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Licensing Bill - How will it work ?

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early 12 May 05 - 02:21 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 12 May 05 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 12 May 05 - 11:17 AM
GUEST,The Shambles 12 May 05 - 10:39 AM
Nick 12 May 05 - 07:28 AM
GUEST 12 May 05 - 07:24 AM
Dave Bryant 12 May 05 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 11 May 05 - 02:40 PM
Dave Bryant 11 May 05 - 08:52 AM
Nick 11 May 05 - 08:35 AM
Dave Bryant 11 May 05 - 08:17 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 11 May 05 - 07:45 AM
Dave Bryant 11 May 05 - 07:25 AM
ET 02 Aug 04 - 05:39 PM
RichardP 02 Aug 04 - 12:43 PM
RichardP 10 Jul 04 - 07:16 PM
DMcG 10 Jul 04 - 02:48 AM
The Shambles 10 Jun 04 - 08:00 AM
The Shambles 09 Jun 04 - 07:45 PM
The Barden of England 09 Jun 04 - 04:43 PM
The Shambles 09 Jun 04 - 03:41 PM
RichardP 09 Jun 04 - 05:51 AM
The Shambles 27 May 04 - 11:47 AM
The Shambles 27 May 04 - 11:32 AM
The Shambles 27 May 04 - 10:12 AM
RichardP 27 May 04 - 10:07 AM
RichardP 27 May 04 - 09:39 AM
Dave Bryant 25 May 04 - 04:54 AM
RichardP 25 May 04 - 03:49 AM
RichardP 25 May 04 - 03:45 AM
The Shambles 25 May 04 - 02:37 AM
RichardP 24 May 04 - 08:15 PM
The Shambles 24 May 04 - 02:19 PM
RichardP 24 May 04 - 12:35 PM
The Shambles 21 May 04 - 01:10 PM
Amos 20 May 04 - 02:06 PM
Dave Bryant 20 May 04 - 07:20 AM
GUEST 20 May 04 - 07:06 AM
RichardP 20 May 04 - 05:13 AM
Dave Bryant 20 May 04 - 05:11 AM
The Shambles 20 May 04 - 02:12 AM
RichardP 19 May 04 - 07:55 PM
Dave Bryant 19 May 04 - 04:51 AM
The Shambles 19 May 04 - 02:05 AM
RichardP 18 May 04 - 05:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 May 04 - 03:17 PM
The Shambles 18 May 04 - 01:03 PM
Dave Bryant 18 May 04 - 10:07 AM
The Shambles 17 May 04 - 07:07 PM
RichardP 17 May 04 - 04:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: early
Date: 12 May 05 - 02:21 PM

the experience we had this week with the leeds city council licensing people was probably typical - they cant even get their act together and still apply the old rules with a twist - two in a bar - not any two but the same two - effectively stoppong sigarounds and sessions, wierd or what?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 12 May 05 - 01:55 PM

I too have been told, strictly on the qt, that some councils are planning to go the route of refusing the whole business application, if the music box is ticked for pubs where they (the council) don't want to allow live music.

Not surprising!

During the long fight against this law, we did suggest that the magistrates, with no monetary axe to grind, were still the best people to handle drinks licensing. As usual they didn't listen.

This whole thing has the makings of a typical government clusterf**k.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 05 - 11:17 AM

Shambles, if you are inclined, you should send this case to Feargal Sharkey at the Live Music Forum (via DCMS web-site). The more we feedback these horror stories the more we can do stop them happening.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: GUEST,The Shambles
Date: 12 May 05 - 10:39 AM

A local licensee recently applied. A first meeting was held where he was confronted with many locals - with noise objections and officers supporting these complaints.

He was told - by the licensing manager - that if he did not accommodate these objectors at this stage - that he would lose the entire Premises Licence application and his livlihood at the next stage (i.e. the Licensing Committee).

Not surprisingly - he agreed not to insist on holding an outside charity event that had been running now for many years - in order to stay in business.

How will it work - well from my experience so far - pretty much the same as it did before.......


