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PEL- Enforcement: How?

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Mr Happy 03 Jan 03 - 11:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 03 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 04 Jan 03 - 08:33 AM
Liz the Squeak 04 Jan 03 - 02:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 03 - 03:32 PM
The Shambles 04 Jan 03 - 08:42 PM
The Shambles 04 Jan 03 - 09:37 PM
The Shambles 05 Jan 03 - 05:51 AM
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Subject: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: Mr Happy
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 11:45 PM

following discussions in a non pel licensed sinaround session tonight,
in which participants were invited to add their signatures to the www.musiclovers.ukart.com petition, this question was raised:

regarding the definition of 'public place' as 'any place'- how would the authorities go about enforcing the PEL requirements in environments other than pubs & other similar establishments?

do we have to go 'underground' to continue enjoying our favourite leisure pursuit?

down a pothole?

in a field miles from anywhere?

on top of a mountain?

charter an aircraft & have an onboard session?

your thoughts please!


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Subject: RE: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 07:30 AM

I imagine that, if they get this law through without significant amendments - and that shouldn't be assumed - the situation will continue to be that, as at present, it will be enforced in a random, arbitary and injust fashion, and ignored a lot of the time.

You don't beat a bad law by evading it, but by breaking it, and keeping on breaking it, in a way that invites the local authorities to choose between prosecuting or refusing to prosecute. Sooner or later prosecutions will run into the wall, because they will be unsustainable in the face of human rights requirements. It may take time.


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Subject: RE: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 08:33 AM

Enforcement will probably be by the same two routes as currently:

1. Complaints.
2. Reading ads and listings in the papers.

Press releases by artists have screwed more than one club.


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Subject: RE: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 02:51 PM

If it comes from a complaint about noise, there are a whole heap of other routes to go through before an event can be stopped, so I suspect those sufferers of noisy 'public' neighbours will go straight for the PEL before going through the lengthy and difficult to prove Noise Abatement/Environmental process. The sickening thing is, the government have already admitted that it is amplified music that is the major problem and it's the crowds outside after a gig causing a disturbance that they want to remove. Why they just don't do the crowds outside (presumably on a public highway) for 'affray' (more than 3 people standing together) or obstruction (more than 2 people standing still in one place) which already exist is beyond me.

LTRS


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Subject: RE: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 03:32 PM

When we lost the English Music session in Waltham Abbey, it appears the complaint was from another pub owner, who thought be might be losing custom to the Welsh Harp. No question of a complaint about noise, it was about a breach of the law being occasioned by more than two musicians being allowed to play.


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Subject: RE: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 08:42 PM

If it comes from a complaint about noise, there are a whole heap of other routes to go through before an event can be stopped, so I suspect those sufferers of noisy 'public' neighbours will go straight for the PEL before going through the lengthy and difficult to prove Noise Abatement/Environmental process.

The neighbours may make a complaint to the local authority about noise. It is the local authority who chooses the method of dealing with this. If the noise comes from some form of live music, the local authority will always chose to deal with it by means of a PEL if they can, for the simple reason that they can charge a fee for this.

They can't if the activity is exempt, and this is why LAs want the two in a bar exemption to go. No one has demonstrated that all this exempt live music does in fact present a serious noise cancern, or one that cannot be dealt with other legislation.

PELs are not very satifactory for the neighbours as this method usually involves permitting the noise/music in some form by obtaining the neighbours consent to some form of compromise. As it is not in the LA's interest to actually prevent the noise, although contrary to what you may be told by them at this point, they can deal with this or other noise perfectly well by using these methods. The process will not be any more difficult or lengthy than PELs, which can be very lengthy, but will not bring in any revenue.

The sickening thing is, the government have already admitted that it is amplified music that is the major problem and it's the crowds outside after a gig causing a disturbance that they want to remove.

This is not what I have seen in any Government statement. They have only claimed that the 'two in a bar' exemption must go as one person with an amplifier can make a lot of noise. They have not even claimed that existing noise legislation is inadequte and if they did, all the bodies involved consider that the existing noise legislation is more than enough already.

Why they just don't do the crowds outside (presumably on a public highway) for 'affray' (more than 3 people standing together) or obstruction (more than 2 people standing still in one place) which already exist is beyond me.

Why do LAs insist on still issuing PELs, which enable late opening hours, to premises in residential areas where this late night outside activity presents a problem? Could it be because of the revenue gained from these PELs?

It is a complete myth that PELs prevent noise or protect nieghbours. If LAs did not have a vested interest in issuing as many PELs as they can, any noise problems presented to residents could and should be effectivly dealt with by using the correct legislation.


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Subject: RE: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 09:37 PM

Moving away from noise.

No events are lost as a result of a complaint and a complaint is not necessary anyway. For a complaint (or an advertisement) only alerts the local authority a possible unlicensed public entertainment. And a complaint real or imagined, gives them a convienient someone else to blame, for forcing them to act.

The officers will know if a PEL is present or not, but a visit to the premises has to take place to establish if the activity is even licensable in the first place or indeed if it is exempt from the requirement.

It is not really necessary or usual to record, reveal or report back on a complaint about unlicensed entertainment. All that is required, or as some officers claim as their statutory duty, is to investigate to see if a licence is required.

On investigation, if the officers think, for example that pub customers providing their own unpaid music, is not a licensable activity, they have satisfied their statutory duty, and they can then go away and allow it to continue.

However, it does not ever happen like that.


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Subject: RE: PEL- Enforcement: How?
From: The Shambles
Date: 05 Jan 03 - 05:51 AM

The council employees who currently carry out this work are not bad people and do genuinely think that they are making premises safe for the public. Many people, some of them also council employees, seem to wish to defend the PEL regime because of what they think it is, rather than what it has come to be in practice. Or because they feel the good intentioned efforts of other employees are being unfairly attacked.

In reality the current system is a dishonest sham and a disgrace and resembles a protection racket more than a real system for peotecting the public.

Even for large outdoor events like Glastonbury, where we could all see that some form of additional control is required, this system fails us. Most authorities intentionally raise the fee to huge amounts for these events, to ensure that they do not take place in their backyard. And in the case of Glastonbury, all sorts of bogus public safety concerns are raised to cover the simple fact that many just do not like the music or the event, when the police and authorities are satisfied that they have taken all the measures they can.

There is so much wrong about the current system but very little critcism finds it way into any of the objectives and justification of the Bill. Which really takes the old system on trust but increases the scope in an attempt to cover everything and tries to plug up every possible loophole. Fees and annual inspection charges will be intially be set nationaly but will only ever be moving in an upward direction to form a stealth tax on all music making and entertainment.

Experience of the current system has clearly shown anyone who takes the trouble to look at the evidence, that we cannot just trust local authorities to sensibly enforce this legislation and to also ensure our freedoms under other legislation. And we we must never again be blindly prepared to do this in the future, whatever we may think of the general good intentions of council employees.

The whole basis in the Bill for the continuation of blanket entertainment licensing, given all our other 21st century legislation is totally bogus.

Will people ever stop being so bloody charitible towards an outdated and discredited system that shows no charity at all to its many victims?

Rant over........


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