Mudcat Café message #698971 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46702   Message #698971
Posted By: The Shambles
26-Apr-02 - 06:13 AM
Thread Name: UK catters be useful TODAY
Subject: RE: UK catters be useful TODAY
On 12 April Licensing Minister Kim Howells said at the MODAL music conference:

'There are those out there who think the [licensing] Bill is only about alcohol. It is much broader than that and will bring much greater flexibility to the music industry too. Keep spreading the message and we will deliver on our promises.'

Press coverage of licensing reform has focussed exclusively on the possibility of 24-hour drinking (with the notable exception of The Times of 13 April).

Today, Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, attended the 10th anniversary conference of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers. In the press release from her Department she says: 'Pubs are at the heart of our communities, both in town and country. They bring a great deal of enjoyment and social contact for people of all ages.'

She also said: '... Sales of alcohol of around 30 billion each year generate duty and VAT that buys our country's schools, roads, hospitals and puts policemen on our streets. ... I am determined that we deliver on our promises and bring forward our new proposals to modernise our licensing laws as soon as possible.'

The reforms of liquor and entertainment licensing were then itemised. Top of the list... the potential for 24-hour drinking!

And not a word about live music.

If you contact your constituency MP urging them to support David Heath's Early Day Motion (EDM 1182) which emphasises the value of live music, highlights the absurdity of the current two in a bar rule and calls for reform, you might mention the discrepancy.

Remember:

It would be a criminal offence tonight for licensees in over 100,000 pubs, bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels in England and Wales to host a live performance by more than two musicians - because only 5% of these premises hold an annual PEL

In bars without a PEL, the latest Appeal Court decision (21 Feb) means that only the same two people can sing or play an instrument throughout an evening's entertainment. The latest High Court decision (12 April) allows pubs to open for 24 hours during the World Cup.

Live satellite television does not require a PEL

But... encouraging 'community-style singing' in pubs is a criminal offence without a PEL, and spontaneous singing is technically an offence although councils are 'unlikely to take action' (advice courtesy of the British Institute of Innkeepers).