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Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2

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Roger in Sheffield 07 Sep 01 - 08:39 AM
The Shambles 08 Sep 01 - 07:09 AM
Gareth 08 Sep 01 - 08:21 AM
Gareth 09 Sep 01 - 09:18 AM
Gareth 09 Sep 01 - 01:56 PM
Roger in Sheffield 09 Sep 01 - 02:25 PM
Gareth 09 Sep 01 - 06:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Sep 01 - 06:57 PM
The Shambles 10 Sep 01 - 01:07 PM
The Shambles 12 Sep 01 - 05:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 01 - 07:09 AM
GUEST 28 Sep 01 - 07:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Sep 01 - 08:20 AM
Snuffy 28 Sep 01 - 04:14 PM
The Shambles 29 Sep 01 - 03:40 AM
GUEST 29 Sep 01 - 04:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Sep 01 - 08:29 AM
The Shambles 29 Sep 01 - 09:57 AM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Sep 01 - 05:36 PM
Gareth 29 Sep 01 - 06:27 PM
The Shambles 29 Sep 01 - 07:55 PM
The Shambles 30 Sep 01 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,ruth@wombat68@fsmail 29 Oct 01 - 10:45 AM
Roger in Sheffield 29 Oct 01 - 01:00 PM
The Shambles 29 Oct 01 - 05:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 07 Sep 01 - 08:39 AM

Gareth its not my MP thats the problem, he has a secretary (in the mould of a doctors receptionist) who decides if letters are important enough for my MPs personal attention !


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 07:09 AM

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

Copied to the local paper. letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

To all UK Folkies who may (understandably) not wish their own councils to pay their events, the same attention and are reluctant to get involved.

Would you please join with the many UK folkies who have, and in particlar with those overseas to help win this BATTLE here in Weymouth and Portland?

We did not choose to fight this battle but we cannot afford to loose it.

A victory here will ensure that a clear signal will go out to all local authorities and make it impossible for similar action to ever take place again.

We have lost too many fine events already and cannot afford to loose here, as this will mean that the situation will continue..........THERE WILL NEVER BE A BETTER OPPORTUNITY TO CHANGE THIS AND SEND A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE.

The message that they are currently receiving is that they can do exactly as they please and the vast majority of people, UK folkies, directly affected and who should care, do not care enough to stop them...........

PLEASE HELP!


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Gareth
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 08:21 AM

And here on the WEB are the last 3 editions letters pages of the Dorset Echo

Click Here

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 09:18 AM

At the risk of boreing catters to tears the problems of interpretation of the Public Entertainment Licencese have now attracted the attention of "Stage" weekly news paper.

All press coverage can be found here.

PRESS COVERAGE

Iam sorry if they take a little time to load but much of this is JPG files.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 01:56 PM

Attention - since posting the above link I have had a few complaints that the above links don't always work.

Now as I am "piggybacking" these pages using spare capacity on the particular site, and am trying to expand so that there are cross links and an index to bring all relavent details to one place could I ask catters to PM me if there are any difficulties in getting through. Details as to error mesages and the name and version of your browser would help. Confidentiality is assured.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 02:25 PM

Gareth if its just me then ignore it, the weymouth site just crashed my browser too, so it looks like the problems this end


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 06:24 PM

Roger !

*&^%$ $£"!* !!"£$£$ $%^& "£$%^%^& (Explitives deleted)

Do you know how much time and effort that posting cost me re checking my HTML !!!!

No, it's not just you - I use "Hotmetal" as my HTML editor, I've now found, thanks to your post, that some versions of IE don't like "Hotmetal" - and if you've spotted where I'am "piggy backing" from you've done us all here in Caerphilly a bl**dy big favour.

The main site runs off "Hotmetal" too !

Gareth (With a very big grin !!)


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 06:57 PM

Roger in Sheffield - if you arfe sure that is happening, I'd suggest a letter addressed to the MP addressed as Personal, with a covering letter complaining about the secretary. That would have to get through. (Though in practice I wopuld suspoect that if the secretary is stopping letters getting through it is beacsue she or he has been asked to do so by the MP.

Keeping tracks on all these PEL threads going in parallel is getting tricky. I think some housework is required to simplify things.