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Nick
Date: 12 May 05 - 07:28 AM

Am I missing something obvious, Dave? The following link seems to have rather a lot of forms on it - York Licensing Forms

Could this be what people in the York area are (or are not) filling in?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 May 05 - 07:24 AM

The deadline for applications is August 6th and the ew licenses will come into effect in November. The most important thing musicians and music fans can do now is encourage what used to be " 2 in a bar" or session pubs to tick the box for live music. There isn't so much of a worry about the PEL venues because they are likely to be more geared up for the live music option. The worry is that the "2 in a bars" will slip off the grid. very difficult to monitor as well because they won't necessarily appear in any data. All we can do is try to persuade music friendly landlords to go for the tick (whether or not they intend regular programmes).


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 12 May 05 - 07:19 AM

It's exactly misinformation like that which we need to be on the look out for. It's hardly in any council's interest to encourage licensees to get something for free if they can persuade them to miss the first (free) application and then charge them for a subsequent one. My own coucil (Greenwich) has quite a lot of existing PEL income which it won't want to lose under the new scheme.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 11 May 05 - 02:40 PM

I heard from one landlord in Soutwark that a local authority official told him that he could only reapply for the permissions currently held by the venue, anything else would have to be a second application (and a second fee). Total bollocks of course but misinformation like that will really screw things up.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 May 05 - 08:52 AM

It's hard to make an application if the forms aren't available !


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Nick
Date: 11 May 05 - 08:35 AM

There was an article a few weeks ago in the York Evening Press on the lack of applications - and the effect that this could have later in the year. Most of the articles etc that have appeared have been very much centred round the binge-drinking/24 hour issues rather than the music side of things.

As an aside, I'm sure Samuel Smiths will have put in their applications with the 'Allow bugger-all that people enjoy' box ticked.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 May 05 - 08:17 AM

If we are to believe what we were originally told, all a pub has to do if they want entertainment is tick a specific box on the application form. As long as this is done at the first application, there should be no extra charge levied. The only reason a council can give for refusing an entertainments provision should be on the grounds of public order, ie they can't insist on building alterations.

On the other hand governments sometimes use "accidents" to force changes in the law - there was a classic one when Sunday lunchtime drinking hours were first increased (I certainly didn't complain).
Let's hope that the aforesaid box does appear on the application forms and that the rules haven't been changed.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 11 May 05 - 07:45 AM

We have been researching our local area (Maidstone), to see if we can find a larger venue for the club.

Surprise, surprise! Not one of the pubs that has hosted live music unlicensed under the old law, can tell us if they will have music, or when they will know. Of the few licensed venues, only the Greyhound is supporting folk music. Everywhere else things are at a total standstill.

We tried to tell them.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 May 05 - 07:25 AM

As I originally started this thread, it's seems about time to refresh it to see if anyone has any more to report.

From what I can see most LAs have decided that they're unlikely to make much money out of it after all and have been dragging their heels as much as possible.

Are the actual license application forms even available yet ? - the last time I spoke the landlord of the pub where we hold a singaround, he was still waiting to see one.


From what I can see, councils are hoping to go on charging for PELs under the old system for as long as possible.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: ET
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 05:39 PM

This is the view of the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire on this wretched act.:-

Licence law reforms could be 'hell'

