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Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE

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GUEST 12 Mar 03 - 01:43 AM
John J 12 Mar 03 - 07:04 AM
IanC 12 Mar 03 - 08:04 AM
GUEST 12 Mar 03 - 02:09 PM
GUEST 12 Mar 03 - 02:11 PM
DMcG 12 Mar 03 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,ET 13 Mar 03 - 04:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM
vindelis 13 Mar 03 - 06:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Mar 03 - 07:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM
Alexis 14 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM
The Shambles 14 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM
treewind 14 Mar 03 - 12:43 PM
The Shambles 24 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM
The Shambles 24 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 03 - 10:03 AM
Dave Bryant 24 Mar 03 - 12:05 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 12:32 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 12:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 03 - 12:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Mar 03 - 05:42 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 06:25 PM
DMcG 24 Mar 03 - 06:26 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 05:50 AM
Dave Bryant 25 Mar 03 - 05:55 AM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 11:09 AM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 01:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 03:41 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 03 - 06:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 07:42 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 01:37 AM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 05:12 AM
The Admiral 26 Mar 03 - 08:57 AM
DMcG 26 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 12:00 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 03:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 03 - 04:04 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 07:58 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 08:18 PM
The Shambles 26 Mar 03 - 08:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 03 - 08:44 PM
The Shambles 27 Mar 03 - 12:31 PM
The Shambles 27 Mar 03 - 02:41 PM
The Shambles 27 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Mar 03 - 03:19 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 08:34 AM
Richard Bridge 29 Mar 03 - 02:48 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 03:24 PM
The Shambles 29 Mar 03 - 03:27 PM
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Subject: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 01:43 AM

Look, I know this is a new thread on a huge old one but the Sign an E pettion thread is so large it takes ages to download so I thought I'd try a new one as the Bill is about to leave the Lords and go to the Commons.
If this isn't the way to do it no problem with another way!

IMPORTANT NEWS

----------------------------------------------------------------

TELETEXT News
>
> Government defeated on music licence
>
> The government has been defeated in the Lords after peers voted to exempt
> small premises from the planned enforcement of licence regulations.
>
> Peers votes by 150 to 120 in favour of a Tory Amendment which would exempt
> from a licence live music in a pub before 11.30 pm.
>
> the rule would apply to those premises with 250 people or fewer.
>
> Tories believe the amendment would encourage live music.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

This is important and needs to be broadcast far and wide. Government bound to want to amed this with their huge commons majority so please write to your MP.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: John J
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 07:04 AM

Does this mean we've won?

John


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: IanC
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 08:04 AM

No. They'll reverse it in the Commons.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 02:09 PM

If they can - see below extract from Lawyers e-mail


And the real beauty of this is that, because the government started this in
the Lords, it cannot use the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 to override the
Lords, so if the Lords stick to their guns and no compromise is possible,
the government will have to withdraw the whole bill and re-introduce it as a
Commons bill, which will really disrupt their parliamentary timetable.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 02:11 PM

THESE ARE GOVERNMENT CONCESSIONS!!

I forgot to add to yesterday's circular two more important concessions made by the Government in the form of amendments to the Bill. These are very clearly a response to lobbying pressure.

The first removed the paragraph in Schedule 1 that catches private events raising money for charity (para 1(7) in the Bill as amended on Report). Such events are now out of the licensing regime altogether. The second inserts a new paragraph which exempts the provision of any regulated entertainment or facilities at garden fetes, functions or events 'of a similar character' (provided these are not for 'private gain'). The term 'private gain' is further defined as 'to be construed in accordance with section 22 of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 (c. 32)'.

I think IF we win we all owe Hamish of Musicians Union and Richard Bridge, Lawyer, a few pints!


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 12 Mar 03 - 05:09 PM

Yes, but I think 78,641 pints (at the current count) might do a little liver damage. Perhaps we should send vouchers redeemable of the next couple of centuries instead.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 04:28 PM

Given that the Lords have just about wrecked the bill there are dangers that Howells will rally MPs to his cause by pointing out what the effects will be. Could I invite you to look to
(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/2842595.stm). Good read.

I think we need to think of a way of plea bargining to get what we want in exchange for a less completely wrecked bill because of the dangers of the government starting again in the commons.

