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PELs UK Music needs your HELP

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The Shambles 02 Dec 02 - 11:32 PM
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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 11:32 PM

Article in The Times 3 December. See.........

MU Campaign - Freedom of Expression

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 05:45 PM

Excellent idea.

How do you make it real?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 03:32 PM


Reply from a councillor from Bucks (with a Mecedes and a boat) who sings the praises of £160 PELs.

Look for a letter called 'On with the show'.

----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Gall
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 1:37 PM
Subject: [actionformusic] Daily Telegaraph letter 25 Nov 2002

look for 'Increased Costs looming'.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie
Date: 02 Dec 02 - 10:11 AM

A barrister friend of mine, Cheryl Jones, has written a very witty letter to the TImes.

I bet they don't print it, so, for your enjoyment, here it is....

By e-mail
The Editor
The Times


Kim Howells is absolutely right (30.11.2002). The scourge of unamplified folk music must be driven from these shores! Why, only the other night I was sitting in a pub when two men started to play guitars and sing "All Around My Hat". The noise levels were phenomenal! It silenced the chanting football crowd in the pub next door - and the customers of the trendy bar three doors down could not hear the pounding beat of Eminem above the strumming of the plectrums and the nasal strains of the folk singers. All those who heard were in fear of being assaulted by a Morris Man or someone brandishing a mouth organ in a threatening manner.

The present laws on nuisance are clearly insufficient to deal with this danger to British civilisation.    As Kim Howells has said, one amplified musician can make as much noise as three unamplified musicians. If the threat of three unamplified singers is removed then there will be no comparator for the amplified singer and therefore the amplified singer will not be able to make as much noise!

Of course we can trust local authorities to set reasonable terms and conditions for having unamplified music, such as bouncers to control the dangerous followers of folk singing. It would be wholly unreasonable to take a view that English folk music is a minority activity and that there are no recorded instances of folk music riots.

Of course it is right that local authorities do not have the same powers to set terms and conditions for recorded music or wide-screen televisions. Kim Howells says so and he is the Minister for Culture. If he considers three folk singers in a pub as his idea of hell, then it must be so and it is right and proper to take all steps possible to regulate and suppress them.   There being absolutely no nuisance or danger from football matches being shown in pubs or from the volume of recorded music flooding from trendy bars it is obviously not necessary to have any regulation of those activities.

Go for it Mr Howells. Who cares if you have no evidence of nuisance and plenty of evidence that the licensing of folk music could result in it dying? You, as the Minister of Culture, are not in slightest bit interested in ensuring a thread of musical history continues. Not when you can replace it with wide-screen TV and pounding recorded music. Not when you personally can avoid the whole thing by sticking with the House of Commons bars, which are not regulated at all.

I remain, Sir, your obedient servant

Cheryl Jones (Miss)

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 02:22 PM

Err Dr Kim Howells on BBC Radio 4's 'Today' programme 26 November 2002.

JH A law has been proposed that could, it is said be the kiss of death for amateur choirs, coral societies and orchestras, throughout the country. Churches used for more than 5, and church halls used for more than 5 public performances a year will have to pay for an entertainment licence, costing up to $500 per performance.

Well Rosemary Hardy is the secretary of the Ditchling choral society at Holy Trinity church in Cuckfield West Sussex, hello to you.

RH Hello to you, good morning.

JH You're worried about this, I gather?

RH Yes, we are worried because obviously – some churches may not obtain licenses, if they don't really think its worth it and that will then deprive both choirs of venues and orchestras, and the churches themselves of the revenues from the concert lettings.

[Comments on background singing]
JH I take it that you are going to carry on are you?

RH Oh yes, most certainly.

JH So you will be able to afford it?

RH Well. I certainly hope we will be, Obviously one of the problems will be that no doubt the cost of the licence will be passed on to the choirs and orchestras, that normally sing or perform in churches. And that will no doubt be passed on to the audience, through the increase in ticket prices.

JH Well, thank you for that and enjoy the rehearsal.

Well, Kim Howells – (laughs) he is described here as the Licensing Minister, anyway he is the Minister of Culture, Media and Sport and is responsible for all of this.
Why on earth! Have we got to have yet another regulation Mr Howells?

KH Well its not another regulation, err, it's a complete re-vamp of the way that licensing works in this country.

JH Even worse then?

KH Well, its not even worse John, well, where, one of the things we are doing and the most important thing we are doing is we are lifting the limits on when pubs and licensed premises and so on, can open, its err, a huge job.

JH This is not to do with pubs, this is to do with churches and church halls and they are going to have to have a performing licence - 500 quid a time!

KH No, its not £500 a time. No we are setting fees in bands of about £110 to £500. And it's a one off licence, for the lifetime of that premises.

JH But why do you need anything? I mean I don't know what the point of it is, this is the thing?

KH Well, I will try and explain it to you.

JH Come on.

KH The churches in London, for example have been subject to a licensing regime for 40 years. There are big churches that hold very big concerts for profit. And if something was to go wrong inside one of those churches, there was a fire or something else happened, the Local Authorities that have to inspect those premises would really be in trouble and they have to be paid for those functions. .That's why there has to be a licence - its to do with public safety.

JH But aren't we back to the old 'sledgehammer and a nut' thing here? It's hard to think, I don't know many Brownie nativity plays in church halls, where they have had big problems and had to inspected for Health and Safety

KH And they won't be charged a licence – look the Sec……

JH But - look - sorry they will, if they have more than 5 performances a year.

KH Err- no - look, are you doing this legislation or me?

JH Well, I am hoping you will explain it.

KH And I am trying to. There will not be a licence imposed on a, err, on a Brownie carol concert at a church, this is a nonsense. Err, the Secretary of State sets the fees for license, centrally and she can order that fees be waived, under certain circumstances and we have absolutely no intention whatsoever of stopping people having carol services or brownie festivals or anything else.

JH Yes – but you say, "can be waived" so therefore it must exist, in order to be waived in the first place, How many performances – is it true that they can only have 5, without having to go through this licensing nonsense?

KH Well. How many churches have 5 carol services every year?

JH Well, it might be different things, maybe a choral society, might be a nativity play, might be all sorts of things.

KH Err, well, I am saying if there is a carol service, err or a or err choral society practising or whatsoever, and its in conjunction with its religious function, then it won't be charged a fee.

JH Well, we will see how it all works out, Kim Howells many thanks.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 08:06 AM

I have searched through the 'definitions' of the Bill, but I (have yet to find any definition of the words 'spontaneous or 'impromptu, that appear in the Times letter from Dr Howells.

Or have I missed something?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Dec 02 - 07:34 AM

Guidance Notes to the Bill has finally appeared on the Common's site.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Nov 02 - 02:38 PM

Link to article in The Church Times

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Nov 02 - 06:40 AM

Is where you can (Real audio) hear it. Not too sure if you can get a transcription?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 29 Nov 02 - 04:35 AM

Hi Sham.

How do I find what Howells said?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 03:00 PM

The above link is to BBC Radio 4's Today Show there you can listen to Dr Howells giving once again a demonstration of his complete inabilty to tell the truth (going far in politics this boy).

You can also contribute to comments on his performance on their message board. If we can get enough good messages on their site, there must be a good chance the show will provide more coverage on the subject.