Britain has a reputation for a heavy drinking culture
The Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police says he fears the legalisation of all-night drinking in the UK could become "my idea of hell".
Stephen Green told the BBC's Panorama programme that the deregulation of licensing laws which will take effect next year could lead to Britain's alcohol problem getting worse, not better.
The government argues that allowing pubs and bars to stay open longer will help curb the binge drinking blamed for an 11% rise in violent offences last year.
The proposals, announced in March but originally promised before the last election, could mean 24-hour drinking in some pubs.
Among the provisions in the updated Licensing Act 2003 is a plan to combine alcohol and entertainment licences into one single licence.
Local authorities will also get discretion to apply flexible opening hours, removing the power from magistrates who have been responsible for liquor licensing for 600 years.
Huge concern
The people who most need policing can't get it, because police officers... are being sucked into policing the Nottingham city centre
Chief Constable Steven Green
The move to extend opening hours is a matter of huge concern for Chief Constable Stephen Green.
"The risk period that we have to police will get longer. And therefore, the resource consequences will get greater. I don't see any great benefit to me as the police chief in that change.
"I think the idea that we can somehow sort of transform into a 24-hour café culture à la continental Europe isn't going to happen."
"I think what we're going to finish up with, if we're not careful, is a 24-hour version of what we've got now - and that is my idea of hell."
Too many bars
The Chief Constable also believes Nottingham cannot cope with any more bars. Last year he took the unusual step of personally opposing two licensing applications in the courts.
Chief Constable Green thinks that, in Nottingham at least, the increased number of bars in the city centre has led to police resources being pulled away from other areas at the weekends.
The square mile in the city now boasts a total of 356 bars.
He said: "I believe the people who most need policing can't get it, because police officers who should be on the outer city estates, on the inner city estates, in the suburbs, are being sucked out of those areas into policing the Nottingham city centre."
Another particular concern is price discounting. "A pound a drink, two for the price of one - this is just a blatant inducement to what is binge drinking."


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 12:43 PM

Those of you who recall the suggestions for pro-folk-music matters to be included in Council Licencing Policies may be interested to note the following email that I received from the Live Music Forum Secretariat today. It is a pity that it took almost a month to get an acknowledgement.

"Thank you for your email to the Live Music Forum and for your suggested contribution for inclusion in LAs Licensing policy statements. I am replying as part of the Forum's secretariat You may be aware that one of the areas the LMF is currently looking at is how best to encourage Licensing Authorities to include positive references to live music and other forms of regulated entertainment in their Licensing policy statements. They hope that Licensing Authorities will be able to use the opportunity provided by the new policies to emphasise the economic and cultural advantages of venues staging live music in particular. I know that your comments will be useful in informing this debate and will ensure that they are forwarded on."

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 07:16 PM

I note from the DCMS website that the Guidance Document has now been formally published, and so has started the period for Local Authorities to draft, consulty on and publish their licencing policies. At the same time Tessa Jowell has laid a draft order in Parliament which fixes Feb 7th next year as the first appointed day. So Local Authorities will start to process applications for licences on that day. The press release also indicates that the existing licences will be replaced by new licences in (approximately) November next year.

There is also an indication that the draft regulations, defining fees and the design of applicaton forms etc. will be pulished for public consultation during htis August.

There are now only two or three months to influence Local Authorities in their initial drafting of licencing policies since they have to publish them as drafts, collect local comments and revise them before they can approve a single application.

Don't delay. Contact your local authority to seek the opportunity to have an input into their drafting considerations now!!

RichardP


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Jul 04 - 02:48 AM

I received this this morning from the DCMS:

======
Thank you for your e-mail of 6 July in which you asked whether the provision of live music alone (i.e. in premises where alcohol is not being sold) would be more expensive under the Licensing Act 2003.

[Paragraph explaining PELs no longer exist]

[Paragraph saying fee structure not yet defined and conditions relate to four licencing objectives]

As you have not provided enough detail as to the type of venue or scenario you are concerned about I am unable to provide specific information that would help you.


======

I'm glad that's all cleared up, then.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Jun 04 - 08:00 AM

The follwing from Hamish Birchall, to the Noble Lord Macintosh of Haringay.

Sir

I refer to your comments during last Tuesday's draft Licensing Guidance debate in response to questions raised about live music by Baroness Buscombe, Lord Colwyn, and Lord Redesdale. It would be nice if, for once, flashes of honesty emerged from the clouds of patronising guff you have produced about live music and this legislation.

Lord Colwyn rightly drew attention to the greatly increased reach of entertainment licensing under the Licensing Act 2003, and inconsistencies in the rationale for licensing control. But you airily dismissed this, implying that such matters were largely irrelevant to the Guidance being debated.

But of course such matters are relevant to the Guidance. The Guidance explicitly includes a reference to it being 'for the benefit of ... the general public' (para 1.4). They need to know whether or not an entertainment which they may be planning would be illegal unless licensed. In addition, they are entitled to know the reasons for increased regulation. Where better to seek explanations but in the Licensing Guidance, and where better for this to be explained but right at the start?

