Mudcat Café message #1239202 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70681   Message #1239202
Posted By: The Shambles
02-Aug-04 - 06:17 PM
Thread Name: A little more news on Licensing
Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
The public has until September 24 to respond to the draft policy statement that sets out what is expected from licence-holders.

This may be my local deadline but it is vital that members of every folk club, session etc do get involved in their local consultation process. This to try and ensure that folk activities in particular, never again get prevented for no good reason by legislation that was never intended for this purpose. If the Government are to be believed, this is not the purpose of this new legislation - it is up to us to ensure that our local authorities cannot ever use this new Act as they use the current licensing legislation. To ensure that your local licensing policy finds the words to ensure that the following from the Government is given real form and is not just 'spin':
Incidental live and recorded music to be exempted from licensing for the first time.
Unamplified live music in small venues to be treated exceptionally to ensure traditional and amateur folk music thrives.

It would be a good idea to try and ensure that something like the following (From Hamish) appears in your local policy.

Live music, dance, theatre etc: This authority recognises its duties under Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to take progressive measures to ensure that everyone can participate in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts. Artistic freedom of expression is a fundamental right, and this authority is bound by s.3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 to read and give effect to all legislation, including licensing legislation, so far as possible compatibly with the right to freedom of expression.

This authority will take all this into account when considering the licensing of live music, dance and theatre. Where the Licensing Act 2003 is open to interpretation which may be more or less restrictive for these activities, the authority will fully explain the reasons for its interpretation of the Act. In such cases, and particularly where licence conditions are proposed, the authority will set out in detail where, how and why it believes subsisting safety, noise, crime or disorder legislation, is inadequate such that licensing is, or licence conditions are, not only necessary, but a reasonable and proportionate means to address the risks arising from the entertainment.

The authority, in accordance with the Licensing Guidance document, will also monitor the impact on regulated entertainment, in particular live music and dancing, of the licensing provisions. Where it is found that such entertainment is being deterred, it will review its policy with a view to reversing that trend."