Schedule 1 will not be debated again until the entire Bill as amended by the Committee receives its Report/3rd Reading in the Commons. Unlike the Lords, Report and 3rd Reading debates will be on the same day, back to back. The precise date has yet to be fixed, but is likely to be some time in the fortnight commencing 2nd June. Further amendments can be put at Report stage, but these will be limited in number, and for that reason carefully chosen. More on that later.

It suprised me that a Commons Committee of only 16 MPs can change an entire Bill, but that is the way the process works. The Committee votes on amendments of their own, and these can be put down by any of the MPs on the Committee. The composition of the Committee reflects the proportion of MPs by Party: 10 Labour, 4 Conservative, and 2 Lib Dem. So if the Labour MPs vote with the Whip, i.e. they toe the Party line, then the Government can do what it likes to the Bill at this stage. That is what is happening at the moment.

However, if Committee amendments change or reverse amendments that were introduced by the House of Lords, that has to be approved by the Lords. So once the Bill completes Report/3rd Reading, it goes back to the Lords. At that point the Lords may reintroduce Clauses they originally inserted but which were subsequently removed in the Commons, or amend any or all of the Clauses they first amended, but which were changed again by the Commons. The Bill must then return to the Commons, the idea being that the Bill cannot become law until its content is agreed by both Houses.

The Conservatives have promised to revisit the small events exemption when the Bill goes back to the Lords. Provided the Lib Dems support the Conservatives (as they did when that particular amendment was voted through on 11 March), there is a serious risk that the Government's timetable will be delayed. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrat Peers combined outnumber the Government in the Lords. Opposition Lords could therefore start a game of 'ping pong' between the two Houses.

Now comes the crucial bit: the Government cannot force the Bill through using the Parliament Act. For some reason I don't fully understand, Bills that have been introduced in the Lords are immune from the Parliament Act - only Bills introduced in the Commons can be forced through by that means. The Government are extremely anxious for the Bill to receive Royal Assent by July. So it is entirely possible that, faced with a solid opposition in the Lords, they might make a concession on the entertainment licensing side. So we are definitely still in with a chance of the Lords amendments on small events and educational establishments, or variations of these amendments.

It is also possible that a version of these amendments will be introduced by Opposition MPs during Report/3rd Reading in the Commons, before the Bill goes back to the Lords. Not all Labour MPs are against the ideas in principle by any means: indeed both Bob Blizzard and Jim Knight have argued in favour of some kind of exemption.

Public pressure will determine to a great extent whether Labour MPs are receptive to the arguments for a 'de minimis' exemption permitting a limited amount of entertainment/live music before entertainment licensing kicks in. That is why it is extremely important for the MU and musicians to keep lobbying and talking to their constituency MPs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 03 - 07:42 PM

The 3rd April debate is now on the following site.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/st030403/am/30403s09.htm#end


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Apr 03 - 08:09 AM

The 8th April debate is now also on the following site.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/cmlicen.htm

The following from Gerry Milne is interesting -

Bills introduced by the Government in the House of Commons are usually part of their election manifesto. In other words, this is what they were elected to do and such Bills cannot be blocked by the non-elected House of Lords.

However, the Government cannot claim that Bills introduced by the House of Lords were part of that manifesto. The Parliament Act was introduced to prevent the Lords obstructing the will of the elected Commons. That was the priority: the Act does not allow for the Commons obstructing the will of the Lords, possibly because the Lords would never have approved the Parliament Act if it did.


--
Gerry Milne
Folk London:


href=www.grove-cottage.demon.co.uk/folklon/


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Apr 03 - 11:38 AM

The following From Hamish Birchall

Please circulate

I must apologise for a misunderstanding on my part concerning the Government's intentions for private events that provide 'regulated entertainment' in order to raise money for good causes. I thought the Government had amended the Bill to ensure they were not caught. This is not the case. The Government intends that these events will be illegal unless licensed, except where the intention is simply to recover costs. The MU website will be updated accordingly as soon as possible.

When the Bill was in the Lords, the Government withdrew the Bill's sub-paragraph that defined 'with a view to profit' as including 'any case where that entertainment is, or those [entertainment] facilities are, provided with a view to raising money for the benefit of a charity. However, this did not alter the section of the Bill that renders private events licensable where regulated entertainment is provided if the event is 'for consideration and with a view to profit'.

At last week's first meeting of the new music advisory group for the DCMS, clarification on this subject was sought from Andrew Cunningham, who chaired the meeting. His explanation went something like this: if people sold tickets for a private event with the intention of making a profit or surplus (even if this is for a charity or good cause), then the event is licensable. However, if people were not charged with the intention to make a profit, i.e. they were simply asked to chuck some cash in a bucket if they felt like it, then the event would not be licensable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 04:25 AM

Some latest gems from the Standing Committee.

Dr. Howells: Is the hon. Gentleman saying that the further we go from London into the sticks, the thicker the councillors are?

Mr. Turner: I accept that challenge, because it is sensible. I was talking about metropolitan areas, because I accept that near Newcastle, for example, there may be areas that are fairly metropolitan and influenced by metropolitan good practice.

Jim Knight (South Dorset): Will the hon. Gentleman give way?

Mr. Turner: Wait a moment, or I will forget what I wanted to say.

We find a tendency in some areas for people to be a bit more lax about the details of legislation. For example, morris dancing is not licensed in my authority area.

Mr. Jones: It should be.

Mr. Turner: My local councillors and officers have adopted a sensible and sane approach by not bothering about every detail of the legislation concernedbut I would not recommend that, because they should ensure that legislation is applied properly.

I shall now give way to the hon. Member for South Dorset (Jim Knight).

Jim Knight: I think that the hon. Gentleman is digging well enough on his own.
own.

Any members of (currently illegal) Morris sides in Mr Jones's Durham constituency wish to vote for him?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Apr 03 - 08:46 AM

More gems, I like this one..Dr Howells - We should be slow to impose additional burdens without justification.*Smiles*

Standing Committee - 10 April:
Dr. Howells: The knife falls at 5 o'clock and we want to make progress on other matters. However, this issue is important and I want to make one thing clear: we have no objection to the concept of capacity limits. Indeed, the Bill will allow a capacity limit to be imposed if, in the view of the licensing authority after receiving representations from the expertsthe police, fire and health and safety authoritiesit is necessary for the promotion of the licensing objectives.
The idea that a capacity limit is useful or necessary in all cases is wrong. I understand that capacity limits can be useful for nightclubs or the large pubs about which the hon. Gentleman has been waxing lyrical. I have no problem with that.


As Dr Howells should be aware, his department have been advising us all that PELs are the ONLY way a safe capacity can be imposed on premises. It is also a fact that a safe capacity is currently imposed on PEL application in all premises, whatever their size. In an extraordinary and major departure, he now saying that this practice is wrong!

How is he going to ensure that local authorities do not continue to do it wrong and impose a safe capacity as a condition on only, and every entertainment permission application, as I am sure is their intention? At this point to save us all grief, perhaps he could be asked to establish if this is their understanding and intention and that fight can take place now?

Imposing safe capacities for every PEL issued is currently standard practice, even for small country premises, and I see no reason that it will not continue as a condition for ALL entertainment permissions, as it is the main safety argument used in favour of blanket entertainment licensing (the reason in the White Paper being that large numbers of people can be attracted).

In fact when the MU have pointed out that this is current practice for some liquor licence applications, the Government have up to now, wrongly argued that magistrates do not apply safe capacities for liquor licence applications and this limit can only be imposed on premises via PELs. The following conversion is welcome , if late.

Dr Howells Much has been made of the so-called vertical drinking establishment as the Bill has progressed. Indeed, capacity limits are often imposed through the existing licensing system on premises of that nature, which is only right and proper.

We firmly believe that there is no need for a quiet restaurant, small country pub or countless other premises to have a mandatory capacity limit in all cases. If a mandatory capacity limit is imposed, the inevitable consequence will be increased costs to those running such venues as they would have to employ staff to count people in and out. That would be a big burden to impose on nightclubs. We should be slow to impose additional burdens without justification.


This is welcome but inconsistent nonsense, if the Government continue to maintain and support, as they have, the additional burden (with little justification) that all premises holding public entertainment must have safe capacities imposed as part of their application, and if they do not in the Bill, regulate the local authority to prevent this standard practice, justified on public safety grounds from continuing on the 'ticking' of the now famous box.

Currently ALL premises with PELs have imposed safe capacities, whatever their size, and this is managed without 'bouncers' being on the door of every village hall or country pub, to count people in and out.

However, it seems to have been accepted that the only way to enforce safe capacities, is by having 'bouncers'. So if you don't want 'bouncers' at your pub or club, you don't want a safe capacity.

This is a backward scare tactic and a dangerous approach to public safety. All premises may not have a pressing NEED for a safe capacity imposed by our experts, but it would be difficult for the Government to argue against , in the light of the two recent US incidents that it may well be a sensible precaution. In truth it is difficult to see it as any additional burden, when all Premises Licences applications, requiring entertainment or not, will require inspections anyway.

As Dr Howells considers that all premises now do not require this, and distinctions can be made between nightclubs and small country pubs for alcohol consumption, then the Government's justification of making all live music in all premises subject to blanket entertainment licensing on the grounds of public safety is clearly ill-conceived, illogical and dangerous. Safe capacities are sensible measure to ensure the public's safety, and should not be picked up, and later dropped for the sake of expediency , like a political rugby ball.

Dr Howells The amendments would strip the new system of much of its in-built flexibility to tailor itself to individual circumstances. When it is necessary to have a capacity limit, the Bill allows that to happen and when it is not necessarythis is for the expertsthe Bill does not require one to be imposed.

We are keen on greater flexibility for licensed premises and for capacity limits to be imposed only when necessary. That is why the Bill reflects the current system.


Entertainment or not, the problem is ensuring the safety of large numbers of people.

If Dr Howells considers that safe capacities can be introduced only where necessary, then logically the same approach MUST be taken, and would be applauded by most of us, for the regulation, only where necessary - of live music.

If this logic is not accepted, then the only other fair route is to have the experts impose safe capacities on ALL Premises Licence applications at the time of their first inspection, irrespective of whether regulated entertainment is provided.

This would make all our public buildings safe and have the advantage that no one would be ever be required to specify was or was not regulated (or public entertainment). The Bill's problematic Schedule 1 can be disposed of and the vital issue of safety can cease to be devalued by being used by some local authority officers as an excuse for official oppression.

Then a single musician will never have to establish if they were playing the same instrument for demonstration purposes - for educational purposes - with a view to making a profit - as part of a religious service - if they were sufficiently in the corner of the premises - or if they needed a licence when the moving vehicle they were playing from, stopped at traffic lights......................

If this Bill deregulates entertainment licensing - then I have never written a long-winded E mail, letter or message, in all my life.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 03:33 AM

The full Standing Committee debates and voting so far, can be read in full on the Parliament site.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/cmlicen.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 02:00 AM

I have sent the following to my MP who is on the Standing Committee.

Back to the myths for a moment. Perhaps you could find in the Bill, and before the 'incidental' bit was imposed by the Lord's - the 'Happy Birthday' exemption? For every other song would be illegal to perform without advanced local authority licensing permission, save this one.

Dr Howells' favourite word spontaneous, although still not appearing or defined in the Bill would hardly cover renditions this song. As it could be argued (and would be argued by the Mr Locke's of the world), that you would have always had twelve months to rehearse this song.

Before you placed it before your expected audience accompanied by as many Japanese drummers and amplified whistling postman as you could muster, as you drove them all into the restaurant on the back of your moving road vehicle (just to be on the safe side).

Where is the 'Happy Birthday' exemption in the Bill?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 02:51 PM

This from Hamish Birchall

Please circulate


Anyone concerned about the Licensing Bill can now lobby their MP and local press directly from the Musicians' Union website:
http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/welcome.shtml

In addition to a pre-prepared text that can be sent automatically to your MP and the press, the site is running a Poll and a new petition highlighting the findings of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Like 'faxyourmp.com' the MU site automatically identifies MPs from post codes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 02:16 AM

The latest from our friends at the DCMS.

Thank you for your e-mail of 13 March to Dr Kim Howells, about the Licensing Bill. I am replying on his behalf.

The definition of regulated entertainment can be found in the Licensing Bill, Schedule 1. The Bill, along with explanatory notes, can now be read or downloaded from our web site (www.culture.gov.uk ) under New Responsibilities; news; the parliament website.

As you may know spontaneous performance is not licensable. Where a public house has advertised that Morris dancers would be in attendance, a licence would then be necessary. However, this should not prevent dancing from taking place as the pub owner, who has to obtain the new licence to sell alcohol, can simultaneously apply for permission to provide any amount of entertainment at no extra cost.

Outdoor events would benefit from the more informal system of permitted temporary activities under the Bill that requires only a simple notification to the licensing authority and the police and a small fee of around £20.

Although outdoor events would be licensable under the Bill, we will be
encouraging local authorities to licence public open spaces, such as village greens, on which many performances take place. No additional licence would need to be obtained by dancers or anyone else carrying out licensable activities covered by such a licence, although the consent of the local authority holding the licence would be required.

Also, under the Bill the provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities at a garden fete, or at a function or event of a similar character, is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment. This, however, does not apply if the fete, function or event is promoted with a view to applying the whole or part of its proceeds for purposes of private gain.

You may be interested to learn that Dr Howells recently held a meeting with representatives of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Morris Federation, among other Morris dancing organisations, to discuss their concerns.

I enclose, for your information, an updated copy of the fact sheet that explains how the Licensing Bill would affect public entertainment. This incorporates the amendment to the Licensing Bill to exempt the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities at places of public religious worship from the need for an authorisation under the Bill and our decision to exempt village, parish and community halls from the need to pay a licence
fee in respect of the provision of regulated entertainment.

It also refers to the Government's commitment to exempt schools and sixth form colleges where the entertainment or facilities are provided by the school from the fees associated with the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities under the Bill.

The fact sheet also contains the amendment to the Bill that clarifies that regulated entertainment would not be provided for consideration and with a view to profit in circumstances where a charity intended simply to cover the costs of a private event. Events that were not intended to make a profit but only to cover costs would not be licensable only because consideration was involved.

Furthermore, we have incorporated in the fact sheet the amendment to the Bill which makes it clear that entertainers who performed at unlicensed venues and did nothing else in relation to the provision of regulated entertainment would not be committing an offence.

There is also a reference to the amendment that was made to the Bill in the House of Lords but resisted by the Government, which provided an exemption for the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities at events attended by no more than 250 people at one time and which finish before 11.30pm. The Government has overturned this amendment because, in addition to the small-scale events intended to be covered by the exemption, a great deal of potentially undesirable activity would be without any kind of regulatory control whatsoever. It would, for instance, completely undermine the film classification system. Film classifications are currently enforced through conditions on licences. This amendment would mean that any film
showing attended by fewer than 250 people could not have a classification imposed, potentially allowing young children to watch violent or pornographic films with no restriction or control. It would also remove the right of the police to object on grounds of protection of children from harm if an unsuitable person - perhaps someone involved with drugs - tried to organise a musical event for up to local children.

We will be working with musicians' representatives, local authorities and industry, to inform the drawing up by us of statutory guidance for licensing authorities with the aim that venues can put on live music more easily, while protecting the rights of local residents. This follows concerns expressed by musicians that licensees will be discouraged from putting on entertainment by a fear that licensing authorities will impose unnecessary and costly conditions to their licences, such as requesting expensive alterations to venues. The guidance will recommend for licensing authorities what would be appropriate conditions.

The Government has also accepted the principle that the performance of live music which is incidental to activities which are not themselves entertainment or the provision of entertainment facilities should be exempt from the provisions of the Bill, along with the playing of recorded music which is incidental to activities which are not themselves entertainment or the provision of entertainment facilities.

We believe that the Bill will make it more affordable than now to stage live entertainment in the vast majority of cases and increase opportunities for musicians and other artists to perform. In short, entertainers have nothing to fear from this Bill, but much to gain from it.   I hope this letter reassures you.

<>

Yours sincerely,
Claire Vickers
Policy Administrator

Claire Vickers
Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing Branch
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Floor
2-4 Cockspur Street
London
SW1Y 5DH

Tel: 020 7211 6380
Fax: 020 7211 6319

Email: claire.vickers@culture.gsi.gov.uk
www.culture.gov.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 02:30 AM

heloo, this is a big load of shit, and the goverment people are just lying all the time, and this is starting to realy piss me off now, we are talking about music traditions, not drug dealing, they are just exagerating and making stuff uo, anyway i have been to loads og sessions where kids have been there, ie,, mr and mrs ducks kids, liz the squeeks kids, mandoln malcoms daughteer, deanmisters sons etc and no drug dealers went and offeered them drugs, thhis is jus a load of bullshit, because they cant think of any better reasons to object to sessions, they saying we have to ban live music because kids are at risk from perverts and drug dealers, what a load of crap, anyway, after a certain time, i think 8 pm but not sure, kids not allowed in pubs anyway, so its got nothing to do with it. if i had a big garden [i dont] , and decide to hold a traditional session with a few freinds playing accoustic music, and the pel people came and said this is illegal, i would tell them to fuck off out of my garden and piss off and mind there one buisiness.goverment are stupid and bunch of arseholes .john


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 02:38 AM

i think i spelled busines wrong, but you now waht i meant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 07:26 AM

Summary in The Publican.

http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=9344&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 06:41 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall
Please circulate.

More Licensing Bill propaganda from the Culture Minister.

Kim Howells has written again to Labour MPs 'to explain why we licence live music':

'The Government does not accept that existing health and safety and noise legislation provides sufficient safeguards where premises are used for public entertainment. Health and safety assessments relate to premises in normal use. Their use for entertainment often gives rise to particular issues, such as temporary cabling and staging and the blocking of fire exits'. [letter to MPs 09 April 2003]

Contrast that with the Government u-turn two months ago exempting places of religious worship from entertainment licensing: 'Kim Howells said: "The exemption I am announcing today will enable religious institutions and music societies to flourish."' [DCMS press release, 03 February 2003]

Note the implication in Howells' letter that providing entertainment is an abnormal use of premises.

And what of the other exemptions, such as broadcast entertainment for excitable crowds jumping up and down in front of big screens in any place, or comedy nights in a pub that provides a PA, lights, and a stage?

In fact, risk assessments are mandatory for employers and the self-employed alike, and are meant to cover all activities. Failure to conduct risk assessments, blocking of fire exits etc can already lead to criminal prosecution under separate safety legislation.

Even the Government Whip in the Lords, Andrew McIntosh, conceded this during the Lords' Licensing Bill debate of 24 February 2003:
Lord Skelmersdale: My Lords, will the Minister confirm that blocking a fire exit is an offence under the fire Acts?
Lord McIntosh: My Lords, I believe so.

If writing to your MP emphasise the Government's contradictory position on these issues.

Most MPs will not be aware of the significance of the Bill's entertainment exemptions (apart from churches and non-profit-making garden fetes), or the scope of public safety, noise nuisance and crime and disorder legislation.

Nor will they be aware that the Joint Committee on Human Rights has specifically warned that the exemption for places of religious worship is a potential discrimination under Article 14 of the European Convention, and a possible violation of Article 9. Howells also left that out of his letter.

For further information about the JCHR findings, refer MPs to the MU website: www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/article_10.shtml#committee


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,John Barden
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 06:58 AM

With despair I just read this, although the news is two weeks old. It's taken from 'The Publican' and disproves Kim Howell's tick the box and it'll cost no more - How many more lies will we get!!

HMG Liars
When oh when are the trade going to wake up. HGM, through the DCMS have repeatably said the fees would be National, now they are going to be based on Turnover/rates. If you do not currenly have a PEL you are going to pay more. Some with PEL's will be better off but that would have happened with a flat fee. It's the classic divide and conquer. The Westminster Pirates seem to have won the day again. I call on all my fellow BII members to demand that our executive withdraw from the fiasco before we lose members in droves, because it will be the BII and NFLV who will be seen to have sold out it's members. At a regional level we have been saying since this started that we as licensees were being conned, this is the clearest evidence yet of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Apr 03 - 01:36 PM

Trade split on Licence fees.

http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=9283&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 26 Apr 03 - 06:29 AM

From: Hamish Birchall [mailto:drum.pro@virgin.net]
Sent: 23 April 2003 18:35
To: Hamish Birchall
Subject: Licensing and public safety: Government double standards


Please circulate

More Licensing Bill propaganda from the Culture Minister. Kim Howells has written again to Labour MPs 'to explain why we licence live music': 'The Government does not accept that existing health and safety and noise legislation provides sufficient safeguards where premises are used for public entertainment. Health and safety assessments relate to premises in normal use. Their use for entertainment often gives rise to particular issues, such as temporary cabling and staging and the blocking of fire exits'. [letter to MPs 09 April 2003]

Contrast that with the Government u-turn two months ago exempting places of religious worship from entertainment licensing: 'Kim Howells said: "The exemption I am announcing today will enable religious institutions and music societies to flourish."' [DCMS press release, 03 February 2003]

Note the implication in Howells' letter that providing entertainment is an abnormal use of premises. And what of the other exemptions, such as broadcast entertainment for excitable crowds jumping up and down in front of big screens in any place, or comedy nights in a pub that provides a PA, lights, and a stage? In fact, risk assessments are mandatory for employers and the self-employed alike, and are meant to cover all activities. Failure to conduct risk assessments, blocking of fire exits etc can already lead to criminal prosecution under separate safety legislation. Even the Government Whip in the Lords, Andrew McIntosh, conceded this during the Lords' Licensing Bill debate of 24 February 2003:

Lord Skelmersdale: My Lords, will the Minister confirm that blocking a fire exit is an offence under the fire Acts?
Lord McIntosh: My Lords, I believe so.

If writing to your MP emphasise the Government's contradictory position on these issues. Most MPs will not be aware of the significance of the Bill's entertainment exemptions (apart from churches and non-profit-making garden fetes), or the scope of public safety, noise nuisance and crime and disorder legislation. Nor will they be aware that the Joint Committee on Human Rights has specifically warned that the exemption for places of religious worship is a potential discrimination under Article 14 of the European Convention, and a possible violation of Article 9. Howells also left that out of his letter. For further information about the JCHR findings, refer MPs to the MU website: www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/article_10.shtml#committee


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Apr 03 - 12:46 PM

From The DCMS.

Outdoor events would benefit from the more informal system of permitted temporary activities under the Bill that requires only a simple notification to the licensing authority and the police and a small fee of around £20.

Although outdoor events would be licensable under the Bill, we will be
encouraging local authorities to licence public open spaces, such as village greens, on which many performances take place. No additional licence would need to be obtained by dancers or anyone else carrying out licensable activities covered by such a licence, although the consent of the local authority holding the licence would be required.

Also, under the Bill the provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities at a garden fete, or at a function or event of a similar character, is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment. This, however, does not apply if the fete, function or event is promoted with a view to applying the whole or part of its proceeds for purposes of private gain.


Dr Howells - Standing Committee -10 April

The idea that a capacity limit is useful or necessary in all cases is wrong. I understand that capacity limits can be useful for nightclubs or the large pubs about which the hon. Gentleman has been waxing lyrical. I have no problem with that. And later

Dr Howells Much has been made of the so-called vertical drinking establishment as the Bill has progressed. Indeed, capacity limits are often imposed through the existing licensing system on premises of that nature, which is only right and proper.

We firmly believe that there is no need for a quiet restaurant, small country pub or countless other premises to have a mandatory capacity limit in all cases. If a mandatory capacity limit is imposed, the inevitable consequence will be increased costs to those running such venues as they would have to employ staff to count people in and out. That would be a big burden to impose on nightclubs. We should be slow to impose additional burdens without justification.


If my understanding is correct, these temporary outdoor events are limited to less than 500 people. Given that bouncers are considered as the only way numbers of attendees can be counted, does it then follow that every one of these which - "would benefit from the more informal system of permitted temporary activities under the Bill", would then have to include bouncers?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 02:19 AM

I have pretty well finalised a "flier" for Rochester Sweeps Fest. It features a short summary and a "fill in the blanks" letter to send to MPs - hitting them while the bill is still in the Commons. The Morris chaps will be using it at other impending festivals.

Alas I cannot get any funding from the usual suspects to get it photocopied and am unable to fund this myself by-and-large, although I will somehow get a few hundred together.

A few people have offered to copy a few hundred each and send or post them to me to arrive by Friday this week. Thanks to them.

If anyone here can do likewise please PM or email me and I will send over the "word" document by email.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 03:25 PM

The flyer. Copy, and complete leter to MP

FOLK ILLEGAL UNLESS LICENSED

The Government still plans to make virtually ALL folk dance and folk music illegal without a local authority licence. Government propaganda and letters are not the whole truth. Write to your MP NOW. A letter is on the back. Please address it to your MP from you, sign it and send it.

The Licensing Bill is in the House of Commons NOW. A licence will be demanded for ANY live music or dance or drama (with few exceptions), in any place made available for the purpose – if it is to entertain any audience, or even if just for the enjoyment of musicians or dancers. This applies if the entertainment is public, OR in a private club, OR if any charge is made (not just an entry charge) by any organiser to anyone entertained. It will apply to Morris and other folk dance, even in the open air, possibly even in the street. It will apply to mumming and wassailing. It will apply to even one unamplified singer or player.

The licence fee may be about £500. An application at the same time as for a liquor licence will be no extra. The local authority will lay down conditions to protect the public interest anyway– and we all know what that means. "Temporary event notices" will be cheaper but these are restricted. The government says this will make it EASIER to present live events!! But at present performances in private clubs, one or two musicians in pubs, and dance in the open air outside London are not restricted.

The government says fire exits might be blocked or capacity limits needed (what, in the open air?) or dangerous stages or wires used (all covered by other laws): so licensing is essential, even if no amplifiers are used!! This is madness.

But big-screen TVs, and "incidental" music (in practice juke boxes and DJs without dancing) will be exempt, and will not need a licence, no matter how loud. Nor will they be subjected to "conditions" (like soundproofing or new lavatories or air conditioning, or obligatory bouncers) at the pub's expense. And the government says that live music will not be exempt as "incidental" if it is advertised – even if unamplified. Guess what a landlord will prefer to do if his alcohol licence may be held up until he complies with "conditions"?

The government denies that the folk arts need any special protection or consideration, or are unlikely to impact safety or order. But it accepted it should exempt ALL events in places of worship – even if the events are not religious. Why are these, big screen TVs, and juke boxes exempt, but not folk ?

Richard McD. Bridge Email McLaw@btinternet.com
To…………………………….

MP for ………………….

House of Commons,

London SW1A 1AA

From: ……………………………
…………………………………
………………………………
……………………………
…………………………
………………………

Date……………….

Dear…………………………….

I am writing about the Licensing Bill. It is obviously wrong to treat folk music – usually unamplified – as if it were amplified. It is obviously wrong to treat folk dance – performed by a small side to unamplified music – as if it were a rave or disco. These folk arts do not cause the same noise or disturbance. These do not cause the same behaviour. These do not carry electrical hazards.

Worse, it is irrational to ignore the special needs of our cultural heritage. These things deserve government support, not regulation to extinction.

Worse still, it seems to be intentional discrimination, and an intentional and unjustifiable interference with freedom of expression, to pretend that these things must be regulated because of noise disturbance and safety risks (when, being unamplified, they create no such risks) but to exempt other entertainments which obviously do pose all or some of such risks.

By all means regulate the things that need regulating. But there is no case at all to regulate folk dance, folk music, or acoustic music. It is frankly foolish to pretend that subjecting them to local authority regulation will make them easier to put on. This regulation does the image of the government no good at all. It will do tourism no good at all. It will do the music industry, which draws so much of its real talent from folk club roots, no good at all.

Please examine the arguments the government is using. Do not take their reply uncritically. Compare their words to the actual words of the Bill, and vote against the Bill unless these faults are fixed.

Yours truly,


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 03:29 AM

Standing Committee D will meet on Tuesday 29th April at 8.55 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. further to consider the Licensing Bill [Lords].


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 02:48 AM

What was said at that Standing Committee D meeting on 29 April (and all the other meetings) can be read here.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/cmlicen.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: nickp
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 04:36 AM

Well it reads as if they had a cheerful old time chatting but I'm not sure I recognised anything relevant to our cause unless anyone wants to do morris dancing on a prison ship on the Solent *grin*.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 05:13 PM

I think the last post must have been written before the 29th of April's meeting appeared on the site as there was some interesting stuff on fees.........

I have sent the following to my MP. It is an attempt to try and simply explain to MPs and the media, what the result of passing this Bill will be. Please feel free to circulate these examples, if you think this will help to bypass the spin and get the message over.


Is the Government justified in claiming that the Licensing Bill is compatible with the ECHR, and is a deregulated and fair licensing system' that will encourage music making?

Commercial considerations form no part of the four stated licensing objectives although it was claims for the financial burden presented to church concerts that led to the Government making changes in the Bill. Now all churches are exempt from additional permissions and possible conditions or modifications in order to provide licensable live entertainment.

Looking for the moment at conventional paid entertainment only, let us question the differences and the possible effects of the following four examples of premises competing to provide a commercial jazz concert every week. For the sake of argument let us assume the premises are all in the same street:

1:   A place of religious worship (i.e. any church):
No requirement for additional permissions and possible conditions or modifications in order to provide licensable live entertainment.
No requirement for a Premises Licence.
No requirement for the one-off Premises Licence application fee.
No requirement for an Annual Inspection.
No requirement for Annual inspection Charges.
* See note below - re Personal Licenses and application fee.

2;   A church or village hall:
A requirement for additional permissions and possible conditions or modifications in order to provide licensable live entertainment.
A requirement for a Premises Licence.
No requirement for the one-off Premises Licence application fee.
A requirement for an Annual Inspection.
No requirement for Annual Inspection Charges.
*See note below - re Personal Licenses and application fee.

3:   A coffee bar or other premises not serving alcohol:
A requirement for additional permissions and possible conditions or modifications in order to provide licensable live entertainment.
A requirement for a Premises Licence.
A requirement for the one-off Premises Licence application fee.
A requirement for an Annual Inspection.
A requirement for Annual Inspection Charges.
*No requirement every ten years for a Personal Licence or the fee.

4:   A pub or other premises serving alcohol.
A requirement for additional permissions and possible conditions or modifications in order to provide licensable live entertainment.
A requirement for a Premises Licence.
A requirement for or the one-off Premises Licence application fee.
A requirement for an Annual Inspection.
A requirement for Annual Inspection Charges.
*A requirement every ten years for a Personal Licence and the fee.

*Note that the licensing exemption for places of religious worship is only for regulated entertainment, not alcohol. Anyone selling alcohol must pay to hold a licence: either a Temporary Event Notice, or a Personal Licence valid for 10-years.

**Note also the word 'licensable' before 'live entertainment' (because there is popular live entertainment that is not licensable regulated entertainment under the Bill, like stand-up comedy (and TV sport).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 May 03 - 09:54 AM

This argument was interesting as was the idea we were being asked to swallow is that the currently high PEL charging London councils managed to make a loss!

MR FIELD (snip)My main concern with the Bill is that it is centralising in its authority. There is not the flexibility to take account of the fact that, without doubt, areas such as Soho and Covent Garden are sui generis in so far as two areas can be. The regime for central London should be considered differently from how the regime is considered elsewhere. Problems might arise from a set and centralised scheme for licensing and fees.

The hon. Member for North Durham (Mr. Jones) said that some of the fee income of Westminster city council is disproportionate to the costs of administration and enforcement. The implied conclusion was that Westminster was making a surplus income from the public entertainment licensing regime. Nothing could be further from the truth. I apologise in advance for boring the Committee with statistics that apply to a relatively small number of authorities—none the less, they make the point that we should not be overly prescriptive.

Column Number: 318

There are about 372 public entertainment licences in Westminster as a whole, two thirds of which are issued at a cost of £2,188 or less. About 31 per cent. of those PELs cost only £1,067 or less and only four venues in Westminster out of the 372 premises pay in excess of £20,000 for their PEL; we could all play a parlour game of guessing which they are, but I shall tell Committee members that they are the Royal Lancaster hotel, Westminster Central hall, the Hilton Metropole hotel and the Royal Albert hall.

All those venues have extremely large capacities, and a frequency and variety of events that require robust enforcement. The notion that a set fee ceiling of about £2,000 or £3,000 would cover their costs flies in the face of fact. For instance, last year the Royal Albert hall paid the highest public entertainment licence fee of some £31,000, but for next year the licensing sub-committee of Westminster city council has reduced that to £18,000, having received various representations.

The Royal Albert hall has a capacity of 5,200, in excess of 1 million attendees to events annually and each year hosts 320 to 330 different events—almost one event per day on average. To ensure public safety, this world-renowned venue requires engineers from Westminster city council and licensing officers to visit at least weekly because of significant changes to scenery, stage and seating. Each visit usually requires a full day of officers' time, including at least four hours on site.

I have Westminster's statistics for the financial year just ended, on 5 April. It anticipates that public entertainment licences will provide a fee income of about £1,473,800 with expenditure of £1,794,300; in other words, there will be an operating loss of in excess of £300,000. The levels of fees are determined at present by a relatively straightforward formula that takes into account the capacity of the venue and the terminal hour.

The same sort of regime applies in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and similar statistics exist. The income fees of the tax year 2001–02 brought in £353,800, with expenditure of £376,000, so the deficit was in excess of £20,000. That local authority provided me with copious details to make it clear that the great costs incurred in officer time mean that although the fee regime might appear extremely generous compared with many other local authorities, it is not.(snip)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 May 03 - 03:01 PM

The 6 May proceedings can now be found on the following site.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/cmlicen.htm

The 7 May proceedings will be on tomorrow.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 May 03 - 12:56 PM

Sorry - make that the 8 May proceedings will be on on Friday 9 May.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 May 03 - 09:17 AM

May 8

Mr. Moss: I beg to move amendment No. 383, in


clause 98, page 55, line 28, at end insert
'except where the licensable activities involve folk music or folk dance performed in the vicinity of the premises in the open air,'.



This is an attempt to revisit some of the discussion under schedule 1 on certain forms of entertainment, in particular morris dancing, folk music and the like. Clause 98 seemed to provide an opportunity to slip in an exemption from the licensable activities referred to in the first line of the clause.

The Minister has already made it clear that licensable activities include not just alcohol, but entertainment and late-night refreshment. I wondered whether we could exempt folk music and/or folk dance performed in the vicinity of the premises and in the open air from the details that need to be part of a statement of a temporary event notice. That might get round some of the difficulties that we are still being told about by those who are involved in such activities.

