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ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?

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The Shambles 08 Sep 01 - 07:31 AM
The Shambles 08 Sep 01 - 07:45 AM
Gareth 08 Sep 01 - 08:19 AM
Gareth 08 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM
Morticia 08 Sep 01 - 09:42 AM
GUEST 08 Sep 01 - 10:20 AM
Dave the Gnome 08 Sep 01 - 12:50 PM
Roger in Sheffield 09 Sep 01 - 05:06 AM
The Shambles 09 Sep 01 - 06:25 AM
Gareth 09 Sep 01 - 09:17 AM
Gareth 09 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 09 Sep 01 - 10:37 PM
The Shambles 10 Sep 01 - 02:15 AM
The Shambles 10 Sep 01 - 02:33 AM
The Shambles 10 Sep 01 - 01:03 PM
Dave the Gnome 11 Sep 01 - 05:32 AM
The Shambles 11 Sep 01 - 08:38 AM
GeorgeH 11 Sep 01 - 09:19 AM
The Shambles 11 Sep 01 - 09:54 AM
The Shambles 11 Sep 01 - 09:57 AM
GUEST 11 Sep 01 - 01:25 PM
The Shambles 11 Sep 01 - 01:33 PM
The Shambles 11 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM
The Shambles 11 Sep 01 - 02:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Sep 01 - 02:14 PM
Gareth 12 Sep 01 - 06:38 PM
The Shambles 17 Sep 01 - 03:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Sep 01 - 04:26 PM
Dave the Gnome 17 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM
The Shambles 18 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM
Dave the Gnome 19 Sep 01 - 09:07 AM
The Shambles 24 Sep 01 - 02:28 AM
The Shambles 26 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM
The Shambles 26 Sep 01 - 05:40 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Sep 01 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,Peter Jones 27 Sep 01 - 09:52 AM
The Shambles 27 Sep 01 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,puzzled 27 Sep 01 - 01:37 PM
Gareth 27 Sep 01 - 03:01 PM
The Shambles 28 Sep 01 - 02:43 PM
The Shambles 03 Oct 01 - 01:38 PM
The Shambles 06 Oct 01 - 03:43 AM
Roger in Sheffield 06 Oct 01 - 04:03 AM
The Shambles 06 Oct 01 - 06:30 AM
The Shambles 06 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM
The Shambles 06 Oct 01 - 04:32 PM
Dave the Gnome 07 Oct 01 - 01:25 PM
The Shambles 08 Oct 01 - 01:29 PM
The Shambles 10 Oct 01 - 05:34 PM
The Shambles 13 Oct 01 - 05:45 AM
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Subject: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 07:31 AM

I am constantly amazed at the apathy shown generally in the UK. We as a nation seem to think that our officials know what is best for us, even when they clearly demonstrate that they do not.

The whole fabric of what makes traditional folk events special, is now under serious treat form these official's interpretation of the law, made mainly in ignorance of the effect is having.

We do care, for in these pages you will see us arguing over the smallest detail or even what the 'bloody music is. There will be people who quibble with this thread and my methods too.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT THE MUSIC YOU LOVE?__________ACT NOW!

For no one else cares! Please give your views and comments to the following NOW?

And keep on doing it………………………Until we win!

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council

Please also Copy to the local paper. letters@dorsetecho.co.uk, the shorter the better.

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!

Write an Email for Shambles?, will give you the detailed background to this.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 07:45 AM

See also UK Folkies - the law

This contains the latest justification of their actions, from the Chief Executive of the council. See if you can understand what he is saying, let alone agree with him?

Let's sort this out NOW, It will prevent me starting any more threads and will stop you all having to read (or try to ignore) them. *smiles*

Thanks Roger


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Gareth
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 08:19 AM

And here on a Website are the last 3 letters pages of the Dorset Echo.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Gareth
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 09:20 AM

CliclK Here for Dorset Echo Pages - finger trouble

Gareth


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Morticia
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 09:42 AM

letter written and copy PM'd to you,Roger.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 10:20 AM

Shambles - give it a rest. Everyone's read about your plight, many have helped. Those that haven't probably don't want to.

