Mudcat Café message #842922 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54463   Message #842922
Posted By: The Shambles
07-Dec-02 - 06:00 AM
Thread Name: Can YOU help The Blue Bell session?
Subject: RE: Can YOU help The Blue Bell session?
21 November 2002
Dear Mr Wood
Bluebell Ph House. Helpston Musical Folk Evenings

I write in response to your letter dated 8 November 2002.

The current position is that investigations are still being carried out in respect of the Bluebell Public House, Helspston in order to piece together the full picture before any decision is made.

As you rightly say in your letter, we do have procedures and guidelines laid down for us to follow and these comply with the rules of natural justice. Also as the enforcing authority we have a duty to implement this legislation. In this particular case, it is the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

For your information, a licence is required under the 1982 Act for 'public dancing or music or any other public entertainment of a like kind'. A licence is required whether or not the public are entertained by a performer or music or dancing, or where the public themselves take part in the dancing or music.

Payment to gain admission is not relevant to deciding whether the public is being admitted to an entertainment that requires a licence.

I trust this helps to clarify the reasons why a licence is needed.

In response to the remaining points mentioned in your letter, I will reply to these in the same order..

1 It is not the intention of this Council to stop these folk sessions taking place; indeed the contrary. Once a licence has been obtained then members of the public can again enjoy these sessions.

2 The consistent enforcement of public entertainment legislation to ensure public safety and minimise nuisance from noise also ensures fairness between businesses whilst complimenting the Council's promotion of cultural well being in their area.

3. Environmental Health and Community Services work closely together on a range of events requiring public entertainment licences to ensure that they are safe and do not cause unnecessary disturbance to residents in the area. I have discussed your letter with them and requested they reply direct to you on the issues within their areas of responsibility.

4. We have a statutory duty to investigate all complaints received. In the case of the Bluebell we received an anonymous complaint alleging that entertainment was being held without the benefit of a Public Entertainment Licence and this was happening on a regular basis. Our impartial investigation confirmed that the matters raised in the complaint were justified.

5. Until changes have been made to the relevant statutory requirements we have an obligation to implement the relevant legislation as it has been enacted and interpreted by the Courts. It is not acceptable for officers, or the Council, to act outside the law as it stands. If the Government, or Government Ministers, consider that the current law is not acceptable it is for Parliament to amend the law or introduce new legislation.

If you have any questions, or queries, which you require answering please contact me on the above direct dial telephone number. I will not be available this coming Friday 22 November or Monday morning 25 November. If you wish to leave a message for me I wiJI contact. you when I. return.

Yours sincerely

Jane Bosworth
Technical Officer (Licensing) Environmental Health and Legal Services