Mudcat Café message #897318 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54636   Message #897318
Posted By: The Shambles
24-Feb-03 - 10:51 AM
Thread Name: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
This is a copy of a press release issued by the Musicians' Union this morning (Mon 24 Feb). Note that today is not the last day on which amendments can be proposed. There is a final '3rd Reading' debate scheduled for early March. The Bill will go to the House of Commons in mid- or late-March:

Members of the House of Lords are expected to vote today on a series of live music amendments to the Licensing Bill. Opposition Peers are hoping to defeat the Government's proposed legislation that would make even solo acoustic performance illegal unless licensed, abolishing a long-standing exemption for up to two live performers. The Government claims reform is necessary to control potential noise nuisance.

General Secretary John F Smith said: "Given the Bill's exemptions for big screen broadcasts or pub jukeboxes, no matter how powerful the amplification, we have never understood the Government's position. There is plenty of legislation that already covers both noise and public safety. It applies across the UK, and in Scotland no licence is required for live music that is secondary to the main business of restaurants and bars. Similarly liberal regimes work well in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe.

"We accept that licensing may be necessary to control premises that specialise in music or music and dancing. But where live music is secondary to the main business, licensing is a sledgehammer to crack a nut. There are many hoops to jump through, including public consultation. Being exempt, jukeboxes and big screens will be the easy option for many licensees.

"Now more than ever we need to stimulate the grass roots of the music industry. Most of our 32,000 members will seek work in this sector at some time in their careers, but never have there been fewer places to play.

"Many Peers have spoken eloquently on our behalf. I would like to thank all of them, particularly Lord Redesdale and Baroness Buscombe. I only hope their amendments succeed today".

The Marshalled List of Amendments is available at the Parliament website:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/021/amend/ml021-i.htm

A number of Lords have put down amendments relating to live music, including Baroness Buscombe and Lord Beaumont of Whitley. Lord Redesdale's Amendments 8 and 12 provide exemptions for the playing of live music that is incidental to other activities (giving parity with the Government exemption for the playing of recorded music in this context), and an exemption for acoustic or minimally amplified live music.

ENDS