Why don't you just pay your 55p and shut up?

Folk music won't 'die' one way or the other


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 08 Sep 01 - 12:50 PM

OK - email sent. Now how about a little help for the plight of our club and those others who are being forced to pay exhoribitant ammounts towards the upkeep of already rich songwriters? See BS: PRS - Friend or Foe? for more details.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 05:06 AM

guest it's not about 55p and never was, its about pubs having to subsidize sessions. If a landlord has twenty people in the pub that's OK, if those people start singing together he is then obliged to pay 365x55p to allow them to do so - for safety reasons. It can't be right surely?
Folk music won't die, of course not, but ordinary folk will be denied the chance to sing and make music together without being charged

The problem I think is that we all have to work together or not at all. If only a handful of people make fuss then the danger is that nothing changes, or worse that attention is drawn to all those pubs that are being overlooked at present
Its a real shame, the case looks so strong for freeing pubs from this catch that I would like to keep fighting.
On the other hand I have not received any support from the local area, no willingness to fight this
I am worried that if this is pursued without greater support then it could be very damaging.
Yesterday I mentioned this to McFat in an otherwise empty pub and felt very guilty indeed when I noticed the landlady was listening and looking very worried.
So where do we go from here?


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 06:25 AM

I think Weymouth and Portland Borough Council have set the exapmle to follow............

They just keep on, with their now discredited arguments, and nothing to gain because they think they have no choice.

We have NO CHOICE but to use everthing in our power to ensure that the traditional activities that others appear to value can continue as they have always done, in the UK.

There is another article in the Stage. The justification the council is using in this article, is surreal. All we have to do is to keep getting them to publicly attempt to justify their actions and they will strangle themselves, with their own words.

It may appear that UK folkies know about this situation, but they do not.

I have been playing in sessions this weekend at Swanage festival. No one playing in them that I have spoken to, was aware!!!


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 09:17 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: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Gareth
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 01:55 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: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 10:37 PM

Refresh, lets keep going with this one, today it is this pub, next week it could be ours.Fist they came for.......


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 02:15 AM

Then they came for me.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 02:33 AM

Kevin's fine song on the subject


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Sep 01 - 01:03 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: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 05:32 AM

I emailed Ian Locke on the basis that as it was tourism that would be most affected he may apply extra pressure. I also remebered that in the early days of this discussion he was at least sympathetic. Here is the reply -

Dear Mr Polshaw

In reply to your email I would make the following points:
1. The Cove House Inn has a Public Entertainment Licence granted by the Council and can hold folk sessions without difficulty.
2. There is probably more live music in pubs in Weymouth and Portland than anywhere else of comparable size.
3. The issues as to public safety and nuisance suffered by neighbours apply whatever the source of music. We have currently an application from the Cove House Inn to extend hours for music outside and we have 4 or 5 objections from neighbours. They have a legitimate point of view too.
4. Any affect on tourism is not being caused by actions of the Council which have been legally and reasonably correct but by misinformation as to what the real situation is.
5. Noone has yet been able to point to a local authority which takes a different view. All the ones we have consulted take a similar line to us.

Regards

Ian Locke

Would anyone care to refute any of Mr Lockes comments? If the Cove can have music sessions whenever they want what exactly is the issue? If it is neighbours rasing objections to extending the sessions outside don't they, as Mr Locke points out, have 'a legitimate point of view too'?

Not siding with the council at all but is there some 'mis-information' here? Can someone put the record straight?

Cheers

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 08:38 AM

The Coves PEL expired on the 30th June, after being valid for only 6 weeks, but charged the full fee. The pub is in the process of applying for a new one.

The period for the public to comment on this application is up or nearly so. There have been the same objections as last time (noise, unconnected with the session), so a Public Hearing, with a panel of councillors will now decide.

This application to extend the outside hours for music also, he rather cleverly refers to, is because of the silly restriction placed on the last one. The one that prevented Morris.

But the PEL has expired and they did not notice until the licensee pointed it out.

The objections are to the new application for the expired PEL. Not for anything that was not applied for previously.