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 01:07 PM

Feedback on The Stage articles will be welcomed

Letters Editor
The Stage Newspaper
47 Bermondsey Street
London
SE1 3XT

Or people can e-mail editorial_listings@thestage.co.uk
or fax on 020 7357 9287

feedback would be great!


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 05:36 PM

It looks that we will be having some local TV coverage?


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 07:09 AM

Well, all this has been a bit blown out of the water by other goings on.

However I've just had a letter back from my MP, Bill Rammell, following on the letter I sent him via Fax your MP. An acknowledgement, but an encouraging one, since Bill actually appears to understand the issues involved.

"I have written to the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions about this matter...I will be in touch again when I receive a reply.

"In the meantime, if I can be of further assistance, with this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me."

With a PS "Before I was an MP I was a University Manager and held various licenses including PELs. I agree the procedure is overly complex and restrictive. I will look at the minister's response with interest"

And in his letter to the department, with which he sent him a copy of the letter I sent him, Bill says:

"Mr McGrath raises a concern about the law which he says discriminates against people who wish to meet and make music or sing in public places such as cafes or public houses, need a Public Entertainment Licence.

"I would welcome your thoughts on this matter and look forward to receiving a reply in a format I can forward to my constituent."

And he sent this to Dr Alan Whitehead, The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department Transport, Local Government and the Regions, Eland House, Bressendon Place, London SW1E 5DU.

And here was the fax I sent him:

Thursday 6 September 2001

Dear Mr Bill Rammell,
I am writing to ask you to do what you can to end the situation in which the law discriminates against people who wish to meet and make music or sing in public places, such as cafes or public houses, by requiring that Public Entertainment Licences should be obtained.

Traditionally this kind of social activity has always happened, folk musicians meeting for sessions, Trad jazz played in the bar, singing round the piano. This has rightly been recognised in practice as a form of social activity, no different in principle from people playing darts matches or talking about football when they meet together.

However many councils appear to be interpreting their obligations under the 1982 Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act as requiring that they treat people taking part in such activities as taking part in a public entertainment performance. This means a PEL must be obtained.

In the case of public houses there is an exemption, if there are only two performers. This means that if a third person joins in singing the chorus, for example, the exemption ceases to apply. In the case of anybody singing or playing in any other public place, such as a cafe, there is no exemption even for a single 'performer'.

This is clearly absurd, and is also in clear breach of Section 10 of the Human Rights Act, which guarantees our right to expression.

Like many absurd laws its impact is mitigated by the fact that sensible local authorities apply them with discretion. However this does not always apply, and there have been a number of recent cases where the law has been applied in a way that has been oppressive.

I enjoy taking part in a number of such folk music sessions in pubs within the surrounding area. One of them was a monthly session in the Welsh Harp in Waltham Abbey, next to the Abbey Church. It was, rather unusually, devoted primarily to English tunes (rather than Irish or Scots or American etc - though in practice all kinds of music would end up being played). We played the music, quite a few of the regulars tended to sit over by the TV and watch the match. We were there primarily to entertain each other, not to entertain an audience, and we were not paid.

However this session ceased a few month ago, because the local council insisted that it could not continue without a Public Entertainment Licence being obtained. In common with 95% of pubs in this country, the Welsh Harp did not have such a licence. Reasonably enough the landlord did not see it worth while to go to the trouble and not insignificant expense involved in obtaining one, just for out benefit.

This is just an example which happens to have happened locally. Elsewhere in the country there have been cases where a publican was fined for allowing people to join in singing happy birthday when the two exempted performers struck up the tune. In Weymouth when a pub obtained a PEL it prohibited it from allowing Morris Dancers to perform there except on one day.

For far more information about this than I can give you here, I suggest that you have a look through this web site about 'Session Harassment' -
http://www.freenetpages.co.uk/hp/trg/SCoFF/session.htm#july2001 or this one by the Campaign for Live Music, http://www.tradmusic.net/calm.html

There are many other injustices in the world which are more pressing. But it does represent a real injustice, and is stops people enjoying themselves in a harmless and beneficial activity.

Moreover, since the issue is now fairly actively discussed, especially among people who value folk music and traditional music and dance, both in this country and abroad, and it is also starting to affect tourism, and I anticipate that this could rapidly mushroom.