Dr. Howells: I shall tread carefully, given the adult and fascinating debates that I have had with representatives of the folk music industry. I have thought a great deal about the matter over the intervening period, and I always worry about the definition of folk music. Does some kid singing about the fact that he can't get no satisfaction in the late 20th century constitute a reflection on the quality of his life at a certain point in history? Is that any less valid than somebody who sings about canal boatmen, and the problems that they suffer because they cannot reach their sweethearts, in the 19th century? I always worry about such distinctions, not because I am doubtful of the validity and beauty of folk music—

It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to Standing Order.

Adjourned till this day at half-past Two o'clock.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 May 03 - 09:34 AM

Read the next exciting instalment in full.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/st030508/pm/30508s01.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 May 03 - 04:02 AM

The following from Mark Gibbens, posted on the EFDSS list.

I cannot believe the dishonesty here.

On Thursday 8 May 2003, in the Standing Committee, Kim Howells said:
I have had lengthy meetings with representatives of all the large morris, folk song and dance groups, including wassailers, storytellers and mummers. I took them through the Bill and they were much happier at the end of it than they were when we began. They were worried that they would suddenly have to apply for licences for performances that take place in public on the side of roads and so on. Such activities are not licensable. They will not be affected.

In the meeting between EFDSS and the three morris organisations, Howells and his legal advisors said that folk dance in the open outside pubs is already licensable (which is itself not true) and that our only recourse is to work with the DCMS to ensure that local authorities license public spaces (something which can only be considered damage limitation with no guarantees).

EFDSS was certainly not reassured by Howells' meeting with us, though I cannot speak for the morris organisations. Rather, we got the feeling that he was very skilled at whittling away our precious hour by waxing lyrical about the Government's intentions - in other words, not much substance but plenty of spin.

I'm glad that Howells seems to have got over his former habit of ridiculing English folk arts at every possible opportunity, but it is at best a huge exaggeration to claim that he has addressed our concerns. For the record, EFDSS has had not even a formal acknowledgement of our report, Regulating the Folk Arts (submitted in February) by the DCMS, let alone an attempt to answer the questions it raised.

I shall be writing to the Standing Committee at the earliest possible opportunity to let them know the extent to which we have been misrepresented.

Best wishes,
Mark.

Mark Gibbens, Development Officer, English Folk Dance & Song Society
[ Tel 020 7485 2206 |
Web www.efdss.org ]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 03:08 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

It is correct that Howells met the new MU Gen Sec on 4 March. Afterwards the DCMS drafted a joint press release hoping that the MU would toe the Party line.

However, we did not accept the original draft and reworded it (a copy should be available from the DCMS press office on request). No further discussions have taken place, or are scheduled, for any work on a joint leaflet.

You will recall that in January Howells accused the MU of running a
'pernicious lying campaign' in the Daily Telegraph. To the best of my
knowledge Howells has yet to respond to a letter John Smith sent asking Howells to identify where the MU had misrepresented the Bill.

I also understand that Howells has declined an MU invitation to speak at the MU conference in July.

The MU continues vigorously to oppose the abolition of the two-performer entertainment licensing exemption, and continues to lobby for an automatic permission for live music in pubs and bars, subject to certain constraints such as numbers attending and performance times.

It is likely that the House of Lords will attempt to reintroduce a small events exemption when the Bill returns to the Lords after the Commons Report/3rd Reading debate in June.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 May 03 - 05:51 PM

Jin Knight MP 1st May 2003

I am a member of the Standing Committee considering the Licensing Bill, and indeed I would be there now if I did not have to address the House instead. What a shame.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 May 03 - 02:30 AM

And from the same speech:

I remind the House that it is the most marginal Labour constituency and that it decides the fate of the Tory leadership. I have a poster in my office from the Dorset Evening Echo from the day of the last general election, which reads:

"Labour gains South Dorset—Hague quits"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 May 03 - 01:57 AM

See the latest proceedings of the Standing Committee.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/cmlicen.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 May 03 - 05:38 AM

I thought it may be an idea and timely - to bring these up again?

From a letter of 04/09/02 from Dr Howells to Rt Hon Chris Smith MP.

We recognise the importance of having a reliable definition of what constitutes a public performance and it is clear that if a musician or other performer is accepting money for a performance then it would be regarded as a public performance.

Similarly, it can be argued that any performance by unpaid performers, which was publicised with the expectation of bringing in extra customers and consequently extra revenue to the licensee would meet the definition of public performance.

If a member of the public engaged in a spontaneous rendition of a song on the piano, inviting a sing-a-long [sic], it would not be considered public entertainment.

I must reiterate, however, that even where a performance is regarded as public, the main current deterrent of an exorbitantly set licensing fee would no longer be available and there should therefore be greater freedom for all musicians and singers.


[Of course the statement that a 'spontaneous' redition of a song (even Happy Birthday) on a piano, would not be considered as public (or regulated) entertainment is totally wrong AND misleading.

A piano (that can be played) is a entertainment facilty requiring advanced permission as part of a Premises Licence.

So despite this incorrect and misleading statement made to a fellow MP, under the Bill the traditional piano singalong is now not possible.


AND

Mike Harding: No, just sessions and singarounds, people just playing for their own fun.

Dr Howells: No, they certainly wouldn't and I'm very keen that we should make sure that that facility is there. There shouldn't be a problem. As long as money isn't changing hands, then there's no /reason why they should have to have a licence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 03 - 01:46 PM

The final word - from the Licensing Bill Standing Committee 20 May 2003.

The Chairman: With this it will be convenient to discuss the following:
Amendment No. 298, in
schedule 8, page 156, line 45, after second 'to', insert 'existing'.

Mr. Moss: The amendments deal with what one might call grandfather rights for two in a bar and we have approached the issue from two angles. Amendment No. 297 would delete paragraph 1(2)(a), which refers to performers and to section 182 of the 1964 Act, which deals with the ''relaxation of law relating to music and dancing licences''.
Amendment No. 298 would interpose the word ''existing'' in sub-paragraph (2)(a), which would then refer to section 182 as being ''disregarded so far as it relates to existing public entertainment by way of music and singing provided by not more than two performers''.

Unless the Government have a massive change of heart, or agree to some of the amendments and new clauses that we may table on Report, the generally accepted view will remain that the Bill requires live musical entertainment to be provided in line with licensing objectives and irrespective of the number of musicians involved.

However—we have been over these arguments many times—if such entertainment takes place regularly and without problems, there is no reason why it should not continue under the principle of keeping current permissions. In other words, we should give premises—and, indirectly, the performers involved—grandfather rights if they have two-in-a-bar provision at present and there are no problems. The Government should give some thought to allowing such premises to continue in the same way. Anything new would have to come under the new licensing regime.
The amendments would certainly take some of the heat out of the situation with the Musicians Union, and if the Minister is looking for a way out, they might provide him with one.

Dr. Howells: Indeed, the parts of the Bill to which the amendments refer have generated huge controversy. Many very colourful stories have been peddled about the Bill. Some have caused great upset and many performers have come close to undermining the Bill's positive effects on the provision of entertainment.

The tale that takes the top prize, however, is the one about the two-in-a-bar rule. I am glad that we have had an almost nationwide debate on the issue, at least among music aficionados because, to paraphrase Michael Caine, not a lot of people knew about it. Yet, it was there, and it determined much of the shape of live music in this country. I will try to explain the case for doing away with it and removing that distortion in live music in England and Wales.

Column Number: 660
It might be helpful if I also set out what the two-in-a-bar rule is, what we are putting in its place and why that will result in a vast increase in the opportunities for artists of all types—not just one or two musicians—to perform.

The two-in-a-bar rule is an exemption in the Licensing Act 1964 that allows two performers—two all night, not two and then another two and then another two—to perform live music in licensed premises such as pubs without needing a public entertainment licence. That is the current system.

It is easy to see why the rule is popular with some musicians and publicans. There are inconsistencies in the ways that local authorities set fees for public entertainment licences. We have heard that there are a variety of reasons—some more credible than others—why in some areas, particularly in London, those fees can rise as high as many thousands of pounds. They are the reasons why many pubs are put off from applying for an entertainment licence: their fall-back position is to rely on the two-in-a-bar rule.

The Bill will abolish that rule for a number of sound reasons, none of which are to do with a wish to restrict opportunities for performers to perform—indeed, the opposite is the case. The effect of the rule is restrictive: it drastically restricts the forms of entertainment that may be carried out in licensed premises where a justices' licence is in force—only entertainment consisting of one or two performers of live music is exempt.

I hope that Committee members can immediately see that the perverse effect of the rule is that many types of music and other forms of entertainment are discouraged. Furthermore, that means that the range of cultural experience available to the general public is severely narrowed—what about two guitars, a drum and bass, or a chamber quartet? Under the present rules, the licensee must have an entertainment licence and that can be very expensive.

Mr. Moss: I have been closely following the Minister's argument and it seems to me that he is saying that the Bill will open up opportunities for musicians and the music industry rather than discourage them. ''Discourage'' is the word that he used, but why will they be discouraged if the two-in-a-bar rule is retained under grandfather rights? It is a concession that has worked well. Why would others—three in a bar—be discouraged if that is not in the Bill? They would be discouraged because they would have to apply for a licence, with all the associated costs.


Dr. Howells: That is a good point and I will try to deal with it soon. I wrestled with this matter for a long time. The basis of my argument is that businesses—particularly small businesses—often feel more comfortable with retaining what they have than with exploring the possibility of something new. I hope that I will be able to explain my reason for resisting the hon. Gentleman's good argument.
Column Number: 661

We are not alone in wishing to see an end to the two-in-a-bar rule. On 8 April, the Association of British Jazz Musicians issued a briefing note—the tone of which, I must admit, is critical of the Bill. I believe that it was sent to a number of Committee members. It states:
''The current legislation concerning live music in pubs, bars and other liquor licensed premises, commonly referred to as the 'two in a bar rule', already makes it extremely difficult for musicians to find work''.

That is where I have started from on this matter. The problem is how to proceed. We believe that the right way forward is to abolish the two-in-a-bar rule. We are putting in its place a simple, cheap and streamlined licensing system that should encourage—if industry makes full use of the reforms—a huge opening up of the opportunities for performing many sorts of regulated entertainment.

To encourage pubs and other venues to take maximum advantage of the new system, we have agreed to work with the Musicians Union and other organisations representing performers and artists to develop a leaflet that their members can hand out to local licensees to persuade them to apply to put on live music. That is an important undertaking. There will be a steep learning curve for many of us, including the Musicians Union and other organisations, which realise that we must engage with the holders of premises licences to ensure that they know that they can put on live entertainment and that they do not have to pay the earth for it.

Let us focus on pubs, as that is where the current exemption applies. Pubs will need a premises licence to sell alcohol. They will have to go through the application procedure and pay the fee applicable if they want to sell alcohol. It will cost them nothing extra to seek at the same time authorisation in the premises licence to put on regulated entertainment in any of its diverse forms. The situation is as simple as that. Where no relevant representations are received on the application, it will be granted automatically.

Let us compare that with the current system, in which huge fees for a public entertainment licence—many thousands of pounds in some areas—act as a considerable deterrent to pubs obtaining such licences. The Government are firm in our belief that the combination of the abolition of the two-in-a-bar rule with the much simpler and cheaper licensing system under the Bill should open up opportunities for entertainers to perform.

Amendment No. 297 would allow the continuation of a form of the two-in-a-bar rule in the converted new licences issued during the transitional period. Automatically permitting the provision of entertainment in the form currently exempted by the two-in-a-bar rule would simply perpetuate the current restrictive framework by placing a disincentive on businesses to apply to vary their existing licences on transition to extend the range of entertainment that they are permitted to provide.
Column Number: 662

Amendment No. 298 appears intended to have the same purpose as amendment No. 297. It, too, is flawed and would fail to provide any benefit to performers. Again, the intention appears to be to perpetuate the exemption for two in a bar by converting schedule 8, so that the existing provision of live music, albeit in a slightly amended way, would appear as an authorisation on the new premises licence.

However, the amendment would not achieve that. Paragraph 1(2)(a) of schedule 8 provides that the exemption in section 182 of the 1964 Act is to be disregarded in determining what existing licensable activities can be converted. Adding the word ''existing'' before the words ''public entertainment'' would do nothing to change the fact that the activity is to be disregarded.

I hope that the Committee accepts that the amendments pose a threat to amateur and professional musicians of all shapes and sizes. I trust that the amendments will not be pressed because I have great hopes that the regime that we are putting in place will mean a great change for the better in the organisation of live music.

Mr. Moss: We seem to have had this argument several times already. The Minister repeats his case that this is simply about a tick in the box. That has been said to the representatives of the music industry more than once in the past few months, if not years, but they are not reassured that this is simply about ticking the box at no extra cost.

They accept that there is a simple procedure to go through at the time of application. However, they say from their experience, which admittedly is of the current regime, that when the local authority gets involved in applications for entertainment licences it all starts to go wrong. As the Minister said, unless there are representations, the application will go through fairly smoothly. If the Government set the fees for the application—we still do not know what those will be—we may see that it will not be terribly onerous in some or even many cases. I accept the Minister's argument that if there are grandfather rights, licensees or publicans may say, ''I'm not going to bother extending the licence; I'll just keep to two in a bar'', and the opportunities for more musicians to take part will be reduced.

Jim Knight: Thinking about the transitional period, does the hon. Gentleman accept that a temporary event notice would be a useful way for those who felt some reluctance about taking risks, in terms of ticking a box, to test out entertainment with more than two in a bar? They would have much more flexibility and far less regulation at a nominal cost. A temporary event notice is a useful form of transitional arrangement to encourage people to go the whole hog with public entertainment.

Column Number: 663
Mr. Moss: That is an interesting idea that will perhaps be explored. Of course, the limit in that case is 499 people. There may well be representations when such applications are made on the basis that the number of people attracted to a certain event would be far too great and the restrictions would then come in. We are still not getting away from representations. The people making them, whether concerned with health and safety or fire, will say that unless certain changes are made to the premises, the licence should not be allowed. That is where the problem arises.

I have been to pubs in my constituency and have talked to my local brewer. My local authority has told that brewery, as well as local publicans and tenants, what they would have to do to gain a public entertainment licence, and it would cost a lot of money. Those changes involve, for example, making structural changes to the premises for obvious fire and health and safety reasons.

One would not say that that was unnecessary; however, it is slightly misleading to harp on about the tick in the box and the fact that there are no costs. There are real costs, particularly for the many old pubs that lend themselves to a small combo in the corner, but where there would be fairly serious implications if they wanted to extend beyond that.

As the hon. Member for South Dorset said, TENs—temporary event notices—may provide a way around that problem for the transitional period. Although the limit of 499 people would give room to manoeuvre to some, there is no way that the local police or whoever will allow 499 people into a couple of bars in a pub. There will be obvious restrictions that we must not overlook.

Dr. Howells: May I give the hon. Gentleman and the Committee some reassurances? Under the Bill, the local authority, as the licensing authority, would be operating under a different regime. That regime would include checks and balances designed to ensure that an authority could not impose conditions, other than those necessary to promote the licensing objectives, without breaching its statutory duty.

I want to give the hon. Gentleman that reassurance. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I are determined to ensure that under no circumstances will frivolous conditions be imposed on licensees, such as that mentioned by the hon. Gentleman, who want music or other entertainment allowed at present to continue. We want to ensure that that will not require the addition of another fire door or whatever.

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will concede that if there is to be a huge change—if a big band were to play at the premises, or if many more people were to be attracted—then of course the authority will have to take cognisance of that and must require the premises to make whatever changes are necessary to ensure that public safety is paramount and is maintained.

Mr. Moss: I do not disagree with the Minister; obviously, even if the music is incidental in the final analysis the safety of the public should be paramount. It is all a matter of scale. In the majority of pubs and clubs, there are small groups of musicians—more than two, but not in many cases an orchestra—and fewer than 499 people are attending. How can we ensure that such events and opportunities take place? I hear the Minister saying that he wants a system that encourages greater participation, with more musicians involved. We concur. However, can we be certain, in the light of the Bill's wording, that that will happen?
Column Number: 664

Dr. Howells: I thank the hon. Gentleman for being patient and giving way to me again. We have convened a working group that includes representatives from the local authorities and the performers to explore what might or might not constitute appropriate conditions for various scales and various kinds of music. The statutory guidance, to which the licensing authorities must have regard, will contain model conditions.

Mr. Moss: That is a positive way forward. I thank the Minister for alerting the Committee to it.
I hear what the hon. Gentleman says about the limited role of the licensing authority in terms of the licensing objectives—it cannot go beyond its remit. However, the authority may receive an application for an entertainment licence and make that known to the fire officers locally. If a fire officer returned a report to the local authority insisting that major changes had to take place, that would surely have a bearing on whether the licence was issued and on the cost implications for the premises licence holder. That is true, is it not?

Dr. Howells: All those things would, of course, be costs. However, the hon. Gentleman would have to concede that in most cases there would not be great changes. He talked about two musicians becoming three, for example, or two becoming four. I hope that the model working practices in the statutory guidance will not involve much expenditure for those who own or maintain the venues. As the hon. Gentleman has hinted, my saying that that will not happen is, in some respects, a statement of faith. That is, however, a consequence of my extensive discussions with all the parties involved and my saying that that is the best way forward, if we are to change the way live music is staged.

Mr. Moss: I am grateful to the Minister for clarifying some of those issues. It is a pity that we do not have the guidance—I do not suppose that it will be available before Report and Third Reading. I know, however, that there is still concern out there that will not go away. Perhaps when the Bill returns to another place there will be a strongly defended rearguard action to tackle the issues yet again.

Jim Knight: I am looking at the draft guidance the Committee has received. Section 4.45 says:
''In determining what conditions should be attached to licences and certificates . . . licensing authorities should be aware of the need to avoid measures which deter live music, dancing and theatre by imposing direct costs of a substantial nature''.

The hon. Gentleman referred to the fire authority imposing substantial costs. Those would be imposed for public safety. I am sure that none of the applicants would want to put on events that were unsafe. There is, however, a concern that unnecessary conditions would be placed upon them, and the guidance suggests that that should be avoided.
11 am
Mr. Moss: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. The key word there is ''substantial'', as in substantial costs. Costs of any degree are unwelcome, particularly for people running small businesses. We heard what the hon. Gentleman and the Minister have said. We take on board his assurances that he is working closely with the people involved to find good working practices.

The Minister used the word ''model'', which is a useful one. We need clear guidance on those matters so that the fears that are still being expressed are fully allayed. We shall return to the matter on Report and I am sure that it will be returned to in the other place. The sooner that the Minister can issue his detailed guidance and have his consultation the better for all concerned. We wish him luck in that and hope that he achieves it sooner rather than later. I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Column Number: 665


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 03 - 03:56 PM

Please circulate the following from Hamish Birchall.

Howells rejects call for automatic two-performer permission to continue in new regime.

The Commons Standing Committee of 16 MPs finished considering the Licensing Bill yesterday (Tue 20 May). Culture Minister Kim Howells rejected a Conservative amendment that would have allowed pubs, bars etc to keep the automatic two-performer permission in the change-over to the new regime (the Bill already allows for the provision of jukeboxes and big screens to continue automatically).

The Minister's argument was, in essence, that the none-in-a-bar rule will be better for live music and musicians when combined with the Guidance for local authorities over conditions. Later in the debate, however, he conceded that it was 'in some respects a statement of faith' on his part that conditions would not prove costly.

The Hansard transcript of the debate is available online:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmstand/d/st030520/am/30520s01.htm

Parliamentary timetable
The next Licensing Bill debate is Report/3rd Reading. This involves the whole House of Commons and is likely to take place in the week commencing 9 June.

A limited number of amendments can be put down at Report. After that, the Bill will return to the House of Lords (late June?).

Realistically, it is unlikely that there will be a large-scale revolt of backbench Labour MPs over the live music issue. Many have bought heavily into the Minister's spin, most will not defy the Whip.

However, it seems Peers have the power not only to reinstate their own amendments (where these have been taken out by MPs, i.e. the small events exemption), but they may also redraft them. MU lobbying therefore remains focussed on a redrafted small events exemption put down in the Lords. Opposition Peers have confirmed they will support this.

Petition presentation
It is hoped that the online petition, which has over 82,000 signatures, can be presented to 10 Downing Street on the morning of the Report/3rd Reading. The press, MPs, Peers, and - with luck - some high-profile MU members, will attend. Further details will follow as soon as the actual date of Report is known.

Lawyers concludes Licensing Bill remains incompatible with European Convention ...
Robin Allen QC and Schona Jolly have provided a further written Opinion for the Musicians' Union on the Bill as amended by the Lords and in Commons Committee. They support the MU position that live music should be automatically allowed if secondary to the main business [of bars, pubs etc] and finishing at a reasonable hour:

'This simple approach is self-evidently consistent with Article 10 [of the European Convention on Human Rights] and proportional. All the other controls in relation to the venue would remain in place. It would avoid the need for exceptions and it would recognise what is the logic of the Government's acceptance of such exceptions that there is no case of pressing social need for additional regulation outside the exceptions.' [Exceptions include places of public religious worship, non-profit-making garden fetes and similar functions, and entertainments such as jukeboxes and big screen broadcasts].

They also write: 'The Musicians' Union have been the object of some very fierce polemic in relation to the stance that they have made over this Bill. Yet, they have been clearly justified in pointing out the overbearing nature of the regulation in the first draft and in supporting the questioning aimed on identifying the true reasons for the legislation that is proposed.'

They conclude: '... the Licensing Bill, even as amended, is a disproportionate interference with the right to freedom of expression and as such, it cannot be considered to be necessary in a democratic society... the Licensing Bill in its present form, in relation to live music, is incompatible with the Convention' [i.e. the European Convention on Human Rights].

... and private functions still caught - if entertainment agencies are paid to organise entertainment.
The Government has repeatedly stated that live music at private functions, such as wedding receptions, is not licensable under the Bill (provided guests are not charged).

In fact, in the Bill as originally published, payment to a performer was of itself sufficient to trigger licensing, and indeed the Government tacitly admitted as much by amending the relevant part of Schedule 1, so that such an arrangement was explicitly exempt.

However, this new exemption (para 1(6) of Schedule 1), does not extend to entertainment or corporate hospitality agents. In the Opinion, Robin Allen and Schona Jolly state: 'In our view, many private functions remain caught if musicians are engaged by way of a professional entertainment or corporate hospitality agency. That is because such agents unequivocally are "concerned in the organisation or management" of the entertainment, they charge for the service and the charge is paid "by or on behalf of some or all of the persons" being entertained'.

The Opinion has been copied to the Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and other interested parties, including MPs and Peers. It remains to be seen what action, if any, the Government may take. But there is no doubt that the Opinion carries weight, and will assist MU lobbying particularly when the Bill returns to the Lords.

Lobbying the Lords as important as lobbying MPs.
Letters, emails or faxes to their Lordships will be essential. However, timing is crucial and it is best to wait until after Commons Report/3rd Reading before sending anything off. I will circulate a note closer to the time, listing Peers with an interest in the issue.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 22 May 03 - 02:44 AM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Kaleea
Date: 22 May 03 - 03:31 AM

Why is it that no matter where one lives on this planet, there is always somebody out there dedicated to ruining (taking away) the ordinary, good pleasures of life? A few people want to enhance their enjoyment of food music by getting up & dancing, and right away somebody has to start regulating it. The few people can no longer feel free to get up & dance a bit because their feet just want to move to the music. The dance police--"them durn revenoors"--have to police every little pub or bar in every little hamlet or town in the world. How will the laws/regulations be fair to the average little spot in an average little pub in a little village? Do the dance police ask the little people what will actually be helpful? Is it possible that the average folks in an average little spot in a little hamlet somewhere can use "common sense" and not have a need for the dance police? How much regulating/lawmaking/censoring/banning is enough? Or too much? Perhaps a few people want to bring their instruments & play some good music for an hour or two, and people get together at their local coffee/whatever shop or local pub & begin to have a good little session, and somebody just has to regulate that. Laws are written, music is licensed, regulated, censored, banned. The few people can no longer enjoy an impromptu session, singing/playing of a good song or tune because it is regulated, and some of "them durn revenoors" have to police every little pub or bar in every little hamlet or town in the world to be certain that nobody is violating the new so-called laws--they follow the letter of the law, forgetting the intent of the law. Yes, of course there must be laws--anybody understands that, but when the laws keep the average person from enjoying normal freedoms because some busybodies just have to regulate/censor/ban because they love to tell others what to do--even if the new law makes no sense----how does this help the people whom the laws are supposed to "help"? How does a copyright law put money in the pocket of a composer who is dead generations ago by not allowing a handful of people to sing or play a song or tune in a small, intimate setting? When & where does it all end? How much law is too much law? How much regulating/lawmaking/censoring/banning/ is too much? Who profits from all of this?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 22 May 03 - 12:47 PM

Please read and ACT

To: Hamish Birchall
Subject: Licensing Bill - live music: 138 sympathetic Labour MPs?


Please circulate

Last year 138 Labour MPs (out of a total of 233) signed Early Day Motion 1182, by David Heath, which condemned the current PEL regime as 'archaic and just plain daft'. At the time MPs did not realise that the Government planned to replace the current laws with a modern but still plain daft regime as far as live music is concerned.

See below for a list of those Labour MPs, their constituencies and email addresses (where available). Is one of them your MP? If so, please consider sending them an email, fax or letter, asking that they think twice before voting in support of the Licensing Bill when it comes up for Commons debate in June. It is possible to fax most MPs direct from www.faxyourmp.com (the site automatically identifies MPs from post codes). The snail mail address is House of Commons, London SW1A OAA.

It is always better to choose your own form of words, but here is a draft which may help:

~ ~ ~

Dear ..........

Licensing Bill - live music

As a constituent I am very concerned that, in spite of Government amendments, the Bill is fundamentally flawed. I would urge you to think very carefully before voting in support of the Licensing Bill at Report/3rd Reading.

You were among 233 MPs who signed EDM 1182 during the last Parliamentary session. EDM 1182 stressed the cultural and economic value of live music, and condemned the two in a bar rule and the present PEL regime as 'archaic and just plain daft'. Clearly, legislation which automatically criminalises the provision of unlicensed small-scale performance in every case is daft when compared with the entertainment licensing exemption for jukeboxes and big screen broadcasts, no matter how powerfully amplified. This is arbitrary and unjustified discrimination against live music.

How much better is the Government's new regime, set out in the Licensing Bill? It proposes to criminalise the provision of an advertised performance in a bar even by one unknown musician, performing without amplification, unless this activity is explicitly authorised under the new premises licence, or covered by a Temporary Event licence. Providing a piano for public entertainment use in a bar becomes a criminal offence, unless similarly licensed. The maximum penalty is still a £20,000 fine and six months in prison. The Government says this is essential for safety and noise reasons.

However, the provision of jukeboxes and big screen broadcast entertainment remains exempt, no matter how powerfully amplified or widely advertised, or that those who attend broadcast entertainment are prone to spill out onto the street afterwards looking for a fight. Just before the Licensing Bill was published, the Association of Chief Police Officers wrote to the Department for Culture warning that televised sporting events 'are quite frequently a source of disorder'.

Instead of seizing the historic opportunity to rethink entertainment licensing, the 'new' regime repeats and extends the present arbitrary and unjustified discrimination against live music, and the unduly harsh penalty. The Government appears to believe that, having accepted the principle of an 'incidental' music exemption, musicians should be content. But the Culture Minister has announced in Committee that anything advertised would be unlikely to fall within the exemption. Most solo and duo performances in bars and restaurants, currently exempt, are advertised and will therefore become a criminal offence (for landlords) unless licensed under the new regime. Most acoustic folk and jazz sessions are also advertised, and they too would become illegal unless licensed.

The Musicians' Union, and other performers' organisations, believe that some form of small events exemption for the performing arts would restore proportionality. This view is shared by lawyers who also conclude that, even as amended, the Bill remains incompatible with musicians' right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention. The new Licensing Act is likely to be on the statute books for a very long time. Don't let the new legislation repeat the injustice of the old. I would be grateful if you would urge the Government to reconsider its position on this very important issue.

Yours etc

~ ~ ~

List of Labour MPs who signed EDM 1182:

Diane Abbott, Hackney North & Stoke Newington, carbye@parliament.uk
Janet Anderson, Rossendale & Darwen, andersonj@parliament.uk
Candy Atherton, Falmouth & Camborne, athertonc@parliament.uk
Tony Banks, West Ham, [no email]
Hugh Bayley, City of York, dellaganal@parliament.uk
Roger Berry, Kingswood, berryr@parliament.uk
Harold Best, Leeds North West, besth@parliament.uk
Clive Betts, Sheffield Attercliffe, bettsc@parliament.uk
Liz Blackman, Erewash, blackmanl@parliament.uk
Keith Bradley, Manchester Withington, keithbradley@parliament.uk
Kevin Brennan, Carfiff West, brennank@parliament.uk
Russell Brown, Dumfries, russell@brown.new.labour.org.uk
Chris Bryant, Rhondda, bryantc@parliament.uk
Karen Buck, Regent's Park & Kensington North, k.buck@rpkn-labour.co.uk
Colin Burgon, Elmet, fratont@parliament.uk
Andy Burnham, Leigh, burnhama@parliament.uk
Ronnie Campbell, Blyth Valley, ronnie@campbell.abelgratis.com
Roger Casale, Wimbledon, casaler@parliament.uk
Martin Caton, Gower, martin.caton@politics.demon.co.uk
Colin Challen, Morley & Rothwell, colinchallen@parliament.uk
David Chaytor, Bury North, chaytord@parliament.uk
Michael Clapham, Barnsley West & Penistone, claphamm@parliament.uk
Helen Clark, Peterborough, paunm@parliament.uk
Harry Cohen, Leyton & Wanstead, cohenh@parliament.uk
Iain Coleman, Hammersmith & Fulham, sheenanj@parliament.uk
Tony Colman, Putney, colmant@parliament.uk
Michael Connarty, Falkirk East, connartym@parliament.uk
Frank Cook, Stockton North, cookf@parliament.uk
Jeremy Corbyn, Islington North, corbynj@parliament.uk
John Cruddas, Dagenham, [no email]
Ann Cryer, Keighley, rowenc@parliament.uk
John Cummings, Easington, cummingsj@parliament.uk
Jim Cunningham, Coventry South, [no email]
Paul Daisley, Brent East, crained@parliament.uk
Tam Dalyell, Linlithgow, [no email]
Valerie Davey, Bristol West, valdavey@labourbriswest.demon.co.uk
Wayne David, Caerphilly, davidw@parliament.uk
Geraint Davies, Croydon Central, geraintdavies@parliament.uk
Janet Dean, Burton, mcgirrc@parliament.uk
Parmjit Dhanda, Gloucester, dhandap@parliament.uk
Andrew Dismore, Hendon, andrewdismore@parliament.uk
Jim Dobbin, Heywood & Middleton, jim.dobbin.constituency@btinternet.com
Frank Dobson, Holborn & St Pancras, frank.dobson@geo2.poptel.org.uk
Jim Dowd, Lewisham West, jimdowd.newlabour@care4free.net
David Drew, Stroud, drewd@parliament.uk
Julia Drown, South Swindon, juliadrown@parliament.uk
Gwyneth Dunwoody, Crewe & Nantwich, info@gwynethdunwoody.co.uk
Angela Eagle, Wallasey, eaglea@parliament.uk
Huw Edwards, Monmouth, edwardsh@parliament.uk
Jeff Ennis, Barnsley East & Mexborough, ennisj@parliament.uk
Bill Etherington, Sunderland North, [no email]
Paul Farrelly, Newcastle-under-Lyme, farrellyp@parliament.uk
Frank Field, Birkenhead, hendeyj@parliament.uk
Mark Fisher, Stoke-on-Trent Central, markfisher@parliament.uk
Paul Flynn, Newport West, paulflynn@talk21.com
Barbara Follett, Stevenage, barbara@barbara-follett.org.uk
Dr Hywel Francis, Aberavon, francish@parliament.uk
Mike Gapes, Ilford South, gapesm@parliament.uk
Bruce George, Walsall South, georgeb@parliament.uk
Dr Ian Gibson, Norwich North, gibsoni@parliament.uk
Roger Godsiff, Birmingham, Sparkbrook & Small Heath, [no email]
John Grogan, Selby, selby@johngrogan.u-net.com
David Hamilton, Midlothian, hamiltonda@parliament.uk
Mark Hendrick, Preston, hendrickm@parliament.uk
Stephen Hepburn, Jarrow, hepburns@parliament.uk
David Heyes, Ashton-under-Lyne, heyesd@parliament.uk
Kate Hoey, Vauxhall, hoeyk@parliament.uk
Kelvin Hopkins, Luton North, hopkinsk@parliament.uk
Lindsay Hoyle, Chorley, wilsonp@parliament.uk
Joan Humble, Blackpool North & Fleetwood, sue@humble.freeserve.co.uk
Alan Hurst, Braintree, [no email]
Dr Brian Iddon, Bolton South East, iddonb@parliament.uk
Helen Jackson, Sheffield, Hillsborough, jacksonh@parliament.uk
Brian Jenkins, Tamworth, purvisc@parliament.uk
Kevan Jones, North Durham, kevanjones@parliament.uk
Martyn Jones, Clwyd South, jonesst@parliament.uk
Alan Keen, Brentford & Isleworth, alankeen@parliament.uk
Piara S Khabra, Ealing Southall, contact@ealing-southall-clp.new.labour.org.uk
Jim Knight, South Dorset, jim@labour4dorset.net or jimknightmp@parliament.uk
David Lepper, Brighton, Pavilion, lepperd@parliament.uk
Tony Lloyd, Manchester Central, lloydt@parliament.uk
Ian Lucas, Wrexham, lucasi@parliament.uk
John Mann, Bassetlaw, mannj@parliament.uk
Rob Marris, Wolverhampton South West, robmarris@wolvessw.fsnet.co.uk
Andrew Mackinlay, Thurrock, morrisc@parliament.uk
Gordon Marsden, Blackpool South, pauleyo@parliament.uk
Bob Marshall-Andrews QC, Medway, marshallandrewsr@parliament.uk
Siobhain McDonagh, Mitcham & Morden, mcdonaghs@parliament.uk
Kevin McNamara, Kingston upon Hull North, kevinmcnamara@parliament.uk
Tony McWalter, Hemel Hempstead, tony.mcwalter@geo2.poptel.org.uk
Austin Mitchell, Great Grimsby, mitchellau@parliament.uk
Laura Moffatt, Crawley, moffattl@parliament.uk
Chris Mole, Ipswich, molec@parliament.uk
Julie Morgan, Cardiff North, morganj@parliament.uk
Meg Munn, Sheffield, Heeley, munnm@parliament.uk
Dr Doug Naysmith, Bristol North West, naysmithd@parliament.uk
Martin O'Neill, Ochil, cartere@parliament.uk
Diana Organ, Forest of Dean, robinsonj@parliament.uk
Peter L Pike, Burnley, peterpike@parliament.uk
Kerry Pollard, St Albans, pollardk@btclick.com
Greg Pope, Hyndburn, popegj@parliament.uk
Stephen Pound, Ealing North, stevepound@parliament.uk
Gwyn Prosser, Dover, prosserg@parliament.uk
James Purnell, Stalybridge & Hyde, purnelkj@parliament.uk
Syd Rapson, Portsmouth North, rapsons@parliament.uk
John Robertson, Glasgow Anniesland, robertsonjo@parliament.uk
Geoffrey Robinson, Coventry North West, geoffrey@newstatesman.co.uk
Chris Ruane, Vale of Clwyd, ruanec@parliament.uk
Joan Ruddock, Lewisham, Deptford, alexanderh@parliament.uk
Christine Russell, City of Chester, russellcm@parliament.uk
Phil Sawford, Kettering, philsawford@parliament.uk
Brian Sedgemore, Hackney South & Shoreditch, sedgemoreb@parliament.uk
Jonathan R Shaw, Chatham & Aylesford, shawj@parliament.uk
Barry Sheerman, Huddersfield, sheermanb@parliament.uk
Sion Simon, Birmingham, Erdington, contact@sionsimon.new.labour.org.uk
Alan Simpson, Nottingham South, simpsona@parliament.uk
Dennis Skinner, Bolsover, [no email]
Chris Smith, Islington South & Finsbury, barans@parliament.uk
Geraldine Smith, Morecambe & Lunesdale, [no email]
John P Smith, Vale of Glamorgan, smithj@parliament.uk
Gerry Steinberg, City of Durham, [no email]
David Stewart, Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber, stewartd@parliament.uk
Paul Stinchcombe, Wellingborough, cooperde@parliament.uk
Gavin Strang, Edinburgh East & Musselburgh, gillana@parliament.uk
David Taylor, North West Leicestershire, taylord@parliament.uk
Mark Todd, South Derbyshire, hawd@parliament.uk
Dennis Turner, Wolverhampton South East, [no email]
Dr Desmond Turner, Brighton, Kemptown, turnerd@parliament.uk
Bill Tynan, Hamilton South, tynanb@parliament.uk
Dr Rudi Vis, Finchley & Golders Green, visr@parliament.uk
Brian White, North East Milton Keynes, whitebar@parliament.uk
Betty Williams, Conwy, bettywilliams@parliament.uk
Mike Wood, Batley & Spen, mike.wood@geo2.poptel.org.uk
Tony Worthington, Clydebank & Milngavie, worthingtont@parliament.uk
James Wray, Glasgow Baillieston, fisht@parliament.uk
David Wright, Telford, wrighta@parliament.uk
Derek Wyatt, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, wyattd@parliament.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 22 May 03 - 12:52 PM

A neat comment from a colleague

No sign of Tony Blair I notice. I thought he liked a few licks on the guitar. Perhaps he prefers a few licks on his arse from the 300 other MPs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 May 03 - 04:40 PM

Someone once told me his agent was a bit of a folkie.