Please help

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Nov 02 - 10:36 AM

Edited Highlights of the 26 November Lords Second Reading, from Hamish Birchall

For circulation

The 'none in a bar' Licensing Bill received its 2nd reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday 26th November. That was a debate about the overall purpose of the new legislation. I briefed Peers for the debate and there were many supportive contributions about live music. See below for selected quotes. Note particularly the contributions by Lady Buscombe (shadow culture Minister), Lords Pendry, Colwyn, Evans and Redesdale. Lord McIntosh, winding up for the government simply restates government spin (NB, in spite of his claims, bell ringing and carol singing would be illegal unless licensed, except when incidental to a religious meeting or service).

The Bill goes to Committee stage in the second week of December. This is the crucial stage where amendments can be introduced. I am now working with those Peers to introduce amendments. The Musicians' Union is also pursuing the European Convention implications by making representations to the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

Now is the time to write, fax or email the Lords with your concerns. Some Lords publish their email addresses or fax numbers, and these may be provided by the House of Lords information office (Parliament switchboard 020 7219 3000). Otherwise write c/o House of Lords, London SW1A OPW.

Before the Bill's publication, the MU and the Arts Council collaborated on proposed amendments to the draft legislation. These were submitted to the Department for Culture. They included a proposal that small premises should be exempt from licensing control for live music up to 11.30pm (essentially the Scottish regime). We suggested that the number of permissions for temporary events in any given premises during a year should be increased from 5 to 50 (where alcohol was not being sold), and that churches, hospitals, schools and other 'educational' or 'social' institutions should be exempt. We also suggested that live music that is incidental to other activities should be exempt (a view shared, incidentally, by the Local Government Association). None of these proposals were accepted.

* * *
Licensing Bill - music quotes from second reading - House of Lords 26 November 2002

Baroness Tessa Blackstone (opening for the government):
"...It is equally important that people should be safe when they go to a place of public entertainment. Badly run entertainment can be a nuisance, and the Bill provides for modern, light-touch controls here, too. We understand concern about the effect of the abolition of the "two in a bar" rule, under which pubs did not have to obtain a public entertainment licence to put on live music by one or two performers. We are removing that rule because it is anachronistic. It is perfectly possible for a single performer using amplified instruments to generate more noise than, say, a chamber quartet of unamplified musicians. It is unfair on performers and on local residents. The Bill's provision for a single, integrated licence means that premises wishing to put on live music need not, as is currently the case, apply for a separate permission, often at great cost. Costs can vary across England and Wales by thousands of per cent. In some places, a public entertainment licence can cost as much as £20,000. Instead, a permission to provide entertainment in that way would be an integral part of the premises licence, so there would be no additional cost for live music above the cost of the premises licence itself, regardless of how many musicians are involved. If the industry makes full use of the reforms on offer, there will be a huge increase in the opportunities for musicians to perform."

My comment: it is disingenuous to claim that the permission comes at no additional cost. Licence conditions for licensable activities, which will be inevitable for a large proportion of premises, will come at additional cost. That is why the leisure industry is resisting the licensing of satellite tv.

Baroness Peta Buscombe (responding for the Conservatives):
"...On a similar note, it is important to articulate the interests of those who may be subsumed by the greater good of licensing reform. I am referring here to the conditions in the legislation which restrict the performance of live music. We have long campaigned for the abolition of the two-in-a-bar rule—a rule that was brought into law in 1961 as a liberalising measure to allow two musicians to work in a licensed premise without a licence. In our efforts to remove that restriction to only two musicians operating without a licence, we never imagined that the Government would change it to insist that even one would require a licence.

"Further, the Bill in its thoroughness appears to necessitate a licence for such harmless activities as church bell ringing, band rehearsals, musical concerts in churches and even carol singing. The wording of the Bill suggests that payment to musicians may be sufficient to trigger licensing. If that is the case, tens of thousands of private wedding receptions, parties and corporate functions would become illegal unless licensed.

"We are told at paragraph 20 of the draft guidance that it will recommend that, "proper account be taken of the need to promote live music, dancing and theatre for the wider cultural benefit of communities generally". At this stage, I am severely doubtful that this legislation, notwithstanding it has moved from the preserve of the Home Office to the DCMS, will promote these cultural interests."

Lord Skidelsky (cross bencher - these Lords are independent of Party Whips):

"... I am not convinced that, in allowing pubs and clubs to stay open all night, the Bill strikes a proper balance between the rights of business to ply their trade free from unnecessary restrictions and the rights of residents to peaceful enjoyment of their homes, especially at night. The fact that the purposes of the businesses covered by the Bill mainly concern the sale of alcohol and the playing of loud music is bound to make this clash of rights more acute.

"Having until recently owned a house just off Charlotte Street, I have personally experienced the maddening succession of nights heavily interrupted by the rhythmic beat of amplified music from a neighbouring club, powerless it seemed to me to do anything about it. Your Lordships will not need reminding that as people grow older their appetite for all-night clubbing diminishes in almost direct proportion as their desire for all-night sleep grows. I exempt the Liberal Democrats from this generalisation of course....

"There are two types of noise most likely to concern residents living in the kind of culturally enriched environment envisaged by the Department for Media, Culture and Sport: first, from the licensed premises themselves—loud music, the noise of air conditioning and ventilation plant; and, secondly, from the outside—from people leaving the premises, cars revving up, cars honking and car sound systems. Not necessarily a huge explosion of noise at any single moment, but the kind of bursts of noise that stop one falling asleep, or, if one is asleep, wake one up. It will not be general. It will not happen all over the country, but in certain stress areas it is an important consideration. It is precisely in those areas that I think that variations of the general guidelines have to be allowed...."

Lord Pendry (Labour):

"My Lords, I intend to make a short contribution to the debate, bearing in mind the number of those who want to speak. In many respects, the Bill is long overdue. It is not perfect by any means, but it is a major step forward since the Erroll report. Few, if any, Members of the House would pretend that the current licensing position is right and that the law is not in need of revision. I argued in another place for many years that changes were necessary. To a great extent then, the Government should be congratulated on this major step forward, although given the vast number of clauses in the Bill, one could be forgiven for believing that the Bill was written by lawyers for lawyers. Nothing new there, perhaps. But considering that the Government wanted to streamline the procedures for licensing—that seemed to be the case when I read the White Paper—they now seem to have been overtaken by many bureaucratic clauses.

"Not least—this is the main thrust of my speech today—is the effect that the Bill will have on live music in bars and restaurants. At a stroke, 100,000 licensed premises and even, as I understand it, solo performances, could become illegal and lose a long-standing licence exemption for one or two live musicians that dates back to 1899. About 100,000 bars and restaurants, 15,000 churches, hundreds of political clubs and even weddings with musical accompaniment may be affected by the Bill. Perhaps my noble friend the Minister will clarify the meaning of Schedule 1(4), which could be interpreted as having a devastating effect on all those musical activities.

"When, some years ago, I was co-chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group with the noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, we campaigned to scrap the so-called "two in bar" rule when only 5 per cent of licensed premises in England and Wales held public entertainment licences. That meant that those 100,000 bars and pubs would have acted illegally if more than two musicians had performed there. What nonsense that is! In years gone by, one can understand that without the strict public safety and noise legislation and police powers that we have today, that may have been the only way to control noisy and rowdy pubs and deal with disorder, but not today.