Through the Internet I know that Americans who enjoy folk music are starting to cross England off their list for holidays. After all, this kind of restriction doesn't exist in many other countries, and would not be tolerated. And people have said that going to a country where this kind of restriction is in existence is distasteful in itself.

Moreover this whole thing is damaging to our dignity as a nation, and to our ability to preserve and regenerate our popular traditions. It is cultural vandalism. And it seems that nobody in politics cares about it.

Yours sincerely,
Kevin McGrath


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 07:25 AM

Thanks for posting that Kevin,

Just a small point, but putting so much in italics makes it quite hard to read.

I can read the bits in 'normal' type about quite as quickly as the italicised parts.

if you want to differentiate parts of you message (particularly in longer posts), try using the Verdana font - probably the easiest to read from a screen


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 08:20 AM

Verdana font? Presumably there's an HTML code form it, but I don't know it.

I find the Italic as easy to read as the Roman, unless maybe the text size is set very small.At medium (with Internet Explorer), it seems fine.

I like to print quotes in a different font, because that makes it easier to show when I'm quoting. If there's an alternative font I can use which is more legible than Italic, I'll likely use that instead. (Breaking my rule about ignoring GUESTs without handles, very exceptionally, and without in any way withdrawing my serious objections to that anti-social practice.)


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 04:14 PM

If you put <BLOCKQUOTE> at the start and </BLOCKQUOTE> at the end of the quoted sections, it insets the passage, like this (I hope):

"In the meantime, if I can be of further assistance, with this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me."

Wassail! v


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 03:40 AM

I will place the latest from Mr Grainger here, as this thread has 'popped'

If you wish to respond to any of the points he makes, he can be contacted here Wymouth and Portland Borough Council

25 September 2001

Dear Mr Gall

I am writing further to you letter of 2 September 2001, and your subsequent telephone calls to my personal assistant and myself. I have to say I am very disappointed in the contents of your letter. We are obviously going nowhere, as you continue to argue that the Council has an incorrect interpretation of the law, despite the very full response I gave to you at out meeting, and summarised in my letter of 31 August.

I cannot be any clearer about our view on this matter, than repeat to you Paragraph 1 and 2 of Schedule 1 to the Local government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1982.

The events at the Cove House Inn clearly fall within this definition and it is this council's view that there are no specific exemptions under the 1964 Licensing Act that render the requirement for a licence unnecessary. Various people, including you suggest that the Brearly-v-Morley case of 1899 means that the public are not performers. The circumstances in which the entertainment takes place at the Cove House Inn are quite different from those in that case, and in our view, make such an interpretation implausible.

As you know, Mr Birchall has also raised particular questions about the definition of performers. Mr Locke will respond to Mr Birchall and I will ensure you receive a copy of that reply. Once I have supplied a copy of Mr Lockes's reply to you, I do not propose to keep corresponding on arguments of law. I acknowledge that you have a different interpretation. That is your right, but ultimately, only the courts can decide and I would not wish any party to waste money unnecessarily. I have set out many times justification for our stance and I have no intention of repeating it again in the future. In any event, the princple paties involved are the licensee of the Cove House Inn and the Council, and I am not aware that either of these parties is looking for the matter to be taken further.

As far as the other issues you mention in your letter are concerned, these can be dealt with very simply.

Your paragraph 2- Other Music Sessions

We explained that enforcement is both proactive and reactive. We react to comments or complaints made about establishments and from time to time, visit other premises unannounced. However, random visits to check unlicensed premises are a relatively low priority for staff and it is, of course, possible that some entertainment is taking place without a PEL being in place. The responsibility for complying with the law is the licensee's not the entertainer's or the council's.

Your paragraph 3-Human Rights Act

We have responded to you on this matter previously. As you know, the human rights act does not override other legislation, but clearly is a material consideration. Our view remains that your human rights have not been infringed-and there is pretty clear evidence of this by the fact that you continue to operate at the Cove House Inn most Thursdays. As you say, ultimately only the courts can determine whether, in law any rights have been infringed. If you think they have, it is for you to seek your own legal advice and consider the options put to you by that legal advisor.

