Mudcat Café message #924692 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54636   Message #924692
Posted By: ET
02-Apr-03 - 02:39 PM
Thread Name: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
Subject: RE: Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs
Here is an extract from the debate. DOes this impress or save "sess

Dr. Howells: If it will help the Committee, I am willing to be intervened on on this issue.
I am not sure that I share the unease of some Opposition Members. If the entertainment is advertised and the purpose of the music is to draw in customers and to make a profit for the business, that has a direct bearing on the business and it would be difficult to describe it as incidental. On the other hand, the hon. Member for North Devon gave us an illustration. He goes to a pub on a Sunday where a jazz quartet plays in the corner: as there are not merely two players, it will have to have a licence. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman shakes his head. We have another example of a pub that is not properly licensed. If it is a quartet, it will already have a licence. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman meant to say that it was just a duo? He nods his head. In that case, it is two in a bar, and they do not need a licence.
I have tried to describe a distinction to the Committee. There might be a clear attempt by the holder of a licence to draw people into his premises by advertising the music that will be played. On the other hand, I occasionally get invited to some posh restaurants—it is one of the perks of my job, and perhaps at some time in the middle of this century the hon. Member for North-East Cambridgeshire will be invited to them himself—and there is a restaurant nearby where a good pianist plays jazz standards
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through the course of the evening. That music is incidental; it is tucked away in the corner. However, the hon. Member for North Devon is right that this distinction is not clear.
I would have thought that the hon. Member for North-East Cambridgeshire would be pleased with us because we have given the licensing authority the opportunity to use its common sense when it comes to defining what sort of music that is. I have made some suggestions about how it is possible to differentiate between what is incidental and what is the main attraction, and I used advertising as one example. I would have thought that the hon. Gentleman would be pleased to realise that some of the music played in a licensed premises could be described as incidental.
Jim Knight: I would not have become interested in the subject if it were not for Roger Gall, a constituent of mine, who lives on Portland, where there is a folk jamming session on a Friday night in a pub called the Cone House Inn. It became known that the landlord was comfortable with people coming along on a Friday night and playing their music. These sessions were not advertised. Such an event, which is not advertised or actively encouraged, may be a passive part of the atmosphere of the pub, and it may begin to build up business and become a substantial attraction and profit maker for the publican. Would the Minister regard such an activity as one that should be regulated under the Bill?
Dr. Howells: It seems that that is largely a spontaneous activity, to which people turn up occasionally, and it seems also that the word has spread that people can hear some nice music. However, as the hon. Gentleman says, the licensee does not spend money on advertising. If it is clear that music is being played in the corner of the pub, that would be incidental in my book. I do not know whether that gives him any comfort.
Often, if it is intended that the everyday meaning of a term be used in legislation, it must be judged commensurate to the circumstances of each case. I know that that has drawn some guffaws from Opposition Members, but I hope that the combination of the term ''incidental'' and the explanation that I have tried to give, taken together with the guidance that the Department will issue, will be sufficient to ensure that licensing authorities give due consideration to whatever music is being performed.