Mr Locke is totally wrong..........You may wish to point this out to him and the local paper letters@dorsetecho.co.uk?

You must remember that Mr Locke is a solicitor. Good try Mr Locke, but he has shot himself in the foot.....Thanks Dave.

Dave or anyone else, PM or Email me at roger.gall@btinternet.com if you are still unsure.

Yes there is mis-information here, It must be pretty clear by now who is providing it too?


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 09:19 AM

Dave the K

Here's my comments on the points you make:


1) It had a licence which expired. I believe this was a
    short-term licence. In any case the essential argument
    is that such an event should not require a licence.

2) Impossible to test - personally I'm highly dubious.

3) Totally untrue. Music from a disco, or a duo (no
    matter how extensively amplified) would be unaffected
    by the council's ban on "sessions", since such
    activities would not need a PEL. (Nusance or danger
    from such sources COULD be used to oppose renewal of
    the pub's "Alcohol" icence but this seldom happens.)

4) Also largely untrue. The council has to decide on what
    interpretation it puts on the law. While some other
    councils share its view, many others take a different
    view. Even IF the council is LEGALLY correct (and
    certainly it can argue that it follows a possible
    interpretation of the law) it is NOT reasonable.
    Mr Locke has twice refused to explain to me how the
    danger/nuisance of a session is greater than that of
    other events which CLEARLY do not require a PEL.

5) I do not believe this. I could cite a number (look
    at almost any town-based Folk Festival).

In short, Mr Locke is being - at best - "economical with the actuality" or whatever! He's also claimed elsewhere that there's been no ban on morris dancing. His grasp of the facts seems sadly limited!

George


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 09:54 AM

Weymouth and Portland Borough council

It is probably more accurate for Mr Locke to refer to five comments on the new application to replace the expired PEL?

Four of these will be noise objections to a once yearly outdoor charity fund-raiser, involving amplified music.

The other will be a letter of support for the application, from me. Exactly the same as for the first application for the PEL that expired on 30 June 2001

For I am sure he would not wish to mis-inform anyone?


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 09:57 AM

we have 4 or 5 objections from neighbours. They have a legitimate point of view too.

That is a first.......He states that I have a legitimate point of view too.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 01:25 PM

given today's events - not too 'urgent' after all...


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 01:33 PM

Todays events do tend to put our problems into perspective. One does not feel like making music at all.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 01:58 PM

I will go on with this, even harder, as I can't allow the negative aspect of this life to win, even in such a relativly minor issue as this one.

Let us make sure that we can try and bring some positve elements into our world..........


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 02:01 PM

Thoughts/prayers for those involved


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Sep 01 - 02:14 PM

"Better to light a candle than curse the darkness" may sound like old hippy-trippy stuff, but it makes sense. And that is what this is about really.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Gareth
Date: 12 Sep 01 - 06:38 PM

More Press Coverage

CLICK HERE

Gareth


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 03:51 PM

As of this morning, and at at his request, Mr Grainger has been supplied with all the imformation he could possibly require.

Examples in the media and, in their own words from many musicians up and down the land, of sessions and gigs suffering from the over zealous enforcement of current entertainment licensing.

These are still being supplied to him and you could add to this.....

It remains to be seen what he will now do with this requested information. I wonder for example if he will present it to the elected members of his council?


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 04:26 PM

I'd have thought it would be quite appropriate to send the councillors a copy of this dossier.

Anything further heard about that legal article by Suzanne something which Richard Bridges was chasing up?

(In the present context this may seem like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. But I've always felt differently about that cliche since I heard that there actually was someone rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. He was building a life raft, and it worked and he survived. I think that is actually true, but if it isn't it should be.)


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Sep 01 - 07:40 PM

No reply from Mr Locke about my last letter casting doubts on his reply, Roger. I'll keep you posted.

DtG


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Sep 01 - 01:55 PM

With Dave's permission this is the letter to which he refers. It has not been replied to......yet.

Dear Mr Locke

Thank you for your reply. However, having re-checked my sources, I believe that the only mis-information being provided is by you.

I would be grateful if you could address the following points before I contact the press.