"Hopefully, during the Bill's passage, common sense will prevail. For instance, why do not the Government extend the "two in a bar" rule in the Bill, allowing the safety and noise legislation to do the job that it does in Scotland, which operates within the same legislation? What purpose will the "none in a bar" regime serve? The Noise Abatement Society states that 80 per cent or more of noise complaints are caused by noisy people who are not musicians. I urge the Government to recognise that that part of the Bill will hit the musical profession hard and may have European convention implications, being in conflict with Articles 10 or 15, as it can be argued that it restricts participation in the performing arts.

"In conclusion, I ask my noble friend to recognise the deep feelings of the Musicians Union, which broadly accepts the Bill's aims but argues that if enacted unamended it would represent the biggest increase in licensing control for more than 100 years and would restrict employment opportunities—and, equally, I argue, the pleasure of many millions of people who enjoy their form of music."

Lord Evans of Parkside (Labour):

"...The All-Party Parliamentary Clubs Group shares two particular concerns with CORCA which were discussed at length at their meeting on 19th November in the House of Commons. It is felt that these concerns should be recorded on Second Reading of the Bill. The first concern relates to club entertainment such as stage acts, music and dancing. Club entertainment has always been an integral part of club life. On Friday and Saturday nights, and sometimes also on Sunday and other nights, almost every club in the land puts on live entertainment for the benefit and pleasure of their members and their members' guests. This entertainment generally generates little or no profit for the club, with the cost of the entertainers and the extra bar staff generally exceeding the profit of the bar sales. Profit, however, is not the issue; the major consideration is the provision of quality entertainment for the enjoyment and pleasure of members. I also remind noble Lords that, over the years, many entertainers have started their careers on the club circuit before achieving national and even international recognition.

"However, the Bill provides, both in Clause 1 and in Schedule 1, that the traditional forms of club entertainment would rank as "regulated entertainment". As I said, clubs have hitherto laid on entertainment for the enjoyment and relaxation of their members, and they have done so with minimal regulatory interference, albeit with proper regard to fire safety and to health and safety requirements. Entertainment for club members and their guests is currently not subject to public entertainment licences. Under this legislation, such events would constitute "regulated entertainment". At this stage, however, it is anyone's guess as to what the precise regulatory constraints will be. CORCA and the All-Party Clubs Group will oppose the imposition of any additional burdens or operational constraints on a sector which has been largely trouble free and self-policing..."

Lord Anthony Colwyn (Conservative):

"My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness for her explanation of the Bill and my noble friend Lady Buscombe for her speech from our Front Bench. I want to concentrate on one aspect of the Bill—live music. I should declare one or two interests: first, as a semi-professional musician; secondly, as a member of the Musicians Union for over 30 years; and, thirdly, as co-chairman of the parliamentary jazz appreciation group, which had a meeting this evening. I apologise for the fact that I had to leave the Chamber between six and seven o'clock to cheer the AGM, at which the Bill was much discussed.

"The current law permits up to two musicians to perform without the need for a public entertainment licence. With the noble Lord, Lord Pendry, and other members of the parliamentary group, I have for many years campaigned for the abolition of the "two in a bar" rule. On 25th February 1988, Douglas Hogg wrote to me from the Home Office, as follows:

'The laws on entertainment are there to ensure adequate control, specifically in terms of safety, in places of public resort. Licensed premises are exempt from these laws for small-scale entertainments primarily because, when granted a justices' licence, the licensee will have shown that his premises are structurally suitable for the sale and consumption of alcohol, which by necessity includes adequate health and safety provisions. For entertainment on a larger scale, such premises may not be suitable and a further inspection under the terms of the public entertainment licence is deemed necessary'.

"He said that he would consider the situation.

In January 1993, five years later, I had a very similar letter from Charles Wardle in the Home Office. He wrote to me in reply to a question on music licensing, stating: 'The laws on entertainment licensing are there to ensure adequate control, specifically in terms of safety, in places of public resort. Licensed premises are exempt from these laws for a small-scale entertainment'.

The wording was identical to the 1988 letter. He went on: 'Whilst I agree that, in some instances, an entertainment involving electronic equipment may produce more noise than, say three people playing acoustic guitars, I have to say that the noise factor is not the only relevant consideration here. Premises which give rise to excessive noise and nuisance are likely to be the subject of complaints, which may lead to the loss of their justices' license, irrespective of whether the entertainment provided is by virtue of a public entertainment license or not'.

The issue of entertainment in licensed premises has never been resolved. Despite countless meetings with Ministers from both political parties and despite promises that the situation would be changed at the earliest opportunity, the "two in a bar" rule has remained. It was obvious that two, three or four musicians playing acoustically or with minimal amplification could never make as much noise as the massive discotheques and sound systems. Those of us who have tried over many years to promote jazz and British jazz musicians were assured that the situation would be rectified. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Jazz Appreciation has consistently lobbied Ministers and been promised changes that will encourage musicians. Of course I understand that noise nuisance is dependent on the amplification, but most jazz played in pubs and clubs is not so reliant on high-powered electronics.

In November 1996, the Arts Council published its jazz policy, recognising the importance of this art form and its inadequate profile in the UK. It said: 'In the last 30 years, many British jazz musicians have established themselves as original voices within the global evolution of jazz. Their work is well documented and the stature of their achievements acknowledged by their colleagues and audiences abroad. However, there has been insufficient opportunity in this country for this important contribution to world music to be fully recognised by audiences and for the work to be adequately profiled in Britain'.

"In June 1997, under the new Labour administration, the culture Minister promised change and the earliest opportunity to allow small groups of musicians to play in pubs and restaurants—often, the only places that young musicians can find an audience. In the debate on jazz on 15th February 2000 in another place, the Secretary of State, referring to the "two in a bar" rule, said that he was, 'actively reviewing the constraints that the licensing system places on musical performance in such venues, and I hope that in due course we shall be able to introduce deregulatory measures to assist the broad picture'.—[Official Report, Commons, 15/2/00; col. 190WH.]

"We have many of the finest musicians in the world and we must help young professionals to gain experience of playing to an audience. As I see it, the present Bill effectively changes "two in a bar" to "none in a bar". Unless pubs, clubs and restaurants have a public entertainment licence, no live music of any kind will be permitted. The "two in a bar" rule has been excluded from the list of permitted "successor rights", which can be included when converting existing licences. I do hope that the Government can reverse this decision; otherwise there will be no piano players, no singers, no guitarists—nothing; not even the string quartet mentioned by the noble Baroness.

"Electronic and broadcast entertainment, such as football, rugby matches, musical channels attached to powerful sound systems, which can attract significant, boisterous crowds and cause noise nuisance, is exempt. I have watched rugby matches in my local pub on many occasions. There is noise; there was much noise last weekend, and I must congratulate the English squad on beating South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. However, under the planned legislation, a single guitarist or a piano player after the game would be illegal. What nonsense.

"I shall finish with a few questions. I listened to the opening remarks of the noble Baroness with interest. Did she say that an entertainment licence is automatically combined with a liquor licence? Who will decide on the cost and how will that cost be determined? Will pubs, restaurants and clubs have to make a "one-off" application with their licence in case they should ever use live music? Will all licensed premises in England and Wales lose the exemption that allows them to provide one or two musicians? Will those premises, currently providing one or two musicians using the old performer exemption, need to apply for licensing permission if they wish to continue with that limited amount of live music?

"Will professional live music in hospitals, prisons, care homes, schools and churches be illegal unless licensed? If a professional music teacher organises a concert by pupils for the benefit of parents and friends, will that be licensable entertainment? I am sure that the Minister saw the article in The Times on Saturday, which reported that thousands of parish churches and places of worship would have to pay for licences for concerts to be held on their premises. Is that correct?