You talked with apparent regret, with reference to the volume of music, about improvements that might have been made to the incidental music exemption. But you talked as if ignorant of the fact that the Act allows the DCMS Secretary of State to add, vary or remove descriptions of entertainment within the entertainment Schedule (Sch. 1, para 4). If you are really so concerned to improve the Act, why don't you press the Secretary of State to take steps now to include a reference to the volume of music?

In fact, interpreting the incidental exemption has been further confused by licensing minister Richard Caborn. In recent correspondence with my MP he introduced a new criterion that may disapply the exemption, namely the 'regularity' of a performance. Regularity is not discussed in para 5.18 of the Guidance. Caborn's position also leads to a contradiction: while jukeboxes will not, apparently, count as 'entertainment facilities', a piano will. Thus regular performances on a piano in a restaurant at moderate volume would disapply the incidental exemption, but regular playing of the jukebox at moderate volume would be exempt. So much for the equal treatment of live and recorded music.

If you really understood music you would understand that decibels are not a reliable measure of volume since they do not discriminate effectively between the energy of bass and treble frequencies. Low notes that may not register significantly on a decibel meter can travel far further into neighbouring premises than high notes exceeding a decibel limit.

Lastly, imagine what would happen if a pub floor collapsed under the weight of enthusiastic customers watching a big match.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 07:45 PM

This really is beyond belief. Mostly to see daft LIB DEM peers like Lord Redsdale, still making futile arguments after having been in a position to throw this rubbish out. They argued against the Bill then, but still voted with the Government!!!

Whatever the Government now say in the guidence, but do not say in the Act - will just leave us in same postion we are in now. Of leaving it for the courts to argue establish most of the vital details that affect the licensing of live music.

In reality this means that the enforcers i.e. the local authority will continue do and define these details as they wish and anyone who disagrees will have to go to court to try and prove their interpretation correct in law........As now.

Did anyone see Sunday's Pamorama, about the Licensing Act?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 04:43 PM

Makes you want to spit when the Lord McKintosh of Haringey openly admits:-

A number of noble Lords raised the issue of live music. I am very sympathetic to their views. I agree with everything that the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, said about the social and cultural value of live music.
If we look closely at the guidance, we will see changes which I would have wished to make to the Bill if it been entirely up to me. I invite noble Lords to look at paragraph 5.18 and other paragraphs about the definitions of live and incidental music. For the first time, the issue of the volume of the music is introduced into the guidance. I wish that we had done that in the Bill, but we did not. But it is right that for the protection both of musicians and those living near the place where the music is performed there should be reference to the decibel count, as well as to the issue of whether the music is live, recorded, incidental or central—if that is the opposite of incidental. These are steps forward from the provisions of the Bill and are well worth while


They still can't say what 'incidental' is can they.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 03:41 PM

The Lord's 8 June 2004 deliberations can been read in full here.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds04/text/40608-23.htm#40608-23_dl0


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 09 Jun 04 - 05:51 AM

The Guidance was approved by the House of Lords last night, having previously been approved by the House of Commons. There was a vote in the Commons Committee on strict party lines, so it was carried. There was no vote against in either main chamber, although there was a vote in the Lords on second proposal regretting that the fees were not published before the Guidance approval vote was held. This was lost.

We are now in the phase where it is necessary for Local Authorities to prepare and consult on their Licencing Policy Documents. This period has to last at least six months so could end during December, however it was stated in the Commons Committee that Local Authorities were very concerned at the thought of a sudden ruch of applications for licences just before they had a christmas break. As a consequence the minister indicated that the first appointed day, when appplications for licences can first be submitted, would be likely to be delayed to early January next year.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 May 04 - 11:47 AM

This snippet (from the opposition) may be of interest - but then again........

That is another example of concern about potential legal problems. The message is clear; the guidance does not give local authorities the authority in local licensing for which we have long argued. It is also extremely unclear.