1. The Cove House Inn has a Public Entertainment Licence granted by the Council and can hold folk sessions without difficulty.

Is it true that the Cove applied for a PEL on 01/02/01, obtained it only on 16/05/01 and that in July the licensee pointed out to your Licensing Manager that this licence had expired on 30/06/01? If so can you confirm and apologise for the misinformation you have supplied?
Would you confirm that as of the date of your communication to me, The Cove House Inn does not have a valid PEL and that given your strict interpretation of the law and the word performer, would be curently illegal there, if more than two people were singing?

3. The issues as to public safety and nuisance suffered by neighbours apply whatever the source of music. We have currently an application from the Cove House Inn to extend hours for music outside and we have 4 or 5 objections from neighbours. They have a legitimate point of view too.

In the light of the above, would you confirm that your Chief Executive Mr Grainger, in a letter to Mr Gall, stated on 31/08/01 that: "I should make it clear that there have never been any allegations, that we know of, that the Thursday sessions that you take part in threaten public safety, or produce obtrusive noise to neighbours".

At the moment you know the nature of the complaints you refer to. I understand that this will soon be public knowledge. Could you please confirm that you have four or five comments on the application all with "a legitimate point of view" but could you please confirm that these are to an application for a Public Entertainment Licence and that all of these are objections to this application, as you stated?

I have subsequently been informed that that you are responsible for public licensing matters. is there any reason that you did not correct my assumption that you were not?

4. Any affect on tourism is not being caused by actions of the Council which have been legally and reasonably correct but by misinformation as to what the real situation is.

Given the "misinformation" that you have supplied in your reply to me, I will make no further comment other than to question whether you are in fact aware of what "the real situation is", or if you are aware, you do not appear to wish to inform others exactly what "the real situation is".

5. Noone has yet been able to point to a local authority which takes a different view. All the ones we have consulted take a similar line to us

Others may have not taken the action or attempted to justify it. Is imposing a bad policy on the people your borough, and blaming it on central Government, just because others may, the action of the enlightened borough your PR, claims to be?

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 19 Sep 01 - 09:07 AM

14:07 BST. 19/09/2001. Still not a word from Mr. Locke.

DtG


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Sep 01 - 02:28 AM

Has there been any other replies?

It would be most helpful to have more examples of this "misinformation", from the council. As this accusation appears to be their only defence of their actions.

It has tended to work, when the people they are talking to, do not press them too hard on the details of what the council have actually done.

Mr Grainger is going to let the councillors know the 'dossier' exists and he will refer to it............He is not going to copy it to them.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 05:35 PM

The latest from The Chief Executive Mr Grainger

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: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Sep 01 - 05:40 PM

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.

I asked the licensee tonight to produce this document and he could not...................???


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 09:45 AM

Still no response to my email either - looks like the council are using the keep quiet or try to 'baffle 'em with Bulls$%t' tactic!

Good luck

DtG


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: GUEST,Peter Jones
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 09:52 AM

I'm afraid I have to agree with Mr Grainger

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.

Sorry, but I think you're going way over the top with your cause.

Chill out a bit.

Just my opinion.

Peter


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 10:31 AM

If you fear that the the truth, being discussed in public can hurt your case, you have no case.

It is only being discussed in public, by the council because of the interest, genuine concern and postive action shown by Mudcatters and many others.

The case IS the public's right of freedom of expression.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: GUEST,puzzled
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 01:37 PM

Peter Jones do you play in UK sessions? If your landlord was fined for allowing you to play music in his pub would you tell him to Chill out a bit?
Just my opinion but if you are in the UK you should be proud of the music you play and not allow it to be hidden away without publicity like it is something to be ashamed of


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Sep 01 - 03:01 PM

Press Coverage continues.

The Stage gave it a bit more publicity this week.

Click Here for all coverage. Hit the Stage link

BTW We seem a bit shy in the Doreset Echo of late.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Sep 01 - 02:43 PM

The local paper does not appear to wish to print any more letters on the subject. I have been sending one in but it does not appear?

You may have more luck?

letters@dorsetecho.co.uk


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Oct 01 - 01:38 PM

We will be having the TV cameras tomorrow. So if you wish to appear on TV, now is your chance and if you don't, you have been warned.

