Mudcat Café message #704956 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47285   Message #704956
Posted By: The Shambles
05-May-02 - 06:59 PM
Thread Name: Killed by the PEL system
Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system
The following is an example of "ordinary people" making music (presenting no noise hazard), in pubs, being placed at risk by this being classed as public entertainment and the problems caused even when the licensee agrees to apply and pay for the PEL.

"It is not open to the authority to disapply the legal requirements to hold a PEL in respect of one particular type of entertainment. This Authority has a duty to apply legislation fairly and impartially".

The above was expressed in the report to the 05/06/01 Social /Community Committee meeting of Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

However, this is exactly what the panel of members have subsequently done, in imposing their non-standard condition to the Cove House Inn's second PEL at the hearing set up for this on 05/12/01. It could be argued that the panel making these distinctions is the proper thing to do. But for this to happen the activity needs first to be put at risk by being classed as a public entertainment and run the risk of the case not ever being presented to such a panel.
Should - the licensee just stop the activity and not apply for a PEL.
If an application is made and not objected to, for then the panel will not need to be set up.

This was an attempt at a common sense distinction reflecting a wider more balanced view that did not appear to be an option for the council's officers, whose condition, imposed by them alone to the first PEL was. - The Licensees are permitted to hold one outdoor charity event each year, which must cease no later than 6.00pm. This effectively prevented any other outside entertainment, not presenting any noise hazard (except for the once a year event).

After the expiry of the first PEL and when this was seen to have prevented Morris Dancing and non-musical entertainment, this was changed for the second PEL to outdoor musical events. This would still have prevented the regular Morris Dancing of course.

The members, to their credit, did not accept the officer's recommendation. The panel has attempted to make a common sense distinction between electrical amplified music and music which is not, and it remains to be seen how practicable this will prove to be.

The second non standard condition is as follows- "That no electronically amplified music shall be performed outside the premises with the exception of a single event for charity per year, and that at this event the music shall terminate at 11.00pm."

The panel was asked for the level and extent of any possible future noise hazard to be addressed by the appropriate noise legislation rather than impose a non-standard condition to the PEL. However, these old objections on the basis of noise from residents living some distance away, were still accepted as valid without this measure and the above non standard condition was applied to the second PEL.

The above reaffirms the risks presented to customer's musical activities (that have never received any public complaints, noise or otherwise), by the activity being described as public entertainment, its participants as performers and being caught up in a process under legislation never designed for such a purpose.

The officers do not appear to care if they prevent music that is clearly not public entertainment or noise.

From the report for the original hearing scheduled for 09/05/01. Backgound, "As a result of the Licensing Manager witnessing an unlicensed performance of public entertainment at the premises, the licensee's were invited to apply for a Public Entertainment Licence."

For the noise concerns, were old ones that had been dealt with and unrelated to the above reasons for the application being made, but were responsible for the hearings being required and resulting delays and expense. These noise objections were only resurfacing because the customers had been described as performers in a public entertainment and the procedure then required that the public were asked to write and formally comment on the PEL application.

If the council's officers had been instructed not to consider members of the public making music for their own enjoyment as performers in a public entertainment, the risk to the activity, uncertainty, expense to the taxpayers and bad publicity for the borough could have been avoided.