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Affected by The Licensing Act 2003

The Shambles 11 Apr 06 - 03:08 PM
The Shambles 11 Apr 06 - 02:24 PM
Folkiedave 11 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM
The Shambles 11 Apr 06 - 03:18 AM
stallion 09 Apr 06 - 03:30 AM
The Shambles 09 Apr 06 - 02:43 AM
The Shambles 07 Apr 06 - 04:57 AM
The Shambles 06 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM
stallion 06 Apr 06 - 12:59 PM
The Shambles 06 Apr 06 - 10:55 AM
The Shambles 05 Apr 06 - 03:14 AM
The Shambles 04 Apr 06 - 06:56 PM
Folkiedave 30 Mar 06 - 05:15 AM
The Shambles 30 Mar 06 - 03:53 AM
The Shambles 30 Mar 06 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 28 Mar 06 - 10:21 AM
Folkiedave 28 Mar 06 - 04:54 AM
The Shambles 28 Mar 06 - 02:50 AM
The Shambles 27 Mar 06 - 01:49 PM
stallion 27 Mar 06 - 01:38 PM
The Shambles 27 Mar 06 - 01:35 PM
stallion 27 Mar 06 - 01:17 PM
DMcG 27 Mar 06 - 12:50 PM
Tootler 27 Mar 06 - 12:22 PM
Folkiedave 27 Mar 06 - 11:37 AM
DMcG 27 Mar 06 - 07:27 AM
The Shambles 27 Mar 06 - 07:16 AM
DMcG 27 Mar 06 - 06:53 AM
pavane 27 Mar 06 - 06:40 AM
The Shambles 27 Mar 06 - 03:23 AM
Andy Jackson 26 Mar 06 - 04:28 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 06 - 06:31 AM
Folkiedave 26 Mar 06 - 05:42 AM
stallion 26 Mar 06 - 05:12 AM
The Shambles 25 Mar 06 - 01:04 PM
Folkiedave 25 Mar 06 - 12:45 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 06 - 11:28 AM
The Shambles 24 Mar 06 - 12:23 PM
Folkiedave 24 Mar 06 - 12:06 PM
The Shambles 24 Mar 06 - 06:37 AM
pavane 24 Mar 06 - 06:00 AM
The Shambles 23 Mar 06 - 08:48 AM
stallion 23 Mar 06 - 07:59 AM
Folkiedave 23 Mar 06 - 06:32 AM
pavane 20 Mar 06 - 09:52 AM
The Shambles 19 Mar 06 - 09:29 AM
Folkiedave 18 Mar 06 - 05:39 AM
The Shambles 17 Mar 06 - 05:50 AM
Tootler 17 Mar 06 - 05:23 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 17 Mar 06 - 05:18 AM
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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 03:08 PM

Am I missing something?

My practical and moral argument under the old legislation was that participatory sessions in pubs should be viewed as indoor sports darts etc.

Under this legislation where both can now be equally qualify as being licensable Regulated Entertainment - this argument is not only a practical and moral one - now it is also a legal one.

Perhaps you can ensure that your local officers finally accept this reality of the new legislation?

For councils can now obviously accept two levels of indoor sports. One level like a exhibition match for the purposes of an audience - which requires entertainment permission, and another level - social games which would take place with no spectators or audience - which do not require entertainment permission.

Why then cannot they accept the same two levels of live music making? Especially when not to do so is placing participatory music making sessions at risk. For although examples are given for indoor sports in the Act's Guidance - it is only the words of the Act that are being enlarged on.

Words that equally apply to live music and indoor sports - which only become licensable Regulated Entertainment if or when they are for the purpose of entertaining an audience or spectators?

The determining point should not be any stray custoners that may wander in and be entertained and considered as an audience or spectators but - far more sensibly whether the indoor sport or social music making would be satifactorly taking place anyway in the absence of anyone other than the participants.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 02:24 PM

Where did James Purnell make this comment specifically on the Sheffield carols?

It was the case that the event enabled without entertainment permission was because it was judged by Sheffield City Council that this participatory pub session (and the piano) was a religious service?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM

This goes back to James Furnell´s original argument last
October referring to the Sheffield Carols. If all the people in a music event are taking part then by definition there is no audience.

So get a session together and have a roomful of participants. Or ask the council what there attitude would be towards it.

Of course what heppens then if someone walks in..........


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 03:18 AM

You may have noticed from the council's letter that they have failed to answer the first question - if the session would be considered by them as Regulated Entertainment.

Howeve, the officers have answered the second question as to what their advice would be to any licensee requesting for the session to be considered under the exemption for a performance of incidental live music.

Their main requirement in a long list - is that it could take place without an audience. In their haste to block all the possible ways that this venue's session could take place - they have overlooked that a performance without an audience is a strange one and possibly not one at all.

But more importantly - that if the session could take place without an audience ( which it can ) it would not qualify as Regulated Entertainment in the first place and would have no need of the incidental exemption .......................