They will be interviewing the council first. Who will no dount be saying that the session can take place as the Cove has a PEL, even though it can't be produced.

The idea is that they will then interview us and film the session in progress. It would be nice to have a good turn out of the 'usual suspects' plus a few newer faces. The more the merrier.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 03:43 AM

The full details of how to see this coverage, (if indeed you are able to, can be found by clicking here UK TV Cove Session/The Shambles.

Show of Hands at the Royal Albert Hall, it was not.......


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 04:03 AM

Please explain Shambles
I seem to get lost in a clicky loop......


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 06:30 AM

The 'click loop' was from the other thred to this one?

I think it is fixed now? Sorry for losing you Roger.

I will ecplain: The word, Shambles = 'click loop'.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 07:06 AM

01/10/01

Dear Mr Grainger

Re your letter 25/09/01. We have made a little progress, which I shall detail later. Rather than respond in one letter, I propose to take it one step at a time.

The fact that you use other licensing authorities for your defence and support, demonstrates at least that every one of these authorities can and do develop their own public entertainment licensing policy.

Will you write and confirm that the Council could hold a different interpretation of the now endorsed local policy (that considers members of the public are performers), if the Council members decided to do so?

04/10/01

Dear Mr Gall

I acknowledge receipt of your letter of 1st October 2001.

As I said in my last letter, I do not propose to keep corresponding on the matter of interpretation of the law. You know from my earlier correspondence that I believe our (and other council's) approach is a reflection of the law as it stands, and is not a policy decision.

Yours sincerely

Tom Grainger
Chief Executive.

Can anyone explain this reply?

My question was not on interpretation of the law, but one of basic local democracy. Is he saying that the elected members could not decide the council would hold a different interpretation of the word performer?

There is no case law determinative of the word performer.

The (elected) Chairman of the Committee is of a different view and is under the impression that the committee could decide which interpretation they wished. They would be guided by the employees advice but did not have to accept it………..Watch this space.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 Oct 01 - 04:32 PM

Dear Mr Grainger

This from one of my lawyer contacts: Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. 'If the application to renew the PEL was lodged prior to the expiry date of the 30th June, the previous licence continues in force until there has been a determination of the application to renew by the Council.'

On the 26/09/01, in front of witnesses, I requested as a member of the public, to see the valid PEL, that both Mr Locke 10/09/01and Mr Grainger 25/09/01, both have stated the Cove House Inn has.

The licensee was unable to do this. The licence he did have was issued on 16/05/01and valid until 30th June next.

The licensee noticed in July that the PEL had expired and contacted Sue Allen the Licensing Manager. A new application was made, the public notice appearing in the Dorset Evening Echo 08/08/01. The PEL public hearing to decide this new application has yet to be set up.

The following extracts are from a letter to Mr Locke, which the writer has given me full permission to use. Mr Polshaw asks if I will to endeavour to obtain a full reply for him from Mr Locke. Mr Locke's comments to Mr Polshaw are copied from his letter 10/09/01 and are in italics.

"1. The Cove House Inn has a Public Entertainment Licence granted by the Council and can hold folk sessions without difficulty."

"3. The issues as to public safety and nuisance suffered by neighbours apply whatever the source of music. We have currently an application from the Cove House Inn to extend hours for music outside and we have 4 or 5 objections from neighbours. They have a legitimate point of view too."

At the moment you know the nature of the complaints you refer to. I understand that this will soon be public knowledge. Could you please confirm that you have four or five comments on the application all with "a legitimate point of view" but could you please confirm that these are to an application for a Public Entertainment Licence and that all of these are objections to this application, as you stated?

I have subsequently been informed that that you are responsible for public licensing matters. is there any reason that you did not correct my assumption that you were not?

"4. Any affect on tourism is not being caused by actions of the Council which have been legally and reasonably correct but by misinformation as to what the real situation is."

Given the "misinformation" that you have supplied in your reply to me, I will make no further comment other than to question whether you are in fact aware of what "the real situation is", or if you are aware, you do not appear to wish to inform others exactly what "the real situation is".