Personally I think the Government will want us all to be seat belted into our armchairs, wearing crash helmets, knitting with blunt, sound profed needles, making fair isle jumpers, watching 1920's movies, then dropping dead suddenly one month before we draw our pensions with no dependants, no will and any assets going to the treasury!


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 05:16 PM

(I can't see why the longest thread takes any longer to download, so long as you click on the numbers in the "Messages" column, and not on the heading in the left hand column - the long threads are broken into 50s, and it opens up on the first 50, with a choice of all the others - so you click on the most recent one, and bingo, it's open - and it keeps the discourse in one place, which is handier.)

The Government's too tied up in all kinds of other stuff to fancy starting the whole thing again, I reckon. They might be more likely to drop it - but, given that the music bit is only a small aspect of it, and the pub hours bit is seen as quite important, I can't see them doing it.

Also the question will arise, how reliable are the Labour MPs? Given that a lot of them are going to be feeling a bit bloody-minded now. The Iraq rebels will have their tails up, and some of the ones who have toed the line on that might like a chance to show that they aren't to be taken for granted, and have some backbone of sorts.

I think it's quite on the cards that the Government will accept the amendments, or most of them anyway, and say that this was what they intended to achieve through the regulations and guidelines anyway.

If the one exempting unamplified music gets through, which I read somewhere is quite likely to be accepted, I'll be very happy. And I think that if that gets through, it'll probably mean that lowish level amplification will be ignored by the authorities in practice. The small premises one would be brilliant, but I can see them pulling the stops out to defeat that one - which puts it back to the Lords.

The thing with the Lords is, there's not much predicting what will happen, because they aren't whippable in the same way as MPs.

Writing to MPs again specifically supporting the non-amplified and small premises amendments is well worth it. I suspect a lot of them are feeling very vulnerable these days, and might fancy some populist stuff about what jolly good sports they are in their local papers., Remember http://www.faxyourmp.com/ - it's free and it lands on their desk in the House tomorrow, looking quite impressive.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: vindelis
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 06:32 PM

I hate to put a damper on things, but does this mean that we could be back to square one, two-in-a-bar rule et al? I sincerely hope not.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 07:18 PM

Unlikely. Though thee's ways in which it'd be better than none-in-a-bar.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Mar 03 - 07:21 PM

The point is, two-in-a-bar isn't actually a restriction - it's an exemption from a general restriction. A daftly inadequate exemption, but better than nothing.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Alexis
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM

McGrath-re the labour MPs my local kali Mountford would`nt sign the EDM, just sent me the 20 myths bollocks. Any chance of an idiots guide to the possible ammendments so I can ask her to agree to them? I have to reply to the 20 myths bollocks so I might as well try to appear informed.
Alex


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM

This will help for the answer to the 20 myths.

http://www.does4you.co.uk/REPLY.htm

As will the MU site http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/latest_news.shtml


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: treewind
Date: 14 Mar 03 - 12:43 PM

Our MP (Tory) has replied to faxes from Mary and myself with a standard form letter. It wasn't very informative the first time and was thoroughly depressing after we got the third copy, in reply to specific questions which it didn't answer.

Mary's just tried again, asking him to support the amendments. If he sends the same letter again I won't be impressed. But then it's a safe Tory seat - what to do? He'll probably support them anyway just for party reasons.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:23 AM

Commons business 24 March 2003.

LICENSING BILL [LORDS]:      Second Reading.
[Until 10.00 p.m.]

The Sixth Report from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Committee, Session 2002-03, HC 541, The Licensing Bill [Lords] and the Evening Economy, is relevant.

    The First, Fourth and Seventh Reports from the Joint Committee on Human Rights of Session 2002-03, on its scrutiny of Bills, HC 191, HC 397 and HC 547, are relevant.

You can listen to it live on the following.....

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/hocvid.asp


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:49 AM

The following is a letter sent today.

Dear Mrs Bottomley

Licensing Bill - Public Entertainment Licence Provisions - Lords Small Premises Amendment.

I have learnt today that the bill returns to the Commons on Monday 24th March. My concern is that the proposed legislation bears heavily, clumsily and destructively upon a part of English social and musical life. I participate, as singer or listener, in various traditional music sessions or singarounds in and around South-West Surrey. These take place on licensed premises, usually small pubs.