"The Musicians Union accepts that premises whose main business is providing music may need the additional controls that licensing provides. Licensing justices already impose noise-limiting measures and safe capacities as a condition of the grant of a liquor licence. I remind the Government that the Noise Abatement Society has shown that more than 80 per cent of noise complaints about pubs and restaurants are caused by people entering and leaving the premises. Have the Government conducted any research into the noise implications of licensing reform for residents in the vicinity of licensed premises? There are many other questions. I hope that the Minister will be sympathetic to these concerns between now and the next stage of the Bill. "

Baroness Walmsley (Lib Dem):

"... Before closing I turn briefly to another measure in the Bill, which will have consequences that perhaps the Government did not intend. I hope not anyway. It is the provision that requires premises in which amateur music makers perform to hold an entertainment licence. I very much support the comments of the noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, on this matter. Many churches and church halls in which amateur choirs and orchestras perform will not bother getting a licence and we will have lost valuable venues. Others will get the licence and pass on the cost to the amateur music makers, who are already strapped for cash. I have to declare an interest as vice-chairman of the Parliament choir. Thanks to generous sponsorship from BT we do not have the money worries of some amateur choirs, many of which put on concerts at a loss. Their very viability is threatened by the Bill. Given that they add enormously to the cultural richness of their communities, it would be very sad if a Bill such as this, with very laudable objectives, were to have such an effect. I hope that the Minister will be able to reassure me on that point. "

Lord Addington (Lib Dem):

"... although I applaud the main aim of the Bill, I must say that the devil is in the detail. I do not think that the Government could have intended to put the kibosh on live music by single performers, if they intend to create a café society. There is a potential problem there which the Government must address if we are to create a more relaxed and culturally more acceptable atmosphere. I hope that it will be dealt with...

"The noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, again emphasised the musical aspect. Unless we get the whole package right, we will have problems. The current system has proved to be a failure. "

Lord Hodgson of Ashley Abbots (Conservative):

"...The Bill synthesises neatly the tension between New Labour and old Labour attitudes. New Labour concentrates on pretty packaging and nice messages well spun. But inside the package there is old Labour, which has a fascination with regulation and a fundamental belief that the authorities, whoever they may be, know best. The mean-minded—I am sorry to use that word to the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh—proposal in the Bill to end the exclusion from licensing provision of two or fewer musicians, so ably described by my noble friend Lord Colwyn and the noble Lord, Lord Pendry, is a classic example of that dirigiste tendency. So there are many centralising tendencies in this Bill."

Lord Cobbold (cross bencher):

"...The Bill is wide ranging in its coverage yet there appears to be no reference to entertainment licences covering large outdoor musical events. I declare an interest in having been involved in many such licensed events in the past. The Bill refers to temporary event notices, but those are limited in Clause 98(5) to a maximum of 500 persons. The figure of 500 is seemingly somewhat arbitrary. My question is whether the Bill is intended to cover large outdoor musical events, be they in open air stadia, on private land or in public parks. I hope that the Minister will be able to clarify that point."

Lord Redesdale (Lib Dem), concluding for Lib Dems:

"...The third issue—raised by many noble Lords—relates to the public entertainments licence. The noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, made reference to it. I know that he has done a great deal of work on the matter—so much so that a year ago he was thrown out of the Red Lion for trying to blow his own trumpet! He was the third musician from this House to try to do so, the others being the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson, and the noble Lord, Lord Pendry, who is not presently in his place.

"Many issues arise in regard to the provision of live music. I am unable to touch on all of them now. It is strange that the Government are taking such a hard line against unamplified music. I understand the difficulty with amplified music. This seems to be a real issue, which could result in cultural destruction. Much oral tradition is passed down through folk singers in pubs. The imposition of those stringent requirements could be a difficulty.

"The Minister will say that public entertainment licences can be added to any pub as part of the variation. I have a question for him: to what extent will a pub have the right to have one or two musicians playing unamplified music regularly? Will that right be granted automatically? If not, contrary to the Government's proposition that this will be a great opportunity, it will be nothing of the sort. The Bill might take away many organisations' ability to provide live music, even though in many cases the live music provided is covered by all the noise and nuisance statutes to which any pub is subject. That seems very unfair. The word "puritanical" has been used. The Government are being slightly puritanical; however, I am loath to use that word because the noble Earl, Lord Russell, is not in his place to correct me.

The noble Lord, Lord Tope, raised the issue of fees in respect of local authorities. I have seen some of the issues arising out of public entertainment licences and the abuse of those licences by certain councils—Camden, Westminster and Islington, to name but a few. It is ironic that it is those councils who are lobbying about fees and about the loss of public entertainment licences. The Government are right to set fees centrally, as long as they are not too arduous for small businesses and are not geared to suit larger premises. A major problem will be a one-size-fits-all system, because the fee for a large pub in London will differ from that for a rural pub."

Lord McIntosh of Haringey (concluding for the Government):

"...I turn to the point concerning churches, village halls and places whose primary purpose does not come within the purview of any licensing legislation. I can give an assurance straightaway that bell ringing and carol services do not require licences. As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London knows, there has been a disparity between the situation in Greater London and areas outside Greater London, in relation to which we have to make a distinction. We must rationalise that position and make the same provision for both London and other areas elsewhere. Our position is that where churches are not used for religious activities but for secular performances, there is no justification for treating them differently from any other charitable body that seeks to raise money.

"The issue here is the risk to the public at any public entertainment venue. That risk is neither increased nor diminished by the fact that it is staged by a charity rather than a commercial body, nor is it increased or diminished by the fact that it is conducted in a consecrated building. We shall make it clear in guidance that it would be wholly inappropriate to attach disproportionate conditions to licences affecting churches and other charitable institutions. Incidentally, raffles and lotteries are not covered by licensing procedures, provided that the alcohol is in sealed containers, and I believe that most raffles and lotteries comply with that requirement....

"...I turn to the cost of enforcement, which was raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe. It must be more economical to have a single licensing regime, in which one puts in one application for liquor licensing and one adds on to that all of the other elements that one wants. I think of those other elements as music and dance, but that is old-fashioned wording. The fees that are charged for licences will be set nationally, but they will be varied for different types of establishment. As the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale, said, one does not set the same fee for a huge central London pub as one does for a village pub. One does not set the fee for an outdoor rave event—I refer to the noble Lord, Lord Walpole—as one does for an event in the village hall. To avoid disparity between local authorities setting their own fees, it is right that central government should initiate the fees. I notice that the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, is not with us. It is important that the body should be responsible to the local community, but we should take steps to ensure that it is not subordinate to any particular pressure group within the local community. We expect that the local authority panel undertaking licensing will not contain the councillors from the ward in question.

"Local authorities will be able to impose conditions on a licence where it is necessary to do so in order to promote the licensing objectives. Their discretion will come into play only in cases in which a relevant representation has been made. With reference to Clause 177 and in relation to local authorities, the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, used the phrase, "Not in my backyard". The protection to which I have referred deals adequately with that point. Local authorities deal with local matters and they have the right to do so because they are elected to do that. Surely that is the right way for the Bill to be drafted.