Your paragraph 4-Morris Dancing

As you know, Morris dancing has never been an issue that we have been asked to investigate. I have no intention of responding to hypothetical situations. If you would like to set out the circumstances in which any event, or series of events, such as Morris Dancing, are actually being undertaken, we will investigate further, and advise the people hosting the event whether a PEL is necessary. Of course, if Morris Dancing is taking place at the Cove House Inn, this would not be an issue, since the Cove House Inn has a PEL.

You also raised further matters in your telephone conversations. You specifically raised with me the nature of 'enforcement' action undertaken by my staff. There is clearly an obligation for specific procedures to be followed if enforcement action is to be taken. No enforcement action has been taken in relation to the Cove House Inn – informal observations were made and advice provided to the landlord on the basis of those observations. I remain satisfied that the Council's staff have behaved in accordance with the requirements of the law and good practice throughout the past nine months. If you continue to believe otherwise, I think you should take your complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Subsequently, you suggested to my Secretary that incorrect advice had been given in a letter sent from this council. In fact, the reply given in an e-mail confirmed that as of 10th September, the Cove House Inn has a Public Entertainment Licence. The local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 covers this provision and the reply is correct.

In concluding. I need to make a further remark. I do not believe, nor can I accept, that the campaign in various publications and websites that you helped launch, is at all helpful to Weymouth and Portland in general, or more specifically, the music and performing arts scene in Weymouth and Portland. At times it has been outrageously irresponsible – e.g. suggestions such as Morris Dancing being banned. The fact that you neither like the present law nor accept the interpretation of every Licensing Authority in the country (including Weymouth and Portland) does not excuse such an approach. The bigger prize remains a change in the law to overcome any difficulties and anomalies you can identfy. It is for this reason the Council is interested in hearing if and how the present legislation is impacting on musicians. A report will be made to the social and community committee of the Council, outlining the evidence and views we gather and it will then be up to Councillors to decide whether they wish to lobby for a change in the law. If you or your colleagues have such evidence, I would be interested in receiving it.

Yours sincerely


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 04:29 AM

Kevin,

Start the quote with<font face="Verdana"> and end the quote with </font>

The output will look like this

Sorry for the thread drift


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 08:29 AM

Sounds like Shambles is getting through to him. I love that "I have to say I am very disappointed in the contents of your letter. We are obviously going nowhere..."

Sounds like an exasperated headmaster to a stroppy fifth former.

In a PM to Shambles I have suggested that: I think that with Christmas rushing up would be timely to seek clarification as to whether carol singers in public places, such as doorsteps, are required to have PELs. And if not on what grounds does Weymouth feel able to waive the law in such cases in light of their claim that they are not allowed to have any discretion in such matters?

And also it sounds from the letter that he isn't aware that (if I understand the situation correctly) the PEL at The Cove means that the pub would be restricted from having Morris Dancers more than on one occasion in the year - and once again, woith Christmas coming up, any kind of Mummers would clearly be illegal.

I suppose the letter back could ask him to confirm that since the suggestion that Morris Dancing is being restricted is "outrageous" it is correct to undserstand that there are no such restrictions in place.


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 09:57 AM

If the licensee is correct, when I asked him to produce a valid PEL and he could not (and I think this is the test), the PEL has expired and all inside or outdoor performances of music and dancing are illegal.

If the Chief Executive and the Director of Tourism are correct, when they state that the PEL is valid (despite referring to the application for a new one). Morris Dancing could legally take place inside the rather small pub, but as all outside entertainment except for one day a year is not permitted by the conditions imposed on this PEL, outside Morris, would only be permitted on this one day.

Which ever is correct, there is certainly a restriction for regular and advertised Morris Dancing.


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 05:36 PM

So essentially the allegation, while outrageous, is completely accurate... That could be a line from a Savoy OIpera.

I think the whole situation cries out for a Gilbert and Sullivan treatment.


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Gareth
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 06:27 PM

No Kevin - Sounds more like the Chorus of the Vicar of Bray.

Vicar of Bray

Incidently those Catters who want to see the press coverage Click here Not much change but some salient points in the stage - Hit clikck 2 above then the stage.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Sep 01 - 07:55 PM

I suppose if I were stopped by a policeman and asked to produce my driving licence, he may expect me to produce it and may suspect that I did not have one, if I failed to produce it.