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: stallion
Date: 09 Apr 06 - 03:30 AM

re- House concerts etc.
it only requires one sad B*****d to spoil everyones enjoyment.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Apr 06 - 02:43 AM

House Concerts a Federal Case


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 06 - 04:57 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

Earlier this week the City of London Corporation showed that it is possible to interpret the 'incidental music' exemption liberally. Regular music concerts in wards (twice a week), waiting rooms and other public areas of hospitals as advertised by Barts Hospital need not be licensed under the new Licensing Act.

Contrast that approach with one from a local authority in the south west of England. Here is a section of their response sent this week to a local folk musician seeking clarification of the incidental music exemption:

'As you know, the Act contains no definition of "incidental" and my legal team advise me that in these cases it is normal to use dictionary definitions to aid interpretation. The dictionary definition of incidental includes the word "casual" which in our view, does impact on the regularity of incidental music. I can confirm that we would advise any licensees asking us that we would regard incidental music as that which:

Could take place without an audience;
Would not be advertised or held on a regular basis; and
Would not be amplified.
'As I said in my previous letter, we have had very few issues regarding incidental music to date and we are not keen to apply "one size fits all" rules. Therefore, we will continue to consider each case on its individual facts wherever possible and to advise licensees accordingly.'

All performances of live music can take place without an audience, so it is hard to see the point of the first criterion. Advertising is not cited in the new Act as a criterion for the licensing of live music, nor is this implied; likewise the regularity of performances. In any case Barts Hospital advertised their concerts on wards, which are taking place twice a week. Amplification is allowed by the incidental exemption, which makes no distinction between live and recorded music. Where recorded music is provided, amplification is unavoidable.

My Concise Oxford Dictionary leads with this definition of 'incidental': 'Having a minor role in relation to a more important thing, event, etc'. It does not mention 'casual'.

It would seem some local authorities are just making up their own law.
ENDS

Whilst agreeing the general point that is being made here - think I would take issue with the accuracy of the following:

Amplification is allowed by the incidental exemption, which makes no distinction between live and recorded music.

Perhaps the fact that the words of exemption specifically refer to the 'performance' of live music but the 'playing' of recorded music could yet prove to be an important distinction. It may be nit-picking on my part - but it is a distinction that the words of the Act make between live and recorded music.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM

Of the total of 340 local Premise Licenses - 174 do not have any form of entertainment permission.

Of the 166 that do have permission for 'live entertainment' - only 30 make any reference to any permission for indoor sports.

So does that mean that regular social indoor games - like darts etc are illegal in the remaining 310 premises?

My council is trying to maintain that regular social music making is illegal without entertainment permission when both this and regular social indoor games can now equally be considered under the words of Schedule 1 of the Act - as Regulated Entertainment - when they are for the purpose of entertaining an audience.

The New Star has no entertainment permission and according to my council's officers - this seems to prevent the session from re-starting even when it would take place with no one present but its participants.

But the New Star also has no permission for any social indoor games either and there is no question of any regular social indoor games taking place in its skittle alley requiring entertainment permission or of being prevented for the lack of this permission by these same officers.

Surely if one of these is licensable - they both are and if one is not licensable - then neither of them are licensable?

Is this descrimination - by my council's officers against one form of Regulated Entertainment - legal?

Is it the same where you live?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: stallion
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 12:59 PM

Had a word with Martin, Councillor Martin. He thinks it is crazy that in planning, when a scheme is rejected, another scheme may be submitted at no extra cost to the applicant. It therefore doesn't make sense, that having paid for the licence, a amendment can't be made, especially since it was new legislation, at no extra cost to the licencee. The costs involved in processing a second planning application are astronomical when compared to the ticking of a box on a licence. This is ludicrous, lunacy. Having said all that, with perhaps the exception of Sam Smiths, who instructed Tennants/Landlords not to tick the relevant box, the blame lays fairly and squarly on the licencees who either couldn't be arsed, or were too thick, to understand the implications of not ticking the box. Maybe L.A's might be peruaded to give licencees an "amnesty", a window, to amend the conditions of their licence now the debate has identified the idiotic nature of the practical application of the Act. I don't think piecemeal interpretation on a case by case basis is a reasonable solution. Perhaps we, as musicians, ought to contest an election or two, possible Tessa "Bare Faced CHEEKS" constituency.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Apr 06 - 10:55 AM

I received the following today.

Bridget Downton
Corporate Director
(Community Services)
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

5th May [April] 2006

Dear Mr Gall

I write following our recent meeting. You asked for a list of all unlicensed premises. I attach two documents. One shows all premises and the other shows all those with licenses and the times – I hope this helps, it is the only way that we could extract the information from our database.

You raised some other specific points. I have consulted our legal team about these and will deal with them in turn:

Under the Act, it is not an offence for individuals to play live music in unlicensed premises where their only involvement in the provision of the entertainment is the playing of the live music and they take no role in the management/organisation of the same.