"...I turn to the issue of how the costs will be set. They will be set centrally at a level that will recover the full costs of the licensing regime. That will avoid the problem of the variation, which has existed in the past. Following on from the point raised by the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, I do not believe that it would be a good idea to set the level according to the amount of alcohol consumed. After all, that is taxed with duty and VAT, and that would interfere with the cost-recovery principle. Of course, my noble friend Lord Evans is entitled to a positive answer on the matter. Proper consultation on licensing fees will be carried out with local authorities and representatives of the businesses affected. That will include the associations of clubs for whom he spoke. I want to make an important point relating to the issue of music. The premises licence would cover any combination of permissions for alcohol, public entertainment and late- night refreshment. It would, of course, include music. No renewals would be involved. We estimate that the fees would be in bands ranging between £100 and £500 with a higher fee for large-scale, one-off events, such as pop festivals. That is because of the amount of inspection required for festivals of that kind. There will be an annual charge to maintain a revenue stream to cover continuing inspection and enforcement. However, we shall consult on those charges and we do not believe that they will be very large. The noble Lord, Lord St John, was concerned about that point but I believe that he can be reassured. It is possible that the bands will also affect lump fees in London.

"... I turn to what is clearly a passionate concern—of mine as well as of others—and that is the subject of music. I believe that there has been a profound misunderstanding of what the Bill seeks to achieve. It was suggested that by abolishing the two-in-a-bar rule, which we all agree was completely anachronistic, somehow we are damaging the possibilities of live music. That could not be further from the truth.

"The truth of the matter is that the considerations that we must take into account in licensing music are two-fold: one is noise and the other is safety. It does not matter whether the music is live or canned from a noise or a safety point of view. In the past, canned music has been allowed and live music has been discouraged by the two-in-a-bar rule. If we make adequate provision for noise safety—I say this to the noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, my noble friend Lord Pendry, the noble Baroness, Lady Hanham, the noble Viscount, Lord Astor, and the noble Lord, Lord Skidelsky—then we are meeting the requirements of licensing. But there will be no additional imposition on licensed premises because, as I said, the licence for live music will be an integral part of the premises licence. It will cost no more than obtaining the alcohol licence in the first place.

"My view is that there will be an explosion of live music as a result of removing the discriminatory two-in-a-bar provision. The simplification will apply and the inclusion of this measure in an alcohol licence will also apply, regardless of how many musicians are involved. If live musicians make an unacceptable noise which disturbs local residents, then they will be subject to penalties in the same way as applies to canned music. But they will not be discriminated against.

"In the guidance we can and will make provision for sound insulation. We can consider whether there should be standards measured on decibel levels. We can provide for fines on licensees who disregard or ignore the provisions of a licence. That is provided for in Clause 134. We can have capacity limits. Although anyone who has spent much time in New York bars does not think too much of fire department capacity limits. Of course there are health and safety provisions. But I believe that the provisions for music are enormously to the benefit of live music. "


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 05:05 PM

From The Sun 26 November

£20 pass' to sing carols

Carol singers could be breaking the law without a £20 licence it was claimed today.

Tory Peers demanded changes to the Licencing Bill to stop charity performers being penalised.

But a Culture Department spokesman denied carol singers would be affected by the law

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 06:03 AM

What the House of Lords had to say in the Second Reading of the Bill 26 November.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie
Date: 27 Nov 02 - 04:57 AM


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Nov 02 - 05:53 AM

Commons Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport.
Contact Details

7 Millbank London SW1P 3JA

Tel 020 7219 6188 or 020 7219 5739


FAX 020 7219 2031

Clerk                   Fergus Reid       Tel: 020 7219 6120
Second Clerk             Nerys Welfoot    Tel: 020 7219 6924
Second Clerk             Olivia Davidson   Tel: 020 7219 6924
Committee Assistant      Anita Fuki       Tel: 020 7219 5739
Committee Secretary      Fiona Mearns      Tel: 020 7219 6188

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 07:41 PM

If you have the time, you can watch the Second Reading of the Licensing Bill live from the House of Lords.........

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:43 PM

If, like many of us, you fear for the future of live music then FAX your thoughts to the Prime Minister at his office FAX No 020 79250918

After all he is a musician. Keep it simple - I sent the message below

Dear Mr Blair

I appeal to you, as a fellow guitar player, to take immediate action to ensure that the new proposed licensing laws do not prevent the participating in, enjoyment of and promotion of 'Live Music' in pubs and clubs. It seems set to kill our musical heritage.

Now may be a good time to try out the fax software that should have come with your modem - if you've not tried it before - type the message on your Word Processor thhen go to 'File' 'Print' (don't use the icon on the tool bar) then look at the printer at the top of the dialogue box - it will show your default printer - select the arrow to the right and it will show other printers that you are configured for - one of these should be the fax printer that came with your modem - select it and print - ensuring that you
are disconnected from the internet.

I should have added - if you use any other groups (music genres) - I don't - please pass this on

Graham Dixon

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 06:37 PM

This from Hamish Birchall.

The 'none in a bar' Licensing Bill receives its second reading tomorrow (26th)

Last Tuesday (19th) Lord Colwyn, member of the All Party Jazz Appreciation Group, fired the first shot for live music:

Lord Colwyn:

"...Finally, turning to a different subject and declaring my interest as co-chairman of the All-Party Jazz Appreciation Group, I urge the Government to re-examine the Licensing Bill in relation to public entertainment.

I am not allowed to speak twice, so I have to mention it this afternoon. Successive governments and Ministers have agreed that current licensing for musicians performing in public is seriously flawed. It seems that the current Bill will change the "two in a bar" rule to "none in a bar". That would be a disaster for thousands of British musicians, particularly young musicians, who have few venues in which to perform.

"It cannot be right that broadcast entertainment that can attract significant crowds and cause noise nuisance is exempt, while one unamplified performer will be illegal, unless licensed. I hope that the Government will amend the Bill to pull it back from the regulatory musical abyss that it is in at present. "

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge with no cookie
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 05:53 PM

Just sent to my MP

To: Mr R. Marshall-Andrews QC, MP

From: Forge House
High Street
Lower Stoke

Tel: 01634 27 10 20
Fax: 01634 27 27 21

29th November 2002

Dear Mr Marshall-Andrews
I refer to the letter of the 30th May you received from the mendacious minister Mr Howells.

There is little in it to command much respect, and much in it to command derision.

At no time did I claim to represent the Musicians' Union, as Mr Howells implies. If Mr Howells had read the prior exchanges of mine with his so-called civil so-called servants, he should (I almost said "would" but that would have been expecting too much) have seen that everything I said was perfectly justified and in no way an over-reaction by a member of the electorate being given the run-around in slippery and sarcastic half-truths by unelected jacks-in-office.

With the benefit of 20-20 hindsight it can now be seen that the "rational and sensible" behaviour of the Musicians' Union produced absolutely no responsive reaction from the men from the ministry – who carried on churning out at best half-truths to you and to other MPs with the cynical objective of proceeding on their own course rather than dealing with the proper concerns of the public from whom the truth about government intentions had been concealed. I would point out that eventually even the patience of Job was tested, and the union was forced to correct a number of terminological inexactitudes from the minitser's department.

Remember: the government promised the reform of the "two-in-a-bar" rule – not a "none-in-a-bar rule. It lied. Remember the promises to the nation of the Mike Harding show (Radio 2). Already broken.

The basic plank of the minister's letter – that I referred to a "public entertainment licence" when that designation was no longer to exist – is the sort of feeble sophistry that the weakest university debater would scorn, and nowhere touches the substance or truth of the problem that the minister tries blindly to deny. One acoustic musician will be subject to the full rigours of the law of public entertainment licensing, and, worse, will expressly be subject to penalty along with the organiser.

