Mudcat Café message #537017 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38260   Message #537017
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
28-Aug-01 - 06:20 PM
Thread Name: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
And here is the one thta immediately followed it, which otherwise might get missed, which would be a pity

From: Kimberlin
Date: 28-Aug-01 - 05:48 PM

As a public servant employed by Weymouth Council (but not in licensing) I am probably one of the few people to agree that if a licence is required by any pub due to mplaying of music than that requirement should be enforced universally whatever the background to the case. If you do not enforce rules universally, but only when you feel like it, anarchy entails. By this I mean that once you enforce it for one pub you must enforce it for all.

However that said this law is absolutely ridiculous as it is written (ie without an amateur performer exclusion) as it means every pub requires the licence as you can guarantee that more than once a year "happy birthday" will be sung and "Auld lang syne" will be rendered at new year.

The law needs to be changed to exclude all amateur performances from the scope of the law whether it is new music or traditional music. The fact that through this forum we support folk & roots music is irrelevant to the argument - the key factor is whether the performers are being paid whether they are playing folk, rock, reggae, jazz, Bangra, classical or whatever. All musicians whatever it is that they play should support a campaign to keep live, amateur, music venues open and unlicensed other than for sensible items such as noise levels and safety matters.

However before that change occurs a campaign needs to be aimed at the Local Government Association in the hope that an agreed national code of practice can be issued for the UK that means all local authorities interpret the rules in the same way particularly if, as seems sensible, an agreement is reached nationally that enforcement of the need for a PEL does not occur where the musicians/dancers are unpaid and any collection made on the night for dancing etc goes 100% to charity and not "club" funds.

The law is stupid but so is the current erratic policy regarding enforcement and I am sure as many people will be annoyed if they find their Council is not collecting revenue it could collect as are currently annoyed by what they see as over zealous enforcement of the current stupidly worded law!!!

I certainly hope that my Council tax is being kept down through the persuit of income by relevant officials of both the County and the District Councils - hence the dilemma raised by this daft Act of Parliament!