Anyone else heard that?

Dave


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 05 Jun 03 - 05:22 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

Some Labour MPs are saying that Early Day Motion 331 is 'no longer relevant because it has been superseded by events' (i.e. it was issued prior to Government amendments such as the churches exemption). This is nonsense. EDM 331 continues to be completely relevant. Here's why:

Apart from places of public religious worship, ALL the other venues, activities and people mentioned in EDM 331 continue to be affected by the Licensing Bill: schools, colleges, community centres, parish halls, private homes and gardens, private parties and weddings, music shops, music and dance studios and teachers.

When the Government announced the churches' exemption the online petition site was updated advising people of the u-turn. That didn't stop people signing. The petition text was adapted from EDM 331.

School performances will be licensable if they are to any extent public (except if part of a garden fete, or similar function, that is not for private gain). The Government only exempted schools from licence fees (but colleges and universities will have to pay licence fees).

Music teachers may have to obtain the licence if they are organising a performance, i.e. public master classes, pupils' concerts etc. Similarly, private performances will be licensable if for private gain.

Music shops will be licensable if they host public performances (as they regularly do, often by high-profile performers). If the performances are private, they will be licensable if the intention is to make a profit.

Wedding receptions, private parties and corporate functions, remain caught if live music is provided by professional entertainment or corporate hospitality agents. The has been confirmed by Robin Allen QC and independent lawyers, including experts in licensing. Only a direct arrangement between the event organiser and a musician is exempt following Government amendments.

Rehearsal studios: a licence will be required for showcase performances in professional rehearsal studios.

Also the hiring out of space for people to make music for their own enjoyment is licensable. The space counts as a facility for making music and where music-making facilities are concerned there is no requirement for an audience to be present (see paragraphs 1 and 3 of Sch. 1). Some lawyers argue that rehearsing in professional rehearsal rooms will be licensable in any case because the rehearsal is, at least in part, often purely for the personal enjoyment of the participants and the premises are made available for that purpose and for profit.

Criminal liability: if those organising the performance, or providing a facility for making music, do not obtain a licence they will be comitting a criminal offence for which the maximum penalty remains a £20,000 fine and six months in prison.

Lastly, it is important to recognise that Guidance published by the Government for local authorities cannot disapply offences created by the Bill. The Guidance explicitly states that 'the interpretation of the [Licensing] Act is a matter for the Courts'.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Jun 03 - 05:25 AM

Commons Early Day Motion 331


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Jun 03 - 12:56 PM

Please circulate the following.

See below for the text of a joint press release issued on Monday 2 June 2003 by the Musicians' Union, English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Association of British Jazz Musicians. It incorporates the text of their joint letter sent to all MPs on Friday 30 May 2003:

Musicians warn MPs: Licensing Bill 'will be a disaster for the performing arts'


The Musicians' Union (MU), English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), and the Association of British Jazz Musicians (ABJM) have sent a joint letter to MPs warning that the Licensing Bill 'will be a disaster for the performing arts' unless the Government makes further amendments.

MPs are due to debate the Bill in two weeks' time, but in an unusual move Culture Minister Kim Howells has invited all MPs to a briefing on Tuesday 3rd June specifically to address entertainment licensing issues.

The Minister has claimed that concerns are based on 'misinformation' being circulated about the Bill. However, the MU's legal advisers have concluded that the Licensing Bill remains incompatible with musicians' right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The problem stems from the arbitrary licensing requirements. For example, under the Bill a pub landlord who is not licensed for 'regulated entertainment' would be guilty of a criminal offence if providing a piano for public use or for one unamplified performer.

However, jukeboxes, big screen broadcast entertainment, and powerful sound systems are automatically allowed anywhere. The maximum penalty for unlicensed entertainment is a £20,000 fine and six months in prison.

The text of the joint letter follows:

Dear Sir/Madam
LICENSING BILL - RESTRICTING THE PERFORMING ARTS

The Government's new Licensing Bill will be a disaster for the performing arts. Indeed, going against its own much-heralded 'inclusivity' banner, this draft legislation is perhaps the most 'exclusive' piece of legislation drafted by a Labour government. Hailed as an 'improvement', this hodge-podge of proposals actually extends the arbitrary discriminations of the old licensing regime. For example:

It allows a full-scale stand-up comedy show with stage, lighting and amplification, but insists that you must have a licence to perform a play (and 'play' could include Punch & Judy);
It allows 'big screen' broadcasts and amplified jukeboxes anywhere, but insists that live performance is licensed (unless so much in the background it might as well be muzak);
It allows a play, dance, disco or musical performance in a place of worship or garden fete, but insists on a licence when the same events are held in a school or restaurant.
It allows the above, but insists that traditional song and dance on village greens should be licensed.

We need your support to prevent a bad old law being replaced by a bad new one. To help restore the balance, the Government should take the following action:

Remove licensing control over small-scale events in the open air, whether on public or private land;
Re-introduce a small events exemption covering music, dance and plays in premises where events cease at a reasonable hour;
Exempt un-amplified live music;
Drop the proposal which would prevent a piano for public use in a pub unless licensed, but would allow 'big screen' music and sport as well as amplified jukeboxes.

We hope that you will help us to help Ministers see the error of their ways and prevent England and Wales becoming a juke-box driven monoculture of mass entertainment. Scotland? Well, if you cross the border, none of these nonsenses apply!

Yours sincerely...

~ ~ ~


The Musicians' Union (MU)
The MU was established in 1893 and represents over 31,000 musicians working in all sectors of the music business. As well as negotiating on its member's behalf with all the major employers in the industry, the MU offers a range of services tailored for the self-employed by providing assistance for full-time professional, semi-pro and student musicians of all ages. Contact: John F Smith, General Secretary, on 020 7840 5502
Website: www.musiciansunion.org.uk

English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS)
EFDSS is the key national body working to support, promote and develop the folk arts in England. It represents the interests of all folk artforms, with a particular focus on music, dance and song. EFDSS maintains the nation's principal library and archive for folk arts and customs, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and operates a range of advisory, educational and support services for folk groups, the general public and over 4500 active members.
Contact: Mark Gibbens, Development Officer: 020 7485 2206; email: this into your post:

mark.gibbens@efdss.org


Website: www.efdss.org

Association of British Jazz Musicians (ABJM)
Founded in 1987, the ABJM is a pressure group representing the interests of jazz musicians in the UK.
Contact: Chris Hodgkins on 07950 522 041
Website: www.abjm.org.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: BanjoRay
Date: 06 Jun 03 - 06:56 AM

That letter's great - it's in English and short enough to allow the thickest MP to get somewhere near the end before binning it.
Cheers
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 03 - 07:24 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall. Please pass this on.

The live music music petition will be presented to 10 Downing Street on Monday 16 June at 12.30pm.

Leading the presentation will be folk club organiser Graham Dixon, who created the online petition, adapting the text of Shadow Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's Early Day Motion 331*. Mr Whittingdale and other MPs and Peers will also attend. The presentation is being organised by the Musicians' Union, who will be joined by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and the Association of British Jazz Musicians, in the presentation group.

An MU press release will be issued next week with further details.

* EDM 331 now has 161 MPs signatures and stands at No.32 in the current list of 1,533 EDMs

This is the EDM text (note that only churches and other places of public religious worship are no longer affected by the Bill):

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


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Jun 03 - 05:47 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

Even Labour MPs who are members of jazz and other music appreciation societies are saying they will not vote against the Government over the Licensing Bill.

Unless the Government makes further amendments during the next debate on Monday 16 June, these MPs will be voting in support of a new criminal offence: the provision of unlicensed entertainment facilities, which include musical instruments:

'An antique piano in a pub that was only provided for decorative effect would not give rise to the need for a licence. And a licence would not be required if the pub operator did not provide it for the public to play. A licence would only be required if it was used to entertain people at the premises or by people on the premises to entertain themselves.'
[Department for Culture, 'Regulation of Entertainment under the Licensing Bill', revised April 2003, p4, para 2.8]

Why is the Government doing this? Perhaps the 18th century French philospher and mathematician D'Alembert had the answer:

'I am amazed that in a century when so many pens write about the liberty of commerce, the liberty of marriages, the liberty of the press, or the liberty of painting, no one has yet written about THE LIBERTY OF MUSIC . . .
Our great statesmen reply: "You are being short-sighted, for all liberties are interrelated and are all equally dangerous. The liberty of music presupposes liberty to feel, the liberty to feel involves liberty of thought, and liberty of thought involves liberty of action, and the liberty of action is the ruination of states. So let us keep the Opera as it is, if we wish to preserve the kingdom; and let us put a brake on the liberty of singing if we don't wish to see the liberty of talking following hard on its heels . . ."'


['On the liberty of music', essay, 1759. Jean le Rond D'Alembert, 1717-1783]


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 06 Jun 03 - 06:17 PM

Performer-Lawyer-Group will be represented at the press casllbefore the handing in of the petition, too


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Jun 03 - 12:23 PM

Another one is this quote from Segovia, used in 1992 for an advert for Spanish tourism.

[Playing music must be like life itself: an explosion of liberty........]

This was the quote in context.
The Guitar had a long and difficult birth. From its Baroque beginnings, the instrument passed into Spanish hands. And its passionate nature emerged with a Spanish style of playing, the 'Rasguado', a rhythmic and simultaneous beating of all the strings. From this point, the instrument took on a feeling for life which is peculiarly Spanish.

The vitality of 'Flamenco', laid bare the emotions like no other music. And to this day, it remains the true tone of Spanish passion. later still, in the hands of Segovia, the guitar took on a more controlled beauty.

Stawinski opined, "Segovia's guitar doesn't sound loud, but it travels far". But through recognised as a fully fledged concert instrument, it retained its freedom of spirit. As the Maestro himself observed, "playing music must be like life itself: an explosion of liberty."

Today in Spain, the visitor can drink deep from the cup of the country's guitar playing tradition, in the concert halls or local bar. Either way, the experience can be magical. For when Spanish hands caress the strings of a guitar, it takes on human form.


This went out under the slogan - Espana, passion for life!

Our slogan...England and Wales, passion for bureaucracy?

The new licensing criterion 'Entertainment Facilities', paragraph 3 of Schedule 1, would even render the provision of a piano in a bar a criminal offence without a licence.

That is because it would be a facility for enabling persons to take part in music-making for purposes which include the purpose of being entertained. There is no requirement for anyone actually to be playing the piano, nor for the presence of an audience. The maximum penalty for unlicensed performance, or music-making facilities, is a £20,000 fine and six months in prison.

As both alcohol and entertainment licensing are to be combined under the Bill, the general term - unlicensed activities - will make no distinction between the selling of alcohol or making music without the very same licence, as if the risks presented by two different activities were the same.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 12:54 PM

The following from the Radio 2 Folk message board. Did anyone else hear the details of this?

re: PEL - Petition to be presented - ruaridh 11th post - 11 Jun 2003 13:25
Good to hear Kim Howells being made to appear a pratt on the Today Programme this morning. He was windbagging on about how wonderful Welsh artists are and was then unable to name one thus demonstrating that he did not know what he was talking about. A bit like his performance on the Mike Harding Show except that on that occasion he was given a soft ride and allowed to get away with talking rubbish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 01:05 PM

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/

More to do with Wales than Licensing - but interesting to hear someone challemge the good Dr. Still got his (useful cough) and waffle.

When really pushed to answer the question: "No I can't think of one". Before passing the buck back to the Welsh Assembly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Jun 03 - 01:19 PM

This eedjit is trying to defend the fact that the artists representing Wales are either not Welsh or living in Wales.
This man who can't adequately defend his own culture, is trying to destroy the culture of others. There are times when I miss the Tories,remember John Redwood mouthing the words of the Welsh national anthem?
The only person who entered the houses of parliament with good intentions, was Guy Fawkes......Giok


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 05:08 AM

24hr pubs chaos fear.
By Nig Cecil
The Sun 12 June 2003


Ibiza- style drinking, sex and violence could break out in Britain under new licensing laws, MPs are to warn.

They fear plans to allow bars to serve booze 24 hours a day will cause an explosion of new bars that will blight towns and cities.

The Commons Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee is to publish a hard-hitting report on "The Evening Economy".

One senior committee member warned : "There is a risk of Ibiza-style culture in towns and cities across Britain."

But the Culture Department played down fears. It stressed police would have greater powers to close rowdy pubs, licenses would be reviewed and closing times will be spread through the night.

THE SUN SAY – Page Eight


Lighten up


IBIZA – style drinking round the clock? Sounds alright to us.

Po-faced MPs disagree. They don't think people are responsible enough to handle it. They warn that new licensing laws could turn town centres into violent night-time no-go areas.

We've got news for them: The current laws, with most pubs chucking out at 11pm and clubs closing at 2am, haven't exactly made our towns a place to take your maiden aunt.

But spreading closing times so people don't have to drink against the clock should reduce trouble.

People in power should give ordinary folk more credit.

The vast majority of drinkers just want fun, not trouble.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jun 03 - 07:03 AM

I must confess that I rather enjoyed listening and writing this out.

Kim Howells on Radio 4 Today - Wednesday 11 June 2003

It does seem a bit odd that Wales is being represented by two artist who were not born in Wales and the other two artists don't live there?

KH: Well God forbid, Sarah, that artists should only be able to represent somewhere they either live in or work in, if they were born there. It is a bit like the terrible quandary of Welsh Rugby Union, that you, it almost got to the stake now where if your mother when she was pregnant actually could see Wales from the M6, that you could be picked for Wales.

It is an interesting argument this one. Neil Howells critique is very important because he is clearly worried about what he perceives to be the lack of quality of art in Wales. I disagree with him profoundly, I think there are lots of very interesting artists working in Wales.

Point at some?

KH: Some of whom are Welsh.

Point at some then?

KH: Should Gauguin not have been called French because he painted in Tahiti?

Well point us at some Welsh artists we should be looking at – who are not involved, not these four?

KH: Pope for example…

Who IS one of these and was born in England, what about outside of these?

KH: Well I don't know artists who ought to be picked to go, I'm always very wary about a …

I'm not asking whether they are going or not – just Welsh artists who we could/should be looking at and who represent the thriving Welsh visual arts scene, that this is meant to be promoting?

KH: I go down to Cardiff and I look at the galleries down there and there are plenty of young Welsh artists
on display, I don't think that it's a .......

Well give us a name?

KH: Well no, I'm not going to say there is one artist above all....

Laughs - Well you can give us more than one name if you like. My point was just can you think of one?

KH: No – I can't at the moment…….you've got the …………..[indistict?].

That is a problem, isn't it?

KH: Well, listen it's very difficult to that in England, outside of a small coterie of people who have been chosen by, by, - an even smaller group of art critics and art experts as being great.

But Neil Howlls's point here is that if you have to go outside Wales, people either born or live outside Wales, what does it say about those who remain?

KH: Well maybe it says something about the way we teach art and we present art. Visual art in Wales has been very much the poor cousin. You are asking me – you have got to ask Alan Pugh. This is a devolved issue for the Welsh Assembly.

I'm telling you - as somebody who lives in Wales, artists feel quite strongly that they are the poor relation. The big money goes to the Welsh National Opera – it goes very much to those great establishments of creativity in Wales.

And good enough, they are great institutions but visual artists have always suffered from a lack of support and I am very glad to see that now at least we are taking people who are working in Wales, or come form Wales and saying this is good enough, we feel confident enough to have work represented at the Venice […….,] which is one of the great art exhibitions of the world. I mean what could be wrong with that? I mean art should be international, should have no frontiers and operate as openly as possible.

Kim Howells, thank you.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 01:55 PM

From The Times 16 June 2003.

Lord Macintosh of Haringay, 70, becomes Parlimentary Under-Secretary of State at the DCMS on .....£65,936.

Dr Kim Howells ,56, becomes Minister of Transport at ........£93,413!!!!!!!

The 'wages of sin' are not at all bad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 03:46 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

Please circulate

Today's petition presentation to 10 Downing Street went well, but the press stayed away this time, in spite of our best efforts to engage their interest. The lack of a celebrity performer may have been a factor. There is no question, however, that the 110,000 signatures, and the coalition of performers' organisations and the music industry backing the MU campaign, has made a big impact behind the scenes with the Department for Culture, MPs and Peers.

Pressure on the Government is also being maintained by the Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR). Their latest Report, published on 13 June, is scathing. The exemption for places of public religious worship remains a potential discrimination (against people doing the same thing in premises used for secular purposes), but the Report also concludes that the Bill might

'...leave a patchwork of different licensing requirements without a coherent rationale, calling in question the existence of a pressing social need for the restriction on freedom of expression through a licensing regime for public entertainment, and so undermining the Government's claim that such a licensing regime is a justifiable interference with the right to freedom of expression under ECHR Article 10.2'.
[JCHR, 'Scrutiny of Bills: Further Progress Report, Twelfth Report of Session 2002-03, HL Paper 119, HC 765, p17, para 3.4]

This is strong stuff, and it will be raised by MPs in this evening's Commons debate of the Bill (although it is unlikely that anything other than Government amendments will be accepted).

However, the petition and the JCHR Report has been on the agenda earlier today during behind the scenes discussions between Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell and key Opposition Peers.

The discussions are a sign that the Government recognises they are in difficulty. This could be good news, but I do not want to raise hopes prematurely. A last round of letters to Peers may yet be required.

When the Bill goes back to the Lords on Thursday (19th), Opposition Peers could delay the Bill by refusing to accept Commons changes to the first round of House of Lords amendments - unless the Government can agree some compromise behind the scenes.

What further letters to Peers might say depends to a great extend this evening's debate in the Commons. Even though the Government should have no difficulty getting the Bill through in the Commons tonight, Ministers may give clues as to the nature of any further concession being considered. As soon as I have had a chance to read the Hansard record tomorrow I will circulate another note.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jun 03 - 05:10 PM

The relevance of the following may escape you at first but please read on to the last two paras which may ring a bell or two.

Nude sunbathing continues at county's isolated beaches.

NUDISTS CELEBRATE U-TURN ON SEX LAW
Dorset Echo 16 June 2003
By Harry Walton

Dorset nudists are celebrating after the Government scrapped plans to ban their pursuit. A new law would have made it illegal for Britain's five million naturists to bathe nude on secluded beaches or bare all in their gardens.

But pressure from British Naturism has seen the Government abandon plans for the curb.

This leaves naturists free to take their clothes off and enjoy around 24 unofficial nudists beaches in the South West, including five in Dorset which also has an official naturist beach at Studland.

Now naturists can take their clothes off at county sites including Burton Bradstock, Swyre, Ringstead Bay, Durdle Door and Hengistbury Head.

British Naturism regional spokesman Mike Berridge said: "This is a victory for all nudists across the South West. "The Government has seen sense, having recognised that nudists are an integral part of society. We have a right to this lifestyle and it would have been a huge blow if the legislation had not been amended."

The U-turn means that the contentious section – Clause 70 of the Sexual Offences Bill – has been replaced by Clause 69, which has allowed nudists to strip off without the intent to 'cause fear, alarm or distress'. The Government accepted that 'exposure' would have been deemed a criminal offence which would have outlawed nudism.

Dorset County Council cabinet environment spokeswomen Coun Hilary Cox said today that the Government decision reflected a common sense approach to an aspect of tourism which could not be ignored.

She added: "It is recognition of people's right to a pastime, provided it gives no offence to others."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 05:43 AM

Western Morning News June 17 2003
MPs reject calls for music Bill amendment


The Government remained defiant last night over proposed changes to the licensing laws, By rejecting the call for small premises to be exempt from the new regime.

The controversial Licensing Bill was put through its third and final reading in the commons, with MPs throwing out an amendment tabled by peers allowing pubs holding less than 200 people to have live music without a licence.

If the Bill becomes law, anyone staging live music will be forced to require a licence from their local authority. Campaigners had hoped that smaller venues would be made exempt.

The vote prompted fierce criticism from opponents who claimed it would be a "disaster" for the performing arts.

Shadow culture, media and sport minister Malcolm Moss said ministers would have to bring forward "sensible and practical" proposals to deal with concerns over live music in small venues or else the law would not get through all its remaining parliamentary stages. He said it would have to be altered before it was acceptable to the entertainment or licensed trade industry.

"Many interested parties and groups have not had the consultation they need or deserve," he told the Commons.
"There is a sizeable number of people faced with the impact of this legislation on their lives and businesses who are, to put it mildly, distinctly unimpressed."

The Licensing Bill, which could be law by next year, would make virtually all kinds of music illegal unless licensed.

The two-in-a-bar rule, which allows a landlord to have one or two musicians play in a pub without needing an entertainment licence, would also be abolished.

A landlord would need to apply to their local authority for a new premises licence to stage any musical performance. But because of the expensive conditions which may be insisted upon by health and safety authorities, there are fears that pubs will simply abandon live music altogether.

But Culture Minister Kim Howells last night issued reassurances that local authorities will not be able to be heavy-handed in their approach to the new licenses. He said: "Cultural expression is a very important part of the life of every single local authority and they will be expected to encourage it everywhere."

Opponents to the Bill – who include musicians, landlords and more than 11,000 WMN readers – have vowed to fight on to ensure an exemption for small premises is reinstated.

The Bill will now pass back to the Lords on Thursday, and peers are expected to vote the amendment back in. Hamish Birchall, a spokesman for the Musicians' Union, said: "This is of no real surprise. The campaign will remain centred on small events and opposition peers have confirmed that they will support this."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 06:23 AM

The June 16 2003 Licensing Bill debate.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030616/debtext/30616-22.htm#30616-22_head0

http://tinyurl.com/eii8


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 11:23 AM

The following from Terry Redmond.

From Hansard, 16th June

"A Punch and Judy show is "a performance of a play" under paragraph 2(1)(a)of schedule 1. It "takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of entertaining that audience."

That is why Punch and Judy shows take place, and they will, therefore, be a licensable activity. They will have to be licensed. "


When the Government are so desperate to 'protect children' from 'anti-social behaviour ' that they can't tell the difference between a puppet and a performer we are in deep trouble. If they really wanted to 'protect children' from 'anti-social behaviour' they may have done better to avoid the kind of images broadcast every day as a result of this same Governments actions in Iraq

The amendments to exempt Mr. Punch and friends (144 for, 295 against), and the exemptions for small scale live performance (146 for, 284) against were defeated by such similar margins one has to ask - WHO ARE THE PUPPETS?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 12:10 PM

Please circulate the following that this Government seems determined to ignore.

Hansard 16 Jun 2003 : Column 95

Mr. Moss: Who mentioned the Brecon jazz festival in the first place? I have not been, I am sure that it is administered and organised absolutely to the letter of the law, and I want to move on.

Let me end by quoting from a report published today or yesterday by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, entitled "Scrutiny of Bills Further Progress".

Page 17 contains a couple of short paragraphs in heavy type which deal with the wonderful Bill that we are discussing. The Committee says

"We take the view that there is a significant risk that the proposed system of exemptions from the licensing requirements and from the applicable fees as currently set out in the Licensing Bill might: give rise to an incompatibility with the right to be free of discrimination in respect of the enjoyment of the right to freedom of conscience, religion and belief under ECHR Articles 9 and 14 in so far as the exemption is given to premises used principally for the purposes of religion , or occupied by people or organisations on account of their religious beliefs or practices, and is denied to premises used principally for secular purposes, or occupied by people or organisations without a religious affiliation; and"

this bit is wonderful: it should be on the front pages of all tomorrow's newspapers

"leave a patchwork of different licensing requirements without a coherent rationale, calling in question the existence of a pressing social need for the restriction on freedom of expression through a licensing regime for public entertainment, and so undermining the Government's claim that such a licensing regime is a justifiable interference with the right to freedom of expression under ECHR Article 10.2. We draw these concerns to the attention of each House."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 02:32 PM

So the Cerne Abbas giant is going to be ok now, unless he starts singing...

That last sentence quoted from the Joint Coimmittee on Human Rights - "We draw these concerns to the attention of each House" is interesting. I'd take it as a direct invitation to the House of Lords to refuse to accept the deletion of their amendments which addressed these points.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 04:10 PM

Howells true to form - right to the end, in the Licensing Bill debate 16 June 2003.

Dr. Howells:
Every example about which we have heard tonight is of a civilised group playing quiet music with moderate amplification. No one mentioned the fact that if we take away the two-in-a-bar rule—which I am entirely in favour of doing—there is nothing to stop a suddenly unregulated venue from putting on music that might have huge amplification.

Were that to happen, I can guarantee that the welter of letters that some right hon. and hon. Members have received from some constituents, mostly those in the Musicians Union, will appear as a mere trickle compared with the letters that they will start to get from residents who will have no defence whatever from bands playing in unregulated venues at such volume that they are blown into next week. If we are to be honest, we should mention that.

If Dr Howells were honest he would not try to belittle the public concern or mention this at all. But he is not honest for he still tries to inflict this complete rubbish upon us all.

The non - regulated senario 'fairy tale' he describes above, is exactly the same as now. For fear of this huge amplification in currently exempt premises is the justification he has given for taking away the S182 exemption in the first place!

And of course even without a entertainment licensing requirement - or an exemption from it - there is plenty of legislation to prevent the 'horror story' he describes, as he full well knows.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 04:34 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

Please circulate

The Government will only reconsider a small events exemption if the Lords vote to reintroduce it on Thursday 19th June. Lobbying the Lords tomorrow is probably the last chance you have to change the final form of the Licensing Bill.

Conservative and Liberal Democrat Peers are well aware of performers' concerns and are backing this exemption. Crucially, the principle of a small events exemption now also has the unequivocal backing of the whole music industry, as well as performers' unions and a broad range of arts organisations.

However, Labour and Cross Bench Peers who take an interest in music could still make a valuable contribution to the debate on Thursday.

It is too late to post a letter, and Peers' emails are not published as widely as MPs'. But there is a generic fax number for the House of Lords: 020 7219 5979. This is the Peers' Lobby. Note that they only accept a maximum of six Peers' names on any one fax.

As ever, your own form of words is best, but here is a draft if you are short of time (it is almost the same as a letter sent today to Cross Benchers by the Musicians' Union):

~ ~ ~

My Lords

Licensing Bill - live music

The Licensing Bill returns to the Lords on Thursday 19th June at 11am for Lords Consideration of Commons Amendments. I would be most grateful if you could attend this debate.

On Monday 16th June, the Bill had its 3rd Reading and Report debates in the Commons. Unfortunately, the Government reversed some key amendments made by the Lords earlier this year relating to the performance of music. I feel strongly that one amendment in particular should be reinstated: the small events exemption for the performance of live music.

As currently worded, the Licensing Bill will make it an offence for premises, other than churches, to host any regular public performance unless first licensed. Even providing a piano for the public to use for their own amusement will be an offence unless licensed, a new offence that is a consequence of the 'entertainment facility' licensing requirement. However, jukeboxes in bars, or big screen broadcast entertainment anywhere, remain exempt. This is clearly disproportionate and a discrimination against live music.

Local authorities and the police already have wide-ranging statutory powers to deal with public safety, noise and crime and disorder. The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill will give local authorities even greater power to clamp down on noisy premises. Imposing an additional licensing requirement at this level is unnecessary and will stifle live performance that is already struggling to survive.

I hope you will consider supporting the small events exemption on Thursday 19th June.

Yours faithfully



LABOUR PEERS with an interest in music:

Rt Hon The Lord Archer of Sandwell QC

Lord Attenborough CBE

Lord Bach

Lord Bassam of Brighton

Lord Currie of Marylebone

Rt Hon The Lord Diamond

Lord Donoughue

Lord Dormand of Easington

Lord Evans of Watford

Lord Gallacher

Lord Gladwin of Clee CBE JP

Lord Haskel

Lord Hogg of Cumbernauld

Lord Howie of Troon

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Baroness Lockwood DL

Lord Macaulay of Bragar QC

Rt Hon the Lord Macdonald of Tradeston CBE

Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate OBE

Rt Hon The Lord Murray of Epping Forest OBE

Lord Rea

Rt Hon The Lord Richard QC

Rt Hon The Lord Varley DL

Lord Williams of Elvel CBE

Lord Winston

Baroness Howells of St Davids OBE

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall

Lord Filkin OBE

Lord Harrison

Lord King of West Bromwich

Lord Lea of Crondall OBE

Lord Fyfe of Fairfield

Lord Morgan

Professor The Lord Parekh

Lord Jones

CROSS BENCHERS with an interest in music:

Lord Armstrong of Ilminster GCB CVO

Earl Baldwin of Bewdley

Rt Hon Lord Cameron of Lochbroom QC

Rt Hon Lord Chalfont OBE MC

Rt Hon Lord Clyde

Lord Elis-Thomas AM

Lord Flowers FRS

Lord Freyberg

Lord Gibson

Rt Hon Lord Hope

Field-Marshall Lord Inge GCB DL

Prof Lord Lewis of Newnham FRS

Earl of Listowel

Rt Hon Lord Lloyd of Berwick

Lord Neill of Bladen QC

Rt Hon Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead

Rt Hon Lord Oliver of Aylmerton

Lord Roll of Ipsden KCMG CB

Lady Saltoun of Abernethy

Viscount Tenby

Lord Tombs

Lord Walton of Detchant TD

Baroness Warnock DBE

Lord Wright of Richmond GCMG FRCM

Baroness Prashar CBE

Baroness Greengross

Lord Adebowale

Lord Adebowale

Lord Moser


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 06:49 PM

I've just written a modified version of this, and I'll fax it tomorrow - unfortunately I haven't got a fax facility on my computer at present.

Hee's my version (I think that these things work best if they aren't all identical:

My Lords

Licensing Bill - live music

As I am sure you are aware, the Licensing Bill returns to the Lords on Thursday 19th June at 11am for Lords Consideration of Commons Amendments. I would be most grateful if you could attend this debate.

The last time this Bill came to the House of Lords some very sensible amendments were introduced relating to the performance of music, which went a long way to undo the danger feared from this legislation as originally drafted. Unfortunately, these have been reversed in the Commons.

I hope very much that the House of Lords will refuse to accept this, and will insist on them being restored. Most especially one amendment should be reinstated: the small events exemption for the performance of live music.

Like many people, I enjoy taking part in informal music sessions in public houses, together with friends. As currently worded, the Licensing Bill will make it an offence for any premises, other than churches, to host any regular public "performance", unless it has a licence covering such performances. Even providing a piano for the public to use for their own amusement will be an offence unless licensed, a new offence that is a consequence of the 'entertainment facility' licensing requirement. However, jukeboxes in bars, or big screen broadcast entertainment anywhere, remain exempt. This is clearly disproportionate and a discrimination against live music.

It also goes clearly against a firm "promise" made in a BBC broadcast by the then minister of culture, Dr Kim Howells, that "so long as money was not changing hands" no licence would be needed for such events.

Local authorities and the police already have wide-ranging statutory powers to deal with public safety, noise and crime and disorder. The Anti-Social Behaviour Bill will give local authorities even greater power to clamp down on noisy premises. Imposing an additional licensing requirement at this level is unnecessary and will stifle live performance that is already struggling to survive. Over 80,000 people have signed a petition objecting to the clampdown on our freedom to make music. The amendments introduced in the Lords reflected our worries. When these amendments were summarily thrown out it felt as if we were being kicked in the teeth.

