Mudcat Café message #837709 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #53071   Message #837709
Posted By: The Shambles
30-Nov-02 - 10:40 AM
Thread Name: kim howells does it again (PEL)
Subject: RE: kim howells does it again
Howells Letter to Times - November 30, 2002

Intended purpose of Licensing Bill
From the Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Sir, The Licensing Bill would not criminalise impromptu or spontaneous singing (letters, November 27). What it would do is ensure that, where music and dancing are to be a regular feature at a venue, local residents would have the opportunity to air their concerns with the local licensing authority before a decision was made.

The Bill would improve the opportunities for musicians to perform in public venues. The Government does not accept that certain types of music, for example acoustic folk music, are never noisy and should therefore be excluded from the new licensing regime.

The licensing authority would have the power to impose necessary and proportionate conditions in order to protect residents and customers.

The Licensing Bill would allow people to have a good night out and enjoy themselves, while making sure that those that wish to stay in for a peaceful evening can do so.

Fees for licences will be set centrally by the Secretary of State under secondary legislation, and it would be open to her, where appropriate, to set fees at a reduced level for charities and religious groups or indeed to decide that they should be waived.

Some churches fear that disproportionate and costly conditions may be attached to licences. However, under the Bill all licensing authorities would be required to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. And it is intended that this will make clear that it would be wholly inappropriate to attach disproportionate conditions to licences affecting churches and other charitable institutions.

Yours sincerely,
Department for Culture,
Media and Sport,
2-4 Cockspur Street, SW1Y 5DH