I look forward to your response. Yours sincerely Dave Polshaw

The following is reference to the above from a letter to me from Mr Grainger 25/09/01.

"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 182 covers this provision and the reply is correct."

I would be grateful if you could provide a full and satisfactory explanation, under the statues you refer to, as to how you can defend the above statements as being correct?


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 07 Oct 01 - 01:25 PM

Keep up the good work, Roger. The outcome of this is important for the future of ALL folk clubs in the UK. Perhaps we can get these stupid laws repeled once and for all.

I never did hear any more from Mr Locke BTW.

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Oct 01 - 01:29 PM

Thank you Dave.

As you can see from the letter above, I am trying to obtain a reply for you from Mr Locke. I take this particular issue personally as I have only supplied, to the very best of my knowledge the clear and supportable facts to my Mudcat friends.

To have these facts questioned, with the implication that I have misinformed anyone is a serious issue. Especially in a communication in which unsupported misinformation is supplied by the council employees.

The same thing happened with the TV crew. They were told that afternoon by the council's PR man that the PEL was valid. The crew tended to believe this, as these council employees are given respect by us.

They tended to believe this despite the fact that the licensee could not produce a valid PEL and I explained that legally the old PEL would only be valid if the new application was made before the expiry date. As it was made a full month after this expiry date so the old PEL cannot be valid.

Mr Grainger (above) has claimed that the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 supports their statement that the Cove House Inn had a valid PEL as of 10th September.......He now has to demonstrate this.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Oct 01 - 05:34 PM

One of the councillors yesterday asked me why we needed to play in the pub? I replied, why not..........Which seemed to be an acceptable answer. But thinking further I realised that it was the other way around.

For in the past sing-alongs, folk and music hall songs among customers would have taken place in public bars. Conventional public entertainment and dances would take place in separate function rooms and usually be charged admission. Certainly my first experiences of live music were in halls and back rooms of pubs.

It is only fairly recently, 70s and on, that conventional entertainment started to take place in the main body of the pub. Later cafe's and wine bars. Certainly outside London and the big cities.

It is this movement of conventional entertainment from function rooms into the bars that has confused the issue. Non musicians now think it unusual for there to be unpaid music made by customers in pubs, where it has in fact been perfectly normal in village pubs and bars for many years.

In fact conventional (paid) entertainment in bars, is the newer and more unusual development.


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Subject: RE: ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP?
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Oct 01 - 05:45 AM

Given all the problems presented to sessions and gigs by law and council authorities in England, The following is incredibly the way things are in Scotland....

(source: Donald McLeod, Licensing Solicitor, Aberdeen council):
The Licensing (Scotland) Act 1976 is mainly concerned with selling of liquor. If you've got a liquor licence you DON'T need a separate public entertainment licence for live music, unless the music is going to go on after drinking-up time. Renewing a Liquor Licence for a pub is only about £80 once every three years. Police, fire, building control, and environmental health departments are consulted on renewal.

In Aberdeen alone there are about 300 public houses, hotels and restaurants. A band could walk into any of these premises and play without any problem. The number of musicians is not an issue. The licensee does not have to do anything - he is not committing any offence, nor does he have to pay anything to the local authority.

Venues like nightclubs or theatres these are more closely regulated, usually requiring a Civic Public Entertainment Licence (Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982) which imposes additional public safety conditions.

The above was obtained by Hamish' Birchall, whose comments follow......

So here we have neighbouring EC jurisdictions one of which effectively limits musicians' employment to 5% of 111,000 potential venues, while in the other there is no such restriction. The difference could not be more stark. Note also the complete lack of any financial penalty for the provision of live music in these premises in Scotland.

I am quite sure that this extraordinary difference has legal implications. Scotland's live music laws are rational, and the country is actively implementing Article 27.1 of the Universal Declaration; but the equivalent law and enforcement in England/Wales is irrational (prevents live music where there are no noise or safety concerns), and actively opposes Article 27. The difference dates from about 1982 (there was a radical overhaul in Scottish licensing in 1976, but the full effects did not come into force until '82).


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