Of course driving licenses are not issued by local athorities, who appear to see it differently?

I wonder if they would be quite so understanding if they wished the licensee to produce a licence he claimed to have?


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Sep 01 - 08:42 AM

Q: Who needs a public entertainment licence (PEL)?
A: Anyone organising any public performance of live music virtually anywhere. Without first obtaining a PEL from their local authority they could face a criminal prosecution. Venues affected could include village halls, schools, hospitals, libraries etc etc.

Q: Does that mean even a piano recital in your own home could be illegal?
A: Yes, if the public were invited to attend.

Q: What is the penalty?
A: Unlicensed live music is a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is a £20,000 fine and six months in prison.

Q: Are there any exemptions allowed?
A: Yes: 1) performances when part of a religious service in a recognised place of worship; 2) performances on Crown land; and 3) performances by up to two performers in on-licensed premises (bars, restaurants etc).

Q: I play a guitar in my local pub, and use backing tapes. That's OK isn't it?
A: No. Combining even one live musician with any form of 'recorded sound' is illegal without a PEL. The term 'recorded sound' would also include minidisc. Even MIDI is being counted as 'recorded sound' by some local authorities.

Q: How many pubs, bars etc have PELs?
A: There are about 111,000 on-licensed premises in England and Wales, including all pubs. Only 5% actually hold annual PELs.

Q: Do members of the public count as 'performers' if they participate by singing along during a pub gig?
A: Yes, many local authorities interpret the law in this way. They cite case law precedent from 1793 to support this position.

Q: Does that mean more than two people singing could be a criminal offence in over 100,000 pubs, bars and restaurants?
A: For the licensee - yes.

Q: What if I organised a gig with one musician and invited different singers to 'do a turn'. Provided only two were performing at any one time, would that be OK?
A: Not according to London borough councils. They argue that only the same two performers should be allowed throughout the course of an evening.

Q: Does a pub need a PEL for any form of recorded sound or satellite television?
A: No - provided no live musicians play at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: GUEST,ruth@wombat68@fsmail
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 10:45 AM

Have read several of these but am quite unable to find the original problem. Makes it all rather surreal.


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 01:00 PM

Guest ruth it is very surreal
Tonight at the pub I will play some quiet acoustic music, if someone plays along thats OK, but if two people play along then the landlord will require a license from the council!
The purpose of the license is ensure that the premises have been checked for safety and noise concerns
Which suggests that any other pub can be extremely noisy and dangerous for the public just so long as not more than two people sing/play music???
It seems that the rule makers cannot understand the nature of a music session. Sessions are where singers and musicians go to sing and play music together. They don't attract any sizeable audience and so aren't money making entertainment for the pub. So the PEL rules act like a tax on landlords who allow sessions in their pubs. Which is why most of the hundreds of people who play in UK pub sessions keep quiet on this subject lest their session be stopped by the PEL tax. Many UK Mudcatters play in pub sessions but prefer not to defend their right to do so


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Subject: RE: Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Oct 01 - 05:36 PM

This is the background.

When the current licensees took over the Cove, my wife and I performed there as conventional paid public entertainment. As a result the Friday night became a regular night for this.

As long as the two-performer aspect was kept to, a Public Entertainment Licence was not required as the Section 182 exemption (the so-called two-in a bar rule) applied.

Another pub has held a regular sing-around for about 5 years now, without a Public Entertainment Licence. This is not a conventional public entertainment. The musicians are unpaid customers just making traditional song for their own entertainment, with the permission of the licensee.

The licensee of The Cove had visited this sing-around with me and would have liked to have a similar thing in their pub but did not want to take away any customers from this establishment.

This original session became busy and there was a conflict between songs and tunes. We thought that a session on another night of the week, for tunes only would solve a number of problems. We needed to advertise that it was for tunes only.

In our naivety we did not dream that the licensing authority would class customers providing their own traditional music, as performers for the sole purpose of preventing it.

I advertised for participants for the first night 07/12/00, in our local paper, the licensing manager saw this, wrongly assumed that the licensee had place it and was staging a public entertainment.