I would point out that since this Bill was introduced in the House of Lords the final say on what it includes is yours, since the Parliament Act does not apply.

I hope very much that you will insist on restoring the small premises exemption - and also the exemption for non-amplified music.

Yours faithfully etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 07:01 PM

I've just found this site which allows you to send faxes via the net - http://www.networks-id.co.uk/tpc.htm - and I've sent it. Hope it gets through.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jun 03 - 08:39 PM

Thanks for the link.

http://www.networks-id.co.uk/tpc.htm

This was the opposition's final comments on the Bill.

Mr. Whittingdale:
The Government have got many aspects of the Bill wrong, but the provisions that caused the most problems and which most closely resemble a dog's breakfast are those on entertainments licensing.

At every stage of the Bill, when objections were raised they were dismissed out of hand by Ministers as nothing but scaremongering, yet time and again, Ministers were forced to accept that they were wrong and have had to propose new amendments to overcome specific weaknesses; for example, on the requirement that churches should be licensed for the performance of secular entertainment.

The Government surrendered early on that issue. The removal of licence fees for schools and sixth-form colleges quickly followed. Since then, Ministers have repeatedly had to return with further amendments, even as late as this afternoon.

Peter Bottomley (Worthing, West): I wrote to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to ask about an event that my wife and I hold regularly, when 80 people pay about £10 for a glass wine and contribute to entertainment in our family room to raise money for a good cause, either the Church or the Tory party. I asked whether I should need a temporary entertainment licence, but I have received no response. I assume that, as the number is about 80 rather than 250, the answer will be yes, because the Government resisted the amendment. If that kind of public-spirited entertainment requires a licence, the Bill, in that detail, must be wrong.

Mr. Whittingdale: My hon. Friend's example is typical of hundreds that are being presented by organisations throughout the country. They all believe that they will have to meet an additional tier of regulation and bureaucracy as a result of the Bill. The Minister has assured the House that the provisions will not cover some events, but the organisations that presented evidence to us had obtained professional legal advice in each case.

Their advice shows very clearly that the Bill, as amended, will cover events of that kind. That is part of the problem. Examples, such as that cited by my hon. Friend, have been given repeatedly, and we have got into the most obscure debate, for instance, about whether or not a marquee with a wooden floor would be exempt from licensing, whereas a dance that took place inside a house with a wooden floor would require licensing. That is complete madness.

Dr. Howells: Would the hon. Gentleman like to cite that debate?

Mr. Whittingdale: We discussed such things in a debate on an amendment this evening, and the Historic Houses Association has given that exact example. [Interruption.] Well, earlier this evening, we debated an amendment, suggested by the Historic Houses Association, that was designed precisely to put right that kind of objection, but the problem has arisen because of the Government's decision to insist on a licensing requirement for all public performances of live music.

All of us agree that the law, as it stood previously, was arcane and unjust, but no one believed that the Government's response to the campaign to remove the two-in-a-bar rule would not be to abolish the licensing requirement, but to extend it to all public performances.

No convincing explanation has been given about why live music poses risks and problems that broadcast entertainment, however loudly amplified, does not. No explanation has been given about why the system in Scotland, which has no requirement for entertainment licences, would not be appropriate in England, too. It is hardly any wonder that musicians across the land, from morris dancers to metal bands, are united in opposing the Bill.

This morning, my hon. Friend the Member for North-East Cambridgeshire and I joined members of the Musicians Union in delivering an electronic petition, containing 110,000 signatures, to No. 10 in protest against the Bill. Those signatures were attached to the early-day motion that I tabled a few months ago. Indeed, I suspect that it is a record for an early-day motion to have 110,000 signatures associated with it.

I draw the Minister's attention, once more, to the finding of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, published on Friday, in which it said that there is a significant risk that the Bill is now incompatible with the European convention on human rights.

Associated with the Bill is an assurance from the Secretary of State that, in her view, the provisions are compatible with the convention rights, but the Joint Committee now tells us that the Bill, as amended, will leave a patchwork of different licensing requirements, without a coherent rationale, calling in question the existence of a pressing social need for the restriction on freedom of expression through a licensing regime, so undermining the Government's claim that such a licensing regime is a justifiable interference with the right to freedom of expression under the European convention on human rights.

The solution is very simple. If the Government were to accept the amendment passed in the House of Lords exempting performances attended by fewer than 250 people from needing a licence, almost all that opposition would melt away. I realise that the Government have so far been unwilling to do so, but I predict that the House will have to consider this matter again very soon, and I hope that, if the House of Lords insists on reinserting that amendment, the Government will listen and think again.

The work done by the House of Lords on all the issues that I have mentioned led to a greatly improved Bill. For that reason, the Conservative party did not vote against the Bill on Second Reading.

Sadly, nearly all the good work done in the House of Lords has been undone by the Government in Committee. The result is a Bill that is riddled with anomalies, that imposes more regulation rather than less and that will lead to the loss of thousands of venues at which it is currently possible to enjoy live music.

The Bar Entertainment and Dance Association said:
"Like almost every organisation involved with the development of the Licensing Bill, BEDA remains extremely concerned at the omissions, over elaborations and ill thought through proposals that remain within the legislation at this late stage."

The Musicians Union, the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Association of British Jazz Musicians wrote a joint letter, saying that the Bill
"will be a disaster for the performing arts".

The Government presented a bad Bill. It was improved by the House of Lords, but it has been made worse again by the Government. For that reason, I shall ask my hon. Friends to vote against the Bill on Third Reading.



Nick Harvey: When the Bill was brought before Parliament, there was a general view across the political spectrum that legislation on such matters was long overdue. Indeed, there was general goodwill toward the prospect of legislation. The Government headlined the Bill by saying that it would allow more relaxed drinking hours and perhaps 24-hour drinking in some areas. That measure appeared to be popular and they must have believed that they were on to a winner.

Although the Bill's aim was to be simple and deregulatory, it has ended up being surprisingly complex. Each time a problem has arisen, the solution found has added to the Bill's complexity and produced further problems. Solutions to those problems have created a Bill that has become increasingly cumbersome. I agree that it would have benefited in no small way from pre-legislative scrutiny.

The former Minister for Tourism, Film and Broadcasting handled the Bill's passage with panache and deftness—we congratulate him on his promotion but he will be sorely missed as he moves to his new job—but publicans, musicians, performers and residents remain significantly unhappy. I acknowledge that some of the campaigning outside the House has inflated concerns to an extent that is not entirely proportionate and that the perception of several aspects of the Bill is worse than the reality.

Publicans fear possible costs. They do not fear the licence fee but the cost of meeting conditions that they believe that they will have to fulfil to be granted licences. Not unreasonably, their perception is that the new system will be more bureaucratic than the one that it replaces. They think that they will have to engage advisers and consultants to help them to put together complex operating plans and that there is more far more red tape inherent in the new system than in previous systems.

If publicans want to change their operating schedule or the names of their designated premises' supervisors, the system is more cumbersome and complicated than it used to be. In addition to the concerns of individual publicans, we know that chains of pubs are unhappy that they cannot register their interest in designated premises. We may also come to regret that shortcoming.

The biggest controversy surrounds live performances and entertainment licensing. Despite everything that the Government and the Minister have said, live performers still believe that fewer venues will be available for live music and performance after the Bill is enacted, and their fears may be well founded.

The hon. Member for Waveney (Mr. Blizzard) said that we can all accept the shortcomings of the two-in-a-bar rule in the previous set-up, but that there is a desperate need for a de minimis provision. The Government's biggest mistake is not finding an alternative de minimis provision to replace the two-in-a-bar rule.

Although the figure of 250 that was suggested in the other place as constituting a small event is on the high side, I sincerely believe that something along those lines is necessary to avoid small entertainments becoming encumbered by a new licensing regime.

It is hard to resist the conclusion that that will reduce the number of live performances. Aside from those considerations, it appears that performers such as morris dancers who move around and perform at a variety of venues in quick succession will be caught up in many more licensing provisions than they were in the past.

The third interest group is the residents who will understandably be aggrieved that residential amenity has not been included in the Bill alongside the other licensing objectives as something that licensing authorities have to take into account when they make their decisions.

As we heard, they will also be aggrieved that undertakings from the old regime are not to be carried forward. The ability of a ward councillor to make representations was something that we—myself included—were wrong to exclude when we sensibly wrote out the provision for MPs and MEPs to be able to do so.

On other concerns, we heard that the Joint Committee on Human Rights thinks that there are possible breaches of human rights. I am equally uncomfortable about the statutory guidance. Although it will need parliamentary approval at the outset, it will not need it when the Government want to change it.

I have concluded that, regrettably, the Government have taken a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

Much of the Minister's response to specific points came down to existing law already covering various aspects but not, in truth, being implemented. We might have done better to set about implementing existing laws before seeking new legislation.

People will look at the Bill and wonder why the Government concluded, for example, that Punch and Judy shows need to be licensed for public entertainment. They will want to know what motivated them to include that in legislation in 2003. Is it because Punch and Judy is sexist, cruel to crocodiles or shows a lack of respect for law and order?

Whatever it is, it is an example of the Government putting too much in the Bill and attempting to do too much. With a heavy heart, I conclude that it should not be given a Third Reading.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: alanww
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 06:54 AM

Some very sensible points have been made in those final comments of the Opposition - pity the Government doesn't listen and has just followed its instincts to regulate everything!

As a musician, singer, morris dancer and mummer, I can only look forward to either:-

1 being stopped from performing in some instances, even some traditions which have gone back for hundreds of years; OR
2 having to spend a lot more (unnecessary!) time finding my way through the bureaucracy and applying for a multitude of licences; OR
3 ignoring it all and running the risk of a fine and becoming a criminal!

Brilliant! What a wonderfully reformist Government we have!

" ... in England's green and pleasant land ...?"
Alan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Jun 03 - 05:19 PM

Regrettably there is still a problem about amplified music. It is obvious to everyone (except most politicians) that unamplified music (and dance to the same) do not need regulation. But amplified music, recorded or live, seriously damages the amenity of areas. Hamish and I part company here. He says the law provides for control of such noise. I say that in part it does but the law of "public nuisance" is arcane and impenetrable. Moreover local authorities do not in practice enforce it.   Note the exchange below (about naff amplified music in the pub opposite my house, which has been granted a PEL despite my objections, a history of disturbance, and a multiple stabbing - and which makes the middle of the village a no go area on Saturday nights unless you are 9 feet tall and covered in green fur.

There is NO effective control of the noise from amplified music. I would love to run a folk session in the other village pub - but who would be able to hear it over the amplifiers from the other other one?

From the Council (in responce to one of my complaints)

"Dear Mr
In response to your last E Mails to
Mr ********regarding the ************** public house at ***********, I am now
dealing with this matter as an enforcement issue. If the noise levels are
excessive, that is a matter for the Environmental Protection team and the
Out of Hours service to investigate.

.......
                                     In answer to your question about "our
statutory duty to patrol",the Council have no obligation to "patrol" the
area, looking for noisy premises or locations.

                                     The Environmental Protection team are
discharging their "statutory duty" by operating the out of hours service,
which you are aware of.
............."

My reply:

"Dear Mr *********

Thank you for your email.

Please see sections 79 to 82 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and in particular the words in section 79

"and it shall be the duty of every local authority to cause its area to be inspected from time to time to detect any statutory nuisances which ought to be dealt with under section 80 below and, where a complaint of a statutory nuisance is made to it by a person living within its area, to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to investigate the complaint."

I may point out that if ********* and other authorities do not take this sort of obligation seriously, then the regime being put in place under the Licensing Bill for public entertainment, which does assume that local authorities will control noise that constitutes statutory nuisance, is sadly flawed. I am copying our MP, Mr ***************, who has definite and well informed views in this area

Please reply.

Yours, etc,"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 07:52 AM

It all comes down to this - today!

60
Page 111, line 23, leave out "playing of" and insert "performance of live music or the playing of recorded"

61
Page 112, line 13, leave out paragraph 11

62
Page 112, line 31, leave out paragraph 12

62A
The Baroness Buscombe to move, as an amendment to the motion that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 62, leave out the words from "that" to the end and insert "the House do disagree with the Commons in their amendment but do propose the following amendment in lieu thereof"—

Page 112   , line 30, at end insert—

"Small events: live music

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

                (a)             the number of listeners or spectators present does not exceed 200 at any one time, and

                (b)             the entertainment ceases no later than 11.30pm.

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

            (2)      Nothing in this paragraph shall be read as rendering invalid or otherwise affecting any provision of, or any regulation made under, any other legislation that applies to the entertainment, the entertainment facilities or the premises on which the entertainment is to take place."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 10:18 AM

THANK THE LORDS!!!

We live to fight another day - difficult to see where we could have gone from here - if this vote had not been won. Unfortunately there is still work to be done and a long way to go yet.

I suggest that we use the little time we have to write and thank the peers who voted for the amendment. At the same time ask them to persuade others to join them in the next vote.

The Bill will go back to the Commons next week and no doubt the New Labour puppets will vote the amendment out again. Then the Government will threaten the Lords with a tax on ermine robes or other dire things, if they still insist on listening and voting on reasoned arguments.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:07 PM

For the reasons I have just set out I do not see how the government can leave it in these words, but if it starts a sensible dialogue it will be a vote well won.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:45 PM

In the last resort surely it isn't down to the Gvernment to decide on this, sinmce they haven't got a built-in majority in the House of Lords at this point.

I agree with Richard that the exemption on non-amplified music would have been a very sensible one for the House of Lords to restore. Did they get to vote on that?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 01:45 PM

I know what you are saying Richard but in truth there are so many words in this Bill that should not be there. These few more will not make any difference. But this amendment is only damage limitation after all.

Western Morning News 19 June 2003 [Morning]

MUSIC BILL SET FOR 'PING PONG'


Controversial legislation affecting live pub music reaches another crucial stage today, as peers decide whether to reinstate an exemption for small venues.

The Government's Licensing Bill – which has caused outrage from musicians, landlords and more than 11,000 WMN readers – seeks to make virtually all forms of live performance illegal unless licensed through the local authority.

Earlier this year, peers voted to include an amendment in the Bill's policies which would exclude premises holding fewer than 250 people from the new regime. But after a lengthy committee stage in the Commons, MPs voted on Monday to throw out the amendment.

The Bill now passes back to the Lords, and campaigners are hoping they will decide to re-install the exemption. If they do, the proposed legislation will be passed back to the Commons – as early as next week – and another review by a committee of MPs.

Hamish Birchall, a spokesman for the Musicians' Union, said: "It is likely that Lords will reintroduce a small events exemption and the Government will then have to decide whether to agree a compromise, or perhaps try to head off opposition with points. If the Lords and the Commons dig their heels in, the Bill will be caught in a 'ping pong' situation, passed back and forth between the two houses, the last thing the Government wants."

If the Bill becomes law, the two-in-a-bar rule, which allows a landlord to have one or two musicians play in a pub without needing an entertainment licence, would also be abolished.

A landlord would need to apply to the local authority for a new premises licence to stage any musical performance.

But because of the expensive conditions which may be insisted upon by health and safety, there are fears that live music will become too costly for many pubs.

MP for North Devon and Lib-Dem spokesman for culture Nick Harvey said: ""Some kind of small premises exemption is necessary to avoid live music becoming encumbered by this regime."


Dorset Echo 19 June 2003 [Evening]
Campaigning musician travels to Downing Street

Pub music protest is taken to the top
By Matt Pitman

matt.pitman@dorsetecho.co.uk

A musician who spearheaded a campaign against controversial changes to licensing laws went to the top in protest.

Roger Gall, from Portland, has been instrumental in the battle against plans to introduce licensing at pubs providing entertainment for two or more people.

Now Mr Gall has taken a petition signed by 110,000 people nationwide, which he began on the internet, to Downing Street with members of the Musicians' Union and other musical organisations.

The group wants small premises to be exempt from the new regime, which if it becomes law would mean live music must then be licensed by their local authority.

The two-in-a-bar rule, which currently allows a landlord to have one or two musicians play in a pub without needing an entertainment licence, would also be abolished.

Mr Gall said there are fears pubs will simply abandon live music altogether rather than pay for the licence. He said: "It was nice to present the petition and show the Government just how strong people feel about this issue. "It is a crazy situation which we will continue to fight until the Government sees sense. "As it stands, the Bill makes no distinction between something like the Glastonbury Festival and Punch and Judy on Weymouth Beach."

The Bill is currently being debated in the House of Commons and Lords and could come into force later this year.

West Dorset singer Billy Bragg, who lives near Burton Bradstock, added: "People not only get pleasure from listening to music, many enjoy playing once a month at their local pub or club. This Bill, if implemented as it stands, will severely curtail that enjoyment."

Musicians' Union general secretary John Dixon said: This petition, established by folk musicians Graham Dixon and Roger Gall, has demonstrated the degree of public support for live music. "We welcomed the Government's decision in February to exempt churches and garden fetes from the entertainment licensing requirements, but a great deal of live performance remains unnecessarily caught in the licensing net."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 02:02 PM

With our beloved Kim Howells translated to the Ministry of Transport, do we know who is going to be in the hot seat now when it comes to trying to sort this out? And does this make any difference?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 02:31 PM

The chap who has taken over Howells' title is Lord MacIntosh who handled business in the Lords before and also today. He will not be able to do it in the Commons but any damn fool could do that as one already has.

He stated that the amplified exemption was not required as the 'incidental live music' exemption they were so kindly leaving in for us, would deal with that.

Please circulate the following from Hamish Birchall.

At 1.35pm this afternoon Opposition Peers reinstated a small events entertainment licensing exemption for the performance of live music. The Division vote was 128 for, 113 against. This is a very encouraging victory. However, this doesn't guarantee that the exemption will be incorporated into the Licensing Act in its final form.

The Bill will return to the Commons next Tuesday, 24 June. If the Government remains determined to resist it may simply overturn the amendment again, and the Bill will 'ping-pong' back to the Lords. However, the Government may be persuaded to reach a compromise. That could depend to a great extent on how many Labour MPs make representations to the DCMS and the Government in support of a 'de minimis' exemption.

The amendment would allow the performance of live music without entertainment licensing, provided it finished by 11.30pm and no more than 200 people attend at any one time. The Government strongly resisted on health and safety and crime and disorder grounds. But Baroness Buscombe, leading for the Conservatives, set out in detail the existing legislative controls that apply irrespective of licensing, and Lib Dem Peers held their ground.

Anyone with a Labour MP - please write to them again. Identify your MP from either the Musicians' Union website www.musiciansunion.org.uk (click under Lobby your MP) or from www.faxyourmp.com, where you can also send a fax direct.

Here is a draft text:


Dear ........................ MP

Licensing Bill - live music - small events exemption

As a constituent and professional musician I ask that you make strong representations to Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in support of the small events licensing exemption for the performance of live music reinstated by the House of Lords on Thursday 19 June 2003.

If the DCMS and the Government have concerns about any negative implications of the exemption I would ask that they seek to work constructively with the Opposition to improve it, rather than simply overturning the amendment.

The principle of the exemption is to encourage live performance in venues of all kinds, and to restore proportionality to the Bill. If any place can be fitted with big screens and a PA to provide broadcast entertainment, or a stage, lighting and PA for stand-up comedy, without licensing under this Bill, there is no justification in requiring the licensing of almost all public performance of live music. These apparently arbitrary exemptions are one reason why 12th Report of the Joint Committee of Human Rights, published on 13 June, has warned again that the Bill is potentially incompatible with the right to freedom of expression.

The Government has yet to take this fully into account, and in my view a small events exemption is the best way forward.

Yours sincerely


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 03:26 PM

So Lord Mac "stated that the amplified exemption was not required as the 'incidental live music' exemption they were so kindly leaving in for us, would deal with that". Did the buffoons actually accept that? Even though it would appear to have been a direct lie?

So far as I can see the incidental live music exemption makes no reference whatsoever to the amplification or non-amplification of the music being played.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 03:26 PM

The recent turmoil in government reschuffle has given us an opportunity...the Lords do not like the loss of their speaker, Lord Irvine via the lord Chancellorship and have said they may make life difficult for the government with its legislative programme!

DCMS gave in on another issue today - no youngesters in pubs unaccmpanied, despite being determined to hang on to this until recently.

Now that Howells has gone, the bull headedness may have also gone. If you have a labour MP make contact - by e-mail if possible. I have contacted John Whittingdale, Malcolm Moss (who is on the standing committee) and my local MP but all are tories.

See this from Hobgoblin. Copy it to your MP. On the new tonight was another article about the death of country villages. Don't let them add music to this.

4. Arts Council on Folk Festivals

The Arts Council have funded a project by the Association of Festival
Organisers which looked into the Impact of Folk Festivals on Cultural
Tourism. They have produced a report which shows that the folk festival
industry in Britain is much bigger than anyone thought and has a positive
impact on cultural tourism. Among their most interesting findings were:

76 % of festival goers are repeat attenders, with 44% of those attending
every year.

52% of folk festival attendees are women

6% of festival goers are new each year, and most of these come back for
more, so festival attendance is growing every year.

Overall the report shows that the folk industry is valuable to the
socio-economic and cultural life of our communities, and that it deserves
more positive attention from the government and media than it currently
gets.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 02:35 AM

From today's Daily Telegraph

Beware a House offended
(Filed: 20/06/2003)
By dismissing the Lord Chancellor in his high-handed way the Prime Minister has left the House of Lords looking and sounding like a nest of wasps into which some careless person has rudely thrust a stick. Much of the angry buzzing springs from what many peers view as rank discourtesy: a failure to consult them over major constitutional changes involving their own House.

It is a wholly valid complaint and one not met by the Prime Minister claiming, rather cynically, that he has granted the Lords a new freedom. Their presiding officer, he argues, is no longer to be a Lord Chancellor appointed by the Prime Minister. Henceforth they can choose any Speaker they please. That cuts no ice with the peers. Unlike the Commons, the Lords conducts its proceedings without direction from a Speaker's chair. That was the virtue of the Lord Chancellor. In wig and robes he looked a commanding figure, but he did not rule the Lords. They rule themselves and set great store by it.

A stronger underlying cause of anger is a feeling among peers that the Government has it in for them. It made that plain enough some while back by ejecting most of the hereditary peers. Indeed, as Lord Williams of Mostyn, the Labour leader of the Lords, makes clear to Rachel Sylvester, he would like to get rid of the lot. Yet even without most of the hereditary peers, the House of Lords has made itself fairly tiresome to the Government in recent months. With cross-bench support, it has amended and sent back to the Commons items of legislation of which it disapproved.

It has been seen on certain occasions as more representative of public feeling than an elected Commons tightly controlled by government whips. A Government accustomed to getting its own way has not taken kindly to this. It can, of course, offset in the Commons any change made in the Lords but this consumes parliamentary time, something of which a Government with a heavy legislative programme is always short.

In their present mood, the Lords might well decide to increase the Government's difficulties. We shall get some indication of this if and when the Government's mangled proposals for the future of foxhunting come before the Lords. In normal times, there is an understanding between government and Lords.

Both sides observe limits. By conduct that even the emollient Lord Williams has to admit was discourteous, the Prime Minister has put that understanding at risk. The breach that threatens might have serious constitutional consequences. It lies with the Prime Minister more than the peers to avoid it.


Lords' pub music reprieve
The Government suffered a defeat in the Lords when peers voted to exempt small venues such as pubs from requiring entertainment licences for live music.

The vote came during a debate on Commons amendments to the Licensing Bill which introduces a radical shake-up of the alcohol and entertainment licensing system and abolishes fixed drinking hours. The Opposition move was carried by 128 votes to 113, majority 15.
Small premises where live music is provided to an audience of fewer than 200 and where entertainment finishes before 11.30pm would not have to meet the licensing requirements under the latest peers' amendment.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 04:42 AM

http://society.guardian.co.uk/drugsandalcohol/story/0,8150,981303,00.html

Tenth defeat for 'draconian' licensing bill

Sarah Hall, political correspondent
Friday June 20, 2003
The Guardian


One of the government's flagship bills may never become law unless ministers back down after a vote in the House of Lords yesterday.

Opposition peers defeated the government for the 10th time over the controversial licensing bill, designed to liberalise drinking hours to create a more family-friendly drinking culture.

Since the bill began in the House of Lords, the government cannot impose the Parliament Act - a measure to override unruly peers and ensure a bill becomes law.

Instead, it looks set to become embroiled in an ungainly game of "ping-pong", with each chamber overturning the other's amendments. That "game" would - in practice - need to be over by the summer recess, in five weeks, to ensure the bill becomes law.

The risk of the bill being thrown out came as peers voted by 128 to 113 - a majority of 15 - to exempt small venues such as pubs from requiring entertainment licences for live music.

The Musicians' Union, which delivered a 110,000-signature petition to Downing Street this week, has been lobbying hard for the exemption, arguing that small venues will be deterred from holding gigs because of the additional "draconian" bureaucracy.

Peers sought to protect such venues by yesterday voting for the bill to exempt premises where live music is provided to an audience of less than 200 and where entertainment finishes before 11.30pm.

But the government insists that such an exemption is "seriously misguided" and risks public safety. Urging peers not to inflict a defeat, the culture minister Lord McIntosh told them their amendment "exposes the public and particularly children to great safety risks, leaves residents without a voice to protect against nuisance, and strips away the power of the police to control crime and disorder in vast swaths of venues, many of which may be totally unsuitable for the provision of entertainment."

But the Tory culture spokeswoman Lady Buscombe dismissed Lord McIntosh's arguments, saying safety aspects and noise control were already covered by existing legislation. "We have once again managed to defeat the government on this crucially important issue, which matters so much to the musicians and performers and whose contribution is so valuable to the social fabric of the country," she said.

For the Liberal Democrats, Lord Redesdale, a champion of folk music, said: "We're being robust about this because there are implications for human rights and for live music all over the country. It will be interesting to see what the government does with this in a situation of ping-pong. Will they give up now they have seen the degree of feeling?"

A spokesman for the Musicians' Union, Hamish Burchill, said: "Obviously we're very pleased about this but we know it's a long way from the end of the road." The bill will go back to the Commons next week and could be debated until the end of the year. That is unlikely since, if the bill does not go through by the end of July, it will need to incorporate a review of licensing in Wales. It would also not come into effect until after the next general election.

A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: "We are considering our position."

· The government was yesterday accused of having performed a "belated and humiliating climbdown" after amending the finance bill to ensure bingo players are not liable to the same level of tax as the rest of gambling industry.
The u-turn on an announcement made by the chancellor in the 2002 Budget came after the Conservatives threatened a national campaign targeting Britain's 3 million bingo players - many in Labour constituencies.
Yesterday Stephen O'Brien, the shadow paymaster general, said: "Labour only agreed to the requests of the Bingo Association, bingo players and the Conservatives after we threatened a national campaign."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 05:10 AM

http://www.thisisdevon.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=103354&command=displayContent&sourceNode=103331&contentPK=6086232

Western Morning News - 20 June 2003
LORDS SCORE VICTORY IN NEW MUSIC LAWS
By Paul Andrews


The House of Lords remained defiant yesterday by voting to exempt small venues such as pubs from a new licensing regime. Peers answered the calls of a WMN campaign against the controversial Licensing Bill, which has been widely condemned by musicians, landlords and more than 11,000 readers.

Under the amendment, small premises where live music is played to an audience of less than 200 and finishes before 11.30pm would not have to meet the new licensing requirements.

Peers originally included the exemption when the Bill was first introduced in the House of Lords last year - directly against the Government's wishes.

The Government immediately sought to scrap the amendment, and when the Bill emerged from the Commons earlier this week, MPs had categorically rejected the idea.

But yesterday the Lords stood firm and reinstated their demands, casting the Bill into a difficult "ping pong" stage.

MP for North Devon and Lib-Dem spokesman for Culture Nick Harvey said: "The Government have now been defeated ten times on this Bill, and will probably be forced into a compromise.

"We don't know what form that will take yet, they may well just haggle numbers. But the Government must realise that venues causing no offence to anyone do not need to be dragged into a strict licensing regime."

Yesterday's Lords debate was won by 128 votes to 113.

Speaking afterwards, Tory peer Baroness Buscombe said: "Once again we have defeated the Government on this crucially important issue, which matters so much to the musicians and performers whose contribution is so valuable to the social fabric of the country."

The Licensing Bill, which could be law by 2004, would make virtually all kinds of live music illegal unless licensed.

The two-in-a-bar rule, which allows a landlord to have one or two musicians play in a pub without needing an entertainment licence, would also be abolished.

A landlord would be forced to apply to their local authority for a new premises licence to stage any musical performance. But because of the expensive conditions which may be insisted upon by police, fire and health and safety authorities, there are fears many pubs will simply abandon live music.

Westcountry-based musician Billy Bragg, who has spearheaded the WMN campaign, said: "The Lords seem to understand what the Government does not - the critical relationship between musicians and landlords.

"Pubs are often the first stage for a young performer and forcing each licensee to obtain permission to have live music would be devastating."

Yesterday's amendment differs slightly from the one rejected by the Commons earlier this week, in that it only applies to live music, as opposed to entertainment in general, and the audience limit is 200, not 250.

The proposed legislation now enters a critical time. It will be sent back to the Commons - as early as Tuesday - and another debate by MPs.

This process of being sent back and forth between the Houses is known as the "ping pong" stage. If that fails to produce an agreement, leading MPs and peers will be brought together for a Committee of Reasons to finally thrash out a compromise.

Hamish Burchill, a spokesman for the Musicians' Union, said: "We are now entering a negotiation phase. The Lords have stood by their promises and once again the focus shifts back to the Commons."

pandrews@westernmorningnews.co.uk


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 05:56 AM

The full Lords debate can now be seen on the following.

http://tinyurl.com/et2l


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 10:24 AM

To answer your question Kevin - it would appear to me that any unamplified music that is not incidental still requires a licence!

This would seem a little crazy as long as we have the exemption for any amplified music in the small events exemption. This point will have to be watched carefully if there is any danger of losing or amending the small events exemption in this 'horse-trading' period.

In truth the small events exemption does benefit more people in a practical sense, for there is very little live music that is totally non amplified. However the priciple is well worth fighting for as the non amplified music does not present the risks the Government say they are trying to combat, so this should not be subject to additional licensing.

This is what the Government has to say about unamplified music.


Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 60. I shall speak also to Amendment No. 61.

The Government have considered very carefully the amendments made to the Bill in this House. Some of those defeats were overturned during Committee in another place; some of them we have compromised on, bringing forward significant concessions. Indeed, some we have accepted wholeheartedly, subject to necessary technical modification. The issue of incidental live music, which is the subject of these amendments, falls into the third category.

I hope that the House will allow me to make one matter clear. Regardless of all the myths and misinformation surrounding the Licensing Bill in relation to regulated entertainment, the Government are firmly committed, and have always been so, to improving the range and diversity of cultural provision available to the public, and preserving those important musical traditions that help define the character of the country. That is why the Bill was designed to make it much easier and cheaper for venues to get a licence to put on entertainment, and why it removes the perverse disincentive of the two-in-a-bar rule.

Having said that, we accept that there was more that could be done in the Bill to further that aim, which is why we have come forward with a range of concessions since the Bill was introduced. We have exempted places of public religious worship; we have amended the Bill to make it clear that entertainers who perform at unlicensed venues and do no more, will not be committing an offence. We have announced that we will exempt church halls, village halls and other community buildings from fees for entertainment.

We shall use the statutory guidance to ensure that only necessary and proportionate conditions are attached to licences.

As part of that package of concessions, we have accepted in entirety the broader of the two amendments made in this House, which would exempt incidental live music as well as incidental recorded music, subject to technical modification to ensure that the effect of the amendment is perfected.

Government Amendment No. 61 removes an anomaly that arose as a result of amendments made in this House. The spirit of the amendment to paragraph 7 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 was to exempt all incidental live music as well as incidental recorded music.

Paragraph 11 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 provides an exemption for unamplified incidental live music. As the Government have accepted the principle that all incidental live music should be exempt from the requirement to obtain a licence, whether amplified or not, that further exemption is unnecessary and has been removed from the Bill.

We have accepted the broader of the two amendments made in this House. The effect of the amendment that the Government overturned in the Commons is subsumed entirely within the one that we accepted. I beg to move.
Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendment No. 60.—(Lord McIntosh of Haringey.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 12:30 PM

For those who don't wish to wade through the whole Lord's debate - I have placed the most important bit on Graham Dixon's petition site.

http://pub22.bravenet.com/forum/fetch.php?id=10097438&usernum=1824620545

or

http://tinyurl.com/eu1t


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 01:53 PM

From John Whittingdale - Tory Culture Spokesman.

We had the debate on Report Stage in the Commons on Monday. The
Government have now backed down on several provisions including the
admittance of unaccompanied children. However, they stood firm in
throwing out the Lords amendment exempting small events (attended by
less than 250). The Lords then voted on Thursday to reinstate the small
events exemption. It comes back to the Commons on Tuesday. There is a
chance that the Government may give in; if they refuse then it goes back
up to the Lords. Whether we can win a third time is difficult to
predict.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 05:41 PM

http://www.thestage.co.uk/paper/0325/0101.shtml

The Stage
Howells – 'We got it wrong'
by Sally Bramley


Days before being promoted in the government reshuffle, former culture minister Kim Howells has admitted the government "got it wrong" over aspects of the proposed licensing bill and acknowledged the legislation would have to change if reform does not produce an increase in the number of live music venues.

In an exclusive interview, Howells told The Stage that the MU had conducted a "good campaign from their point of view". He said: "But they were wrong. It seemed to them doing away with the 'two in a bar' rule was okay but they thought that maybe they could get more."

However, he acknowledged the government had been wrong not to take account earlier of the effects of licensing reform on thousands of amateur venues and added that the professional sector must benefit from law change with an expansion in the number of performance outlets.

"If we don't see a proliferation of music venues as a result of this bill then we must change the law," stated Howells.

As parliamentary under-secretary of state with responsibility for tourism, film and broadcasting, Howells hit the headlines with his frequent outspoken comments. But, as a vociferous advocate for reform of the existing law he made enemies when he dubbed the MU's campaign against the bill "pernicious and lying".

Musicians' Union general secretary John Smith said of Howells' departure: "I'm not entirely unhappy to see him go but I will miss the war of words. He certainly raised the profile of the bill but he wasn't the easiest person to work with."


