Mudcat Café message #733616 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47285   Message #733616
Posted By: The Shambles
20-Jun-02 - 09:57 AM
Thread Name: Killed by the PEL system
Subject: RE: Killed by the PEL system
Andrew Bishop, owner of Carlsboro electronics, the last British manufacturer of amplification equipment, has sent this tremendous open letter to his MP, Geoff Hoon:

Carlsbro 1960 - 2002

Thank you for taking the time to come to see me at the factory to discuss the business we are conducting in the Arab Countries and the latest situation regarding a recent Early Day Motion (EDM 1182).

As the owner of the last remaining British manufacturer of amplification equipment for musicians and singers, I write in the strongest possible terms to urge the government to change the law and allow more live music in England and Wales. Please remove the burden of the Public Entertainment License (PEL) and treat all forms of entertainment fairly. Here are my views in point form for clarity.

1. Live music venues are swapping stages for dining tables and installing video walls and recorded music systems in preference to live music as they do not have to apply, comply with or pay for a PEL.

2. As a nation we spend millions of pounds each year encouraging youngsters to play musical instruments and then prevent them expressing their skills by limiting the number of live venues in which they can develop their craft. Why give hope and take it away, the best method of encouraging children to learn is to give them an incentive.

3. In Britain we spend 20 million each year funding youth projects for live music bands are formed and then swiftly break up due to the lack of venues to play in.

4. In the course of a year we spend 50 million promoting Britain as a holiday location for overseas visitors. Gone are the days when the country can boast numerous live music venues depicting the culture of the nation. Most public places have little entertainment to offer. A mere 5% of public houses have a PEL.

5. Carlsbro employ 50 people and support 250 jobs in the local community. Our business is in jeopardy through lack of venues, reduced income to musicians resulting in no need to buy or replace equipment. British manufacturing is important to me and after 43 years we should be permitted to continue.

6. Drug usage in our inner cities continues to corrupt young children and cause distress to communities. Opening up live music venues and giving youngsters a reason to live through playing, listening and writing music is one method of giving hope to people less fortunate than you and I.

7. Music was our biggest export. Recognition was given to Sir Mick Jagger by the queen. He joins Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney. Clearly the nation recognises what contribution these stars bring to the British Isles, but who is following these fantastic ambassadors for the UK? We must act quickly to encourage youngsters to follow these icons by giving them the opportunity to play, in public.

8. Record companies are reporting record losses. This is not due to internet fraud but a lack of new talent publicly exposed for the benefit of all. The lack of new talent is illustrated by Elvis Presely who has been dead for many years but is currently number one in the charts in the UK.

9. Parents need reasons to encourage cultural activities for their children. I am a parent and all my children play at home. We have no live music venues in my town so it is unlikely they will continue. We have invested significant sums in instruments and lessons and it saddens me to think they will return to the computer screen or the television in the years to come as they have little or no reason to continue to play music with their friends.

10. With 2000 music shops in the UK it is estimated that over 30,000 people in the music business will loose there jobs as the industry declines into recession. What hope is there of a future for British music with no outlet for talent. All of this because we encourage local authorities greedy for cash to prosecute musicians thus killing a once great British music business. We cling on to the music of the Beatles, Dire Straits and the Jam whilst the industry cries out for new blood to revive British tourism, industry and music for everybody.

Please copy this letter to anyone be they government ministers or members of parliament who listen to music and encourage everyone to support the EDM 1182. Let us hope Mr Blair will support musicians and remove legislation which prevents development of all forms of music.

Please help us.

Andrew Bishop