The premises were visited the next day 08/12/00 and the licensee was threatened, even though at this point, the event had not been witnessed to ascertain how many musicians were involved.

When it was witnessed they saw what they wanted to see, a public entertainment with more than two performers. They did not bother to speak to any of the musicians. A letter was issued warning that the licensee faced a possible £20,000 fine or a six month prison sentence if it continued.

When I heard of this action I stopped the single advert in the local paper. I contacted the licensing dept and explained. It would be fair to say that they did not really consider it to be any of my business but a matter only between them and the licensee.

Despite the council's other obligations, all they appeared to be concerned about was that it was unfair on the pubs that had PELs. The original event has not received any attention from our officials and continues.

Events of this nature usually stop at this point, the licensee being unwilling to pay for the cost of a PEL. The session struggled on as a private party, attempting to exclude the public as in this case the licensee did apply for a PEL on 01/02/01.

The PEL was eventually granted on 16/05/01 but with conditions that were not decided by councillors, in the public hearing scheduled for this on 09/05/01. This hearing being cancelled at the very last moment, by the officers, and the conditions applied in private.

These conditions preventing any outside entertainment from taking place except once every August. I have established that this includes Morris dancing on land belonging to the premises. Far from enabling it the PEL has resulted in this traditional activity at the pub being prevented and made the public less safe.

I did not feel that the elected members and the public would be happy with this and requested that the policy and the future of traditional music locally, be decided by a meeting of the elected members.

Eventually on 05/06/01 a meeting of the Social and Community Committee were recommended to "confirm that steps taken by Licensing Officers to encourage an application from the proprietor of The Cove House Inn., Portland for a licence permitting public entertainment on the premises were appropriate and justified".

The officers presented 'advice' for this meeting, that really gave the members no other choice but to confirm this. They state: "By applying the relevant licensing legislation the council has imposed conditions and restrictions on Mr Gall's rights (of freedom of expression), that are legal, necessary and proportionate in the interests of public safety, control of nuisance and the prevention of crime and disorder.

They admit that no public complaint was ever received about the session and no additional safety, noise, or crime measures were required to enable the granting of the PEL.

In other words everyone was just as safe before this action as they were with a PEL and there were clearly never any grounds for preventing, from 08/12/00 to 16/0501, the right of freedom of expression contained in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights?


Paid for and issued on 16/05/01 the application for renewal needed to be made and paid for again on 02/06/0 as the PEL was valid only until 30/06/01. As all they all are, apparently.

An application for renewal and revision was made, even though there was nothing to renew and the public notice appeared in the local paper on 08/08/01.

The officers have stated that the PEL was valid as of 10/09/01. Ignoring their own rules and the law, deciding to do and say exactly what they want as usual. The members appear to accept this.

Mr Grainger stating on 24/10/01: Clearly therefore the phrase' a valid PEL is held' is not correct. I apologise if you were misled on this matter of law. I do have to say however that our view remains that it is a technicality, which has no impact on the ability of the Cove House Inn to carry on providing the type of entertainment permitted by the 'old PEL, pending consideration of the new application.

Since the officer's first visit 08/12/00 to date, The licensee has paid for two PELs and the Cove House Inn has only had a valid PEL for six weeks!

From 08/12/00 to 16/05/01: The officers maintain that premises were unsafe for 'entertainment', without a PEL, under the law.

From 16/05/01 to 30/06/01
: The premises were considered safe although no additional safety measures were introduced to enable the PEL to be issued. This was to expire 30/06/01.

From 30/06/01 to date. The premises were unsafe for 'entertainment', without a PEL, under the law. The officers now choose to ignore the very law that they claim made their actions "legal, necessary and proportionate in the interests of public safety, control of nuisance and the prevention of crime"

.

Where the provisions apply it is a requirement to have a licence and not something on which we have any discretion. Mr Locke in his letter to Ian Bruce MP 22/03/01

The officers claimed the council would be challenged for not enforcing this law.

The local paper for 25/10/01, clearly states a trio will be performing at the Cove House Inn. The officer's will no doubt ignore this advert, Mr Locke's view considered more important than the law?


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Mudcat time: 17 October 11:42 AM EDT

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