Mudcat Café message #538188 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #38260   Message #538188
Posted By: The Shambles
30-Aug-01 - 12:27 PM
Thread Name: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
The following appeared in the Dorset Evening Echo 30 August 2001.

LIVE MUSIC IS ALIVE AND WELL

I hesitate to make a song and dance about some of the red herrings contained in recent letters to the Echo about the borough council's policy on public entertainment licenses, but I do need to set the record straight.

The borough council has a duty to administer the public entertainment licensing system under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

That legislation was introduced to achieve two objectives:
1 To ensure that there are adequate safeguards, inspections and limits to ensure the safety of all persons at the place where the entertainment is taking place;
2 To ensure the amenity of local residents and others is protected from noise and disturbance.

In looking at these two areas it obviously makes no difference whether performers are paid or not. Exactly the same public safety and amenity issues will apply in either case.

What we have to look at is whether legally there is an 'entertainment' within the Act. I am clear that the Act does apply. Mr Roger Gall has not come forward with any evidence that any other authority interprets this law any differently.

The comments of Mr Gall and others are particularly ironic in that Weymouth and Portland is known to have more live music than any town of comparable size.

He states that only six per cent of pubs have public entertainment licenses. That may be true nationally. It is obviously not true here; 68 premises in Weymouth and Portland have public entertainment licenses and eight more are currently being licensed.

Turning to the question of Morris dancing, I am not aware that the council has ever had an application for a licence for this, or even a request for advice about a specific event.

It follows that any statement that we are 'discouraging Morris dancing' is rather wide of the mark.

Finally, it is particularly galling to be accused of being anti-music when the borough council has done so much locally to encourage amateur as well as professional music.

One only has to think of the Millennium Festival on Weymouth Beach last year and the series of events we have been holding this summer in the Pavilion.

Ian Locke --Director of Tourism and Corporate Services