What happens is that people gather to sing, play acoustic instruments or to simply listen and perhaps join in choruses. There is also conversation, and friendships are formed or reinforced. It is a thoroughly benign part of the social fabric. There is no perceptible disorder.

It seems likely that the proposed legislation would bring many of these to an end. Locally, these include: ['Descriptions withheld of sessions and singarounds in some seven licensed premises of which all but two are likely to be in breach of existing law.'] Of these, I am not aware that any hold an existing Public Entertainment Licence. I would guess that [some] are most likely to, and that most or all of the remainder may not. Certainly we were aware that the _______did not.

At present, folk music in England is mostly played in public illegally. With variable local enforcement, we have had the spectacle of publicly-paid officials taking action to close sessions in Dorset and Greenwich to name the first two that come to mind for no reason other that they are unlicensed. The 'two-in-a-bar-rule' has been taken by the authorities to mean only the same two in a bar all evening, and does not remotely sanction present practice.

The mechanism for starting a session is that someone will discuss with the landlord whether such might be accommodated on the premises, usually on an otherwise quiet evening. If so agreed, word will be spread, perhaps supplemented by press or website publicity. Performers may be unremunerated, or there may be sandwiches or perhaps beer for them. Licensing will not be in the forefront of anyone's mind, nor, I submit, should it be.

Mr Howells and his staff seem not to understand how this part of life works.

Mr Howells states, disingenuously, that the legislation would be enabling and would encourage live music. Alas, he or his officials seem to lack everyday experience of the licensees as they are. From my personal and business experience, licensees are not the most organised or far-sighted amongst us. Faced with the need to specify what entertainment may be presented, they may not apply for future or even present folk or acoustic sessions. There is a strong risk that public performance of English traditional music and song will be outlawed except on the concert stage.

It seems to me that is absurd and iniquitous that in England, unlike Scotland, we shall be denied the freedom to entertain ourselves by song, music and dance as we see fit, whilst no such licensing is needed for satellite television or karaoke in licensed premises.

I understand that the Lords amendment for small premises up to 11.30 pm would permit these sessions and singarounds to continue, but that the Minister is advise that it should be overturned. I make no comment on the minister's motivation except that he has publicly denigrated folk singers.

Should the Lords's amendment be overturned, we would necessarily resort to Human Rights legislation. However, it seems to me desirable that the legislation be dealt with at this stage so as to enable people in England to enjoy the liberty to entertain ourselves as traditionally we have done. May I ask for your help to uphold the Lords' small premises amendment, please?

Yours sincerely
Peter Thomas


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:03 AM

Remember, if the House of Commons reject the Lords amendments, and the Lords insist on them, or on any one of them, the Lords can't be overuled. The version the House of Lords insists on has to become law, unless the Government decides instead to ditch the whole bill and start all over again.

That's because the Bill was introduced by the Government in the House of Lords, not in the Commons.

If all this seems frivolous, in the context of the present war, it's as well to remember that the laws restricting pub opening times, and all kind of other stuff, were pushed through while people were looking the other way, during the Great War. And we were stuck with them for the best part of a century.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:05 PM

What's the betting that if the Commons do accept the Lord's ammendments, Mr Howells will then try to take all the credit for rationalising Entertainment Licensing ?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:32 PM

Listening Live: the Government says it will try to overturn the small events exemption because of its potentially perverse effects on protecting children, etc


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:50 PM

Listening live: Government "Intend to accept the incidental live music amendment"


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 12:58 PM

But no word on the unamplified amendment that I've heard.

Lobbying Lords is more complicated than lobbying MPs, but I imaginbe it'll be a good idea to check up how to go about doing that.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:42 PM

Any one got an update on how it went today?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:25 PM

The opposition decided not to put anything to a vote today, but said that unless the amendments passed in the laws were largely incorporated, at least in spirit, they would vote against when it returns to the house after the committee stage. The Government intends to oppose seven of the nine amendments agreed in the Lords, but didn't say exactly which they were prepared to accept, apart from the incidental live music amendment.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:26 PM

For 'laws' read 'Lords' (well, its getting late.)