The smug arrogance of people who treat other people' business, passions and lives like it was just a game, when it suits their new political ambitions and becomes time to change their image, leaves a bad taste. Especially when it is not too late to work to correct the many things this Government have got wrong. Possibly Dr Howells did not expect the Bill to be defeated again in the Lords?

To even talk about the possibilty of introducing new legislation at this stage - when it has taken so long to even get to this stage and when amateur musicians were trying to inform them of these problems all through this long period, is callous and totally unforgivable.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Jun 03 - 08:53 PM

"...there is very little live music that is totally non amplified."

I'd disagree. Most informal sessions I've been present at are totally non-amplified most of the time. The same goes for folk clubs.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 05:04 AM

I hope you will not disagree to the first part of the sentence which does put the bit you disagree with into its proper context?

In truth the small events exemption does benefit more people in a practical sense...........

We are talking about a rearguard action here, for we lost this fight the minute Howells and Co refused to listen to reason. It is not an ideal position we find ourselves in and it is only a question now of salvaging something of most use from the wreckage and running within the rules and best hopes of the Lords bargaining position.

Even if the Lords could win a vote on a non amplified exemption - where this exemption would save most sessions, any folk club with PA would fall foul, along with just about every other form of live music.

The other critism of course is that the small events exemption does not help traditional dancing, as it now only refers to live music. Again this is not an ideal position but under the current law there was a partial exemption for music, there was not one for dance.

It would also be difficult to argue a case for an exemption for traditional dance, that did not also exempt raves, strippers and lap-dancers. This would not be likely to be supported in a Lords vote, given the Government's hostile position to any move against the words of their Bill.

If you read the arguments in the Lords, you will see that the arguments in favour of the small events amendment as it is now worded, completely wrong-footed the Government, who true to form, relied of the same old scare-mongering.

Except perhaps for the one point abount premises closing at 11.30pm and re-opening at 11.31pm, so not requiring a licence whilst running right thorough until 11.30pm the next day!

The Government could easily close this rather unlikly loophole, as they could easily solve most of the other problems - if they had a will to. Unfortunatly they have up to now, decided not to do this but simply to vote any substantial Lords amendments out of the Bill completly.

Let us see if they have changed their approach when the Bill returns to the Commons this week.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 01:58 PM

URGENT

I have been sent the following (easier?) link for sending a FAX from the web.

http://www.urban75.com/Action/politicians.html

If you have not already done so (or even if you have) - will you please make the effort to contact your MP and ask them to vote to support the Lords small events exemption this coming Tuesday?

The E petition had 110,000 signatures - it would be nice to be able to send 110,000 FAXES.

Please circulate this to any one you think may be prepared to help.....Many thanks


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 03:06 PM

3 things are obviously needed. Two are not capable of rational opposition. One is more difficult.
A total exemption for unamplified music (leaving non-licensing controls in place), at least in licensed premises, is in my view essential.
Likewise an exemption for not more than 30 performers of dance who perform to unamplified live music is very desirable.
Some sort of "small scale" exemption is probably desirable but because the existing law of noise control is not properly enforced it is very difficult to draft something that does not cause problems. Perhaps places planning small scale performance should be able to notify the local authority and to hold the event as of right - unless they get caught breaking any other law such as (principally) noise law - since the LA has a statutory duty to monitor under the Environmental Protection Act.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 02:29 PM

I would bet that if the small events exemption gets through it will in practice be extended to cover a wider range of activities, such as Morris dancers.

It would also be difficult to argue a case for an exemption for traditional dance, that did not also exempt raves, strippers and lap-dancers. It wouldn't be a question of arguing a case, it'd be one of how the exemption was worded, and I think it'd be rather an easy matter to write one that covered traditional dancers but not strippers. If the effect was to encourage strippers and such to go in for garland dances and so forth, as a way of getting round the law, and using traditional musicians...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 03:31 PM

What I mean is given the determined efforts of the Government to obstruct any sensible moves, rather than trying to find a way out - they would use this or any possible argument - no matter how well the exemption was worded.

I argee with you that with a will to do so - it would be a fairly easy process to solve all the problems. It is simply the will that is lacking or rather the Govenment's will is just to get this Bill through, at any cost.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 03:47 PM

Sham, you may be right, the gov't has avoided any rational discussion.

Magrath, I think that the stripper problem is a red herring: if you make the exemption for amateur dancers, dancing to unamplified music, Morris gets exempted but strip club not. Also surely strip clubs would need licensing as sex establishments under the Local Gov't Miscellaneous Provisions Act, don't they?

I am planning a broadside....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 04:40 PM

Everything crossed for tomorrow then. The Government I know are desparate to get this bill through on time - there is a welter of things to happen in a short time over pub licensing. Lets hope if the government remains pig headed the Lords will be equally.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 08:17 PM

SOME EXAMPLES OF HOW LABOUR MPs HAVE BEEN MISLED AND HAVE MISLED THEIR CONSTITUENTS.

STANDING COMMITTEE D, 01 APRIL 2003

Dr Howells: "...I turn to the points raised by my hon. Friend the Member for South Dorset. Incidentally, since we may consider some of the human rights issues later, the seventh report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights welcomed the changes that have been made as a reaction to its concerns and to those that were raised by my hon. Friend in that Committee's fourth report. It has raised no further concerns in relation to article 10 on freedom of expression. I am sure that my hon. Friend will welcome that."

He is wrong. The Seventh Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights welcomed the Government amendment to Clause 134 (which now limits the potential criminal liability of musicians to those organising their own events), but added para 35 which can be seen below.

JCHR 7TH REPORT, MARCH 2003
34. While the licensing scheme under the Bill as amended would still interfere with rights under ECHR Article 10.1, we consider that the
Government is entitled to take the view that that the interference would be justifiable under Article 10.2. The licensing regime serves legitimate aims, namely the protection of public safety, the protection of the rights of others, and the prevention of crime and disorder.
It is legitimate to say that there is a pressing social need for regulation. The issue is one of proportionality. By avoiding the criminalisation of performers, the amendment to clause 134 seems to us to re-balance the rights and interests affected so as to prevent any interference with the performers' right to freedom of expression being disproportionate. We therefore welcome the amendment to clause 134.

35. As we noted in our Fourth Report, the Government intends that certain venues would be exempt from the licensing requirements, and some others would be exempt from the fees normally chargeable for entertainment licences.

While the proposals would make the licensing regime more responsive to the requirements of ECHR Article 10, exempting (for example) places of worship but not secular venues from the licensing regime might give rise to discrimination and threaten a violation of the right to be free from discrimination under ECHR Article 14 taken together with Article 9 (the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion) and Article 10 (freedom of expression). We draw this risk to the attention of each House, and we might wish to report further on it when we have had an opportunity to consider carefully the terms of the Government's proposed amendments to the Bill.

JCHR 12TH REPORT, JUNE 2003
We take the view that there is a significant risk that the proposed system of exemptions from the licensing requirements and from the applicable fees as currently set out in the Licensing Bill might:

- give rise to an incompatibility with the right to be free of discrimination in respect of the enjoyment of the right to freedom of conscience, religion and belief under ECHR Articles 9 and 14, in so far as the exemption is given to premises used principally for the purposes of religion, or occupied by people or organizations on account of their religious beliefs or practices, and is denied to premises used principally for secular purposes, or occupied by people or organizations without a religious affiliation; and - leave a patchwork of different licensing requirements without a coherent rationale, calling in question the existence of a pressing social need for the restriction on freedom of expression through a licensing regime for public entertainment, and so undermining the Government's claim that such a licensing regime is a justifiable interference with the right to freedom of expression under ECHR Article 10.2.

We draw these concerns to the attention of each House.



LETTER FROM DR HOWELLS TO JOHN BACON, President Morris Federation, May 2003

Dr Howells: "It was suggested that the exemption for incidental live music which the Bill now includes could apply to dance and theatre but an exemption cannot apply where these activities are put on specifically to entertain the public and are not therefore incidental. The live music exemption will work in situations such as a piano player in a corner of a restaurant playing background music, but if the public are attending with the intention of being entertained by musicians then the entertainment is not incidental."

The incidental live music exemption will NOT work in the case described as the piano is an entertainment facility. As such, if playable, the mere fact that it is there, will require the premises to hold an entertainment licence.

STANDING COMMITTEE D, 08 May 2003

Kim Howells: "I have had lengthy meetings with representatives of all the large morris, folk song and dance groups, including wassailers, storytellers and mummers. I took them through the Bill and they were much happier at the end of it than they were when we began. They were worried that they would suddenly have to apply for licences for performances that take place in public on the side of roads and so on. Such activities are not licensable. They will not be affected."

In the meeting between EFDSS and the three morris organisations, Kim Howells and his legal advisors said that folk dance in the open outside pubs is already licensable (which is itself not true) and that their only recourse is to work with the DCMS to ensure that local authorities license public spaces.

EFDSS was certainly not reassured by Dr Howells' meeting. For the record, EFDSS has had not even a formal acknowledgement of their report, Regulating the Folk Arts (submitted in February) by the DCMS, let alone an attempt to answer the questions it raised.

LORD McINTOSH, HOUSE OF LORDS, April 2003

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.

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.'

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.'

SPOKESWOMAN FOR DCMS, The Stage, 20 March 2003, p5

'[the exemption] would put children at risk and cause misery for local residents. It wholly ignores fire and safety and crime prevention. Just because there are fewer people doesn't mean there is less risk as there are fewer injuries and deaths.'

LETTER FROM DR HOWELLS TO RT HON CHRIS SMITH MP, 04 Sept 2002

"We recognise the importance of having a reliable definition of what constitutes a public performance and it is clear that if a musician or other performer is accepting money for a performance then it would be regarded as a public performance.

Similarly, it can be argued that any performance by unpaid performers, which was publicised with the expectation of bringing in extra customers and consequently extra revenue to the licensee would meet the definition of public performance.

If a member of the public engaged in a spontaneous rendition of a song on the piano, inviting a sing-a-long [sic], it would not be considered public entertainment.

I must reiterate, however, that even where a performance is regarded as public, the main current deterrent of an exorbitantly set licensing fee would no longer be available and there should therefore be greater freedom for all musicians and singers"


Of course the statement that a 'spontaneous' rendition of a song (even Happy Birthday) on a piano, would not be considered as public (or regulated) entertainment is totally wrong AND misleading.

A piano (that can be played) is an entertainment facility requiring advanced permission as part of a Premises Licence.

So despite this incorrect and misleading statement made to a fellow MP and former minister, under the Bill the traditional piano singalong is now not possible.

BBC RADIO 2.

Mike Harding: No, just sessions and singarounds, people just playing for their own fun.

Dr Howells: "No, they certainly wouldn't and I'm very keen that we should make sure that that facility is there. There shouldn't be a problem. As long as money isn't changing hands, then there's no /reason why they should have to have a licence."


DAILY TELEGRAPH, 18 January 2003
From Battle over 'last orders' for music


"Musicians and publicans fear that the new Licensing Bill will impose a tax on music-making that many will be unable to pay". By Colin Randall

"Howells accepts that both the New Star singalongs, and the Dungworth carols, would be caught by the new legislation. As regular events, both sessions would have to be licensed."



STANDING COMMITTEE D, 01 April 2003

Jim Knight: I would not have become interested in the subject if it were not for Roger Gall, a constituent of mine, who lives on Portland, where there is a folk jamming session on a Friday night in a pub called the Cone House Inn.

It became known that the landlord was comfortable with people coming along on a Friday night and playing their music. These sessions were not advertised. Such an event, which is not advertised or actively encouraged, may be a passive part of the atmosphere of the pub, and it may begin to build up business and become a substantial attraction and profit maker for the publican. Would the Minister regard such an activity as one that should be regulated under the Bill?

Dr. Howells: It seems that that is largely a spontaneous activity, to which people turn up occasionally, and it seems also that the word has spread that people can hear some nice music. However, as the hon. Gentleman says, the licensee does not spend money on advertising. If it is clear that music is being played in the corner of the pub, that would be incidental in my book. I do not know whether that gives him any comfort.


MINISTER WRONG AGAIN ABOUT THE LICENSING BILL

On the 18th February Kim Howells, licensing minister, sent out a letter enclosing a leaflet called "The answers to 20 myths about public entertainment and the Licensing Bill". There were 25 points in the leaflet. 22 were wrong.

But the letter and recent ministerial conduct raises further issues. The minister admitted on Radio 1 on the 10th February that he had never had any complaint about unamplified music - an admission that previous statements that "the government did not accept that there was any type of music that was never noisy" were unjustifiable.

The letter says the minister is inviting the music world along with local authorities to put in ideas to help him draw up statutory guidance for the authorities. Note this. 94% of pub licensees oppose the bill.
He has refused to accept musician input into the bill.
He told the Musicians Union they could not question policy.
He refused to consult the English Folk Dance and Song Society about the bill at all.

The minister says that his bill will make it more affordable for venues to put on live performance. There are 110,000 pubs in England and Wales. About 5,000 have full Public Entertainment Licenses. For them, fees are likely to be a great saving. The other 100,000 or so at present pay £30 every 3 years for a magistrates alcohol licence.

If they put on live music, they do it under the existing "2-in-a-bar" exemption, and it costs them nothing. They will need, if they want to put on live music, to comply with conditions the local authority imposes. Those using the 2-in -a- bar rule do not yet suffer any such requirements for double glazing, bouncers, new lavatory blocks, wheelchair ramps, crush bars, air conditioning.

And there is no satisfactory protection from this - just promises of "guidance" with no clear mechanism for enforcement.

EFDSS Asked Dominic Tambling of the DCMS the following.

Q: I appreciate that you are busy. However, I must press for a hasty response particularly on the question of folk dance in the open on public land.

There is a crucial point here - namely that such activity is not currently licensable, yet will become so under the Licensing Bill. Folk Dance in public spaces can require the *permission* of the local authority in a large town or city, though I don't know of any instance where permission has been necessary on a village green. But this is not the same as requiring a entertainments or premises licence. I have been forwarded several DCMS responses to questions on this topic from folk arts representatives, and each response seems at best to completely duck the issue.

I note that Dr. Howells has said in Committee, "We should be slow to impose additional burdens without justification", yet no justification has yet been made for imposing additional burdens on folk dance.

We are running out of time to make this point heard in Committee, so I would appreciate an urgent response to these two direct questions:

a) Does the Government accept the point that to catch folk dance in the open on public land within the Licensing Bill is to extend licensing to an activity which does not currently require a licence?

b) How does the Government justify imposing additional licensing burdens in the case of folk dance in the open on public land?

Mr Tambling: "Folk dance in the open on public land is already licensable in Greater London and in the parts of the country where the local authority has adopted the appropriate parts of Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982."

He is correct on one point: the legislation in London is different, and technically public dancing in 'any place' is licensable in Greater London.

For Mr Tambling is completely wrong about the legislation on PUBLIC land outside of London. The adoptive part of this legislation to which he refers is paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. This applies to performances on PRIVATE land, not PUBLIC land.

If a local authority adopts this provision (and almost all have), a PEL is required for public performance on private land (i.e. pub car park or garden).

But PELs are not currently required for open air events on PUBLIC land outside London.

Q: In the following, the DCMS at least agree that the Bill is increasing regulation, do you still support your Government's claim that the Bill is not? For there can be no question that for music and dance the overall effect of this Bill is a dramatic increase in regulation.

Mr Tambling: "The Bill will introduce consistency throughout England and Wales and this means that in some areas activities which are not currently licensable will be caught."

Q: However the claim that the Bill introduces consistency is illogical and reckless: As performance of dance in any place of religious worship (which could be in the open) will be exempt. As will performances of dance at non-profit-making garden fetes and similar functions. This is hardly introducing consistency.

Mr Tambling: "The Government does not believe that there is any justification for treating public land in a different manner to other space since the issues of safety etc for performers and spectators are no different."

Q: If they are no different, then all dancing on public land can be treated consistently and follow the Government's logic on the church U turn and be made exempt in London, as they currently are all across the country. Not by using the reverse logic and doing the very opposite by making all dancing on public land licensable as it currently is in London.

Given the above and the stated objectives of this Bill, if the safety of performers and spectators cannot be regulated except by permissions under the Licensing Bill, then clearly there should be no exemptions at all (especially for churches).

Mr Tambling: "Ministers have always been clear that the Bill is deregulatory in some ways and regulatory in others but that the overall effect is deregulatory. What the Government wants to achieve is better regulation.

The Government will be encouraging local authorities to license public land so that folk groups would simply have to request permission to perform on it, as they often do at present. Local authorities would, however, be able to refuse permission to performers who might cause nuisance to local residents such as young people with sound systems if that was appropriate."


The DCMS say the Government is going to just ENCOURAGE local authorities to licence some public land. Can the Standing Committee establish how with the Bill as worded is it possible to require (or refuse) a further permission for premises that are already licensed for public music and dancing?

Can the standing Committee establish the evidence and justification for increasing the regulation and terminally damaging our precious cultural traditions in a completely reckless and illogical manner?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 10:24 AM

STOP PRESS

Consideration of Lords Amendments: 24th June 2003
Licensing Bill [Lords] continued

Commons amendment No 62

Secretary Tessa Jowell

*To move, That this house insists on its amendment No 62 to which the Lords have disagreed and disagrees to the Amendment (No 62A) proposed by the lords in lieu of that Amendment.

Secretary Tessa Jowell

To move, the following Amendment to the Bill in lieu of the Amendment (No 62A) proposed by the Lords:-

* Page 97, line 35 at end insert-'Special provision for pubs etc.
Dancing and live music in pubs etc.
(1) This section applies where-
      (a) a premise licence authorises-
          (i) the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premise,
and
          (ii) music entertainment, and
    (b) the premises-
          (i) are used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises,
and
(ii) have a permitted capacity of not more than 200 persons.

(2) At any time when the premises-
    (a)are open for the purpose of being used for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises,
    and
    (b) are being used for entertainment,
any condition of the premises licence which relates only to the music enetrtainment, and is imposed by virtue of section 19 (3)(b), 35(3)(b),52(3) or 166(5)(b), does not have effect unless it falls within subsection (3) or (4)

(3) A condition falls within this subsection if the premises licence specifies that the licensing authority which granted the licence considers the imposition of the condition necessary on one or both of the following grounds-
    (a) the prevention of crime and disorder,
    (b) public safety.

(4) A condition falls within this submission if, on a review of the premises licence-
    (a ) it is altered so as to include a statement that this section does not apply to it, or
    (b) it is added to the licence and includes such a statement.

(5) This section applies in relation to a club premises certificate as it applies in relation to a premises licence and, in the application of this section to such a certificate, the reference in subsection (2) to section 19(3)(b), 35(3)(b), 52(3) (b) is to be read as a reference to section 72(3)(b). 83(3)(b) or 86(3).








(6) In this section-
"music entertainment" means-

The provision of entertainment of a description falling within, or of a similar description to that falling            within, paragraph 2(1)(e) or (g) of Schedule1,or

The provision of entertainment facilities falling within, paragraph 3 of that Schedule,

In circumstances where the conditions in paragraph 1(2) and 3 of that Schedule are satisfied;

"permitted capacity", in relation to any premises means-

Where a fire certificate issued under the Fire Precautions Act 1971 (c.40) is in force in respect of the premises and that certificate imposes a requirement under section 6(2)(d) of that Act, the limit on the number of persons who, in accordance with that requirement, may be on the premises at any one time, and

In any other case, the limit on the number of persons who may be on the premises at any one time in accordance with a recommendation made by, or on behalf of, the fire authority for the area in which the premises are situated (or, if the premises are situated in the area of more than one fire authority, those authorities); and

"supply of alcohol" means-

the sale by retail of alcohol, or

the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the order of, a member of the club"..

LICENSING BILL [LORDS] 9programme0 9No.3)

Secretary Tessa Jowell
Peter Hain

That the following provisions shall apply to the Licensing Bill[Lords] for the purpose of supplementing the Orders of 24th March 2003 and 16th June 2003.

Consideration of Lords Message

1 proceeding on consideration of the Lords Message shall (so far as not previously concluded) be brought to a conclusion one hour after their commencement.

2. Those proceedings shall be taken in the following order, namely, the Lords Amendment in lieu of Commons Amendment No 62, the Lords Reasons for disagreeing to Commons Amendments Nos. 6,15,16,20 and 21 and the Lords Amendment in lieu of words left out of the Bill by Commons Amendment No.50.

Subsequent stages

3. Any further message from the lords may be considered forthwith without any Questions put.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 12:55 PM

This is Richard Bridge's comments on the above. I hope he will not mind this posting but what he says is perfectly correct - if you have the entertainments bit on the licence - end of story. The government is either accidentally or deliberately missing the point - licensees will be reluctant to "tick" the music box in the first place!!

------------------------------------------------------------


I write on behalf of the performer-lawyer group. In view of the urgency I
am copying the other members at the same time and if any of them wish to
make comments independently they can of course do so.

I have considered the new draft "Dancing in live music and pubs" amendment
the government this morning proposes.

Frankly, it is irrational.

First, it can only apply if the pub already has a licence for music
entertainment (in the new meaning, which includes dance). The biggest
single point about the need for a de minimis exemption is to avoid having to
get such a licence. Having to get one and then disapplying certain
conditions in certain cases is no solution.

Second, the restrictions lifted might include those most likely to be
necessary, if any were necessary, namely those (if any) on noise levels and
amplification.

Third, if there is no "permitted capacity" (either under the
soon-to-be-repealed Fire Precautions Act, or otherwise) the provisions
cannot apply, no matter how small the premises (or, and the omission of this
is no doubt a mere drafting lacuna, the respective part ofthe premises).


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 04:50 PM

STOP PRESS

The Government's amendment was passed by by 268 to 159


The following from Hamish Birchall

In a short Commons debate this evening on the Licensing Bill the Government will overturn the small events exemption won last Thursday (19th June) in the Lords. The Government's position is no surprise. It means that Opposition peers will have another go at a small events exemption when the Bill returns to the Lords on Thursday 03 July (not this Thursday as originally proposed).

This gives a bit more time for Opposition peers to consider reinstating another small events exemption, working with the MU, Performer-Lawyer Group and others.

In place of the small events exemption, the Government is proposing an amendment (see below) that rejects any exemption but seeks to limit local authority conditions to those dealing with crime and disorder and public safety (i.e. not noise or protection of children from harm). It is irrational, convoluted, and in places impenetrable. Members of the Performer Lawyer Group have already dismissed it as 'barking'. Conservative and Liberal Democrats will vote against it, but the chances of any more than one or two Labour rebels are slim.

One reason for the Government's position was a letter from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) sent to Secretary of State Tessa Jowell on 20 June urging Jowell to reverse the exemption. However, ACPO's focus was not pubs, but on events in premises where they have no powers of closure - in other words, places without a premises licence for alcohol. ACPO's letter included this comment: 'The differences [between heavy metal and string quartets] extend not only to the level of noise emanating from the venue (which could be a venue outdoors) but also to the type of clientele attending the event and which therefore may give rise to concerns regarding crime, disorder and nuisance and also issues surrounding the protection of children from harm'. Arguable perhaps, but just because heavy metal exists, why should that justify a blanket licensing requirement on string quartets and solo pianists?

It would have been a simple matter for the Government to address these concerns by restricting an exemption to premises that will already be licensed for alcohol or some other regulated entertainment. But, for the moment, the Government has rejected this notion. Odd that they have taken ACPO's hypothetical concerns so enthusiastically on board this time, when they have consistently ignored ACPO's recommendation that televised sporting events be licensable even though ACPO has plenty of evidence already that they are 'quite frequently a source of disorder'.

Once I have read the Hansard record tomorrow I will send a further update with recommendations for who to write to and a draft letter.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 04:22 PM

The full Commons debate on the Licensing Bill 24 June 2003 - can be read on the following site. The Government's arguments are enough to enrage anyone who cares about music - so please feel free to circulate these links widely, as we need all the help we can muster.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030624/debtext/30624-41.htm

or

http://tinyurl.com/f9ei


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 08:52 PM

The Minister for Sport (Mr. Richard Caborn): >snip<
What many people do not seem to realise is that the Licensing Bill is not an extension of the scope of entertainment licensing. Generally speaking, nothing that does not need a licence or other authorisation now will need one under the Bill. What the Bill does is make it much cheaper and easier to get a licence where one is needed.

Peter Bottomley (Worthing, West): Will the Minister give way?

Mr. Caborn: No. I am just laying out the case. I shall give way to the hon. Gentleman in a moment.
>snip<

Mr. Heath: What did my hon. Friend make of the Minister's bold assertion at the beginning of his speech that nothing would need a licence that did not need one before? Is it not transparently obvious that two people singing in a bar did not need a licence before and now they will?

Nick Harvey: I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising the point on which I wished to finish. The Minister's assertion that nothing will require a licence under the Bill that did not require one previously is self-evidently nonsense. A host of things will require licensing that did not before, not least the sort of events that the hon. Member for Worthing, West (Peter Bottomley) mentioned.

There was a useful de minimis exemption in previous legislation. I understand why in this day and age it is necessary to find something better and less arbitrary than the two-in-a-bar rule. The Government will have to spend the next few days scratching around to find such a de minimis exemption or we will get into an extended stand-off with the other place.

Peter Bottomley : To be fair to the Minister, he said that not many things would be caught by licensing that were not caught before. The Official Report will show whether or not I am right, but it is not my job to support the Minister.

Grrr


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 02:32 PM

Mr. Caborn: >snip<

The Bill is a combination of safety law and licensing that keeps people safe at entertainment venues of any size. Taking away licensing would undermine fundamentally the ability to protect the public. So Parliament traditionally has taken the view that it is necessary for professionals such as health and safety officers and fire officers to advise licensing authorities on the adequacy of the arrangements in place at any venue.

Again this style of argument intentionally highlights the confusion brought about by combining alcohol and entertainment in one licence, as if the risks presentent were the same. To introduce new legislation by referring to the view that Parliament has traditionally taken - is sad. For new legislation gives Parliament the opportunity to see if the view requires updating or if the measures are still required.

It is like your child telling you that they cannot ride their bike without the stabilizing wheels on - and the moment when you point out that in fact the wheels have not been touching the ground for the last mile.   

Lords amendment No. 62A would totally undermine the ability of the experts to assess public safety across a huge swathe of entertainment venues. For example, Westminster city council has written to the Department to point out that 62 per cent. of its entertainment venues would escape any kind of scrutiny at all under amendment No. 62A. In our view, that is completely unacceptable. It would take public safety out of the hands of the experts and putting it in those of amateurs.

Again not subjecting all venues to blanket entertainment does not mean that the premises escape any kind of scrutiny at all or are unsafe without the out-dated concept of blanket entertainment licensing.

Westminster city council in their letter seem to have over-looked the fact and made no comment at all that this Bill has already exempted any form of entertainment from this scutiny! That which takes place in all of its places of public worship (churches). What makes this acceptable to them and to the Government, if it is unacceptable to them to exempt small events from the same requirement?

A good question for your MP?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 03:53 PM

A good question, if they were the least interested. We've won all the arguments, but that doesn't help much.

However if the Lords stay onside there's a good prospect of coming away with something. This isn't the only bit of legislation in trouble for the same kind of reasons. Here's a piece in today's Guardian about the others - Logjam in Lords leads to timetabling problems "Lord Grocott, the Blairite chief whip in the Lords, is expected to admit the government's difficulties today after delays to reforms of criminal justice, extradition, mass media ownership and even the fluoridation of water."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 05:22 PM

The following from Hamish Bichall

During heated debate in the House of Commons debate last Tuesday (24 June 2003), Richard Caborn, the Minister replacing Kim Howells, predicted doom and disaster if the small events exemption were not overturned.

However, although they lost the vote, opposition MPs rejected the Government's arguments and warned that the issue would be taken up again by the Lords next Thursday, 3 July 2003.

The Government is now under considerable pressure to find a workable compromise, otherwise the Bill will 'ping pong' again, further delaying Royal Assent. The MU, Equity, EFDSS, the Arts Council, and the music industry have re-emphasised to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, their commitment to a small events exemption. The MU will be involved in further negotiations with DCMS next week.

A full transcript of the debate is available from Hansard:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030624/debtext/30624-42.htm#30624-42_head0

or

http://tinyurl.com/f9ei

Selected quotes:

Mr Caborn said that the exemption '.... would take public safety out of the hands of the experts and putting it in those of amateurs.'

He later added '... I urge this House to throw out Lords amendment No. 62A, which we believe to be dangerous and defective. Otherwise, the House will have to be held to account if there is a serious accident at a venue exempted from the proposed regulations, and if a death occurs as a result.'

This should greatly concern anyone planning to attend a music concert, or indeed any 'regulated entertainment', in a church. Presumably the House is already prepared to be held to account for any serious accident or death due to the complete exemption for places of public religious worship, garden fetes and similar functions (provided they are not-for-profit), comedy clubs, and tens of thousands of bars providing big screen entertainment.

David Heath (Lib Dem) was first to draw attention to the exemption for big screen broadcasts: 'I have just been mulling over what the Minister said about the fire risk incurred when music is being played. Would the risk be any less if the same people were watching a widescreen television, or simply drinking on the premises?'

A point later taken up by Malcolm Moss (Cons): 'The Minister puts great stress on public safety and of course we share his concern that nothing must be done that would endanger the public. However, will he explain the point already raised by the hon. Member for Somerton and Frome (David Heath)? Why do the same considerations not apply in the case of a pub where 200 people may be watching a World Cup final on a large screen? Surely the same public safety issues would arise, yet they are not covered by the Bill.'

Mr Caborn replied simply: 'We do not take that judgment...' and went on to discuss the Government's substitute amendment which retained the licensing requirement, but disapplied conditions relating to noise or the protection of children from harm. He also discussed the recent letter from the Association of Chief Police Officers which paradoxically focussed not on pubs, but on premises that would not hold a licence for alcohol.

Mr Moss identified other entertainment licensing exemptions that undermine the Government's claims that only through entertainment licensing can public safety and the protection of children from harm be assured: 'A pub landlord could throw a party in his garden with fire eaters, knife throwers, a bouncy castle, cables trailing to an air compressor, and a powerful CD player and that would be exempt from entertainment licensing under the Bill. However, adding a featured, unamplified performance by a solo guitarist would be a criminal offence unless licensed.'

He added in relation to ACPO: '... Why, in ACPO's recent letter, does it not remind the Government of its written representations to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, warning that televised sporting events were quite frequently a source of disorder and should, in its view, be made licensable entertainments? Why has no notice of that been taken either in the letter from the police or by the Minister from Dispatch Box this evening?'

Nick Harvey (Lib Dem, Shadow Culture Minister) said: '... I listened the Minister's predictions of doom, disaster and calamities for public safety if we do not have entertainment licensing for all events, however modest their scale. I cast my mind north of the border to Scotland where there is no public entertainment licensing, yet I see no signs of the death, disease and pestilence that the Minister anticipates if we do not operate the regime in England. The Government have raised a completely false spectre.'

He should have said 'no public entertainment licensing for live music that is secondary to the main business of bars, pubs etc during permitted hours'. In other circumstances, public entertainment licensing is required in Scotland.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 27 Jun 03 - 07:30 PM

I would like to point out that unlike some some whip tarts the excellent Robert Marshall-Andrews QC (Medway) abstained as a matter of conscience.

If all Labour politicians had a conscience like this it might still be a party worth voting for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 05:30 AM

Mr Caborn said that the exemption '.... would take public safety out of the hands of the experts and putting it in those of amateurs.'

In the case of the London places of worship that the Bill has exempted from the hands of the 'professionals' - where the good Lord is in charge of public safety - does Mr Caborn then consider God to be an amateur?

My MP - [Labour Majority 26] - who was on the Standing Committee of the Licensing Bill - but so far had voted for the Government on every division - was in Germany on the 24 June!

I was not present on Tuesday because I was in Germany all day as part of a Defence Select Committee visit. Sadly this prevented me taking part in the final moment for the licensing bill which has occupied so much of my time.

Had he been there I suspect he would have voted the Lords small events amendment out and for the new Government amendment - again to Party instructions.

He eventually did comment on the Governments new amendment and I responded as follows -

>snip< Safe capacity limits on all venues would have required all venues to check customers in and out, using door staff as in nightclubs. This was an unrealistic burden on the industry.

Dear Mr Knight

Can you establish from Mr Caborn the answers to the following?

Will he confirm that currently ALL premises with PELs have to have a maximum safe capacity limit imposed - and as most of these premises manage to do this perfectly well without bouncers- where is the unrealistic burden currently presented to the industry?

In most premises with safe capacity limits and PELs - these limits can be maintained currently without bouncers - where is it written that all venues under the Bill with Premises Licenses and imposed safe capacity limits will have to employ bouncers?

Does the Bill require all Premises Licence holders to automatically have an imposed safe capacity limit ?

Does the Bill require all Premises Licence holders applying for entertainment permission to automatically have an imposed safe capacity limit - as is current practice?

Why is currently imposing a safe capacity limit on all PELs, not an unrealistic burden on the industry?   

Why would imposing a safe capacity limit on all premises under the Bill be an unrealistic burden on the industry?

Can this new and presumed unrealistic burden on the industry be quantified?

Given the objectives of this Bill - should this new presumed burden on the industry be considered to be more important than ensuring that the public are not placed at risk of overcrowding, by placing a safe capacity limit on premises?

Given the objectives of the Bill - are the public being placed at risk by not insisting that all premises have an imposed safe capacity limit to ensure that premise are not overcrowded?

ends


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jun 03 - 05:44 AM

Jim Knight MP
My view on the latest amendment is that it is a genuine attempt to alleviate the fears that licensees will not want to include entertainment for fear of costly mitigation measures such as sound proofing. It would then be easier for them to include entertainment in their operating schedule, at no extra cost, and thus resolve the problem.

What a mess! I am amazed if you seriously saying, given all the scare stories from the Government and local authorities about needing additional licensing to deal with noise - that measures like the sound proofing of premises cannot be a condition of entertainment permissions.

If this is the case - I am even more amazed that the Commons have voted for it. I am not really surprised as the level of understanding of this Bill in Commons, seems to be very low and Labour MPs do as they are told.

But if in producing this amendment - the Government and the Commons has really accepted that (all) noise cannot be dealt with by blanket entertainment licensing, as the Lords largely have - why oh why can they not give us measures that really reflect this view?

But the amendment does not say such conditions can't be insisted on before permission is given. It just says when they are applied by a local authority, for pubs only with a premises licence and a safe capacity - conditions other than those based on the Bill's two objectives of crime and disorder and public safety - will have no effect.... It will be a little late by then.