The minister states that there would be no disincentive to applying for multiple licences. That could not honestly be said by any man of integrity, and I leave it to the minister to decide where he falls short. Each category of licence applied for will be subject to the "reasonable" (why does that word no longer make me laugh?) restrictions to be imposed by local authorities, so the application for multiple licences will bring multiple conditions and so multiply the on-costs of compliance.

The minister pretends that local authorities will be effectively prevented from imposing unreasonable conditions by the possibility that landlords might take them to court. He cannot be serious. We all know the kneejerk reaction of local authorities. Do you know the song "Jobsworth" by Jeremy Taylor? "Jobsworth, jobsworth, it's more than me jobsworth: I don't care, rain or snow, whatever you want the answer's NO!" Remember the local authority that had ALL local gravestones laid flat in case they might fall over and injure someone? I think it was East Sussex. That is the classic local authority way of dealing with safety and public order – to over-react to imagined issues. These are the authorities fining pubs because customers "sway rhythmically"! You cannot say that we dare not speak the name of local authority irrationality.

Local authority tendency to over-regulate is even implicitly admitted, for the bill tries to fence local authorities around. But the right for the landlord to sue the authority is an illusion – an illusion only rich men or those spending public money could fail to recognise as such. The landlord needs his licence. He needs it now, to earn his living. The local authority hypothetically (frankly, it is not so hypothetical in the real world) imposes a silly condition – a £20,000 new lavatory block, or three bouncers at over £90 per night (that's the going rate in the real world) for a folk club with a capacity of 20. The landlord can go without his licence (remember, this is the licence to sell his booze as well, because all the licences have been integrated), or give in and spend the money, or give in and not bother. If he wants to fight, the local authority has a bottomless purse to instruct learned and expensive counsel. And if it loses, who pays? The ratepayers (council tax payers if the minister still fancies being a pedant's pedant), not the jobsworths personally! But the landlord must hazard all he has to pay his lawyers, risk his house if he is mulcted in costs, and, until judgment, still not have a licence. Only a lawyer married to a lawyer could think this is anything other than a nightmare for the poor publican.

Perhaps the silliest evasion of the minster's is the argument that folk music cannot be defined, so an exemption for it cannot be drafted. First it can be defined – it's just that the definition (I can dig it out if you want it) is really only of academic and sociological use. Second, for a sensible exemption you don't have to define folk music. You don't even want to, because folk music could be electric. You only have to define what does not need regulating. That is easy. It is so simple even a minister could see it, if he were not blinded by hubris and the "not invented here" rule. It is acoustically produced music that does not need regulating. It is not the type of music that needs regulating, but the means of sound production, and that is a matter only of mechanics (or electro-magnetics) not musical taste and judgment. No-one has produced a single case of disturbance or noise breakout nuisance from acoustic music. In the real world hypothetical arguments about the intensity of sound at the bell of a trumpet are irrelevant. How often do you hear excessive noise in pubs from acoustic instruments? In practice 100% of noise nuisance from sound breakout is caused by electrical amplification. If extraordinary circumstances do arise, the existing law permits the control of noise nuisance – so long as the necessary resources are not otherwise eaten up, as they are to day, which they would not be under the proposed new law.

The minister says that the exemption I proposed would not work. Extraordinarily, even for him, he gives no reason. You as a lawyer will have noticed that.

Foolishly, the minister repeats the exemplification of his illogicality. He says that one musician with an amplifier can make more sound than three without. But that does not compel the restriction of the three. It makes a case only for the restriction of the amplifier, and to say otherwise is folly.

To rub salt in the wound the minister brags to you that the bars in the houses of Parliament will remain free from licensing restrictions. We the people resent being told that what the ministers enjoy is too good for us. Please sing him a folk-song some time. At least he has admitted hating them.

You will be pleased to hear that I am almost done. But I must also pass on one or two remarks about the reply of Claire Vickers (ref 02/17246) dated the 19th November 2002 to another folk musician. It repeats most of the idiocies I expose above but adds some of its own (or culled from intervening development of the government's wholly unjustifiable position).

It tries to hide behind the suggestion that not-for-profit music will not be affected. This is another illusion, and a silly and transparent one too. Pubs permit music in their bars because they expect more customers and to sell more drinks. So even if singers are not paid, all music in pubs is with a view to profit. Also, so what? What is less worthy about music for profit, than music not for profit? It is the music that a ministry of Culture should be trying to preserve.

It openly says that the government does not accept that acoustic music is never noisy. Only the most retentive control freak could run that one. In the real world no-one has produced one single instance of noise breakout, public disturbance, or safety problem associated with unamplified music. Not one. That's close enough to "never" for the rest of the world and if the government does not accept it is they who look stupid.

I appreciate you are busy with Cliffe Airport. I am wholly against that airport too (as you know), and I was the folk singer at Saturday's Rochester rally. Please support folk music now. You never know when you might need a folk singer again.

Yours sincerely

Richard McD. Bridge

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Penny S.
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 05:50 PM

A thought occurs to me. The Emperor Charlemagne attempted to stop the formation of guilds in the dities of his empire. These guilds were, roughly speaking, burial and insurance clubs which met for a meal at regular occasions, and observed certain religious festivals. They were the descendants of similar Roman groups, and the precursors not only of trade guilds, but also friendly societies and trades unions, with the Rotary and other such groups as well. What could he have had against societies for mutual help? It was the getting together for meals on private premises, at which matters other than burials and charitable donations might be discussed, such as opinions of the Emperor. They were subversive.

Might not the smooth manipulators of New Labour feel that folk clubs, or indeed, jazz clubs might be places where hairy and uncontrolled people with sympathies to Old Labour be getting together and plotting the downfall of T Blair and chums? Or singing rude songs about him? Like the ones sung in Rochester on Saturday, at a demo uniting Kent and Essex against the plans for a major airport on marshes in the Thames Estuary. Which probably infringed copyright, as well.

I'm afraid I'm growing into a conspiracy theorist.


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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 04:06 PM

Can we get some letters off tonight fellers?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 09:57 AM

In principle, yes. There are human rights in issue and Hamish Birchall has looked into it. In my view the government has the right to make restrictions (on human rights) that are necessary in a democratic society - but that restrictions on acoustic music are not "necessary" for that purpose in that social evils (noise, disturbance, safety hazard, moral hazard) are not sufficiently likely to arise therout for 100% licensing to be justified.

The government says it does not accept that even acoustic music is never noisy.

Others say that there are other measures to control noise from electric music so that too ought not to need 100% licensing (I violently disagree, since I live between two pubs, and suffer their music for my sins).

But I imagine (injunctive relief under EU law is not my expertise) that until there is a law made by Westminster which fails the test of necessity in a democratic society, there may not be a cause of action under these principles. If so we would have to wait until the law was passed and then take the government to court. I have tried that before on a very different issue. Be careful. They play very hard ball.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Orac
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 08:39 AM

Is there nothing in Human Rights legislation in the EU to help? All we are doing here is keeping our musical cultural heritage alive. There seems no difference to me between 40 people in a religeous service to 40 at a folk club. The whole thing is madness.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 08:19 AM

Letter of the day, no less!