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:50 AM

The full debate in Hansard, on the following site.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030324/debtext/30324-14.htm#30324-14_head0


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:55 AM

I take it there's no "potentially perverse effects on protecting children, etc" possible from satellite tv (with all those porno channels) or video juke-boxes then. I've heard language on one of Tom's Enimem CDs that would get you thrown out of most folk clubs, and the behaviour of some audiences watching televised sport can leave a lot to be desired.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 11:09 AM

The BBC online news of Tessa Jowell's intentions for the Bill.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2882751.stm


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 01:25 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

For circulation

The following update will repalce the 'Latest News' section on the MU two in a bar site tomorrow:

During yesterday's (24 March) first Commons debate of the Licensing Bill, Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell announced that the Government would accept the Opposition Peers' amendments for a licensing exemption for schools and sixth form colleges. She also accepted their exemption for 'incidental' live music. However, she indicated that the Government would seek to overturn the small events exemption.

The full debate can be downloaded from Hansard online:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200203/cmhansrd/cm030324/debtext/30324-14.htm#30324-14_head0

The Bill will now enter the Committee stage in the Commons, the first of these being Tuesday 1 April. About 20-30 MPs will sit on this Committee, and the proportion from each Party will reflect the make-up of the House of Commons. Government and Opposition Whips choose the MPs to sit.

This phase of the Bill's passage through Parliament must be completed by 20 May. Report and 3rd Reading follow, probably on the same day. The Bill will then go back to the Lords (if the Government has amended the Lords amendments, as is very likely). Once the Lords have considered the Government's amendments, and either introduced further amendments, or reintroduced their ealier amendments, the Bill is returned to the Commons. The Government are still aiming for Royal Assent in July.

During yesterday's debate the Culture Secretary again claimed that the Musicians' Union had misrepresented the Bill:

'I would like to pay tribute to the Musicians Union, which has certainly won the Oscar for the best spin on this matter. I say that with unbounded admiration, rather than acrimony. The union has misrepresented the position with great success, and, in doing so, greatly raised the profile of live music.'

Conservative Shadow Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, defended the Union:

'... despite assurances to the contrary, fears remain that the Bill may well cover many events such as wedding receptions, private parties, the demonstration of musical instruments, the provision of rehearsal rooms, even carol singingand, as was pointed out by my hon. Friend the Member for Totnes (Mr. Steen), wassailing.

The Minister has sought to dismiss such claims as scare-mongering and a "pernicious lying campaign" by the Musicians Union. I am glad to note that he [Kim Howells] recognises his own words. But while he may give assurances that the Bill does not cover such events, a large body of legal opinion has advised the Musicians Union and others that it will have exactly those effects.

We are pleased that the Government have now said that they are prepared to sit down with the Musicians Union and others whom the Bill will affect and look at it again. I hope that that will lead to further Government amendments to prevent any possible doubt that the Minister's assurances are supported by the Bill, but if they are not forthcoming, we will not hesitate to table our own amendments.'


Mr Whittingdale also said that having consulted 30 licensees in his constituency on whether they would 'tick the box' to obtain a public entertainment licence, none said that they would. Worryingly, a similar reaction was reported by Liberal Democrat Shadow Culture Minister, Nick Harvey.

Mr Whittingdale also commented on the exemption for broadcast entertainment: 'On the point that the Government seem to consider that live performance poses such dangers that it requires a licence, whereas the televised screening of a soccer match or a concert poses no dangers, the Minister [Kim Howells] said on Radio 1 a couple of months ago that in 14 years as an MP he had never received a complaint about a folk group or anybody else playing acoustic music, but that he had had lots of complaints about loud televisions and loud piped music. It therefore seems extraordinary that he proposes to regulate the former but to exempt the latter.'

Mr Whittingdale added that the Conservatives would defend their small events exemption amendment in the Lords if the Government overturned it in the Commons.

Several other MPs spoke in favour of live music and the small events exemption, including David Heath (Lib Dem, Somerton & Frome), and Bob Blizzard (Lab, Waveney).

Mr Blizzard said: 'Small, live venues are a serious issue if we are to avoid that monoculture of mass entertainment...'. He added: 'I am very pleased with the idea behind the Lords amendment that grants exemption to live music at small events and premises up to 11.30 pm, as it is an attempt to deal with the issue. If I understand why my hon. Friend cannot support that measure, I hope that he will find an alternative way forward that satisfies the concerns of those small premises. I hope not only that he will meet the Musicians Union, but that he will be willing to receive a delegation from the all-party jazz appreciation group in the House to work through some of those issues.