As the pub will have already had to satisfy all four of the Bill's Licensing objectives in order to obtain a premises licence - there really is no concession. If there are noise concerns or objections - TO THE PREMISES LICENCE APPLICATION the premises will simply not get permission even if sound proofing would solve the problem. Possibly given this amendment - even if they offer to provide sound proofing!

If in fact the amendment was saying what you say it was - and Frank Dobson was questioning this point in the debate, and did not think much of it, if it did - the Commons or the Government did not seem too sure, but they voted for it anyway.

Does it mean that conditions based on all four of the Bill's objectives and measure like sound proofing can then be placed on pubs with a premises licence and a safe capacity of more than 200 (or indeed having imposed no safe capacity at all)? Is this not even more inconsistency?

If all this were so - it will not be much of a concession for say a cafe (or even a village hall) not serving alcohol. They would still have to apply for the premises licence - just to be able to provide entertainment alone and this amendment would not apply to them even if they had a safe capacity of less than 200, unless they did also provide alcohol.

So the local authority could insist on soundproofing, or even say, a condition that pictures on the wall had to be removed, on the grounds of protecting children from harm....

All this is a very good reason why this Bill should not be rushed - as it is being rushed.

Roger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 05:59 AM

Please see also-

PELs - Protest invitation 81-20 July

You will also get to see for free - Billy Bragg - Eric Bogle - Nick Harper and many other fine performers + the opportunities to sing, play and dance yourself at a fine family event in a delightful village in the very heart of the fine Dorset countryside.

*[No one is paying me to hype this up honest]...It really is that good and up to now the best kept hidden event of the summer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 06:40 AM

I had the misfortune to be compelled by family to attend a craft fair the other day at a stately home. Tedious I know but in the middle was an area cordoned off for a "band stand" and watching an excellent miners welfare band playing Glen Miller stuff were about 50 people, mostly eldererly, all respectable etc.

I thought about post licensing act provisions? Do the organisors need to give notice and pay £20 for an "occasional event" licence - probably- although it was free. Unless it was "incidental to" the main event, which was not licensable unless you need a licence to sell tea trays with padded backing to rest on your knee.

And would the local authority send in a team of inspectors? There were no obvious fire escapes apart from hundreds of acres of grass all round, but most of the audience were too old to beat a rapid retreat if a trombone caught fire.

And what about trouble. There was certainly some toe tapping that could have lead on to spontaneous waltzing on the grass, which could have lead to anything.

Seemed to me that the whole thing could have caused uproar and riot. The nearest police station was probably 10 miles away if there had been trouble.

On the other hand if this needs a licence but no one bothered I would have doubted if there would have been much action as a result. Then suddenly I saw someone I know. He is the Chief Executive of a local authority. Was he there as a spy checking out for noise disturbance or trouble? He was eating an ice cream and carrying a bag of hand made dried flowers but that could have been a front for someting far more sinister.

I used to be keaner on labour but I now gather they want to ban herbal medicines and supplements, and are continusing apace to regulate every aspect of life, whilst taking us to war on the back of someones A level Georgraphy paper so I have gone right off them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 07:53 AM

Also now see Times Today - colour magazine - on reform of the Licensing Rules - Band on the Run


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jun 03 - 04:28 PM

Link to the [long] Sunday Times article that Eric refers to.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2099-719062,00.html

June 29, 2003

Band on the run: Is live music really dead? We share a Transit with tomorrow's stars


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 02:05 AM

It is (unattributably) rumoured that the govt may be about to concede a pretty sweeping unamplified exemption.

That would (if it pans out) leave us still needing a suitable Morris dance exemption, and a "small premises" partial exemption (to permit proportionate but not disproportionate control of amplification etc).

It would also be nice to have a mumming and other traditions exemption but I can't see how to draft one.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 02:43 AM

This is, at last, a flicker of light at the nd of a long tunnel. Lets hope Howells can't blow it out from the Ministry of Transport - he may claim to be in charge of tunnels.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 05:36 AM

To continue the metaphors.

It should be recognised that any 11th hour move should be viewed by us as shipwrecked sailors - who may have looked forward to finding a lush desert island, but after 6 months of difting without hope would warmly welcome even the barest rock.

I am also put in mind that this last minute rushed process was most probably also the birth of the original 'two-in-a-bar' rule.......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 05:53 AM

I have now seen the latest government draft. I have prepared a redline showing it as an amendment to their previous (useless) 62B. It is below - but the redline did not come out even in blackline!.

It is still utterly useless in that it only applies if the premises licence already permits music entertainment (ie music and/or dancing in the new terms). The point the government refuses to take is that if the premises are already licensed for ANYTHING unamplified music adds no significant noise safety or disorder risks. Therefore the existing preemptive and reactive powers under other acts, and the existing powers in relation to the "anything" licence suffice for unamplified music and any further restrictions (such as are now proposed) are disproportionate and contrary to the ECHR.

It is also foolish in that it does not cover restaurants. It still does not recognise the current review of fire safety. It does not deal with the use of part only of larger premises. It only permits if the premises licence sets a capacity limit, so even the smallest events in large places will not benefit.

It is inadequate in that it does not provide for any form of traditional dance (most easily described as dance to unamplified music). It does not deal with the relay with amplification of music that is performed without amplification. It does not permit any small amplifiers (such as can readily be safety tested by so called "PAT" testing) which are necessary even for the most wel-mannered jazz guitarists - as could be dealt with by a mere notice requirement if amplification were to be used.

Curiously it does not regulate the use of additional lighting, or temporary staging, or obstruction of fire extinguishers, which used to be the goverments greatest express safety concerns. Is this an admission that the previous government remarks in those directions were ill-considered?

In summary it appears to be intended to be inadequate and less than useful, and a manifestation of the "NIH" (not invented here) syndrome.

Yours, etc


Latest version ( made up in composite)

62B        Page 97, line 35, at end insert—
        "Special provision for pubs etc.
               Live music in pubs etc.
            (1)    This section applies where—
                  (a)          a premises licence authorises—
                          (i)                the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, and
                          (ii)                music entertainment, and
                  (b)          the premises—
                          (i)                are used primarily for the supply of alcohol for
        consumption on the premises, and
                          (ii)                have a permitted capacity of not more than 200 persons.
            (2)    At any time between the hours of 8 am and midnight when the premises—
                  (a)          are open for the purposes of being used for the supply of alcohol for
        consumption on the premises, and
                  (b)          are being used for music entertainment, but not for the provision of any other form of regulated entertainment
                    any condition of the premises licence which relates only to the music
        entertainment, and is imposed by virtue of section 19(3)(b), 35(3)(b), 52(3)
        or 166(5)(b), does not have effect unless it falls within subsection (4).
        
        
        
        
        


            ( 4 )

            (4)    A condition falls within this subsection if, on a review of the premises
        licence,—
                  (a)          it is altered so as to include a statement that this section does not
        apply to it, or
                  (b)          it is added to the licence and includes such a statement.
            (5)    This section applies in relation to a club premises certificate as it applies in
        relation to a premises licence and, in the application of this section to such
        a certificate, the reference in subsection (2) to section 19(3)(b), 35(3)(b), 52(3)
        or 166(5)(b) is to be read as a reference to section 72(3)(b), 83(3)(b) or 86(3).
            (6)    In this section—
                           "music entertainment" means—
                          (a)                the provision of entertainment consisting of the performance of unamplified music
        
        
                          (b)                the provision of
        
        
        facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment within paragraph (a)
                           "permitted capacity", in relation to any premises, means—
                          (a)                where a fire certificate issued under the Fire Precautions Act
        1971 (c. 40) is in force in respect of the premises and that
        certificate imposes a requirement under section 6(2)(d) of
        that Act, the limit on the number of persons who, in
        accordance with that requirement, may be on the premises
        at any one time, and
                          (b)                in any other case, the limit on the number of persons who
        may be on the premises at any one time in accordance with
        a recommendation made by, or on behalf of, the fire
        authority for the area in which the premises are situated (or,
        if the premises are situated in the area of more than one fire
        authority, those authorities); and
                           "supply of alcohol" means—
                          (a)                the sale by retail of alcohol, or
                          (b)                the supply of alcohol by or on behalf of a club to, or to the
        order of, a member of the club."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 06:21 AM

The lush desert island was just a mirage then?

My fear is that the Lords will accept it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 07:03 AM

It rubbish but is at least a start.

For although only applying as a condition they have accepted things that they have argued against.

The time limit i.e. 8am to 12 midnight - the concept of unamplified music - and a demimimus.

As this only apples where a a Premises Licence, entertainment permission and a safe capacity limit is in place - there are no details on how/when/where this safe capacity limit can be imposed and where it cannot.

It is only the Government's determination not to impose a safe capacity on ALL premises that prevent the whole issue being easily resolved by this simple act - as a measure to prevent overcrowding which must be consistent with public safety and rather difficult to argue against.

If all premises had a safe limit imposed - any legal activity could take place as long as this limit was not exceeded, without any need for additional entertainment permission or conditions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 11:04 AM

We are still pressing on many fronts. DCMS even thanked me for a set of drafts I submitted (maybe they were short of loo paper). I think the Lords are digging in quite hard.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 11:44 AM

Remember there is a Conservative majority in the Lords. There will be those who genuinely support our right to make music without a licence. There will also be those who want to reject the government's position just because the government is having problems at the moment and 'the more the merrier.' That may be the worst possible reason for them to reject the Government's proposal, but at the moment I don't really care: anything to make the Commons see sense will do as far as I am concerned.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Jul 03 - 10:03 PM

Leading the presentation will be folk club organiser Graham Dixon, who created the online petition, adapting the text of Shadow Culture Secretary John Whittingdale's Early Day Motion 331*. Mr Whittingdale and other MPs and Peers will also attend. The presentation is being organised by the Musicians' Union, who will be joined by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, and the Association of British Jazz Musicians, in the presentation group

www.lencom.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,The Admiral
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 02:56 AM

What presentation is that then?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 03:53 AM

That link didn't seem to get anywhere relevant.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Barden of England
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 05:36 AM

It probably refers to the Petition that was handed in to No. 10 the other week. A tad late really.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 08:18 AM

If you're a drummer, that's a back beat, or swing.

Incidentally I just sent this to my allocated 6 Lords

Fax From Performer Lawyer Group
care of: - MacDonald Bridge, Solicitors
Forge House, High Street, Lower Stoke, Nr. Rochester, Kent ME3 9RD
Tel: 01634 27 27 20 Fax: 01634 27 27 21 Email: McLaw @btinternet.com


If this fax is not clear or complete, please telephone.


TO:                                        FAX NO:        020 7219 5979
FROM:        RICHARD McD. BRIDGE                DATE:                3rd July 2003
NUMBER OF PAGES (INC.)        2.

Dear         Licensing Bill - URGENT

I write as briefly as possible.

It is imperative for the survival of folk music, folk dance, and small-scale musical events generally, that the government amended or original versions of Commons amendment 62B are rejected. These drafts require premises to have a licence for entertainment before they can benefit from the relaxation of restrictions imposed by the licence. But in most cases, the conditions will have required capital expenditure – double glazing, new lavatories, "crush bars", air conditioning, all to the standards required for full scale events. Therefore the preponderance of places that at present host small music either as private clubs in separate rooms (several hundred in England and Wales) or in reliance (erroneous or otherwise) on the existing law (many thousands), or in on the basis of Brearley –v-Morley (1899) (singing for one's own enjoyment not public performance), or tacitly, or that host (usually traditional) dance in the open air outside London, will not bother to "tick the box" and will be lost as performance venues. Temporary event notices are no substitute for they are number limited and subject to a fee that will (even though not huge) greatly inhibit amateur performance. This would be a disaster for the cultural heritage and cultural bedrock of England and Wales.

What is needed are: -

1)        An very sweeping exemption for unamplified music - the rare cases of massed trombones or groups of Japanese drummers are so rare that they can be left to the imperfectly enforced existing law of noise nuisance. If premises enjoy any licence under the Act they must be safe as such. Music without amplification (perhaps also if it is without extra lighting or staging, which in my experience are very rare for unamplified music) does not add significantly to any risks to any of the licensing objectives. The lack of amplification creates a self-policing number limit for without amplification a signer cannot be heard over a large crowd. It follows that subjecting unamplified music to a licensing regime, even disapplying some conditions, is disproportionate.

2)        An exemption for dance to unamplified music. Usually this will be Morris or other folk dance and the position is so similar that it hardly needs separate consideration.

3)        A genuinely light-touch regime for small events. In many cases these will need some controls, but of course the existence of a licence to sell alcohol or for some other thing under the Act will cover the basics. The differences lie in the amplification. Therefore there are three obvious possibilities. First, if events using amplification had to give advance notice, the relevant authorities would be alerted to the possible need to use their existing pre-emptive or reactive powers under various Acts including the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Environmental Protection Act – I can provide extracts if needed. If the notice specified a little guitar amplifier in a jazz band, they could decide not to bother. Second it would be possible to say that small events could not use amplifiers unless the local authority had prescribed a scheme for the use of noise meters. Third one could say that they could use amplifiers, but would have to comply with a noise meter scheme if introduced. It would even be possible to limit the number of performers using amplification, but some method of controlling the likely noise is essential. Otherwise, even thought the JCHR has not yet taken the point, the creation of a scheme that permits amplified music in the knowledge that the existing law on noise is not adequately enforced would face a problem under Article 8 ECHR. Conversely, pre-licensing of all music that uses amplification, even if the use is minor would be an unjustified interference. The issue in both cases is proportionality.



I should make the point that all of these things have been suggested to the government already – including by myself, so an assertion that they are new issues would not be credible. I have even submitted drafts of language, which are available if wished to be seen.

Finally I should say that any purported government reliance on the ACPO letter of the 20th June 2003 would be hard to defend at this stage. First, it is notable that the government dismissed earlier ACPO representations about the (self-evident) risks to the licensing objectives posed by big-screen TV. Now it seeks to hide behind ACPO, in relation to events that in general give rise to far lesser (if any) risks to the licensing objectives. Second, if notification or noise metering is adopted for small events, the types of events that ACPO were worried about ("Heavy metal") may be monitored in advance or will become impractical. Third the draft amendment ACPO were addressing has already been superseded (most notably by the removal of dance as exempted matter), and ther criticisms would not be relevant (even if they were originally) to an amendment of the type discussed above.

Therefore it would be justified and meritorious to return this issue to the Commons in the hope that sanity may eventually prevail under the press of business, since the Parliament Acts give no relevant coercive power

Yours



Richard McD. Bridge.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 09:15 AM

From Hamish - Urgent

The Lib Dem/Conservative coalition in the Lords is under pressure. Within the last 24 hours the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the Local Government Association (LGA) have written to all Peers warning against the exemption. This development, combined with limited and somewhat irrational concessions by the Government for unamplified performance (licensable, but not subject to conditions initially) might persuade Liberal Democrats to accept the Government position and not to vote with the Conservatives tomorrow. The Conservatives will stick to the small events exemption, but unless they have the support of Liberal Democrats, or Cross Benchers, they cannot win a vote.

Lobby Liberal Democrats and Cross Benchers now!

Remember, with faxes you are restricted to ONE fax to SIX peers (names below) on this number (the Peers Lobby): 020 7219 5979.

Email Lord Redesdale, leading for the Lib Dems in the Lords: redesdaler@parliament.uk, cc to Nick Harvey MP, leading on the Licensing Bill in the Commons: harveyn@parliament.uk .

Draft text (your own words are best):

Dear.....

Licensing Bill - House of Lords - Thursday 03 July 2003
Live music - small events exemption

I ask that if possible you attend this debate and strongly urge you not to accept the Government's amendments that overturn the small events exemption for live music. It cannot be right in principle that live music, even unamplified, should require licensing when the provision of big screen broadcast entertainment, or jukeboxes, can be exempt no matter how powerfully amplified.

It must be possible for the Government to devise a regime where live music, alongside other entertainments, is regulated proportionately and consistently according to risk. Arbitrary discrimination through licensing which favours recorded music is bound to restrict opportunities for live performance, particularly in smaller venues.

The police have the power to close noisy licensed premises immediately, and local authorities will have that power when the Anti-social Behaviour Bill becomes law. Local authorities already have the power to seize noisy equipment immediately, or to serve anticipatory noise abatement notices. Local authorities are also responsible for enforcing Noise at Work Regulations, which can bear down significantly on noise breakout from within premises. The Government's exemptions for places of public religious worship show that, as far as safety is concerned, it is possible to regulate performance without licensing.

Yours etc.

~ ~ ~

Liberal Democrat Peers (incl. some email addresses):


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 06:38 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

The Government has defeated the small events exemption proposed by Opposition Peers.

The Lib Dem/Conservative alliance crumbled in the House of Lords this afternoon. The Government won by 145 votes to 75. The reason for the turnaround was that during behind the scenes horse trading late last night, the Government offered an outright exemption to morris dancing, and a marginal concession for unamplified live music.

This appeared to satisfy the Lib Dems who decided to vote with the Government. The letters to all Peers from the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Local Government Association opposing the exemption were also influential.

There were powerful speeches in support of the exemption from Baroness Buscombe, who led for the Conservatives, and Lord Colwyn. Significantly, Lord Lester of Herne Hill, the guru of human rights law, also spoke out strongly against the Government position. He warned that it was, in his view, disproportionate interference with the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention.

He contrasted the level of licensing control with the exemption for big screen entertainment (as did Lord Colwyn, and Baroness Buscombe). He speculated whether Lord McIntosh, the Government spokesman, would in a court of law still say that the Government's position was proportionate.

Lord McIntosh did not answer that point, but said the Government had made a commitment to review the new Licensing Act 6-12 months after the Transition Period - which means in about 2 years' time. He also announced that a 'live music forum' would be set up by the DCMS to encourage maximum take-up of live music under the new rules.

As a formality, the Commons will ratify the Government amendments (probably next Tuesday 08 July) and the Bill should receive Royal Assent by 17 July.

So what will the Bill mean for live music?
It is anyone's guess whether it really will lead to a significant increase in employment opportunities for MU members, and/or new venues allowing amateur performance. A positive outcome will depend to a great extent on the proactive efforts of musicians, performers unions, and the music industry, to make the best of the new law.

What has been achieved?
When the Bill was published it proposed a blanket licensing requirement for almost all public performance and much private performance. All performers were potentially liable to criminal prosecution unless taking all reasonable precautions to ensure venues were licensed for their performance.

Lobbying has led to:

A complete exemption from any licensing requirement for regulated entertainment provided in a public place of religious worship.

A similar exemption for garden fetes and similar functions, provided they are not for private gain.

An exemption from licence fees for village halls and community premises, schools and sixth form colleges.

An exemption for the performance of live music (amplified or unamplified) anywhere, if it is 'incidental' to other activities such as eating and drinking (but not dancing, or another licensable entertainment).

An exemption from licence conditions (but NOT the licence itself) for unamplified live music in places such as bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants (i.e. where alcohol is sold for consumption on the premises) between 8am and midnight (subject to review, if, for example, this gives rise to problems for local residents).

A limitation on licence conditions for amplified music in pubs, bars etc (subject to the same review procedure above), restricting those conditions to public safety, crime and disorder only.

A complete exemption for morris dancing and similar, and any unamplified live music that is 'integral' to the performance.

An exemption from possible criminal prosecution for ordinary performers playing in unlicensed premises or at unlicensed events. Now only those responsible for organising such a performance are liable, this includes a bandleader or possibly a member of a band who brings an instrument for another player to use. There remains a 'due diligence' defence, however (taking all reasonable precautions first etc).

A clarification that at private events, where musicians are directly engaged by those putting on the event, this no longer triggers licensing (however there remains an ambiguity that if entertainment agents are engaged to provide the band, this does fall within the licensing regime).


In spite of all this, the Bill does mean 'none in a bar' is the starting point of the new licensing regime. Any public performance of live music provided to attract custom or make a profit, amplified or not, whether by one musician or more, is illegal unless licensed (other than in public places of religious worship or garden fetes etc).

In the opinion of leading human rights lawyers, like Lord Lester, this remains a disproportionate interference with the right to freedom of expression - whatever the Government may say about how easy or cheap it is to get the licence. The point being that there is and never has been evidence of a problem sufficient to justify such interference. Why add new rules where there are enough already?

The Bill for the first time extends entertainment licensing across all private members clubs, and registered members clubs. It also captures private events, such as charity concerts, if they seek to make a profit - even for a good cause.

The Bill creates a new category of offence for the provision of unlicensed 'entertainment facilities', which would include musical instruments provided to members of the public for the purpose of entertaining themselves, let alone an audience.

However, the 'incidental' exemption could prove to be quite powerful, but that will depend to a great extent on how local authorities choose to interpret the provision. The Guidance that will accompany the Bill may become particularly important on that point, and others.

This is by no means an exhaustive analysis of the Bill's provisions for live music, but should serve as a summary.

My sincere thanks to all who have kept pace with these developments and lobbied their MPs, Peers and the press.

My thanks to Hamish.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 06:57 AM

This appears online but it was not in the edition that I purchased - not too sure where they got the idea that a string quartet would be exempt? Unless of course they are playing for a Morris side to dance to?

I'm thinking to form a side called Vivaldi Morris - any takers?

Can we see the time when every performance of any kind of music is accompanied by Morris dancers? The mind boggles.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,991269,00.html

Peers give up music licence fight

Sarah Hall, political correspondent
Friday July 4, 2003
The Guardian


Pubs, clubs and cafes will have to apply for entertainment licences for any form of amplified live music, after peers failed yesterday to defeat the government over the bitterly fought proposals.
Morris dancers and unamplified ensembles such as string quartets will not have to overcome this bureaucratic hurdle.

But the measures will affect 90% of all performances and could act as a powerful deterrent to small venues wishing to host live groups.

The moves were pushed through last night after Liberal Democrat peers, satisfied the government had made sufficient concessions as they wrangled over the licensing bill, failed to back their Tory colleagues in insisting on an exemption for live music at "small events", meaning those catering for audiences of 200 or fewer people.

Despite defeating the government 10 times over the bill, Tory peers yesterday failed to insist on the measures by 145 votes to 75.

Eager to avoid a "ping-pong" situation, in which the bill would go back and forth to the Commons and ultimately get lost if the peers refused to accept it, the government promised a review of the effects of the legislation within 12 months of implementation.

"If it proves the bill has had an unintended, disproportionate, negative effect on the provision of live music, we will use powers already in the bill to modify the position through secondary legislation," said the junior culture minister, Lord McIntosh of Haringey.

But Lord McIntosh refused to back down on the small venue exemption, on grounds of crime and disorder, and public safety, saying: "We are simply not prepared to put lives at risk. No responsible government could act otherwise." There had been more than 1,500 fires in pubs and clubs in England and Wales in 2001.

The licensing bill, which allows 24-hour drinking for the first time in 90 years, was a Labour manifesto commitment, designed to create a more family-friendly culture.

Critics say the legislation has loopholes since it exempts wide-screen pub televisions, standup comedians and sword swallowers, but not live musicians. Issues of health and safety, noise, and fire risk, are already covered in other laws, they stress.

The Conservative spokeswoman, Lady Buscombe, insisted: "The bill continues to penalise those who play live music by imposing extra bureaucracy and financial burdens... ministers clearly regard the playing of live music in local communities as a potential danger rather than a cultural and social benefit."

A spokesman for the Musicians Union, which has argued that small venues will be deterred from holding gigs because of the "draconian" bureaucracy, said the bill reflected "archaic attitudes".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: BanjoRay
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 07:05 AM

If the Guardian didn't like the proposed legislation they should have bloody well written about it a few times instead of more or less ignoring the whole debate.
Cheers
Ray


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 07:12 AM

So if there is a complete exemption for morris dancing and any music integral to the performance, if we want to play any folk music in unlicensed premises, surely we just have to make sure that we are accompanied by a few hanky wavers and pretend we were just accompanying them?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 07:14 AM

Click on the following for the full Lords Debate.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds03/text/30703-16.htm#30703-16_head0


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 07:23 AM

Click on the following for the full Lords Debate.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds03/text/30703-16.htm#30703-16_head0


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jul 03 - 01:16 PM

Events have moved on but the Bill is now due to be ratified on 17 July.

As the dust settles - perhaps we can all assemble here and work out if we are mourning - celebrating or just planning for the future.

These are the words that I have been requested to send for inclusion in the Rally programme.

Action for Music http://actionformusic.cjb.net - The Musicians' Union and many others have been campaigning against measures contained in the Government's Licensing Bill that are damaging to LIVE MUSIC.

These concerns were echoed when an E petition containing 110,000 signatures was recently presented to 10 Downing St. However the Government are not listening to reason - despite this popular concern and the many defeats inflicted on the Bill by the House of Lords.

These measures threaten the right of freedom of expression, employment prospects and the benefit that music making and dance brings to us all. Including measures that will mean that a piano alone - as an entertainment facility - will be illegal on premises without an additional licence for it!

Thanks to the TUC for inviting concerned performers from all over the UK to perform and contribute here at The Tolpuddle Martyrs Rally. The the idea is to simply to bring attention to the threat presented to live music - by the Licensing Bill's illogical, inconsistent and unfair measures.

Please see the Musicians' Union website for more details.


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


The Tolpuddle Martyrs Rally
Friday 18 Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 July 2003.
Tolpuddle village
Dorset
Off the A35 just east of Dorchester.

The following site has the following details + a map
http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-6486-f0.cfm

All events free [except Writing on the wall with Tony Benn and Roy Bailey £10 Saturday 7pm..

Friday 18 July

Camping contact South West TUC to book your pitch £20 per pitch
SW TUC Church House, Church Rd, Filton, Bristol BS34 7BD

8pm The Martyrs Marquee
Come all yesession. An evening of singing songs, old and new. Whether you sing, play and instrument or just hum along, get down and join in.
Licensed bar and food on sale.

Saturday 19 July
From noon onwards:

Singer-songwriter sessions in the Tolpuddle village hall.
Fiddles, banjos, whistles traditional music in the Martyrs Inn
Sing/around session in the Festival Beer tent
Radical choirs singing in the Martyrs Marquee
Plus the Tolpuddle Summers School discuss current issues facing the Trade Union Movement
Details to be announced nearer to the time.

7pm The Martyrs Marquee
Writing on the wall The renowned double act of Roy Bailey and Tony Benn host an unforgettable session of song and spoken word. This show will be over-subscribed four times over buy you ticket now and something to tell your grandchildren! Admission £10.

Followed by Reggae Revolution music to get jiggy to.

Alternative free entertainment for children with the Monster Massive Kids Ceildh.

Sunday 20 July

Main stage

11.45 Nick Harper singer/songwriter simultaneously steeped in tradition yet completely contemporary he deserves to become a major figue..Robin Denslow, The Guardian.

12.00 Susan Hedges- Blind since birth, a 17 year old with an amazing voice and talented song writer. Another act that is destined for great things, with a set thats hard to define Country? Folk? Rock? Doesnt matter shes great.

12.45 Guest speakers including Nigel De Gruchy TUC President.

1.15 Eric Bogle legendary Australian singer-songwriter on tour in the UK. His songs have gone around the world and been covered by just about everybody. Now hear the man himself.

2.00 Dedication of the Parade with John Ellis secretary for Business and Economic Affairs of the Methodist Church.

2.05 MusiciansUnion Great Western Marching Jazz Band

2.15 The Parade of banners. Up off your backsides and join in the procession through the village, accompanied by a brass band, The Musicians Union Marching Jazz Band, and a samba band you wont have been on many marches with this music!

3.00 Phoenix Brass (Crewkerne)

3.45 Billy Bragg local resident and Tolpuddle aficionado, the man for all seasons and all campaigns. Enjoy his inimitable mix of songs to rouse the rabble and soothe the fevered brow.

4.30 Pato Banton and the Reggae Revolution.

5.00 Martyrs Day service in the Methodist Chapel with Rt Hon Paul Boateng MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury .


Plus on the Martyrs Marquee stage, there is a full programme of entertainment in a slightly more restful mode, with Socialist and radical choirs from around the UK, and laid back jazz, plus lots of stalls and kids stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 11:45 AM

URGENT

The following from Hamish Birchall.


When the Licensing Act 2003 is finally published, Secretary of State Tessa Jowell has to make a statement on the front of the Act that it is, in her view, compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.

Personally, I cannot see how the Act is compatible with musicians' right to freedom of expression. How can it be proportionate that even unamplified solo performance remains illegal unless licensed, but you can pack 'em in with big screens and a powerful PA?

The Joint Committee on Human Rights is to consider the Licensing Bill a final time. It may still make a difference to write to the JCHR at: jchr@parliament.uk

If it is of any help, here is a copy of the submission I have put in today:

~ ~ ~

FAO    Paul Evans, Clerk to the JCHR
          Prof. David Feldman
          Lord Lester of Herne Hill
          JCHR Members
          John F Smith, Musicians' Union General Secretary
          Horace Trubridge, Central London Branch Secretary, MU
          Keith Ames, MU Communications Officer
From    Hamish Birchall, Musicians' Union adviser - PEL reform

Dear Mr Evans


I would be grateful if you would make this email available to the Committee as soon as possible.

Once ratified by the House of Commons, the Licensing Bill should go on to receive Royal Assent. Secretary of State Tessa Jowell will make a declaration on the face of the Licensing Act 2003 that it is in her view compatible with the ECHR.

However, I do not see how the Bill can be declared compatible with rights under Article 10.1 of the ECHR. There may also be incompatibility with rights under Article 8. The following will explain my reasoning:

Last Thursday (03 July) during debate in the House of Lords, the Government made a concession in the form of an amendment exempting 'a performance of morris dancing or any dancing of a similar nature or a performance of unamplified, live music as an integral part of such a performance...' (Amendment 62L).

While grateful for further concessions, this exemption leads to more anomalies and further undermines the government's argument that entertainment licensing is a justifiable interference with performers' right to freedom of expression under Article 10.2. For example, under the Bill as now amended it would be a criminal offence to organise, say, a public piano recital in a library or even your own home, unless first licensed. However, if the pianist were to accompany folk dancers, the event would be exempt.

Customers in a bar swaying rhythmically to a performance by one musician, could, on the other hand, lead to a licensee facing heavy fines and a jail sentence - unless the venue were licensed for the provision of these regulated entertainments.

Also last Thursday, the Government made concessions for unamplified live music in places used for the supply and consumption of alcohol (see Amendments 62B through to 62J). The provision of both unamplified and amplified live music in such places remaind illegal unless licensed; however, the licence conditions are restricted.

It is rather difficult to interpret these amendments of amendments, but having now checked with the DCMS, it seems Lord Phillips of Sudbury was correct in pointing out during the debate that the concession for amplified and unamplified live music in pubs is totally contradictory.

The amendments appear to mean that a bar licensed for amplified live music will not, initially, be subject to noise conditions and, if granted 24-hour opening, the music could go on all night.

This is quite obviously incompatible with residents' rights to a quiet night's sleep under Article 8 of the ECHR. However, a pub licensed only for unamplified live music has a performance time constraint: performance is prohibited between midnight and 8am.

I would add some comments about three of the four licensing objectives:

Public safety
The Government justifies its position with repeated claims about the inadequacy of public safety and fire safety legislation where entertainment is provided, even at the smallest scale.

Yet the Government has never produced any evidence from a qualified authority setting out how this legislation is deficient such that entertainment licensing is the only means to ensure public safety. Indeed, in their statements Government Ministers appear to have relied on uncorroborated assertions made by unqualified civil servants within the DCMS.

By contrast, the Musicians' Union, together with the Arts Council, has provided at least two detailed reports by a lawyer with health and safety expertise, and one statement from a former Home Office entertainment safety expert, to the effect that existing legislation is indeed adequate to allow an exemption for small-scale performance.

Furthermore, senior officials at the Local Authority Unit of the Health and Safety Executive confirmed last week that risks arising from trailing cables, for example, should be covered in workplaces irrespective of licensing. (I attach the email response from the official concerned.) Officials at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Department responsible for the new fire safety laws due to come into force in 2004, have also said that under the new fire safety laws licence conditions should not be necessary (contact Andy Jack, ODPM: 020 7944 6632).

Noise
The Committee will be aware by now that there is no evidence of a significant noise problem caused by live music. The overwhelming majority of noise complaints associated with pubs and clubs are caused by noisy people outside.

There are in addition very strong powers available to local authorities and the police to deal with noise emanating from within bars and pubs etc, although it is probably true that there are inadequate resources with which to implement these powers.

Throughout this debate the Government notably avoided mention of the noise data and comment provided by the MU (from the Noise Abatement Society, UK Noise Association, Residents' Associations in Soho and Covent Garden, Institute of Alcohol Studies and so on).

Earlier in the year the DCMS instead selectively and inaccurately quoted from an unpublished document by the Institute of Acoustics, not even identifying the title, in a manner which suggested that live music was top of the list of sources of complaint.

The President of the IoA subsequently wrote to Tessa Jowell objecting to the way in which their publication had been used without their permission. The IoA document, the 'Good Practice Guide on the Control of Noise from Pubs and Clubs', was finally published in March 2003. It does list noise from amplified and unamplified music as a source of complaint, but it also states:

'Noise disturbance can also arise from televised sporting events, which are often relayed at high volume and can be accompanied by patrons cheering, shouting and singing.' [p5, para 3.4]

That sentence was present in the draft IoA document quoted by the DCMS, and yet it did not appear in the DCMS publications and letters sent to MPs and the public concerning the purpose of and justification for the entertainment licensing provisions in the Licensing Bill.

Crime and disorder
Again, during last week's debate, Government Minister Lord McIntosh put forward the following justification for licensing live music:
'... because of public concern over drugs, guns and extreme right-wing bands who excite the audience to racist violence as part of their act.'

It is perhaps significant that this rather dramatic announcement should be made at the 11th hour of the licensing debate. The issues raised are of course matters of serious concern, but it is hard to understand how such problems relate to chamber musicians performing in libraries and other public places, or folk musicians in bars, who are also caught by the licensing regime.

In fact, ACPO's representative on the Licensing Advisory Group has confirmed that most of the problems described by Lord McIntosh occur in premises that are already licensed for entertainment. The Government has provided no evidence of any crime and disorder associated with the two performer exemption in licensed premises, or from private events raising money for charity or any of the other currently exempt events.

On the other hand, the police made written representations to the DCMS last November stating that televised sporting events are 'quite frequently a source of disorder' and should therefore be declared on the operating schedules that must accompany licence applications. Only licensable entertainments are required to be declared on these schedules.

