Mudcat Café message #912143 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54636   Message #912143
Posted By: The Shambles
17-Mar-03 - 06:55 PM
Thread Name: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
Perhaps someone should ask Dr Howells, if the application is so easy and simply a matter of a tick in a box, why a box should have to be ticked at all?


From Graham Dixon, on the E Petition site.

The success of this petition has already contributed to major changes in the UK Government's Licensing Bill. As originally published in November 2002, the Bill would have made almost all public performance of music or dance in England and Wales a criminal offence unless first licensed by local authorities. The Government said the increased licensing controls were necessary for public safety and noise reasons.

But since this petition was started in December 2002, the Joint Committee on Human Rights has found that a) the licensing regime could violate people's right to 'freedom of expression', and b) that the Government has provided no evidence, as the law requires, of any 'pressing social need' to justify the increased licensing controls.

The Government has responded with a number of concessions. Places of public worship will not now need a license to put on entertainment performances of any kind; garden fetes and private events raising money for charity will also be exempt.

On 11 March the Government said it would accept 'the principle that incidental live music should be exempt'. This is welcome. However, it remains the case that no license is required under this Bill for crowds to watch big screens or listen to juke boxes in any place with a powerful sound system; but an advertised performance by one un-amplified musician would be illegal, unless the premises was first licensed for live music. This applies irrespective of whether alcohol is sold.

The same would apply to any unlicensed performance of dance, whether indoors or outdoors. The provision of 'entertainment facilities', such as a piano, whether for public entertainment or private entertainment for profit, also remains a criminal offence unless licensed.