To continue the debate in the Express

Letters to the editor
Daily Express
245 Blackfriars Road
London SE1 9UX
FAX 020 7620 1643

Letters must include address and telephone number.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 07:46 AM

Whaddya know, that fascist rag the Daily Express printed my letter (below)

Dear Sir
Licensing Reform

The effect of the proposed reform of licensing law on drinking behaviour is one thing. Its effect on music, and noise suffered by neighbours from pub music is quite another.

The proposed "reforms" will do nothing to help control amplified noise – from live bands, from discos, from juke-boxes, or from giant TVs whether they are showing football or playing music. Yet at the same time they will require full licensing for even one acoustic guitarist, (or morris dancing in the car-park). The government says that it does not accept that any type of music, even unamplified folk music, is never a noise or disturbance problem.

This is the politics of the madhouse. It proposes, in both respects, precisely the opposite of what is needed. Even if (as the government has admitted) it hates folk music, it is Alice through the Looking Glass for the Ministry of Culture to help stamp out our cultural heritage.

Even if the Prime Minister is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, surely he can see that it is next to useless to provide that the landlord's only remedy against a local authority imposing ridiculous conditions on the very licence that enables that landlord to earn a living is to start a court action.

Yours faithfully

Richard McD. Bridge

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 02 - 03:03 AM

The Common's Select Committee.

Formal Remit:
"The Culture, Media and Sport Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and its associated public bodies."

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 03:46 PM

*The Lord Archer of Sandwell—To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have plans for an alternative regime to encourage compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention if the 5th Review Conference fails to reach agreement on a monitoring protocol.

*The Lord Barnett—To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will clarify further the use to which the Private Finance Initiative can be put.

*The Lord Blaker—To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the five economic tests for entry into the euro include the exchange rate for sterling at which the United Kingdom would enter.

*The Baroness Seccombe—To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the future of the Dome.

Licensing Bill [HL]—Second Reading [The Baroness Blackstone]

In the event of the bill being read a second time, the Baroness Blackstone to move, That the bill be committed to a Committee of the Whole House.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 12:14 PM

From Clause 188

"premises" means any place and includes a vehicle, vessel or moveable structure;"

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 12:09 PM

The above link will inform you of how the Schedule 1 paras, listed above are worded.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Nov 02 - 11:44 AM

These seasonal tidings of great joy, from Hamish Birchall.

Clause 188 of the Licensing Bill establishes that 'premises' means 'any place'.

The only carol singing exempt is that which is 'incidental' to a religious meeting or service (Shedule 1, para 9), or possibly carol singing in private that was not raising money for charity, or not 'for consideration and with a view to profit'. Otherwise carol singing is licensable by virtue of Schedule 1, para 1(1)(a), para 2(e), and para 2(2); and it meets the two necessary conditions in para 1(2)(a) or (b) or (c), and 1(2)(3).

In brief: carol singing, other than as part of a religious service, is a performance of live music in the presence of an audience or spectators; it takes place public or for a section of the public, or in private for charity, or in private for a paying audience; and the 'place' where the singing occurs is 'made available' for the purpose of enabling the singing (i.e. could be your front doorstep!).

Hamish Birchall
020 7267 7700

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:42 PM

Dancing Outbreak

The above link will give details of the effect on licensees when the public ignore the law in their pubs. The current law is effective and the proposed will be just as effective as the serious penalties are placed on the licensees or owners of the premises.

A £1,600 fine (or worse) is hard to ignore.

Your point is well made and it is a great pity that our Government has not heeded the point that US prohibition created more crime. Or that generally more laws just mean that more crimes will be committed.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Shifter
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 04:59 PM

The point I would like to make about this stupid piece of legislation is, is anyone seriously going to take any notice of it even if it comes in? Is it really going to kill live music? I personally doubt it, yes it might make it illegal but did prohibition in the USA stop anyone drinking? NO!!!

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 02:20 PM

Tessa Jowell in the press release and at the launch of the Bill.

"In short this is a Bill for the public, a Bill for industry and a Bill for commonsense."

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 02:17 PM

The DCMS state:
Where a church, other place of worship or meeting hall stages a secular concert, in competition with other concert halls, they must obtain a licence."


The Ministry of Culture said the regulations were designed to ensure public safety, so there was no reason why churches or other places of worship should not be treated differently from secular venues.

Is there not something rather 'fishy' here? -

If the whole reason for the licence really is the public's safety, why the concern for a church concert being in competition with other concert halls?

When the same number of people in a service congregation, listening to possibly the very same music, will not require a licence?

When there is now supposed to be no fee charged and thus no deterrent to live music making?

And there are supposed to be no commercial considerations.

Perhaps your MP could explain? If you know your post code, you can ask them now.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 10:08 AM

Daily Telegraph

Churches must pay fees for fund-raising events
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
(Filed: 23/11/2002)

Cathedrals and churches face charges of thousands of pounds for staging concerts or even Nativity plays.
Church leaders fear that new legislation, introduced in last week's Queen's Speech, will prove so onerous that parishes will have to cancel vital fund-raising events.

Although the singing of hymns and carols is exempt, performances requiring an entertainment licence could include children's plays, a fete featuring a band or a disco in the community hall.

Events such as the annual Three Choirs festival in West Country cathedrals or classical concerts in Westminster Abbey could be hit by enormous bills.

Licences will be issued by town halls rather than magistrates under the proposals and could cost from hundreds of pounds a year to more than £15,000. At the moment, churches outside London are exempt from the need for a licence, while in London they are not required to pay.

Under the Government's proposed changes, churches used for more than five public performances a year will have to pay. Hard-up parishes may also have to pay for professional advice before making time-consuming applications.

The Ministry of Culture said the regulations were designed to ensure public safety, so there was no reason why churches or other places of worship should not be treated differently from secular venues.

Churches would be able to stage music or plays or show films if they were "for the purposes of, or incidental to, a religious meeting or service", but not otherwise. A Church spokesman said: "If these buildings are safe for public worship, surely they must be safe for public performances? Where is the evidence that the current system is failing?"

The Archbishops' Council, the Church of England's managing body, expressed alarm about the impact of the legislation, which is due to have its second reading in Parliament next week. In a letter to senior churchmen, it said: "If the new regulation is too onerous, it seems likely that parishes would either not obtain a licence, running the risk of prosecution, or would be deterred from hosting the event."

Canon Derek Stiff, the rector of Lavenham, Suffolk, said that his historic church cost £16,000 a week to run. This year the parish had organised 14 public events, including organ recitals and choral performances, each of which made less than £200. He said: "Audiences in this area have to be hard won and it will not be feasible to pass on fees in increased admission prices."

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 09:23 AM

Following the publication last week of the 'none in a bar' Licensing Bill, which also proposes the criminalisation of public carol singing without a licence, a music industry adviser at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, told MU officials that the music industry 'needs to focus on critical issues' and these 'need to be presented in a measured organised manner'.

He added: 'The goodwill of the Minister and indeed the Bill team has to be regained.'

From the director and team that brought you Schedule 1.............?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Nov 02 - 09:01 AM

The Times
November 23, 2002

Bill 'will damage music in churches'
By Richard Ford, Home Correspondent

THOUSANDS of parish churches and other places of worship will have to pay for licences for concerts to be held on their premises under a government move which threatens to undermine their role in local communities.

Church leaders are concerned that councils may insist that their premises adopt fire and safety measures as a condition of granting the licence. They fear that the cost of getting a licence to allow concerts in churches and other places of worship will lead to the decline of local music groups.

The move will hit festivals in cathedrals such as Worcester and Lichfield, as well as the huge number of concerts — featuring music from Handel's Messiah to chamber works — that are held in rural and urban parish churches and other places of worship.