David Heath said: 'All acoustic performances should be exempt from the provisions, as they are not capable of causing the nuisance that the Bill attempts to remedy. Whether we limit numbers or types of performance is a matter of opinion, but there should be a threshold below which the full licensing provisions do not apply. We need to examine the transitional arrangements, as well as the licence variations, which are a significant barrier.

If a licensee does not initially apply for an entertainment licence but wants one at a later stage, it could prove too costly for them to countenance and we could thus eventually see a contraction in the number of live venues.

I genuinely believe that the Government are listening to some of the points that have been made. Some of us have been accused of scaremongering, but any scares that I have mongered were manufactured in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The more that the Minister can allay fear by changing the precise terms of the Bill and by what he includes in the regulations and guidance, the more he will receive my support. The measure would then be genuinely deregulatory. I commend the Minister on listening, but I am worried that there will be backsliding from the position established in another place.'


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:41 PM

Just read through the debate. I was interested to note that when Kim Howells came to sum up at the end he completely ignored the music and entertainments aspects of the Bill.

Tessa Jowells, who opened for the Government (it sounds a bit like a Cricket match) didn't give too much away. She said they mean to reverse the "small premises" amendment, accept the "incidental music" one (whatever that actually means, which is far from clear), and for the rest, either seek to modify them or reverse them. Which could mean anything or nothing.

But it was good to see that a fair number of the MPs had at least some idea of the issues involved especially maybe the point that unless they do something about the power of local authorities to insist on excessive conditions, most pubs are not going to tick the entertainments box.

Now is the time to redouble pressure, because this is the point at which significant concessions could be obtained.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 06:20 PM

Is Tessa Jowell with her gruding acceptance of some but not all of the Lord's amendments, from now on going to be known as 'Seven of Nine'?

Yes I noticed that Dr Howells ignored the entertainment aspects, no change there then......


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:42 PM

Could someone indicate what exactly it is the "incidental" amendment actually says?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 01:37 AM

This is how this part of Schedule 1 now looks.

Music incidental to certain other activities.

7       The provision of entertainment consisting of the playing of music is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the purposes of this Act to the extent that it is incidental to some other activity which is not 25 itself—

             (a)             a description of entertainment falling within paragraph 2, or

             (b)             the provision of entertainment facilities.


The original wording was only to the playing of recorded music. So all is clear now, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 05:12 AM

The following today from Hamish Birchall.

Legal advice provided to the Musicians' Union is that 'incidental' would not cover advertised, featured entertainments. Thus a weekly amateur folk session in a pub, if advertised, would not fall within the 'incidental' exemption.

It would be helpful if the Government could confirm whether or not they share this view.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Admiral
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:57 AM

I see that the Petition now stands at over 80,000 names online and who knows how many in hard copy but when it is going to be presented? With discussion of the Licencing Bill in the Commons for the 3rd (and last) time last Monday there can't be much time left for it to make any difference?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: DMcG
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 10:06 AM

The petition has already been quoted in the debate in both the Lords and the Commons; I doubt if physically having it will actually that much difference. I don't think its the last time in the Commons either - it goes to the committee stage now and then will get voted on back in the house. Hence the opposition's comments. And of course, if the Government does overturn anything the Lords said, as they intend, it goes back there. There's a couple of laps still to run on this one!


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 12:00 PM

Does anyone here have the misfortune of having this lady as their MP?

Diana Organ (Forest of Dean): Snip

Many myths have surrounded the Bill. Like other hon. Members, I have heard people suggest that the measure makes carol singing, bell ringing, singing "Happy Birthday" in a pub illegal, and provides that music tuition and rehearsals must be licensed. I am glad to say that that is all unfounded nonsense.

The Government have made it clear that they will agree to some Lords amendments but that they cannot accept others. I understand their reasons for not agreeing with Lords amendments that would provide
for not licensing an event of 250 or fewer people.

That is a matter of public safety and misuse of alcohol. It is right to examine all places where alcohol is sold and not simply base decisions on numbers. We would all be severely worried by a dangerous or disorderly incident involving 200 people in a village hall going on the rampage, especially if the event were unlicensed.