The New Starr Inn doe not have a license for regulated entertainment.

We are not in the business of trying to discourage people from learning to play musical instruments and we have worked hard with licensees across the borough to provide advice that means that they apply for the right license. We encourage licensees to apply for a regulated entertainment licence if they are in any doubt and if they think that they are likely to have regular music in their pub.

As you know, the Act contains no definition of 'incidental' and my legal team advise me that in these cases it is normal to use dictionary definitions to aid interpretation. The dictionary definition of incidental includes the word 'casual' which in our view, does impact on the regularity of incidental music. I can confirm that we would advise any licensees asking us that we would regard incidental music as that which:

Could take place without and audience;

Would not be advertised or held on a regular basis; and

Would not be amplified;

As I said in my previous letter, we have had very few issues regarding incidental music to date and we are not keen to apply 'one size fits all' rules. Therefore, we will continue to consider each case on its individual facts wherever possible and to advise licensees accordingly.

Your sincerely


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Apr 06 - 03:14 AM

The following was just posted on the Yahoo - Action for Music list.

The Farriers Arms in St Albans, the very pub where CAMRA was founded had duos for many years under the two-in-the-bar rule. The landlord was a bit vague about what he needed to do when re-licensing the pub, but he has now been told that a music license will cost him £1,000. So no more music.

The Golden Lion, in London Colney, has a new restriction, even though it has a music license. I asked to have a session there during our festival week. As this particular session is a get together with the local branch of Comhalthas Ceolteori Eireann, which includes a number of very young musicians, we need either a function room without a bar in it, or outside space. The Golden Lion has a function room, but has told that it no longer has permission to have music outside.

More generally, our festival fortnight includes a number of outdoor events, each of which now needs a music license, which was not necessary in the past. The festival director, who is keen to promote access to the arts and has therefore encouraged us to organise outdoor events for the public in places like local parks, is now going spare acquiring the necessary licenses. She also tells us that it has been officially announced that Scottish dancing is not morris dancing for licensing purposes, and a license is needed for it.

Alison Macfarlane


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Apr 06 - 06:56 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

The City of London Corporation, which provides local government services for the 'square mile', has shown that it is possible to interpret the new Licensing Act liberally where live music is concerned.

On 24 March, Barts Hospital issued a press release about a new series of music concerts on the wards of Barts, and other participating hospitals: http://www.bartsandthelondon.org.uk/news/story.asp?id=1102§ion_id=1

The concerts were set up by a charity called Vital Arts: 'bringing musicians, story tellers and performers into the hospital to work on wards, in waiting rooms and other public areas to raise patient spirits and boost staff morale.'
http://www.vitalarts.org.uk/site/projects_01.html

The performances are public for the purposes of the Licensing Act, and they have been widely advertised. But the City of London licensing department today confirmed that, as far as they are concerned, these concerts qualify for the 'incidental music' exemption.

Last Friday (31.03.06), one of their licensing officers advised me: 'there is a strong argument for the music being incidental to the provision of clinical treatment, or infact that the music is actually part of that treatment. The City does not consider that the licensing of these 'performances' would serve any useful purpose, nor indeed would such licensing be within the spirit in which the legislation was enacted.'

This afternoon (Mon 03.04.06), Andrew Whittington, Assistant Chief Trading Standards Officer for the Corporation, said: 'I would reiterate his advice that the City of London, at this stage, does not consider that the music activity outlined in the link to Barts and the London NHS Trust website to be such as to require a licence under the provisions of the Licensing Act 2003. I can see no problem in you publishing this as the current view of this authority but as in all legal issues I would advise you of the following caveats:-
This view only relates to premises within the City of London.
Only the courts can interpret legislation with any authority and the City of London's view may change in the light of future court decisions.

I hope the above clarifies the position but if you come across any different view by other licensing authorities I would be grateful if you could let me know.'
Notwithstanding the caveat about this position applying only to the City of London, this position could prove useful to musicians elsewhere if they find their local authority adopting a less generous interpretation of 'incidental music' exemption (Licensing Act 2003, Sch.1, para 7).

Link to the City of London website:
http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/Corporation/about_us/_whatis.htm


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 05:15 AM

Re: the session at the Chequers closing down.

I agree that it is a disgrace and I agree that this should not happen, BUT, I would respectfully suggest it would be useful to know why the landlord did not apply ("tick the box") at the time of the change over to the new license.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:53 AM

Meanwhile this is how sessions are treated (and encouraged) in Shetland.

Which of course comes under Scottish Licensing legislation where they seem to see that their musical culture as a valuable asset rather than a threat.

http://www.shetland-music.com/tourevnt.htm


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Mar 06 - 03:45 AM

This was posted by Stephen Kellet on uk.music.folk.


Another licensing law casualty

The 4th Wednesday of the month folk singaround/playaround at the Chequers public house in Sutton, Cambridgeshire is no more.