The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Wakefield, said that the issue was being discussed by the Archbishop's Council in preparation for the Bill's second reading. He said: "If the regulation is too stringent then parish churches will be deterred from hosting events." It was strange that the Government was imposing a licensing condition on churches while also urging that they be used for community purposes, he said.

Under the proposal to achieve licensing consistency throughout England and Wales all churches and places of worship will need an entertainment licence for concerts. At the moment the rule applies only in Greater London.
It would apply to 15,500 Church of England churches and premises of other faiths. Fees for the licences have not been published but at present entertainment fees for other premises vary from £1,000 for an event attended by 1,000 people in Kettering to £424 for a medium-sized event in Newcastle upon Tyne. The London Borough of Camden charged £102 for a licence for an event attended by 100 people.

The move will particularly affect cathedrals, many of which host music festivals attended by thousands of people. It will hit the Three Choirs Festival which takes place at Gloucester, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals, the annual Lichfield Festival, and regular concerts at York Minster.

The Ven John Barton, Archdeacon of Aston, said that while he understood the wish for consistency and the fear that anyone who was not in line might cause the authorities to be sued, the proposed regulation went too far. "I am afraid it is one signal among many moves where little parish churches doing their best to keep alive fear slow strangulation", Mr Barton said.

He added that he was most concerned about the effects the proposal would have on the role of music in many local communities. "If a local music group asks to give a concert in their parish church and the church has to apply for a licence there will be a temptation to say 'I am awfully sorry we cannot get involved in that'", Mr Barton said.
Hamish Birchall, of the Musicians' Union, said there was no justification for requiring churches to have licences for music concerts.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which is piloting the Licensing Bill through Parliament, said that churches and places of worship did not need a licence for entertainment being used for the purposes of a religious meeting or service. "Where a church, other place of worship or meeting hall stages a secular concert, in competition with other concert halls, they must obtain a licence."
The department says that the Bill will reduce "red tape" for industry — though local churches will clearly have to cope with more, having to get an entertainment licence for the first time.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Nov 02 - 01:23 PM

Bob Currie, director of the community protection department at Westminster council, said in a letter quoted in the Publican: "Dancing could be described as the rhythmic moving of the legs, arms and body usually changing positions within the floor space available and whether or not accompanied by musical support."

The full story of this latest council enforcement and prosecution, can be found on the following.

Dancing Outbreak and definition

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge (cookie and format C)
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 09:14 AM

It's very simple.

All live music (even completely unamplified) either charged for (even on a non-profit making basis) or for profit or that the public can access is illegal unless it's licensed. The local authority can lay down "safety" conditions as a condition of a licence and if you disagree you have to sue them.

Juke boxes are nearly exempt.

TV broadcasts (even if of music) are exempt.

Actual church services are exempt.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: Fingerbuster
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 09:08 AM

Is there a message/thread anywhere that outlines the proposed (PEL) measures and the possible consequences to live music in succinct, perhaps bullet form?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: GUEST,Rag
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 08:32 AM

Section 134 is a serious weapon in the hands of local authority officials who want to scare the folk session world. It means that if they raid a session, they can prosecute the landlord/manager and any and all musicians taking part.

When I raised this issue locally I was told repeatedly that it wasn't an issue for folk musicians because the landlords would be the people charged with the offence.

Apart from the sheer selfishness of this attitude of these people, maybe now they'll see that it might concern them after all.

Having read the Bill, I feel done up like a kipper! This has got to be the single biggest attack on the playing of traditional music we've ever seen (apart from QE1 hanging the harpers of Ireland in C16th...).

What say you Howells forsooth?

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 08:05 AM

This from Hamish

Last Friday (15th) Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell made a speech in the Commons in which she explained the rationale for the Licensing Bill: 'It is a major plank in the government's drive in the Queen's Speech to tackle antisocial behaviour.'

Remember this the Bill that makes the provision of any public concert in a church, even a fund-raising carol concert, a criminal offence unless licensed. The Culture Secretary also said:

'Several speeches by Opposition Members reminded me of G K Chesterton's words: "Since Dickens no one in England has cared for the people's pleasure - the Tories hate the people and the Liberals hate pleasure.'

'As he turns in his grave, Chesterton must be saying, "Thank goodness for a new Labour Government"'

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 05:29 AM

Dr Howells now insults the USA

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Nov 02 - 05:27 AM

Pubs may soon hear sounds of silence

Wednesday November 20, 2002
The Guardian

Dave McGlade's wake-up call (Letters, November 19) only covers part of the story. This proposed pub licencing reform will complete what the Puritans failed to do 350 years ago. It will stop most impromptu performance, whether of music or of anything smacking of drama or other live entertainment. The singsong? RIP. Also, live music at private functions is no longer exempt.
Not content with this, the legislation would not even allow my opera group to give a charity concert in our local church without applying for the costly licence. And, applying for a casual licence for an spontaneous singsong will need 10 days' notice and involve checks by the police, the fire service, the environmental health department and local residents.

This act is madness and the end of pub life as most of us know it. Historically the law has allowed one or two live musicians in a bar. Please read schedule 1 of the act and see for yourselves, and contrast this with the attitudes to live music in Scottish and Irish pubs. By the way, there is to be only limited regulation of recorded music, karaoke and jukeboxes, and no regulation of broadcast entertainment - terrestrial or satellite. Sad, or what?
Bill Evers

Details of how you too can contact the Guardian are given earlier in this thread.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 03:48 PM

The following is a link to a site where Jim Lawton has worked very hard, with hyper-links and cross references, to make the Schedule 1 'gibberish' a little more readable.

However, even when you can read it, it is still not any more sensible. Good work Jim and thanks.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Nov 02 - 03:00 AM

Click on the 'pellets' section of this site, for news of the latest PEL casualty. The Blue Bell.

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 03:14 PM

PEL Idea

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 02:31 PM

How can we help defeat this?

First we have to recognise that those of us that care for music making, have to stop quibbling about our small differences. We have to work together to make this an issue that cannot be ignored.

This quite disgraceful 'scape-goating' of all (but only) LIVE music has been quite deliberate. The thinking is that there are only a small number of musicians who will be affected and who care.

There are many folk who make music, there are just as many who wish they could and just about all of the rest like listening to it. Not just in England and Wales. Everyone can help, so it should not be too difficult to gain support, if we are constructive. We do not have any choice but to give it our very best effort, if we do not do it, no one else is going to do it for us.

There are many useful links on the 'Links to all PEL threads', one of them is the Action for Music site. There it is possible to join a Yahoo email list that will enable all intrested parties to communicate and receive information.   

Contact and inform your local media of the detail of the reform Bill, rather than its 'spin'. Your MP, councillors, folk clubs, all of this will help to spread the word, that many people who may be reasonably happy with more sensible opening hours are not going to be fooled.

Many of us were not expecting much but this apparently vindictive stupidity and prejudice against all (and only) LIVE music and musicians is really far worse than anyone could have imagined.

It is going to be a long haul....

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Subject: RE: PELs UK Music needs your HELP
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 02 - 12:31 PM

True enough Shambles - if you held the kind of house folk gathering with a guest and a collection or whatever, the way it sees to be done quite often in the States, it looks as if you'd be in breach of the new law.

The Mudcat gathering in Stony Stratford earlier this year would have been illegal, once we started playing any live music for each other in the community centre where we were staying.

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