Mudcat Café message #1208769 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70681   Message #1208769
Posted By: The Shambles
16-Jun-04 - 02:40 PM
Thread Name: A little more news on Licensing
Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
This is the letter to my MP. The more folk who write, the more chance there is of some action.

Live TV sport in pubs

Dear Mr Knight

Under Schedule 1, para 4, the Secretary of State may by order add, vary or remove descriptions of entertainment.

In view of the violence of football fans in bars following the England football team's defeat on the 13 June, can I request that you write on my behalf to the Secretary of State? Can she use her powers under the Licensing Act 2003 so that sporting events will become 'regulated entertainment' when broadcast in bars, pubs etc?

Would it also be possible to do this to ensure that small-scale participatory sessions can take place without the premises requiring additional licensing? Or being prevented without this and licensees (and the 'organisers' of these) facing criminal prosecution? And that the position of these under the Act activities is clarified as being 'incidental'?

Under the Act, exactly the same music as takes place in these sessions, can be performed in a pub by exactly the same unpaid participants as safe and exempt from the additional licensing permission, only when there is (Morris) dancing to this music!

In other words, it is only unsafe and requiring additional licensing permission, without the dancing! If there is some logic to all of this, it will need to be good explanation to convince the vast majority of the voting public and the media of this. I suggest that it would be a far better option for the Secretary of State to review and use her powers to change these descriptions of regulated entertainment.

The facts demonstrate that the potential risks presented by these two activities could not be further removed from one another. But the one currently presenting real problems and presenting the potential for future major incidents, is now free and will be free under the new Act, from additional licensing permission. And just as importantly, from any imposed safe maximum safe capacity limits. Those which even the smallest non-amplified musical gathering is thought necessary to be first subject to in a pub.

I would also be grateful if you would ask for a copy of the response her department gave to the Association of Chief Police Officers' representative (Peter Keown) when, in 2002, he recommended on ACPO's behalf that such entertainment when provided in licensed premises be licensed as regulated entertainment under the Act because 'they attract large crowds and are quite frequently a source of disorder'.

Three of the four objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 are: 1) to prevent crime and disorder; 2) to ensure public safety; and 3) to prevent public nuisance (Licensing Act 2003, s. 4 (2)). You will also remember that Tessa Jowell launched the original Bill as 'a central plank in the government's drive to tackle antisocial behaviour'.

I puzzle to try and square all of this with the reported Government concern with antisocial behaviour. Many of us have experienced great difficulties with local authorities, in trying to hold these sessions, which are not in any way anti-social but the complete opposite. These difficulties and uncertainties look set to continue under the new Act. In stark contrast with the current ease by which these pub TV sports events and the risks presented by them, can currently take place and the ease by which this is set to continue under the Licensing Act 2003.

Your sincerely