The reason? The landlord will not pay for the new license.

According to the DCMS this sort of thing doesn't happen does it?

Stephen


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 10:21 AM

This is a message for 'Tootler' in response to their posting about the possible loss of live performance in English Heritage properties due to the new licensing legislation.

My first thought is that the performances may qualify for the 'incidental music' exemption (Licensing Act 2003, Sch.1, para 7). It would seem they are just background music, in which case the local authority should be at least asked to consider exempting on these grounds.

If you could identify the properties concerned this would help considerably. I have already phoned the events department at English Heritage HQ, and the person I spoke to had not heard of any performance cancellations.

Hope to hear from you.
Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 04:54 AM

The DCMS announce their Creative Economy Programme website (and discussion area).

Can I suggest that people look for an appropriate part of the website and make suggestions regarding the development of unamplified music? Richard Bridge has already done this. I´ll try and do it in the next day or two.

It might also be worth reminding the government that the Licensing Act does not apply to Scotland.

The government has previously claimed that it made no discrimination between unamplified and amplified music, but here in the letters below there is clear evidence that it does.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Mar 06 - 02:50 AM

The DCMS announce their Creative Economy Programme website (and discussion area).

http://www.cep.culture.gov.uk/index.cfm?fuseaction=main.viewSection&intSectionID=334


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 01:49 PM

I suggest that residents check out their local licensing policies and the government guidelines to the 'Act.

My local licensing policy has similar encouraging sounding things. It even contains a specific reference to the public's Right of Freedom of expression under Human Rights legislation.

Perhaps it is the nation's licensing officers who need to be encouraged to actually read these documents and put them into some practical and beneficial form for the public?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: stallion
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 01:38 PM

and there is more

Ignore the flippant remark about "traddies". The key people are the landlords and the licensing officers; at the last meeting of the Yorkl LVA John Lacey ( City of York Licensing Officer )emphasiized the positive aspects of the Act, specifically mentioning its role in sustaining the tradition of live music in York pubs. In this respect he was promoting a key objective of our Licensing Policy:

"1.3.5 York's Licensed Heritage

The Licensing Authority recognizes the important part traditional and historic public houses play in our cultural and tourism heritage and would seek to preserve and enhance those assets for future generations.

1.3.6 Live Entertainment and Performing Arts

The Licensing Authority encourages the development of venues for the provision of live entertainment and performing arts, recognizing the contribution made to the vitality or the city. To this end the Licensing Authority will avoid applying measures which will deter live music, dancing and theatre by imposing direct costs of a disproportunate nature.."

City of York Council "Statement of Licensing Policy 2005"

I suggest that residents check out their local licensing policies and the government guidelines to the 'Act.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 01:35 PM

The important part is:

271. In addition where

.a premise license or club premise certificate authorises the provision of music entertainment,


The entertainment permission has to have been applied for and in place first. In venues where none is in place - no form of live music that is for the purpose of entertaining an audience, can take place.

This is from the government guide to the Act and seems to me to be quite clear. Any premises, including those with a capacity of more than 200, could presumably write the provision of amplified/unamplified music into their operating schedule. Perhaps the author's are unreconstructed traddies determined to pull the plug on singer-guitarists !!!

They could but if they have not - these venues will have to pay again and go through the whole licensing process - just to enable non amplified music. I suggest that this very unlikely to happen?

But this section at least (and the Morris dance exemption) does for the first time make a distinction in licensing law for non amplified music.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: stallion
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 01:17 PM

Just got this from Martin, does it help?

"Section 177 - Dancing and live music in certain small premises

270 This section provides that where..............

the premises have a capacity limit of 200          any conditions relating to the provision of music entertainment imposed on the license by the licensing authority, other than those set out by the license or certificate holder in his operating schedule, will be suspended except where they were imposed as being necessary for public safety or the prevention of crime and disorder.

271. In addition where

.a premise license or club premise certificate authorises the provision of music entertainment, and

.the premises have a capacity limit of 200

then, during the hours of 8am and midnight, if the premises are being used for the provision of live unamplified music but no other description of regulated entertainment any conditions imposed on the license by the license authority, again other than those set out in the operating schedule, which relate to the provision of the music entertainment will be suspended."

This is from the government guide to the Act and seems to me to be quite clear. Any premises, including those with a capacity of more than 200, could presumably write the provision of amplified/unamplified music into their operating schedule. Perhaps the author's are unreconstructed traddies determined to pull the plug on singer-guitarists !!!

I'll bring a photo copy on Wed.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: DMcG
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 12:50 PM

unless EH & NT are able to sort out the licensing situation.
But the problem is that it needs either a temporary licence each time at a handful of pounds but more importantly someone's time, effort and authority to push it through, or something similar to sort it at a national level, negotiating with each and every authority where a house happens to be ... I don't see it happening myself.

I suggest you get your contact to write to his MP and try to ask a question in the house. If he/she is a Labour MP, there's little hope of course. But if its another party something along these lines suggests itself.