Conclusion

On 26 June 2003, Richard Caborn, the new Culture Minister with responsibility for licensing, wrote a letter to Dennis Skinner MP explaining, among other things, why the Government exempted public places of religious worship:

'The approach set out in the Licensing Bill reflects the current exemption for places of public religious worship in relation to the provision of music outside Greater London, and at the same time brings Greater London within this exemption, thereby removing the artificial geographical distinction currently drawn in this aspect of the licensing regime.

This approach has been approved by both Houses of Parliament. To remove this exemption without any evidence of a public interest reason to do so would, in our view, raise issues concerning the compatibility of the provisions with the right to freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and would appear to be contary to the public interest.'
[Richard Caborn to Dennis Skinner, 26 June 2003, ref: CO3/04325/02468/mk. My emphasis]

Mr Caborn's argument could equally be applied to other current PEL exemptions. The Government has provided no evidence of 'a public interest reason' to abolish the 'two in a bar' exemption, or any other existing entertainment licensing exemption. In the absence of such evidence, or indeed any credible argument that small-scale performance which finishes at a reasonable hour requires entertainment licensing, the increased licensing control proposed in the Licensing Bill has surely no legitimate basis.

The reference to an 'artificial geographical distinction' is also significant. Account must therefore be taken of the situation in Scotland, where exactly the same safety and noise laws apply as in England and Wales. In bars and other places licensed for the sale and consumption of alcohol in Scotland no entertainment licence for live music is required provided the music is secondary to the main business, and finishes within 'permitted hours'.

The DCMS has claimed that Scotland is different because licensing boards have powers to impose conditions. But licensing justices in England and Wales have similar powers (under s.4 of the Licensing Act 1964). According to Jack Cummins, editor of 'Scottish Licensing - Law and Practice', no prior conditions have ever been applied to the provision of live music in this context in Scotland.

I would be grateful if the Committee would consider whether, in view of the above, it is appropriate for the Bill to be declared compatible with rights under Article 10.1 of the ECHR.

Yours sincerely

Hamish Birchall


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 05:54 AM

a) a performance of morris dancing or any dancing of a similar nature or a performance of unamplified, live music as an integral part of such a performance, or
(b) facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment of a description falling within paragraph (a)."


No one is doubting that the playing of a folk tune, is an integral part of such a performance. So the playing of such a tune anywhere by any number of musicans is not regulated entertainment.

Does it say that the dancing actually has to be taking place? Or just that a performance of tunes that are unamplified, live music (that would be as an integral part of such a performance) is not regulated entertainment?

Or even a piano provided for such a purpose should not be regulated and require a licence?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 06:35 AM

No. The unamplified music has to be part of the performance of dance to be exempt. If the dance is not going on, the music can't be an integral part of it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 07:15 AM

Even the piano is a bit iffy. You could argue that the piano is in the pub in case morris dancers turn up and it is solely provided for that purpose. However, few morris dancers carry a piano around with them, so your chances of getting away with it are slim.

(I see a new role for EFDSS here as the Government's arbiter of whether something is or in not a morris dance..)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: nickp
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 07:52 AM

So me - as solo musician - playing through a 10 watt battery amp for an appalachian clogging team will get the 'Go to Jail' card ??!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 08:15 AM

I think most people who aren't involved in folk music would call Appalachian clogging "dancing of a similar nature" to Morris. True enough, the amp would put you over the limit technically, even if yoiu were a lot quieter than an unampliofied player with aloudere instrument.

That's the kind of anomaly that should sink the bastards sooner or later under Human Rights provisions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Barden of England
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 09:40 AM

I think mudcat has the answer for a few of us. I'm going to, as usual, send my e-mail shot to let people know about the jam session I hold every third friday, and also push it on the Mudcat - but seeing as it's not 'advertised', I think I might be able to get away with the 'incidental' clause. What's your thoughts on that one?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 10:16 AM

a) a performance of morris dancing or any dancing of a similar nature or a performance of unamplified, live music as an integral part of such a performance, or
(b) facilities for enabling persons to take part in entertainment of a description falling within paragraph (a)."


Richard you are the lawyer and I am not. But surely to place the interpretation you state for it - it should read?

a performance of morris dancing or any dancing of a similar nature AND a performance of unamplified, live music as an integral part of such a performance, or.........

The use of the word OR gives three different - if connected activities that do not require the licence?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Barden of England
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 10:52 AM

It seems to me that 'as an integral part of such a performance' means just that - the performance being 'a performance of morris dancing etc. etc.'


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 12:52 PM

John you are right on "incidental" and I think any other interpretation is just wishful thinking.

Your Friday sessions are a different kettle of fish. Howells of course said if things were advertised or regular, then they were not "incidental". Fairly recently it became permissible to refer to Hansard to help to determine the meaning of legislature, but only if the legislature was itself unclear(!) and even then only if the ministerial utterance in Handsard was clear(!!). Whatever else is clear (or not) it is fairly clear that whatever Howells says is usually unclear.

Conversely, by the Human Rights Act (s 3(1)), it is now the law that "SO FAR AS IT IS POSSIBLE TO DO SO (my emphasis) primary legislation and secondary legislation must be read and given effect ina way which is compatible with Convention rights". I think Howells may have overlooked this so let's hope he does not read this before it is too late to slip in another amendment tonight!

Freedom of expression is not an absolute right under teh Convention. It may be subject to restrictions (etc) "that are necessary in a democratic society (case law says that this means a pressing social need must be shown) in the interests of ...public safety...the prevention of disorder or crime, [or] for ...the protection of health or morals..." Case law also says it must be proportionate.

Your session is unamplified (unless Clive turns up with his keyboard), sort of lurks in the back of the pub behind the bar and is not very visible or audible from the front of the bar.

If it hypothetically were licensable (ie not incidental) I have some difficulty seeing what pressing social need could be shown, and how making it illegal could be proportionate.

Therefore, subject always to the rule that ventilation here is not solicitor client advice and no liability is accepted (etc) I am of the view that so long as you do not advertise, even if your session is regular, it would be incidental - but these are quite special facts. It also does not mean that the Council will not take the contrary view.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 01:05 PM

Remember even when it's been passed it doesn't take effect immediately. The situation so far as John Barden's Friuday sessions will be unchanged for the time being - ie, they are probably in breach of the law, big deal.

So far as what "dancing of a similar nature" will actually mean if it ever gets to court, we just don't know. After all, if moving you reet rhythmically in time to the music counts as dancing, as has been asserted by councils trying to clamp down on music, and the players are stomping their feet as they play, which most of us do anyway, and the music they are playing is simlar to thatsued by Morris Dancers and such, all that could arguably add up to "dancing of a similar nature".


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 01:21 PM

We know what the intention of the amendment was, I am just questioning if in law, the words used actually mean that. It is hardly wishful thinking either - for I rather hope that the words do reflect the intention.

I am looking for reason and logic and we are led to expect to find that in the legal profession. I am assuming that the draftspersons know the difference between the meaning of the words AND and OR and have used the words they have for a reason. Or have they cocked-up?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 03:33 PM

No. It means what it says. If it said "and" you would have to have music for the Morris dance to be exempt.

And No - subject to the Human Rights Act, tapping your feet to a morris tune is in no way similar to Morris dance.

Or am I missing an attempt at humour?

And yes, JOhn is illegal until the new law takes effect but the lnadlord carries the can back. S 134 as interpreted in accordance with the interpretation provisions set out his position after that.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 07:15 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 07:24 PM

This is a longish poist, though not that long, and there seems some problem posting it - so I'll try doing it in a couple of sections:

Not an attempt at humour, Richard, if that implies that it isn't meant seriously. Of course it's absurd, but the law in question is absurd.

We have been told by local authorities following legal advice that moving rhythmically in time with the music counts as dancing. If it's folk music, that means it is folk dancing. Whether that similarity with other forms of folk dancing such as Morris is close enough for the exemption to kick in is something we still have to find out.

But Morris is not just ensemble dancing. Nor is it necessary for dancers to be in costume - it is common practice for teams who are short a few dancers to rope in dancers in street clothes. And scratch Morris sides all in street clothes are commonly seen in festivals and so forth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 07:25 PM

Fit Two:

I would think it highly likely that "dancing of a similar nature" would cover Sword Dancers and Rapper Dancers and Garland Dancers, as well as oddities like the Bacup Coconut Dancers. Quite how far it would stretch we still have to find out.

I would definitely think it should cover step dancers, such as in this tradition. Step dancers often play an instrument while dancing - and when they sit down to play they can be expected to continue to use their feet.

Any anyone who has ever seen La Bottine Souriante knows that the footwork of a seated musician can be a very central aspect of a performance.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 09:28 PM

No. It means what it says. If it said "and" you would have to have music for the Morris dance to be exempt.

That is rather my point - you DO have to have music for the Morris dance to be exempt.

Because the music is already an such integral part of the Morris performance - dancing without the music would not really be a defined performance of Morris - to enable it to be exempt, would it?

My point is that whatever the intention - using the word OR instead of AND - could make them two different but equally exempt performances.

Even though Morris without the music is a practical if not a legal nonsense.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Barden of England
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 02:38 AM

My session does not strictly comply with the law, but what the heck. At least we haven't so far had done to us what happened in Portland UK (one of my favourite places by the way). That was a travesty if ever there was one. How the killjoys live with themselves I just don't know.
My local Morris side dance to a tune called 'The Rambling Sailor', but it is done to voice only not instruments. Is the human voice considered a musical instrument I wonder?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 02:38 AM

Interesting though these arguments are the big problem is this - who is going to take these fine points - especially on human rights? remember it is not likely to be the Bacup Cloggers that are prosecuted. Even the most ardent Local Authority would be unlikely to want to prosecute the organisor of such event. Its hardly likely to come top of the pops in prosecution priorities. It would be the landlord who would be threatened first and he would stop the dancing because he would not want to risk having the expensive of defending his position with lawyers against a local authority with a bottomless pit of resource, Your Money!!

I think the way forward is twofold - continue the pressure - Richard is putting this on the Joint committee on Human Rights - continue to protest to MPS - I wrote again to Tony Mr Guitar Blair the other day - try to convince his officials to let him read it and not send it to DCMS.

This legislation has a built in "promise" from DCMS to review if it proves to be the disaster it looks likely to. DCMS is supposed to promote culture and tourism. Tourism in this country is so much in the doldrums that the Royal Family were trying to promote it recently.

And chat to your local Landlord. Convince him when he gets the forms to talk to you. Express clearly and precisely the sort of entertainment he needs so as far as possible to avoid antaganising the locals.

Most landlords have not received any information on the new Act. The local authorities generally have taken database records from the courts and ought to be writing to them soon.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 05:20 AM

This morning - I received the following and puzzling message from my MP.........

you may be interested to know that last night the government gave in to pressure on all sides to allow acoustic music in pubs to be unlicensable, and it did the same for Morris dancing generally. Hope that helps.

Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 05:24 AM

That sounds like the government believes it is giving the acoustic exemption it proposed to Lord Redesdale AND the morris exemption, rather than the morris exemption INSTEAD OF the acoustic exemption, which is what the Lords voted for. It seems they are confused as everyone else.

We will just have to see what happens today!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 06:29 AM

I have replied to my MP as follows......

Dear Mr Knight

I would be grateful if you explained the process by which the Lords decision on the 3 July can be changed by the Government and for the details of how - what you state about acoustic music in pubs now being unlicensable in the Bill - is detailed?

Until you can do this - I would also be grateful if you would not provide this misinformation, in this form to any of your other constituents.

My understanding is that where it may be true that [thanks to efforts of the Lib Dem peers] Morris dancing is exempt - the same music, even non amplified and in or outside of pubs, played without the dancing - is not.

I would of course be most delighted if you were right and I were wrong - so perhaps you can come back to me ASAP and explain?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 06:49 AM

It really is frightening to consider that these are the people in charge. How they manage to find their way to the House of Commons and back home again is amazing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Barden of England
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 07:17 AM

No wonder people ask for political asylum in this country, for it is obvious to all sentient beings that we have one called the Palace of Westminster. And yes - the lunatics are running it!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 10:01 AM

At the moment even the DCMS is denying what they have done and saying that if conditions are put in a licence then they won't have to be complied with until the relevant regulated entertainment is provided - but I think they will apply generally (as a condition of the licence as such) and are only disapplied when thre relevant acoustic music or small event music is played. The difference of course is massive...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 10:57 AM

I've just realised the Government has invented the game of 'Reverse Musical Chairs': A group of musicians accompany a morris side who at some point sit down unexpectedly and the musicians have to stop before it can be declared illegal!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 01:20 PM

The difference of course is massive...

Why oh why this complicated fiasco? It would be laughable if it wasn't so serious.

All premises first have to have a Premises Licence and an have imposed safe capacity limit in order to apply and gain permission for entertainment to take place.

If these premises have a safe capacity limit of more than the limit - or do not have one imposed at all - then licensing conditions for all four of the Bill's objectives can be placed against the entertainment permission [the so-called tick box].

If the premises have a safe capacity limit that is less than the limit - although conditions on all four of the Bill's objectives can be placed against the enetrtainment permission - but only two of them can take effect.

But

Say the Premises Licence (which is subject to all four of the Bill's objectives and /or entertainment permission should be denied on the grounds of all four objectives - say loud music or whatever.

Although conditions that would allow non amplified muisic cannot be placed against the entertainment permission - if this permission were denied - there would be no entertainment permission conditions to disapply - so non amplified music is prevented where there are no grounds to do so.

And there is no way of enabling non amplified music (unless a Morris side is dancing to it) - for if is regular and not incidental, it must first have this entertainment permission.

I think this is 'Catch 22 / Schedule 1'.

What the DCMS/Lords/Commons appear to believe and are trying to tell us that non amplified music is safe (in small pubs only) because although a Premises Licence/safe capacity and entertainment permission will first be required - conditions relating to say noise will not kick-in for non amplified music.

Ignoring the very real the possibilty that the optional entertainment permission may not even be applied for and may be refused if it is.

In which case all non amplified music will have been prevented by the Bill in the 95% of currently licensed premises that could provide it now [as long as there were no more then two performers], if no entertainment permission under the Bill is applied for or if is refused.

And I am still trying to work out how all this will prevent in advance these amplified right-wing, gun promoting, punk heavy metal bands that the Chief Police Officer was so determined that a simple small events exemption from the licensing requirement would exposes us all to.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 01:34 PM

Hamish Birchall has sent the following to my MP and copied it to many others. The danger is that constiuents will be told that the Bill exempts non amplified music - when of course it does no such thing.

Jim

Except for unamplified live music integral to the performance of Morris dancing or dancing of a similar nature, the Government has not made an 11th hour licence exemption for unamplified live music in pubs or anywhere else. I hope you will do what you can to prevent that myth gaining ground on Labour backbenches and beyond.

Whether amplified or not, live music in pubs and bars remains illegal unless licensed, and still subject to potentially onerous conditions.

Clear Guidance for local authorities may militate against onerous conditions, but then again it may not. Local authorities tend to be very sure about what constitutes a 'necessary' condition. The only means to challenge a disputed condition - an appeal to magistrates, or judicial review - is costly and very time consuming, and likely to be beyond the means of smaller businesses.

What the Government has done is introduce a partial alleviation from certain licence conditions in small venues. The amendment is quite complex and difficult to interpret. Having talked it through with various people, including the licensing lawyer who advises both the MU and the Arts Council, this is my summary of what it means:

In all cases, to qualify for the concession, the permitted capacity must be 200 or fewer and a premises licence must already be in force authorising 'music entertainment'.
Music entertainment means the performance of live music or performance of dance.
The amendment also makes a key distinction between places used primarily for the consumption of alcohol and those that are not:

1    Premises used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises
This effectively means bars and pubs. The definition excludes restaurants, for example, libraries and hospitals, and any number of other potential venues for public performance.

If the bars or pubs qualify on the other criteria, and they provide performances of live amplified OR unamplified live music, licence conditions relating to noise or the protection of children from harm will 'not have effect' initially. They would have effect, however, if problems or complaints led to a review of the licence. The suspension of noise and protection of harm conditions would apply whenever such premises are open and providing the live music. This could be round the clock. However, safety and crime and disorder conditions would apply at all times.

2    Everywhere else
At other qualifying places such as restaurants, libraries, hospitals, public spaces, your front garden and so on, there is a wider concession, but only for unamplified music between 8am and midnight. In this case no licence conditions 'relating to the provision of the music entertainment' will have effect (subject to review, as above).

However, if such places wish to provide amplified live music at any time, or unamplified music between midnight and 8am they will be subject to the full range of licence conditions. Local authorities would also seem to be able to impose any condition that did not relate directly to the provision of the music entertainment, but which they could argue was 'necessary' to achieve any of the four licensing objectives.

Confused? I'm not surprised - this is now one of the most complex sections of the Bill.

3    Costs
Remember that in both sets of potential venues a premises licence authorising 'music entertainment' must be in force in the first place. Cost: one-off fee of £100-500, plus annual inspection fee of £50-150 where applicable, plus the application must be made at least 28 days in advance with fees up front (probably non-refundable), plus compliance costs of implementing 'necessary' safety/crime/disorder licence conditions where applicable.

4    Noise conditions inconsistent
Bars and pubs that open after midnight, particularly in towns and cities, are a major source of local residents' complaints, mostly about noisy people, but also noise breakout from within premises. And yet under the terms of the amendment they are exempt from noise conditions at any time (subject to review). By contrast, other places which may not sell any alcohol, and are not commonly associated with neighbour complaint, or anti-social behaviour, are subject to noise conditions after midnight.

5    What does it mean in practice?
As now, where pubs and bars are concerned, local authorities will be empowered to impose any condition relating to the provision of live music, amplified or not, which they consider 'necessary' for public safety and crime and disorder. If local authorities argue, as they have consistently in the past, that because live music attracts more people than usual the installation of more toilets is necessary (public safety), or door supervisors are needed (crime and disorder), the only way for the licence applicant to challenge the conditions will be via appeal to the Magistrates court, or application for judicial review to the High Court. Both routes are are potentially costly and risky for the applicant, and likely to be beyond the means of smaller businesses. The delay between lodging an appeal and the hearing date can be months. And while licence conditions pertaining to regulate entertainment are in dispute the licensee must refrain from providing the entertainment, or implement the condition.

None of this palaver applies, of course, to activities that are not licensable - such as the provision of big screen broadcast entertainment.

In places not primarily used for the supply and consumption of alcohol and where completely unamplified live music is provided, the suspension of all licence conditions does represent a significant concession. In practice, however, it will benefit a relatively small proportion of performers.

6    Genuine exemptions for unamplified live music
The performance of unamplified music will be exempt in the following circumstances:

as an integral part of a Morris dance, or dance of a similar nature
in a public place of religious worship
at a garden fete or similar function (provided the function is not for private gain),
under the 'incidental' exemption (which applies anywhere), provided it does not accompany dancing that could not be described as similar to Morris dancing, and does not accompany any other regulated entertainment,
or at a private event that is not for private gain.
The Morris exemption is, of course, welcome. However it gives rise to further anomalies: a public recital by a solo unamplified musician in, say, a hospital or library would be illegal unless licensed; but if the musician were to accompany folk dancers, the event would be exempt.

As you may know, Lord Lester of Herne Hill, architect of the Human Rights Act, said in the Lords last week that in his view the new regime was disproportionate (he cited particularly the complete exemption for big screen broadcast entertainment as against the licence requirement for live performance). Somehow I feel this issue is going to be around for a while.

Hamish


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 01:36 PM

Actually I can't blame the MPs for not understanding all this stuff. But I do blame them for not kicking up fuss and insisting that it should be made comprehensible before it is made law.

I switched on the Parliament channel last night by chance and caught the end of the rubber-stamp operation passing the Bill. The minister they put up to do the business (Richard Claborn?) was still droning on about the whistling postman


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 01:37 PM

The following from my MP.

Dear Roger

I have gone back to Hansard and found that the truth is slightly different to what I was told by another backbencher. Apologies. When he told me that acoustic music was being exempt I though he meant from licensing. As you probably are now aware the crucial bit from the Minister is:

Their effect will be to suspend conditions attached to a licence that have been imposed by a licensing authority in respect of unamplified live music in any premises with a capacity of no more than 200 where it is performed between the hours of 8 am and midnight. To protect local residents and control those few inevitably unscrupulous or irresponsible operators, the licence will remain reviewable.

So - yes acoustic remains licensable, but adding entertainment to the operating schedule for a licensee should not carry any extra cost for acoustic music and should be encouraged by activists like yourself.

Sorry for the confusion but I am delighted that the bill has now gone through unopposed in Parliament.

Jim


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 01:45 PM

Correction from Hamish

My apologies. A further check with DCMS necessitates the following correction:

Pubs and bars would qualify for the suspension of any licensing authority imposed condition which relates to the provision of music entertainment if they provide solely unamplified live music between 8am and midnight and the premises is not being used for the provision of any other description of regulated entertainment. The premises must also meet the other criteria: max 200 permitted capacity, and their premises licence already authorises the provision of 'music entertainment'.

The use of any amplification at all for instruments or vocals would disapply this broad concession, requiring public safety and crime and disorder conditions to have effect. However, the amplification used for the bar's jukebox, televisions (wide screen or conventional) is, of course, exempt in any event.

Hamish


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 02:54 PM

I still think Jim Knight has not got the point. I think the reality is this.....

You apply for the licence.

You tick the box.

The local authority says - ah-hah, regulated entertainment. We'd better demand double or treble glazing, air conditioning, fire escapes, new bullet proof lavatories, crush rails at the bars, wheelchair ramps, emergency lighting, and noise meters and bouncers in case it's a new wave right wing riot-punk band.

These are all conditions of the licence (remember, it's only one licence). So before you can sell beer (your livelihood, remember) you put all of these in at the cost of £30,000. THen when you have unamplified music you don't need them - but al you can dois give the bouncer the night off and leave the noise meter off (just in case Dave Bryant or my daughter or Triality (a very loud acoustic band) set it off).

You say in your operating plan "folk music" - they say - they could have a PA - same conditions as before. You say "jazz" - they say "Bootsie played Jazz-Funk and his bass amp could knock down houses - same conditions as before". You say "unamplified music" they say "some unamplifed performers are very popular, and the year John Cooper CLarke (punk poet) played Cambridge there were riots - leave out the triple glazing, but we've got to have the rest".

NOTHING GETS DISAPPLIED UNTIL THE ACOUSTIC OR SMALL EVENT STARTS.

That, I think, is what the act says.

If you disagree, take me to the words of the act that plainly say otherwise.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 02:55 PM

So basically, if there's a music licence, you don't have to obey any of the restrictions imposed apart from the limit on numbers of people in the room, and it's over by midnight, and the ban on amplif8cation. What restrictions and conditions are they talking about? I can't actually think of any.

Or is it that, if a pub or whatver has got a licence cobering other types of live music, and it decides to allow some people to have a session, they don't have to go back and get the licence varied to cover that? My God, that's a pretty generous concession.

Meanwhile in any place in England or Wales which is open to the public which doesn't have a music licence, you are3 breaking the law if you do anything which coud be described as a muysical performance, unless you have a friendly Morris Dancer in tow. Unless the-lace is registered as a place of worship.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 02:59 PM

So basically, if there's a music licence, you don't have to obey any of the restrictions imposed apart from the limit on numbers of people in the room, and it's over by midnight, and the ban on amplification. What restrictions and conditions are they talking about? I can't actually think of any.

Or is it that, if a pub or whatever has got a licence covering other types of live music, and it decides to allow some people to have a session, they don't have to go back and get the licence varied to cover that? My God, that's a pretty generous concession.

Meanwhile in any place in England or Wales which is open to the public which doesn't have a music licence, you are breaking the law if you do anything which could be described as a musical performance, unless you have a friendly Morris Dancer in tow. Unless the place is registered as a place of worship.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 03:10 PM

The only condition I could think of which might be relevant is if the licence called for bouncers when live music is present. Of course, if they are there for safety reasons - and why else would you need them? - that's not one of the exemptions :-(

I'm thinking of starting a Rent-a-Side (TM) business. Now all I need is to work out which morris dance fits "Lucy Wan" best ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 04:00 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

The Licensing Bill was ratified in the Commons yesterday (Tuesday 08 July) and should receive Royal Assent by the end of this week. It will be published as the Licensing Act 2003 next week.

Read the debate:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030708/debtext/30708-67.htm#30708-67_head0

There are some good speeches.

Sadly, this means the Joint Committee on Human Rights will not be able to further consider the Act. They did not meet last Monday, due to the fact that there were insufficient members present to constitute a quorum.

Featured live music in pubs and bars using any amplification at all remains illegal unless licensed, and still subject to potentially onerous conditions, although these may be partially alleviated via the small venues concession (see 'small venues - licence conditions concession' below).

Unamplified live music in pubs and bars remains illegal unless licensed, but it does seem that any potentially onerous conditions that might otherwise relate to this category of live performance will be suspended where the small venues concession applies (also see below).

This is all the result of a last minute Government amendment of an amendment and is extremely complex. I would urge anyone with queries to contact Dominic Tambling at the Department for Culture on 020 7211 6351.

Clear Guidance for local authorities may militate against onerous conditions, but then again it may not. Local authorities tend to be very sure about what constitutes a 'necessary' condition. The only means to challenge a disputed condition - an appeal to magistrates, or judicial review - is costly and very time consuming, and likely to be beyond the means of smaller businesses.

Small venues - licence conditions concession
This is my best shot at a summary - but contact the DCMS on the number above for clarification:

In all cases, to qualify for the concession, the permitted capacity must be 200 or fewer and a premises licence must already be in force authorising 'music entertainment'.

Music entertainment means the performance of live music or performance of dance.

The amendment also makes a key distinction between places used primarily for the consumption of alcohol and those that are not:

Premises used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises.

This effectively means bars and pubs. The definition excludes restaurants, for example, libraries and hospitals, and any number of other potential venues for public performance.

If the bars or pubs qualify on the other criteria, and they provide performances of live amplified music, licence conditions relating to noise or the protection of children from harm will 'not have effect' initially.

They would have effect, however, if problems or complaints led to a review of the licence. The suspension of noise and protection of harm conditions would apply whenever such premises are open and providing the live music. This could be round the clock. However, safety and crime and disorder conditions would apply at all times.

If such premises provide solely unamplified live music at any time between 8am and midnight, and they are not being used for the provision of any other description of regulated entertainment, then it seems any licence condition that would otherwise relate to the performance will be suspended (subject to review as above).

Everywhere else
At other qualifying places such as restaurants, libraries, hospitals, public spaces, your front garden and so on, the wider unamplified concession applies, but if such places wish to provide amplified live music at any time, or unamplified music between midnight and 8am they will be subject to the full range of licence conditions.

Local authorities would also seem to be able to impose any condition that did not relate directly to the provision of the music entertainment, but which they could argue was 'necessary' to achieve any of the four licensing objectives.

Noise conditions inconsistent
Bars and pubs that open after midnight, particularly in towns and cities, are a major source of local residents' complaints, mostly about noisy people, but also noise breakout from within premises. And yet under the terms of the amendment they are exempt from noise conditions at any time (subject to review).

By contrast, other places which may not sell any alcohol, and are not commonly associated with neighbour complaint, or anti-social behaviour, are subject to noise conditions after midnight.

What does it mean in practice?
As now, where pubs and bars are concerned, local authorities will be empowered to impose any condition relating to the provision of live music, amplified or not, which they consider 'necessary' for public safety and crime and disorder.

If local authorities argue, as they have consistently in the past, that because live music attracts more people than usual the installation of more toilets is necessary (public safety), or door supervisors are needed (crime and disorder), the only way for the licence applicant to challenge the conditions will be via appeal to the Magistrates court, or application for judicial review to the High Court.

Both routes are are potentially costly and risky for the applicant, and likely to be beyond the means of smaller businesses. The delay between lodging an appeal and the hearing date can be months. And while licence conditions pertaining to regulate entertainment are in dispute the licensee must refrain from providing the entertainment, or implement the condition.

None of this palaver applies, of course, to activities that are not licensable - such as the provision of big screen broadcast entertainment.

In places not primarily used for the supply and consumption of alcohol and where completely unamplified live music is provided, the suspension of all licence conditions does represent a significant concession. In practice, however, it will benefit a relatively small proportion of performers.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jul 03 - 04:58 PM

"the wider unamplified concession applies" - he lost me there. What is "the wider unamplified concession" ? I thoight there was just the one unamplified concession, which is extremely narrow.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 05:00 AM

But who nobbled the JCHR and stopped the members attending so there would be no quorum and so no criticism by the JCHR of the bill before it passed the Commons?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 07:22 AM

This exchange with my MP.

At 15:25 09/07/03 +0100, you wrote:

So - yes acoustic remains licensable, but adding entertainment to the operating schedule for a licensee should not carry any extra cost for acoustic music and should be encouraged by activists like yourself.


My encouragement to this end is a matter for me but it should be pretty clear by now that performers have always been and sadly remain rather short on any control they can exert over third parties - like licensees, local authority officers and the like.

Which is why hopes were so high when our Labour Government proposed to reform the current out-dated entertainment licensing regime. They have failed us and Labour MPs have failed us - but now seem to think that making these illogical measures work, is up to us!

Sorry for the confusion but I am delighted that the bill has now gone through unopposed in Parliament.

Jim


Your delight is not shared by many. Is this the simplified regime you claimed it would be? And it would now appear that It only went through in this form because the Lib Dem peers on the 3 July were under the same impression as you and your fellow back-bencher - i.e. that the Government had given more ground on non-amplified music than they actually had...........

Good intentions are not enough and it is quite wrong to expect your constituents to share your 'rose-coloured' glasses
just because these are your Government's best practical efforts. The chance was missed in the Committee stages to improve this Bill - where you and your side chose to play political games instead.

Can you advise on progress on obtaining a response from Mr Caborn on the questions I requested answers on? In particular those concerning safe capacity limits? Also so the letter to the LGO, that I requested and your latest thinking and progress on changing the local policy/interpretation and enabling the New Star session to re-start?

Can also you please establish from Mr Caborn confirmation and advice - arising from the following?

The conditions for non amplified music.

Is it correct that my freedom of musical expression in the form of non amplified music that is not an integral part of Morris dancing - and [along with amplified music] is not incidental or spontaneous - can only take place where the following conditions are already met?

A premise licence.
Advanced permission for entertainment contained in the Premises Licence.
An imposed safe capacity limit.


And that without these, this form of cultural musical expression will be illegal?

The practical application of the Government's amendment ; re conditions.

In reality and for practical reasons - there is very little conventional non amplified music in pubs and it is unlikely that anyone would apply for entertainment permission to provide only this. Any application would be for some form of amplified music - even if this was just for one microphone.

In addition to the requirement already for Premises Licence, Entertainment Permission and a safe capacity limit - any non amplified music will also be subject to any further conditions the local authority may make on the Premises Licence or optional entertainment permission.

If the licensee or owner agrees to these - conditions other than those for public safety or crime and disorder will not take effect. Nothing is preventing a local authority from insisting on first making them conditional however.

So if the licensee or owner does not agree to the local authority's conditions or does not undertake measures to comply with them - the entertainment permission will not be granted.

That after all is the very nature of these advanced conditions. So even if non amplified music would not require these conditions and they would not have effect if they were applied to the premises - my freedom of musical expression would have been prevented on these premises - where there were no grounds to do so.

Of course the same also applies, if the licensee or owner chooses not to apply for the optional entertainment permission at all.

Even if the present PEL take-up figure was increased from 5% (which would not be difficult) and to say 50% - that would still mean that the Bill's measure will prevent non amplified music from taking place in half of the nation's pubs.

Can this limit to my freedom of musical expression really be justified and proportionate on the grounds of public safety and crime and disorder?

The Government appear to have lowered their expectations and now talk now about a change - if a future review shows a decrease in the number of venues. I suggest that it may already be too late by then but - how is this to be measured? What increase in the entertainment permission take-up figure from its current 5% would the Government consider to be successful? Surely anything less than 100% would be a huge failure?

Safe capacity limits

Currently all premises with PELs have safe capacity limits automatically imposed upon them. If for example a pub obtains a Premise Licence and does not apply for the optional entertainment - will a safe capacity be imposed? If not - what is the justification for this?

As now, and in practice - will a safe capacity limit be automatically imposed on all and only premises applying for entertainment permission? If so - what is the justification for this?

I would suggest that all the conditions above - just to permit non amplified music are totally over the top, as surely just the safe capacity limit alone (on all premise) is perfectly sufficient to deal with any advance public safety or crime and disorder issues presented by this?

Perhaps it could be explained how the current entertainment licensing system alone manages to deal with the scare tactic of the advanced threat of a right-wing heavy-metal punk band, promoting guns etc, and why the simple small events exemption proposed in the Lords, could have possibly made this issue worse?

The point is that entertainment licensing has historically been misused to raise money and to impose one kind of morality or personal tastes upon us - all under the cloak of public safety.

So many other legislative measure have been or are about to be introduced that make reliance on entertainment licensing largely a thing of the past, especially for small events on regulated sites. We can afford to take these particular stabilisers off of our bike now.

It is to this Government's great and lasting shame that it resorted to these last minute scare tactics , whilst ignoring the very real risks and concerns expressed by ACPO toward unregulated broadcast TV football events and the real concerns of JCHR.

JCHR could not discuss the Licensing Bill in this final form before the Secretary of State was due to declare it compatible with the HRA. This was because they could not get enough people free to attend. I can't help wondering who were those that cried off...

Looking forward to you and your minister's reply to these questions and to some clarity.

Roger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 07:51 AM

Well done Shambles. Agree with every word of this. I am sure the Libs caved in on a misaprehension because of timing.

I have spoken to many landlords who think the idea of combining later opening, music and locals is a lethal cocktail and the concession they will drop is music!

Have been in touch wih my MP (Tory David Davies, Tony Blair if I can use my weapon of mass destruction to get through his officials) and John Whittingdale Tory Culture.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 12:37 PM

Weymouth and Portland Advertiser 10 July 2003

South Dorset MP Jim Knight has been promoted.


Mr Knight who has represented South Dorset since 2001, after winning the seat from Tory Ian Bruce, has bee appointed the parliamentary secretary to health minister Rosie Winterton.

As well as raising Dorset issues at Westminster, Mr Knight's new job will mean he will have to liaise between the minister and Parliament.