We have much health and safety law plus now the premise licence and the personal licence to ensure that the serving of alcohol is controlled, but still they plough on wanting to duplicate the measures, and insist on more control, but strangly only where live music is concerned.........It is not music making that is not going to incite village halls to go on the rampage.

The amendment is not going to permit unlicensed small events it just exempts small events from additional licensing control, duplication and more unnecessary red tape. Most peers accepted that existing legislation provided adequate cover, obviously this MP does not. Or does not understand.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 03:37 PM

The MPs nominated for the Licensing Bill Committee are as follows:

       (1) The Speaker has allocated the Bill to Standing Committee D, and has appointed Mr Roger Gale and Mr Joe Benton Chairmen; and (2) the Committee of Selection has nominated sixteen Members to serve on the Committee:

Mr Bob Blizzard, Mr David Crausby, Mr Mark Field, Jane Griffiths, Mr John Grogan, Nick Harvey, Mr Mark Hoban, Dr Kim Howells, Mr Kevan Jones, Mr Fraser Kemp, Jim Knight, Martin Linton, Mr Malcolm Moss, Mr Adrian Sanders, Mr Graham Stringer and Mr Andrew Turner.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 04:04 PM

Roger Gale for Chairman??? That's confusing, but maybe a good omen.

Do committees like this take evidence? What's the form for lobbying them?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 07:58 PM

The commons guide to Standing Committees.

http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/fs43.pdf


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:18 PM

The MU's website.
http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/latest_news.shtml


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:36 PM

The Bill will now enter the Committee stage in the Commons, the first of these being Tuesday 1 April. About 20-30 MPs will sit on this Committee, and the proportion from each Party will reflect the make-up of the House of Commons. Government and Opposition Whips choose the MPs to sit.

The Labour whips have chosen my MP Jim Knight to sit on the Committee.

If anyone would like to post short constructive comments/suggestions for the Committee here, or to me via PMs, I can certainly pass these on to him.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 08:44 PM

The paper about Standing Committees appears to assume that the amendments are ones which have been put forward by MPs, rather than ones which have already been passed by the House of Lords, where the Bill was introduced.

I'd imagine that might change the proceedings a bit - for example, the paper talks about them having the right to decide which amendments to consider, and I can't imagine that would apply in these cases, since unless and until the Commons throws them out and the Lords accepts that, they are surely part of the Bill.

If any of the MPs on the Committee are the MP of Mudcatters, that might be useful. MPs are generally supposed to read letters from constituents, and not from constituents of other MPs. I don't know if a different rule applies when they are being approached not as constituency members but rather by virtue of being Committee Members. But anyway faxyourMP only works for your own local MP.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 12:31 PM

The following correction from Hamish

Sorry. I got the this wrong, partly because Tessa Jowells' own comments recorded in Hansard were confusing (they fooled the BBC too, and she has had to write to Opposition Front Bench Ministers setting the record straight).

The Government is NOT exempting schools and sixth form colleges from the licensing regime, only exempting them from licence fees. The Government intends that these premises will need a premises licence, or Temporary Event Notice, if they are to put on regulated entertainment. Universities and places of higher education will be liable for licence fees if they host regulated entertainment.


Also on the question of lobbing MPs who are on the Standing Committee.

I am sure anyone can and should lobby these MPs - by writing, emailing, or faxing. If they are constituents so much the better - then they can get to talk to them in person. The Chairmen don't participate, so best to leave them out of the loop.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 02:41 PM

The following five Standing Committee members have signed EDM 331.

Mark Field, Mark Horan, Malcolm Moss - Conservative.

Nick Harvey, - Lib Dem.

Graham Stringer - Labour!


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 02:57 PM

The rest have not.

Labour
Bob Blizzard, David Crausby, Jane Griffiths, John Grogan, Kim Howells, Kervan Jones, Fraser Kemp, Jim Knight, Martin Linton.

Conservative
Andrew Turner.

Lib Dem
Adrian Sanders

Chaiman Roger Gale Conservative
       Joe Benton Labour.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 03:19 PM

Here is a link to an alphabetical list of MPs, with biographies, email addresses, and in some cases websites.