"A member of my constituency has been informed that although he has sat in room at an English Heritage property playing period music for most weekends over X years, he will not be allowed to do so in future because of the licencing act of 2003. While this specific case is in the hands of English Heritage itself, will the Culture Secretary identify which of the main purposes of the Act -
(1) The prevention of crime and disorder;
(2) Public safety;
(3) The protection of children from harm;
(4) The prevention of public nuisance.

- made it necessary to bring such cases under the licencing remit at all?"


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Tootler
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 12:22 PM

I met someone at the weekend who has, in the past provided music at local English Heritage Properties. This had simply involved sitting in a room during a weekend afternoon, playing his guitar. He has been told it unlikely they will be using him this coming season because of the new licensing laws. I understand National Trust properties could be similarly affected.

More venues lost to the new licensing laws? unless EH & NT are able to sort out the licensing situation.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 11:37 AM

I eventually got a response from the DCMS around the start of this month. It was the usual bland, incoherent stuff saying carol singing did not inherently need a licence(whether religous or secular) but if, for instance, a business arranged for them to sing outside his shop then a licence would be required.

First of all you were lucky they replied so quickly.

Secondly, what they usually do in my experience is say it is a matter for local councils. The councils refer you back to the DCMS!!

I was aware of the carol singers near Norwich but it was a bit too close to Xmas to add my two pennorth at the time. There is no doubt in my mind that there will be continual absurdities, and we need to keep highlighting them.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: DMcG
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 07:27 AM

I wrote to my MP about that very case on 20th December. He responded within 4 hours by email; I eventually got a response from the DCMS around the start of this month. It was the usual bland, incoherent stuff saying carol singing did not inherently need a licence(whether religous or secular) but if, for instance, a business arranged for them to sing outside his shop then a licence would be required.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 07:16 AM

To return to carol singing for a moment. Some are no so fortunate.

South Norfolk District Council do consider that carol singing requires entertainment permission as this council are following the DCMS's advice.

The Daily Telgraph 20 Dec 2005 by David Sapstead.

Up to 70 singers from local churches were to entertain passer-by on Saturday outside the Budgens store in Poringland near Norwich. But the event was called off on Friday because of confusion over the licensing position.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: DMcG
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 06:53 AM

While thread-creeping, I was told on Friday by a collector of WWII vehicles recently that the latest regulations intended to prevent people using replica weapons in crimes means he will no longer be allowed to have a barrel on the tanks he owns, and that many other groups such a Civil War re-enactors will (probably) be no longer allowed to use even replica weapons.

Heaven knows what the position for the BBC, film-makers and amateur dramatics is ...


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: pavane
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 06:40 AM

Just a (thread creep) note to say that the Government seem to be at it again.

Although I haven't seen it, there is apparently a clause in the Animal Welfare bill which requires ALL animal and bird shows to obtain a licence, at about 200 pounds a time. Looks like they will kill off all the childrens Pony club events and so on. No more animal competitions in local Fetes.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 06 - 03:23 AM

I have stayed out of the discussion until now but following from the last comment:
Would it not be more in our interests to compile lists of pubs WITH entertainment licences and give them our support by offering sessions. Now that's positive!!


We do not have to compile any lists. The council will already have the information - all we have to do is ask for it. The Act also requires our councils to promote music and dance - not to prevent it.

On a practical level - pubs with licensing permission can legally hold sessions and many now do. These venues would also be promoting conventional and paid live music. Even if the pub was willing - it may not be possible to find a night that was free that would not also be denying musicians valuable opportunities for paid employment.

Again is it not more practical sense - if the aim is for a long-running session in a reliable and suitable venue - to establish sessions in the generally smaller pubs which for many reasons have not applied for permission to provide conventional entertainment but may be perfectly happy to host a session if asked.

On a less pracital level and more one of principle. If sessions are now in fact legal without licensing permission - surely it would be silly and wasteful not to take a course that would at least establish the facts?

Do you accept that this law means that if you obtain a licensee's permission that whether you should be allowed to play or sing in their pub for your own pleasure should be a matter for a council licensing officer to decide?

Do you accept that this law means that if you obtain a licensee's permission that whether you should be allowed to play pool or darts etc in their pub for your own pleasure should be a matter for a council licensing officer to decide?

The law either allows social indoor sports or similar social indoor music making without entertainment licenses or it does not. As both are included in Scedule 1 - the words of the same legislation cannot mean that one can and one cannot. If either of them are for the purpose of entertaining an audience - they are licensable. If either of them are NOT for the purpose of entertaining an audience - They are not licensable and of no concern to any council's licensing officers.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 04:28 PM

I have stayed out of the discussion until now but following from the last comment:
Would it not be more in our interests to compile lists of pubs WITH entertainment licences and give them our support by offering sessions. Now that's positive!!


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 06:31 AM

They told me they do not discriminate and that was that.