The minister is responsible for emergency care including A&E, ambulance services, NHS Direct, mental health services, clinical negligence and patient and public involvement.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:07 PM

A key element in the refusal of the Government to give way on the small premises exemption was said to have been a letter from Association of Chief Police Officers. It appears that this letter was a significant factor in getting the Liberals to roll over and play dead.

But in fact, in keeping with what appears to be current Government practice, Parliament was misled about what the letter actually said. True enough the letter did express opposition to the small premises exemption amendment as it stood - but the letter contained this indicating support for a modified amendment exempting un-amplified sessions in pubs:

Furthermore, provision of un-amplified music rarely gives rise to policing concerns. To further the interests of genuinely low level activity - for example, traditional folk music - the Association could lend its support to amendments that suspend all licence conditions on un-amplified music in small pubs. This support is conditional on there being effective review procedures in place so that the police could take action against a small proportion of venue operators who might exploit such liberalisation.

But of course this option was not put to Parliament. We woz robbed!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:10 PM

"All licence conditions" surely includes the econdition that there shold be a music or entertainment element in the pub's licence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:12 PM

'Live music always acts as a magnet in whatever community it is being played. It brings people from outside that community and having no connection locally behave in a way that is inappropriate, criminal and disorderly'.
Chris Fox, President, Association of Chief Police Officers: letter to Tessa Jowell, DCMS, 2 July 2003

See below for the full unedited text of the letter from Chris Fox setting out ACPO's justification for rejecting the small premises exemption and supporting the Government small premises conditions concession. The letter was immediately circulated by the DCMS to all Peers in advance of the 3rd July Lords' debate where the small events exemption was finally lost:

~ ~ ~

Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland
25 Victoria Street, London SW1X OEX. Tel: (020) 7227 3434. Fax (020) 7227 3400/1.


                                                                                        2nd July 2003

Dear Tessa

Licensing Bill / Live Music / Crime and disorder


I write on behalf of the Association of Chief Police Officers to support the government amendment relating to premises of a capacity of less than 200 and the performance of live music thereon.

My Association was concerned that there was to be a live music exemption for small premises and this would seem to present policing with specific problems. Exempting premises from licences produce the following difficulties:

By exempting premises we cause an anomaly whereby problems caused at such a venue result in limited action because of restricted police powers. The premises continue to be used in such a way. A licensed premise however would find itself subject to the extended police powers and referred back to the Licensing Authority possibly to be stopped from this type of activity. This seems both illogical and wrong.

If an amendment is accepted which exempts any form of live music then we have the rather bizarre comparison between a heavy metal band using huge amplification and a single pianist or folk guitarist. The differences in such events extend not only to the level of noise but to the types of clientele, their social patterns and movement plus the differing impact on crime and disorder in a locality.

The Licensing Bill has been developed after considerable consultation with many stakeholders. My Association believes that it strikes a balance between less regulation providing freedom of choice for both businesses and consumer and the necessary safe guards to ensure the protection of the public and to enable local action to prevent crime and disorder.

I would wish to reiterate the reasons that my Association believes that the licensing of premises is an important step to the control of criminal and disorderly behaviour.

It is important to maintain a licensing regime, which is not punitive in nature for smaller community events. However from a policing standpoint to allow such events to take place anywhere with no requirement to notify either responsible authorities or those living or working in the vicinity seems to be a complete disregard to the community, its safety and the types of crime and disorder within it.

Police powers of closure under the current Bill (and legislation as it currently stands) only apply to those premises which do have a licence. If the public expectation is that the police are to control crime and disorder in a community then the powers surrounding the licences of premises should be available to the local police commander to use.

We understand the legitimate interests and concerns of the other stakeholders. However, we believe that the amendment that restricts the conditions that can be imposed on live music in premises with a capacity limit of less than 200 to "public safety and disorder" meets the policing requirement. It will still allow us to respond to problems of crime and disorder in a community yet still allow small events and live music to prosper. Furthermore, provision of unamplified music rarely gives rise to policing concerns.

To further the interests of genuinely low level activity - for example, traditional folk music - the Association could lend its support to amendments that suspend all licence conditions on unamplified music in small pubs. This support is conditional on there being effective review procedures in place so that the police could take action against a small proportion of venue operators who might exploit such liberalisation.

Many other events are used to attract custom to licensed premises be they widescreen television, pool competitions, quiz nights or themed food evenings. Often there are various venues with similar events thus diluting their impact whereas live amplified music can generate a leisure magnet even in smaller venues.

Live music always acts as a magnet in whatever community it is being played. It brings people from outside that community and having no connection locally behave in a way that is inappropriate, criminal and disorderly. The public expect the police to be able to deal with these incidents and the powers as outlined would seem to be a sensible way to do just that.

Yours sincerely
Chris Fox
President

Rt. Hon. Tessa Jowell
Secretary of State
Culture, Media and Sport


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 01:25 PM

My reading of the letter and the date - when most of us were not even aware of the wording Government's counter amendment - is slightly different.

The letter is a carve-up. Pitching only for the Goverment's last minute so-called concession and a pure scare-mongering exercise, by referring to the small events exemption as an exemption from all licensing controls. When of course it was nothing of the sort.

Also ignoring that the Government themselves had in fact taken away ALL entertainment licensing controls on any entertainment in any place of public worship, not based on safety but purely on the money burden placed on these establishments.

But this was only an opinion - from a body that does not have the responsibilty for all the aspects


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jul 03 - 02:14 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

See below for a copy of the Local Government Association briefing paper for Peers dated 01 July 2003. It was sent with a short covering letter from LGA Chief Executive Sir Brian Briscoe.

Note that the LGA view differs markedly from the police. The LGA objects to the Government concession suspending licence conditions for live music, adding: 'This is unnecessarily complicated and will be difficult to monitor and enforce.'

Note also that the examples of local authority prosecution of public safety abuse at licensed premises or venues would have been offences under safety or fire legislation and could have been undertaken irrespective of entertainment licensing:

~ ~ ~

Introduction

Local Government Association members are very concerned at the ongoing attempts to exempt or otherwise concede controls on small premises. We have received evidence from local authorities about the real and serious safety and nuisance problems to be found in small premises.

The majority of premises licensed for entertainment currently are "small" premises and the effect of the Lords and government amendments would be to deregulate community protection to a degree where effective sanctions are not available to local authorities to deal with licence holders who abuse the new freedoms.

We believe that these are needless amendments. The Bill already ensures that conditions attached to licences will be appropriate and proportionate to the activity taking place. We believe the risk to live music is much exaggerated and based upon an inaccurate view of local authority approaches to licensing.

LGA key messages

Small premises

There appears to be a rather naive assumption that an event which attracts less than 200 or 250 people, or 500 in the case of a Temporary Event Notice, is insignificant and as such incapable of causing a disturbance or a risk to those attending. Our evidence indicates otherwise. We do not accept that small premises are inherently safer in fact it is our experience that small businesses and community groups are more likely to lack the expertise and resource to put effective safety and nuisance management systems in place.

Local authorities are not against live music

The assumption in much of the debate on the Bill so far is that if local councils are in charge of licensing, they will stifle culture and creativity. However local authorities are major promoters, facilitators and funders of community arts and culture. It is merely scaremongering and misinformation about local authority approaches to licensing that has led to these dangerous amendments.

Local authorities want to continue to be able to deal proactively with safety and nuisance issues. We believe that existing legislation the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 does not provide sufficient protection for people attending events or nearby residents. The remedies available under the Licensing Bill will be effective and make the most efficient use of local authority resources, which are already under pressure as a result of this Bill.

Local authorities recognise that licence conditions must be commensurate to the risk presented by the activity. Last year, in response to local opinion, the London Borough of Camden launched its 'Unplugged music and dance licence'. This licence is aimed at encouraging small scale live music within a sensible regulatory framework. For musical entertainment with no amplification whatsoever in small premises (capacity 100) up to midnight, usual standard conditions are waived and alternative noise and technical requirements substituted. After midnight the usual conditions apply.

The Musicians Union has described it as a best practice precedent for all local authorities and the proposal was welcomed by the Arts Council. It is clearly possible for premises to be subject to all the licensing objectives without detriment to art and culture.

Local authority regulatory services are governed by Best Value performance indicators and 96% of local authorities have signed up to the Enforcement Concordat. This is a Cabinet Office initiative setting out what businesses and others being regulated can expect from enforcement officers. The Concordat commits enforcers to follow the principles of good enforcement: having clear standards of service and performance, being open and approachable, being helpful in advising on and assisting compliance, having an accessible complaints procedure, making enforcement action proportionate and consistent.

Local authorities are committed to taking forward this approach into the new regime and LGA has brought on board the national body LACORS Local Authority Co-ordination of Regulatory Services to provide guidance and advice to authorities to ensure consistency and efficiency in implementation, administration and enforcement.

Public safety

The recent tragic incident in New York at the Station Night Club where 97 people died at a live music event may seem remote. Unfortunately we have received examples of home grown dangerous behaviour by licensees of small premises that could have produced a similar outcome. Some of the examples are listed below:

In the last two weeks, despite previous warnings, the licensee of a pub in Stockton on Tees was prosecuted for exceeding the occupancy level of 100 persons set by the Council by 75%;

The London Borough of Islington recently prosecuted a basement nightclub for exceeding its licensed capacity of 100 by over 100%;

In July 2002 Swansea City Council prosecuted a venue for breaches related to overcrowding and inadequate means of escape. The premises were licensed for 92 persons and it was estimated that 250 persons were present on the night, mainly as a result of poor management, stewarding and supervision;

In 2002 Wychavon DC prosecuted a public entertainment licensee for keeping an emergency exit locked whilst members of the public were on the premises (capacity190). The prosecution was undertaken by the Council after the licensee had received earlier warnings;

In March 2002 West Wiltshire DC prosecuted a premises licensed for entertainment for 200 people. The licensee pleaded guilty to a locked fire exit and failure to count numbers in breach of conditions of the licence. The Magistrates in sentencing made the point that health and safety had been at risk and the consequences could have been dreadful.

The arrangements for ensuring public safety under the Bill are already complex. Exempting small premises from the full range of public safety issues means that matters such as the provision of drinking water, First Aid, aspects of drug control that are not covered by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, are not covered.

Such amendments will also mean that in some licensed premises members of the public will not be covered by fire and safety legislation at all, for example where there is no work activity taking place or using unpaid volunteers.

Noise and nuisance

Small premises are more likely to be located in close proximity to noise sensitive properties in residential areas than larger venues. These premises are usually constructed from traditional materials and the sound mitigation properties of the structure are more or less non-existent.

Environmental Health Officers from around the country have told us that the Environmental Protection Act 1990 is simply not adequate to deal with noise from premises like these.

The procedures are lengthy and require a significant input of enforcement resource. Licence conditions are a transparent, challengeable way to prevent a problem before more serious sanctions are required.

Where this approach fails there remains the option to prosecute for breach of licence conditions. The use of the prosecution sanction is relatively common against licensees who do not take action to prevent noise nuisance. For example in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea two branches of the same chain were prosecuted within a year for breach of noise conditions.

Many authorities, such as Horsham DC and Ipswich BC, report that unlicensed entertainment events are generally brought to local authority attention as a result of complaints about the noise disturbance they have created.

Ryedale DC make specific mention of noise problems from premises without entertainment licences making use of the existing "2 in a bar" exemption. These amendments create a new anomaly - "200 in a Bar" or "250 in a Bar" rather than "2 in a Bar" that imposes a new enforcement burden for local authorities and reduces the protection of local residents.

The prevention of nuisance in the vicinity of premises a major source of complaint nationally cannot be dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The ability of local authorities to attach conditions relating to public nuisance is key to ensuring local residents are not unduly disturbed by patrons leaving licensed premises.

The Lords original amendment

The original Lordsamendment to Part 2 of Schedule 1 allowed an exemption from the licensing regime in respect of the provision of regulated entertainment for entertainment attended by fewer than 250 people provided it finishes by 11.30 pm.

The effect of this amendment was to exempt all forms of entertainment from folk music to cinema to lap-dancing with significant implications for the licensing objectives and local authority policies. In particular, relating to public safety, this amendment seems to have learned nothing from recent disasters in the United States.

The Government amendment

The government amendment relaxes conditions relating to public nuisance and the protection of children from harm for "music entertainment" in defined circumstances. The definition of music entertainment is very wide, beyond live music, and includes karaoke and striptease.

Any problems that arise, for example children being present at adult entertainment or severe noise nuisance late at night, can only be dealt with by way of review a process that could be lengthy and does not prevent the problem in the first place. The evidence above indicates that this will not be a rare occurrence. Licence reviews, rightly, do not attract a licence fee and this mechanism will increase the pressure on local authority resources unless the fee levels are suitably adjusted.

The relaxation of conditions only applies when the music entertainment is taking place and the premises open for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises. This is unnecessarily complicated and will be difficult to monitor and enforce.

Relaxing public nuisance conditions in premises where the supply of alcohol is the primary use is deeply flawed - alcohol tends to change the behaviour of customers leading to an increased likelihood of noise and nuisance in the area matters which cannot be dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act 1990


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 07:06 AM

The letter from the Local Government Association [LGA] can be seen on the link to the following site - where the format has changed and I had to post it there in installments.

This is an interesting snippet - It is clearly possible for premises to be subject to all the licensing objectives without detriment to art and culture.

The Government obviously do not agree - as only conditions relating to two of the Bill's objectives can now actually come into effect for non amplified music in small premises - those of public safety and crime and disorder.

http://pub22.bravenet.com/forum/fetch.php?usernum=1824620545&msgid=36887&mode=


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 01:49 PM

Beware of MP's misinformation.

The following posted on uk.music.folk

Just received this reply from my MP Helen Jackson. I am printing it in its entirety.

'9th July 2003

Dear Hilary Spencer

You will be pleased to hear that Parliament last night accepted the
Lords Amendment in the Licensing Bill, which will exempt small venues.

Your fears have been listened to, and let us hope there is now no danger of our carollers (Sheffield Carols) or morris dancers being arrested on criminal charges!

Thank you for your concern. It has been a good debate and the
legislation is sound. For your interest I enclose a copy of the opening remarks of the debate.

Please do not hesitate' etc etc

Hilary Spencer
Sheffield

(see Hansard)
--
Hilary Spencer
http://www.hilaryspencer.com
http://www.quicksilver.uk.net


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 02:32 PM

After the Lords let the small premises amendment drop, because the Liberal Democrats changed sides, I sent Lord Redesdale, their leader in the Lords, a somewhat sarcy comment - and it clearly upset him, because he sent me back a response indicating he thought it was unfair.

And then Hamish Birchall of the Musician's Union (clearly having heard from Redesdale in similar terms) sent me an email outlining the situation, and pointing out that Redesdale has had some useful input into the campaign, which I have no doubt is true.

Anyway I thought it should be posted here, so I asked Hamish's permission first (because you shouldn't pass on emails without doing that).

And here is what Hamish wrote back-

"It's OK with me if you post my email about Redesdale's role on the Mudcat. It is clear to me now that on Thursday 03 July neither Peers or MPs understood how that last minute amendment of an amendment worked. This is not surprising - it is genuinely difficult. Peers voted it through trusting the advice they had been given by civil servants, which subsequently turned out to have been not quite the whole picture - as usual."

I think this helps explain why it is that there have been newspaper stories talking about how the government have amended the bill so that un-amplified music is exempted. They have been printing what they thought was the truth, on the basis of misleading Government briefing - and Members of parliament and Peers appear to have gone along with the Government under the same mistaken impression.

So it's maybe a matter of naivety rather than treachery. But you really would think that they'd have learnt by now. You cannot afford to take anything on trust from the Government.

Anyway, here is Hamish's piece about the naive but not intentionally treacherous Lord Redesdale:

I understand from Lord Redesdale that you (and others) feel betrayed by his decision to vote with the Government last Thursday, rather than support the Conservative small events exemption amendment.

I know why you feel very strongly about this - I do myself - but it would grossly unfair to focus blame on Lord Redesdale for the loss of this exemption and, in doing so, disregard what he has achieved over several years. He has done more work on this Bill in support of musicians than anyone else in the Lords. Without his support we would not have kicked off the campaign in 2001 with successful media events. None of the benefits won in the Lords could have been won without the backing of the Lib Dems. We would not have the 'incidental' exemption, which now seems to be wider than at first thought, nor would we have had any of the concessions for unamplified music, or folk dance.

The consensus in support of Baroness Buscombe's small events exemption had begun to waver before Lord Redesdale was put under considerable pressure by the Government to agree a compromise. The letters predicting virtual anarchy if the exemption were to succeed sent to all Peers by the police and Local Government Association played a significant part in undermining support for the exemption. By last Thursday, the general feeling in the Lords was that a compromise should be reached. This was, of course, all meticulously orchestrated by the Government and its officials. The person ultimately responsible for this and the illogical and in some cases absurd provisions in the Licensing Bill, is the Secretary of State at the DCMS, Tessa Jowell.

Ironically enough, the last minute concessions strengthen the human rights case against the Bill. The Secretary of State must make a declaration on the face of the new Act to the effect that it is compatible with the European Convention. But the new concessions give rise to further obvious incompatibilities. For example, it would be a criminal offence to organise an unlicensed public piano recital in a library, or even your own home, but a concert of folk dance with accompanying live unamplified music would be exempt.

Indeed, having now checked with the DCMS, it seems Lord Phillips of Sudbury was correct in pointing out that the concession for amplified and unamplified live music in pubs is totally contradictory. A pub licensed for amplified live music will not, initially, be subject to noise conditions and the music could go on all night. This quite clearly incompatible with residents' rights to a quiet night's sleep under Article 8 of the ECHR. However, a pub licensed only for unamplified live music may not allow a performance between midnight and 8am.

The reality is that in order to save face with this Bill, Ministers and officials have continually shifted the goal posts in order to justify the unjustifiable. They have misrepresented safety law on the basis of uncorroborated assertions by unqualified officials, misquoted unpublished reports about noise, failed to disclose important representations made by the police, and misrepresented the powers available under existing alcohol licensing law. This cynical disregard for truth, and contempt for the democratic process, is where the real problem lies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 04:22 PM


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 04:25 PM

And here is an email I have just sent to the correction editor at The Guardian, pointing out the mistake they made in their story a few days ago. Maybe a few more letters making the same request might get through to them:

On 3rd July I sent an email asking pointing out a serious error in a
Guardian story, and asking for it to be corrected. I haven't seen a
correction yet, either in the corrections column, or in the rest of the
paper. So I thought I'd have another go.

Here is the quote I was complaining about, in a story by Sarah Hall about
the Licensing Bill in the Lords
(http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,991269,00.html)

"...unamplified ensembles such as string quartets will not have to overcome
this bureaucratic hurdle."

That is, they will not have to apply for entertainment licences in order to
be able to to permit unamplified music.

Well, it's a pretty confusing piece of legislation, with last minute
amendments, and highly misleading Government press statements   at various
times - but Sarah Hall (or possibly whoever subbed her copy) has got it
completely wrong on this point, and I think the Guardian needs to correct
it.

The Guardian is not alone in this mistake - it seems highly likely that
Peers and MPs actually thought that the last-minute Government amendment did
mean that there will be no need for any kind of music licence to allow
unamplified music in sessions in pubs and so forth. I presume that there
may well have been Government briefings to that effect.

BUT IT IS NOT TRUE What the amendment allows is that, where there is a
licence permitting music, and this contains various requirements - such as
bouncers on the door etc. - these additional conditions will not apply to
events where the music is unamplified and stops by midnight. But if there
is no licence covering music, as is the case at present in 95% of pubs, any
performance of unamplified music will be illegal. And that also applies in
cafes, restaurants and in any other public place, apart from churches.

It's complicated and confusing. But the version the Guardian printed was
misleading, and that needs to be set right.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 04:57 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

Dear Ms Jackson

A folk musicians' website has posted a letter from you in which you claim that as a result of Lords' amendments, small venues are now exempt from licensing and that in your view the legislation is now 'sound'.

Firstly, a factual correction: the Lords did not exempt small venues. Any featured public performance of live music remains illegal unless licensed, amplified or unamplified, unless it takes place in a public place of religious worship, a non-profit-making garden fete, or non amplified music only as an integral part of a performance of Morris dancing, or dancing of a similar nature.

The effect of the Lords' amendment is simply that licence conditions may be 'suspended' in certain circumstances. It is a difficult provision to interpret, it was opposed by the Local Government Association, and we will not know for some time whether it will have any significant beneficial effect.

Secondly, can you fairly claim that this legislation is sound when it exempts unamplified live music performance if accompanying folk dancers, but if you take the dancers away the event is illegal unless licensed? Can you claim it is sound if organising a piano recital in a library is a criminal offence unless licensed, but the provision of big screen entertainment, plus amplification would be exempt at any time, no matter how many people attend?

Lord Lester, the authority on human rights law, spoke during the Lords debate that resulted in the Govermment amendment going through. He said:

'I find the distinction drawn between live music in pubs and dead music or dead entertainment on mass television in pubs arbitrary and somewhat discriminatory. Perhaps it reflects some kind of cultural bias. I believe that it shows a complete lack of proportion to insist on unnecessary regulation in licensing.

I should be interested to know how the Minister [Lord McIntosh], for whom I have such high regard, would explain, if he had to do so in a court of law, how this kind of regulation is proportionate and how it satisfies the basic principle of proportionality. Are the means being used really necessary to achieve the Government's legitimate aims, or would some lesser sacrifice of free expression be proportionate?'


Lord McIntosh did not respond to Lord Lester's questions.

Where live music is concerned the Licensing Act 2003 is much more complex than the old legislation. Thankfully it does abolish high annual entertainment licence fees, but it ensnares far more live music events than I think any previous entertainment licensing regime. Worse, it maintains the perverse elevation of what Lord Lester describes as dead music over live music in places where live music should be a normal activity.

Pragmatically, the music industry will now have to make the best of the new law. I hope you will do anything you can to encourage the Government to its best to counterbalance the cultural bias inherent in the new law.

Yours sincerely
Hamish Birchall
MU adviser - PEL reform
020 7267 7700


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 05:53 PM

It would appear that our MPs obtain the information they give to their constituents from fellow back-benchers (even when they themselves have taken part in the Committee stages), from the Guardian or from the bloke down the pub.

Many MPs may honestly want to believe they can and are eager give their constituents good news, but it is important that they are given the correct information by us - before the whole country is under impression that small events and non amplified music is exempt from the licensing requirement.

It is also important to establish if this misinformation is coming from an official source - if it is just a case of yet more incompetence from our elected representitives.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 07:20 PM

I have written to the Guardian in similar terms, I have ciruclated it to al on my mailing list.

It is really offensive that the governemtn was preapred to lie so widely in support of its case, and disappointing if not more that Redesdale was misled.

It is sadly to be expected that the LGA nad the ACP should lie lie and lie again in thier last minute briefings - we can learn from this. If a lie, well timed, should serve our case better than the truth, so be it.

It is rahter worse that the government, by failing to allow any oportunity for the refutation of these falsehooods should knowingly permit legislation to be passed on the basis of misinformation - but that woudl seem to be sounding familiar by now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 07:41 PM

It occurs to me that when Teresa Jowell states that this legislation is consistent with Human Rights requirements, if untrue this would be some kind of contempt of Parliament, and a matter for the Speaker to deal with.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Jul 03 - 10:20 PM

We learn from all this - that reputable advice from a presumed disreputable lobby is worth far less than disreputable advice from presumed reputable lobby like the LGA.

The MU should have and still should sue Dr Howells. The damage the 'pernicicous lying campaign' smear has done to music and musicians - is now rather clear to see.

For example - the solicitor on today's 'Law in Action' programme was rather selective in the so-called 'myths', by including Howells' own invention of the whistling postman, and did not detail all the areas where the singing of 'Happy Birthday' would be illegal and in fact had been found so under current legislation. The clear and gaping holes in the Government's illogical arguments for the Bill, were not really mentioned in any detail.

I don't think we should excuse solicitors like this one for being fooled by this tactic.   

This to my MP re the LGA letter.

This letter is extraordinary.

Perhaps you could establish from the LGA and Mr Caborn why this letter was not sent earlier? Why the points in it were not raised and challenged in the Committee stages and only surfaced at the 11th hour, when the points raised clearly relate equally to the Government's own and earlier amendment?

Can you ask Mr Caborn to ensure that the total exemption of all commercial entertainment in all churches is quickly re-examined in the light of the very serious safety and crime and disorder concerns expressed by this body in this letter?

Roger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 05:15 AM

For details of the Law in Action show - click on the following link to the Mudcat thread.

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=61073&messages=17


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 07:22 AM

The problem is that the Act will be headed by a statement that in the opinion of the minister the Act is compliant, not that it is compliant.

I have no doubts but that those who voted for the Morris Dancing Amendment thought it meant acoustic music was excempt - but as any lawyer or any one carefully reading the English Language, wouuld tell you - it says no such thing. The whole thing is a travasity and a disgrace. I read recently that since coming into power crime solving by the police has reduced to a pathetic level but new offences created exceed 500 including selling tomatoes by imperial measure!

If it helps I don't think Local Authorities are particularly clear on what needs a licence and what does not but the real enforcers could be publicans fearful for their licences. They need to understand how to fill in their local business plans when they apply to the new bodies for licences.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 07:31 AM

But these days it all too often isn't even the publicans. It's the executives of the conglomerate that owns the pub.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 07:39 AM

I also think that the Morris exemption was less of a consession drawn from the Govenment - but a last minute and reluctant acceptance that providing advanced licensing permission for every event i.e. for every piece of ground that ever needed to be danced on - was going to prove to be impossible in practice.

The Bill did just not fit these activities and the arguments presented by Mark Gibbens, EFDSS and Co, I think had finally persuaded the DCMS Civil Servants of this.

I greatly fear that the Government got very much the best out of this particular piece of horse trading. It was a bit like someone giving you a good price for horse that you were only going to have to put down anyway...........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 08:36 AM

I don't think it's necessary to ascribe malevolent motives to the Government over all this, or any particular antagonism towards folk music.

Incompetence and an arrogant reluctance to admit mistakes are an adequate explanation. As with most things.

One of the unintended consequences of all this could be to give folk dance a much more central role in what goes on. I'm sure that the "Morris or similar" but is practice to extend to all types of folk dance, and I can envisage a situation where there are going to be a lot more step dancers around, as a way of giving us a legal fig leaf.

Quirks in the drafting of laws have that kind of effect - the "club members" loophole gave us the folk clubs, the "two in a bar" exemption gave us, for example, "Show of Hands". I anticipate that this is going to give us Social Morris and so forth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 10:02 AM

I anticipate that this is going to give us Social Morris and so forth.

Or Morris will prosper as a very popular public paid entertainment in pubs? Where girls (and men) - naked except for flowered hats, bells and hankies dance on tables to non amplified music. A movie called 'The Full Morris' will also be a great success........

The problem was that the Government were too slow to do the hard work required to deliver what they wanted to but far too quick to react to largely constructive and informed concern by playing Party political games or making macho gestures to the House of Lords.

The Committee stage gave the Government the time and the opportunity to improve the Bill but sadly Howell's and Co choose - and were allowed to just use this stage to bluster on and muscle out the sensible amendments from the Lords.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Jul 03 - 10:19 AM

Quirks in the drafting of laws have that kind of effect - the "club members" loophole gave us the folk clubs, the "two in a bar" exemption gave us, for example, "Show of Hands".

By way of explanation...
Western Morning News 12 Feb 2003

One band who have graduated from the Westcountry pub circuit are Show of Hands. The Exeter-based duo who have played all over the world and twice sold out the Albert Hall, believe the Bill would deny young musicians the chance to break through.

Singer-songwriter Steve Knightley said: " The grass-roots level is crucial to young talent. When you start out you need any gig at all, and it might be the only chance you will get. The two-in-a- bar rule provided us with that chance."

" If your set works in a small pub, where you are face to face with unforgiving audiences, it will work anywhere. You can't hide, so you learn to handle a crowd and build up a rapport."

"The Irish and the Scots have a living musical culture, they play at their own weddings and parties. The English don't really have that. So we are dependent on music-loving landlords who want to offer people an alternative."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jul 03 - 05:58 PM

From Hamish Birchall

The Licensing Act 2003 has now been published on the web:
http://www.legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/20030017.pdf

I couldn't find a link to the Explanatory Notes that are supposed to accompany the Act. Note that the last minute amendment relating to 'suspended' licence conditions for live music in certain small premises is in Section 177, p100 of the Act (p111 in the PDF), not in the entertainment schedule (Schedule 1).

Interestingly, there appears to be no 'Declaration of Compatibility' with the European Convention on Human Rights by DCMS Secretary of State Tessa Jowell.

Previous printings of the Bill as it went through Parliament did have this Declaration of Compatibility on the front page.

The office of the Joint Committee on Human Rights today confirmed that the Committee did consider the Licensing Act at its weekly meeting yesterday (Monday 14 July 2003). There was some doubt whether the Committee could consider an Act that had already received Royal Assent. But apparently the JCHR will report its findings perhaps as early as next week. So those submissions to the JCHR were not wasted.

It is hard to know at this stage whether the missing 'Declaration of Compatibility' and the JCHR's final consideration of the Act are in any way connected.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 03:03 AM

What's the SP on the guidance?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: ET
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 05:43 AM

Guidance due in September. Trouble is likely to be selectively applied by local authorities?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Barden of England
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 05:46 AM

I see the dopey bleeders have shot themselves in the foot. It's something that Richard Bridge pointed out and is now confirmed for according to page 118 of the act (page 129 of Acrobat) indoor sports will need licensing, so any pub which is going to hold a contest of the dart should seriously think about including live music, as they're going to have to tick the box for darts anyway. Aren't our lawmakers wonderful people


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 07:17 AM

I've no doubt (*GRIN*) Kim Howells Mark II will say this is deliberate and is one of the ways the Government is trying to ensure as many places as possible are licenced for music ...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 09:04 AM

How soon will the legislation be fully introduced. Will it only really affect a pub when it's current license needs renewing ?

We've been told that applying for a PEL would only mean ticking a box on the form, but if a pub license has two more years to run, will this mean that they would have to wait until then to apply.

Have we any idea if many local authorities are going to force pubs to make great changes if they do want a PEL. I believe that the PEL is supposed to be free if it is applied for with the pub license, will this encourage LAs to try and deter pubs by insisting on lots of changes so that they can make a charge for a later application.

What about pubs which are already paying for a PEL like "The Cricketers" at Greenwich. They've had to fork out £400 odd for a license that covers them for music two nights a week. Will they have to continue to pay this rate and still be limited to only two evenings a week ?

Now that the rates for licenses are going to be capped, will LAs be so keen to insist on them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Snuffy
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 09:16 AM

My understanding is that pub licences are renewed annually by the Licensing Justices, traditionally in February


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 10:13 AM

We do not know when the new act will commence. There is a lot of sorting for local authorities to do. My guess is not before 2 years, maybe not until 3.

We do know that the local authorities are furiously lobbying for higher charges. Their charges will be set centrally, but have not been set yet. My guess is that they are likely to be double the propaganda figures of £500 for the first new licence under the act.

The guidelies will be incorporated in statutory instrument so it will be harder for the local authorities to ignore these guidelines than some others in the past. The guidelines are still in flux, it seeems, and we must press (I have spoken to Hamish in the interim) for it to be clear that local authiorities should not use licences to impose requirements to comply with existing other laws - particularly health and safety.

It may also be appropriate to seek to have it made express that if an operating plan specifies unamplified music only, the licence must not contain conditions directed to amplified music, adn more essentially, that if an application os for general music and dancing, any conditions in the licences do NOT have effect unless there is music or dancing - this way the moronic semi-exemption has a chance of being slightly useful instead of wholy useless.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 10:18 AM

Is the £500 (or double) the cost of a basic pub license. My understanding of the new law was that there would be no extra charge for a PEL if it was applied for with the basic license. If the basic license went up to £1,000, it wouldn't just folk clubs that would go - it would be a large number of pubs themselves.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Barden of England
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 10:38 AM

Forgot to mention in my earlier missive that Pool, Skittles, maybe even shove ha'penny seem to me to be licensable as they are games in which physical skill is the predominant factor and they are also physical recreation which are also engaged for competition or display - however petanque doesn't seem to be as that is not an indoor event. How crazy is that? Roger Gall is right to point out the omission of the last minute amendment relating to 'suspended' licence conditions for live music in certain small premises which is in Section 177, p100 of the Act (p111 in the PDF), but is not in the entertainment schedule (Schedule 1). Where does that leave us if the act is signed in its present form?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Jul 03 - 01:01 PM

Dave. Applying for licence will be same cost whatever you apply for. But we don't knowthe cost yet. Local authorities are lobbying hard...

You see the ones like Camden that charged £20,000 for a PEL have to make it up somewhere or put it on the community charge, or cut services. Turd, swimming pool, you get the picture!

John, the small premises condition suspension, and the unamplified music condition suspension are now in the right place, because by law they suspend conditions, rather than dealing with the definition of or exemption from the status of, regulated entertainment. They have such effect as they have - whatever the wordingmeans.

I'm a bit boggled by the thought that a piano (not on the operating plan) is illegal until you start to have unamplified music, butthen becomes legal, and then becoes illegal again when the music stops.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 04:20 AM

What is the cost of a current license and how long does it last ?
How long will the new license last ?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: cockney
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 08:48 AM

Current License from Magistrate costs £30 and lasts 3 years! So you are right Dave this new Licence costing maybe up to £1000 pa could put a lot of small pubs out of business anyway as it represents a 1000% increase That's even before the poor landlord has to start jumping through crooked hoops to try and facilitate entertainment for his punters by means of a bit of homegrown music or a game of darts!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 10:51 AM

The cost of the actually Premises Licence is a one-off charge, valid for the life of the business - in the form first applied for. The cost of this will vary.

In addition to this there will be the annual cost of the inspection charge.

And for every ten years for the Personal Licence.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 11:11 AM

But if you want to apply for a variation there will be another charge


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 17 Jul 03 - 11:54 AM

This thread has got much too long, now that the Licensing Bill has been passed, I think that we could do with a new one.

I have therefore started one called Licensing Bill - How will it work ?. in which we can try and work out the best practical way to deal with this messy bit of legislation.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Jul 03 - 09:58 AM

From Hamish Birchall

On Monday 21 July the Joint Committee on Human Rights will publish a further report incorporating their conclusions about the Licensing Act 2003 and live music.

The JCHR website is: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/hrhome.htm


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 14 August 4:48 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.