Time to try to cajole them into seeing sense. I suppose it's more important to try to work on the Labour ones.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 08:34 AM

Is this Kervan Jones anyone's MP?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 02:48 PM

I have written at length to all the committee MPs and the Joint Committe on Human Rights.

I don't know if it'll get put up on does4you. I hope so. The MU may not post it as I am now not in complete agreement with them, see below. The EFDSS may or may not (although I hope they do) because my preferred amendments will not permit amplified folk (or any other) gigs without some sort of regulation.

There are three big problems, and one little inaccuracy above.

Little inaccuracy first. If the commons reject any amendments then the bill has to go back to the lords. If the lords make any more amendments (which includes reversing any of the commons rejections), then it will ahve to go back to the commons again and so on. This is because a bill only becomes law when passed by both the lords and commons and getting the royal assent.

Now the big ones.

First, I disagree with Hamish's interpretation of "incidental" - but it is not impossible, So the "incidental" exemption, and my narrower (because I was trying to draft something the government could not possible rationally object to) "acoustic exemption" (which the government actually accepted in the Lords) may not go far enough to permit sessions as we know them - or advertised amplified music either. I have drafted some further amendments (actually I did it before the Lords 3rd reading, but they were a bit technical to be suitable for third reading amendments) and they are in or with my said letter.

Second, I do not think the "small premises" exemption can remain as it is, and it is hard to get it right, although I have tried.

Third I do not think the "incidental music" exemption can stay as it is either.

This is because of Human Rights law. Article 8 requires respect for (amongst other things) home and private life. This was why the Joint Committee on Human Rihgts said that it was ESSENTIAL that licence appications had to be advertised, so that people could know when they could object, to protect thier himes and private lives. I live between two pubs (and run a PA rig for a couple of local bands) and believe me the JCHR was sooooooooo right.

But neither the small premises exemption nor the incidental music exemption nor the broadcast exemption make any provision about amplification. THerefore anything exempt by them can be any loudness at all adn will still be exempt from needing a licence. The home-owner's only redress is an action in private or public nuisance or the Environmental Protection Act 1990. But an action under the EPA depends on the thing objected to being a nuisance (public or private) and both the law of public nuisance and the law of private nuisance are notoriously difficult. THere are also House of Lords cases that might enable a local authority to wriggle out of haveing to enforce the EPA on the pretext that they had not got enough money. Therefore the existing exemptions (except the acoustic one that I drafted) do not provide the necessary protection for home and private life and may turn out to be illegal if litigated - which could really bugger things up, 'cos either there would then be no exemption or the goverment might make another and who knows what they might say, or teh courts might decide to interpret the exemptions in some funny way to try to give effect to the convention but then who knows what they would do for music.

So it has to be got right now or thiere is a risk (I say a big risk) it will go wrong in teh future.

Now Hamish wants to protect the work of MU members. They use amplifiers, mostly. I live between two pubs and I don't want amplifiers, mostly (and I certainly don't want them on TVs or discos or juke boxes). So I want schemes to monitor noise breakout, as a condition of any of the exemptions apart from the acoustic one - because acoustic music does not need monitoring for any such purpose. It also does not pose any electrical safety risk, and although the Health and Safety at Work Act usually covers this risk, it only does it in the workplace, so free festivals where the staff and performers were unpaid volunteers (maybe Hollow Shore, as an example) would not have HSA cover.

If you think this is long, believe me it's a lot shorter than what I wrote to the MPs.

I hoe that's not too long


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 03:24 PM

Third I do not think the "incidental music" exemption can stay as it is either.

This is because of Human Rights law. Article 8 requires respect for (amongst other things) home and private life. This was why the Joint Committee on Human Rihgts said that it was ESSENTIAL that licence appications had to be advertised, so that people could know when they could object, to protect thier himes and private lives. I live between two pubs (and run a PA rig for a couple of local bands) and believe me the JCHR was sooooooooo right.


Not going to argue this noise issue with you yet again Richard but if the 'incidental' recorded music exemption is OK, surely so must the the Lord's 'incidental' live music amendment. Or do you wish to do away with the original exemption too, not that I see either make much practical sense? If so what chance is there of you doing away with them?

Can you also explain why the acoustic exemption will not exempt acoustic sessions?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Mar 03 - 03:27 PM

But is or can the process of amendments ever turn this 'pig's ear' Bill into a silk purse?


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