Well they would say that wouldn't they?
Mandy Rice Davies

No one is going to prosecute themselves under Human Rights Legislation are they? The case would be brought by someone who thought they were being discrimnated against or when the council were not following the legislation and they would then have to defend their position.

Would you think they be discriminating if they enabled questionable events on the grounds that they were part of a religious service but prevented a new secular session from starting? I think it would be pretty plan that they were. if not why did they choose this exemption rather than one that would have also covered simlar secular events.

I think there is a case that the whole legislation regarding the special treatment of 'religous' music making is discriminatory.

But when you obtain the answer (rather than just hints) as to how they would view a secular session - the answer to whether they were discriminating will be clear.

Perhaps the first question for our local licensing authorites to answer now is how many of their pubs currently do not have any form of entertainment permission?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 05:42 AM

I have to tell you that I went down that road with Sheffield City Council on the grounds that they were discriminating against secular music. I also tried Human Rights and was told this was discussed at the time of the passage of the Bill.

They told me they do not discriminate and that was that.

Again I suspect this was a hint that "sessions" will not be prosecuted if there are no complaints.

I decided to keep my powder dry for the moment and wait until there were signs (if any) of persecution of sessions.

But I agree that there are serious problems with the way this legislation is being handled with regard to music making and am happy to continue exposing its absurdities.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: stallion
Date: 26 Mar 06 - 05:12 AM

This whole debate is starting to really pee me off, I have now berated Martin to publish official guide lines he has recieve, the vagueness is a deliberate attempt shackle raves and noisy spontaneous out burst of fun, the catch all tempered by ignoring quieter events such as sessions in pubs, in a highly organised and policed society as ours it isn't good enough, the real test will come when a "rave" organiser is prosecuted and a cute lawyer makes a council fall on it's own sword by holding up informal sessions, "flaunting" the act, as a precedent. Ain't no lawyer, and I know some of you are and will be quick to point out the short comings of the argument, that's good because we need as much ammunition as possible!


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 01:04 PM

How much help is this? For does it in fact it mean that any form of similar but secular music making - that cannot be stretched to qualify under this exemption will automatically be considered by them as licensable?

The words I have is that they have taken the view that there is a 'rebuttable presumption' that such gatherings qualify under the exemption in part 2. Para 9 to Schedule 1 of the Act.

I am sure that some legal person can explain what that phrase may mean.............


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 12:45 PM

I can categorically state that Sheffield Council regards carols at Xmas - anywhere, not just in church, as part of a religious service and therefore will not be prosecuted. They have not prosecuted carols in pubs, nor have they prosecuted carols sung in a local radio station which was unlicensed.

I have this in writing. Hope this helps someone somewhere.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 06 - 11:28 AM

Just having laws which council's may or may not choose to prosecute if not really much good as at some point in the future this could change and will alway vary in different areas and no one has any protection under the law. For it becomes what council employees say that it is and licensees are most unlikely to legally challenge the entertainment aspects.

Councils, through the LGA are not backwards in lobbying Government for changes to legislation they do not like or they feel they are not properly funded to enforce. If they really feel that aspects of this legislation are presenting them with problems - they can say so.

But they are not going to do this unless they are asked the right questions and forced to come up with some answers.

This has been law since November 2005 - do you know if a new session in your area will be required to hold entertainment permission or will be pervented without this?

Do you know what your LA considers as incidental live music?

I am sure there are many similar question that we don't know the answers to......


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 12:23 PM

That I think that may be partly true.

But unless I (or the council) can give my licensee or the others, something a little more concrete than just this impression - they are unlikely to agree to any new sessions starting. Which if it were to prove to be the case that these are perfectly legal - would be just as bad - or perhaps worse that the law preventing it.

I can also see why they do not wish their officers to be tied down but the public and licensees need to have the protection of knowing what the law does or does not allow. And with the new exemption for incidental live music, Morris dancing and the distinction between amplified and non-amplified music in the legislation for the first time (in S177) - there really should be no question that such things are perfectly legal without entertainment permission.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 12:06 PM

The ignorance of the many changes resulting from the new legislation was as usual, pretty staggering and at one point both the officer and the councillor were urging me to just go ahead with organising a session in a pub without licensing permission as I would not be the one subject to prosecution............

I hope you got that down in writing! Suggest to them that they do so!!

But I also wonder if they are dropping a gentle hint that they think this act is as stupid as you or I and countless others do - and they will not look to prosecute where there is no complaint and someone is clearly not organising a rave.

Certainly I get an instinctive feeling that that is happening. And as we gradually build up cases where councils have declined to prosecute, any council deciding to prosecute - for singing carols for example - or cabinet moinisters in parks, will find it in a dodgy legal position. Will they really spend money on prosecuting people when the outcome is not sure.

I doubt it.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 06:37 AM

The meeting was pretty much the struggle I expected.

The question was if the session prevented by this council under the old legislation could re-start without entertainment permission under the new.

A fairly simple question you would think. In fact this was the second meeting with the council's second-in-command where I had asked this question. I did not mangage to get an answer at the first meeting and I did not get an answer at this meeting. However, after having to be very forceful, I eventually managed to ensure that I would be getting an answer - when the employees of the licensing section are asked what the answer is................

I will also be told the number of the borough's pubs that are now without any entertainment permission.

The ignorance of the many changes resulting from the new legislation was as usual, pretty staggering and at one point both the officer and the councillor were urging me to just go ahead with organising a session in a pub without licensing permission as I would not be the one subject to prosecution............

Not too sure what chance they thought I had of persuading a licensee to re-start, when this council had already threatened to prosecute them for continuing under the old legislation.   

Watch this space for the answer - but don't hold your breath or expect too much when this letter arrives.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: pavane
Date: 24 Mar 06 - 06:00 AM

All music provided in hospitals, nursing homes and similar must presumably be licensable because there are always visitors, and also the performers usually get paid.

Similarly for exercise classes, I suspect


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 08:48 AM

Before all this licensing rubbish descended on me - over 5 years ago now - I was a calm and reasonably healthy soul who did not get stressed about very much. As a result of trying to make sense of all this I have now developed high blood prssure.

I have taken my pills and I am set for yet another meeting at 4.pm with my local officers. Wish me luck.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: stallion
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 07:59 AM

Ha HA,
Guess what, the reason I sing is to lower my blood pressure! True, my doctor was trying to rehab me after having six months off with stress and high blood pressure, "sing at least once, if not twice, a week". The missus was frothing about it, he then said to her "Do you want him dead". To wit I now sing every friday night, sacrosanct, so we are not entertaining but attending mass therapy classes like yoga and step aerobics, is that covered by the act?


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Mar 06 - 06:32 AM

I was watching BBC breakfast morning news this AM - it comes on at a civilised hour in Spain because we are an hour later (!!).

There was a piece about how music was being used to entertain patients at the Royal Hospital London, a harp and a guitar. It got their blood pressure down and was clearly therapeutic.

Now I would like to suggest that his could be regarded as regulated entertainment and thus licensable, and I do remember cases like these being put forward asthe sort of stupid thing that could happen if the bill went through in the form it eventually did.

There is an easy get-out for the hospital/licensing authority, (We was not entertaining the patients guv, we was treating them) but once again the absurdities of this act are exposed.

Anyone else see it?

Dave


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: pavane
Date: 20 Mar 06 - 09:52 AM

Key questions:

Firstly - who organised the event - NOT Tessa Jowell, I assume.
Therefore she is not the one who would be prosecuted.

Is the ORGANISER aware of the potential 20k fine?

If not, would she (I presume it is a SHE) still have done it if she knew? Probably NOT, I think.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Mar 06 - 09:29 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall

A few points to note before reading this transcript:

When questioned about Tessa's singing by the BBC and The Times last Thursday (16 March), DCMS initially claimed that the Act was about the application of 'common sense' and that no licence was required for 'live music that is incidental to a memorial service'. Later that afternoon, DCMS added another excuse: the event was private and not for profit.

But MPs had organised the performance well in advance and invited the press to record it. As such it was an event in itself, not incidental.

The BBC did not report any 'memorial service', they reported a 'celebration' and the singing. Indeed, in a Westminster Hall debate the next day, Linda Gilroy MP thanked the organisers, and called it 'a very celebratory event'. She made no reference to a 'memorial service'. In any case, it is hard to see that the laying of a bouquet beneath Emmeline Pankhurst's statue would qualify as such.

As for the private event claim, Victoria Tower Gardens is open to the public, and the new Licensing Act explicitly counts spectators as an audience.

Royal Parks had already submitted an application for a premises licence authorising entertainment, and this covers Victoria Tower Gardens. The application has been and continues to be advertised on the park railings, even though the closing date for representations was 1 March, a week before the MPs performance.

I understand 10 objections have been made, and these will have to be considered at public hearing. This will take place on 23 March - not sure where yet.

Westminster City Councillor Audrey Lewis implies that advertising a musical event is one of the legal reasons for licensing. In fact it is not a requirement under the Licensing Act. However, it appears to be one of the factors councils are using to assess whether a performance qualifies for the 'incidental music' exemption.

It would also appear that Westminster City Council is operating a policy of risk-based enforcement: no complaint, no action.

If this is possible, why is the pre-emptive criminalisation of unlicensed performances of this nature necessary at all?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Tessa's illegal singing - BBC R4 Today - Fri 17 March 2006, 7.45am approx

Presenter, Sarah Montague: The Secretary of State for Culture, Tessa Jowell, has broken the law. Not just any law, but a law she introduced. Remember that sing-song to mark International Women's Day? Well, just in case you don't, here's a reminder:

Tessa Jowell and other women MPs singing to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic (note the revised lyrics): My eyes have seen the women in the Commons and the Lords, they have trampled down the prejudice that was so long ignored, they have [fades out]...

Sarah Montague: Well, that was sung in Victoria Tower Gardens which is a royal park. And if you plan a musical event in a royal park, then under the terms of the new Licensing Act you need a licence. This is councillor Audrey Lewis who has responsibility for such matters on Westminster City Council.

Audrey Lewis: Well, technically to have a performance which was advertised of singing in a royal park, which is a premise under the terms of the new Licensing Act, was an offence because it has no licence. We would not, however, expect to prosecute because nobody has complained about it. It wasn't a question of law and disorder breaking out, or indeed public nuisance. Having said which, they've had a first offence. If they wanted to do this quite regularly they've had, they would get a warning and er I think that it's ironic that it's not only Tessa Jowell's law, it's Tessa Jowell in being involved in it, and of course it's Tessa Jowell who's responsible for the royal parks. So all in all [laughs] Tessa Jowell, I think probably knows by now that she can't do it again.

Sarah Montague: That was councillor Audrey Lewis. Well here with me in the studio is Hamish Birchall who's a musician who's been campaigning against the law. What do make of this?

Hamish Birchall: Well I think it's a superb example of the absurdity of the legislation, and er, this was discussed on internet chat groups just after the event happened. And I thought it worth looking into it a little bit more deeply, and um I know the law fairly well having worked on the Bill when it was a Bill. So I approached Westminster council, outlined the circumstances of the event and asked whether an offence had been committed.

Sarah Montague: You didn't complain, and that's one of the reasons that they said look nobody complained, it wasn't a case of law and disorder breaking out or a public nuisance.

Hamish Birchall: Oh no, I think it's absurd that people should face a potential criminal prosecution for something like this, but I think it does serve to illustrate the absurdity of the law.

Sarah Montague: Do you think there are many cases where sing-songs are not happening because of the law?

Hamish Birchall: I think people are a bit more wary of it, because erm although the government guidance is that, you know, spontaneous singing is exempt, actually there is very little spontaneous singing really in pubs. And in fact today, St Patrick's Day, there'd be a lot of planned singing in pubs and a lot of that will probably be illegal.

Sarah Montague: And so, there's, and there's do you think there is less singing going on as a result of the law?

Hamish Birchall: Probably not [laughs]...

Sarah Montague: [laughs] Because people will just get around it...

Hamish Birchall: It may not after this. It may not. This may discourage people.

Sarah Montague: Are you still campaigning to try to change the law?

Hamish Birchall: Yes.

Sarah Montague: But it's difficult to see what effect it is having.

Hamish Birchall: Erm, no. I've already er learned of three weekly jazz gigs in London that have been cancelled as a result of the new law.

Sarah Montague: Because they didn't have the appropriate licence?

Hamish Birchall: Well, because previously you didn't have to have a licence for one or two musicians and they were told that in fact they could carry this forward into the new regime, but you can't. Even if you provide one musician you'd need a new licence.

Sarah Montague: Ah, very interesting. Hamish Birchall thank you very much.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Mar 06 - 05:39 AM

In other words we (proprietor=taxpayer) are paying for a bunch of incompetent civil servants and their pensions.

When Gordon Brown is busy taking his axe to the civil service let´s hope some of the people responsible for this b*ll**ks are in the line-up.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 05:50 AM

Select Committee on Office of the Deputy Prime Minister:
Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Second Report

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

9 Conclusion



85. The Licensing Act 2003 gave the Department for Culture, Media and Sport the opportunity to simplify the licensing regime and reduce the regulatory burden on local authorities and licensees alike. The Act also aimed to provide residents with greater powers to object, and more involvement in the decision making process.

86. It is clear that, at present, the many problems encountered during the transition period are clouding the issue of whether the Act will be successful in these aims. It is unfortunate that so many errors have been made in the DCMS's planning during this time. There has been considerable stress on all parties, who were forced to deal with late regulations and guidance, inconsistent advice, unclear and irregular information and inadequate support. The ODPM failed local authorities: the department is there to support the workings of local authorities. We see little evidence that this was done during the transition period. Nor was action taken when direct appeals were made.

87. We hope that the DCMS review of guidance, and the Elton Review on fees will address many of the issues we have brought to the Government's attention. We regard the establishment of these reviews as a first step towards rectifying the problems inherent in the current system. The reviews should however seek to avoid imposing changes that will only cause further administrative burden, confusion or bad-feeling.


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Tootler
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 05:23 AM

Once again, the law's an ass

Enough incidents like this and maybe the politicians might just, possibly, on the 30th of February, begin to realise that something needs changing in the law. There again, I think I saw some porcine aviators flying over just now


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Subject: RE: Affected by The Licensing Act 2003
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 17 Mar 06 - 05:18 AM

One law for them, and thousands fo us, which they are allowed to break with impunity.

No change there, then!

Don T.


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