There has been a lot of debate, and there are various issues that we could all raise. The hon. Gentleman talked about golf clubs. I shall cite the example of circuses, since it is has not been mentioned before. For your delectation, Mr. Olner, and to show how confused these matters are, I shall quote a small interchange that occurred in another place. My noble Friend the Lord Redesdale, asked the Minister, Lord McIntosh of Haringey:

''would circuses actually need a licence if they did not perform any live music? If they avoided live music, the circus could take place quite happily without regulation. Is that not a bizarre aspect of the Act?''

He received an inordinately helpful reply from the Minister, who said:

''I wish I could answer that simply, but I cannot. Music—incidental, live or whatever—is one of the issues, but there are also questions about whether the activities fall into the category of sports events—for example, those of trapeze artists. It sounds daft to the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale, and it sounds daft to me.''—[Official Report, House of Lords, 16 March 2004; Vol. 659, c. 126.] That was said by the Minister in another place with responsibility for the very matters that we are discussing today.

The question of incidental music should have been resolved during consideration of the Bill, yet uncertainties remain. The Minister will be well aware of the letter that he received from the hon. Member for Hampstead and Highgate (Glenda Jackson), in which she asked if a restaurant with a piano in the corner would lose its incidental music status and require a licence as an entertainment facility.

Anyone who has read the Minister's reply will know that a great deal still needs to be done to clarify the guidance. I hope that the Minister will, if nothing else, clearly explain whether or not a small restaurant with a piano in the corner needs a licence. I am sure that he has a nice, simple answer—simpler than the one that he gave the hon. Lady.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 May 04 - 11:32 AM

I found it!

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmstand/deleg4/st040526/40526s01.htm


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 May 04 - 10:12 AM

I saw that Paliament was to discuss the Licensing Act Guidance on Wednesday but I can see nothing on the site that tells us what was said.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 27 May 04 - 10:07 AM

To keep people up to date. The guidance was approved by the Commons Committee yesterday. The committee was not empowered to amend the guidance. There will be a motion for the House of Commons to approve the Guidance in the near future. This will not be the subject of a debate.

The guidance has completed its committee processes in the Lords and is scheduld for final debate on June 8th. In addition to the motion for approval there is a Conservative motion regretting that the fees have not yet been set by separate regulations.

In reaction to some concerns expressed by local autorities about the difficulty of the initial applications for licences occuring in the runup nto Christmas, the Minister has indicated that the first appointed day may be delayed to January 5th, which would reuslt in the new licences coming into force in October next year.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 27 May 04 - 09:39 AM

Dave,

They do not have to submit their draft policies anywhere other than to comment by local organisations and citizens. In the end they will adopt them and then issue licences in accordance with them. Ultimately, if the policies are contrary to the act, their decisions will can be the subject of appeals to the local magistrates court. Bad or incompetent policy drawing will be bad for the local authority area but will not delay their conversion to the new system by a single day.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 25 May 04 - 04:54 AM

If as seems very likely, different councils are going to submit policies which differ considerably, who is going to try and fix some sort of standard rules. I think that many councils who think that the new system will cost them a fair amount to operate, and who are worried about the possible loss of lucrative PEL income, will drag their heels, by deliberately submitting unacceptable policies.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 25 May 04 - 03:49 AM

I have just seen that the House of Lords Debate on the Guidance is scheduled for Tuesday 8th June, so there is a strong likelihood that the final step prior to the approximately six month period for Local Authorities to publish and consult on their licencing policies will commence in June and end round about the end of the year.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 25 May 04 - 03:45 AM

Shambles,

Since the fees under the new act are not fixed, noone can yet carry out the calculation you request at this stage.

My fundamental point still stands. The cost of licencing under both regimes comprises two elements. The face cost of the licences plus the other costs incurred in obtaining/renewing the licences. Neither you nor I would appear to be able to put a value on the second factor for either regime. Neither you nor I yet know the ocst of licences under the new regime, because there is only speculation available at present - some speculation may be better informed than other but it is still speculation.

Consequently, noone can compare the real cost of the two regimes at this stage. We cannot take ministerial projections as gospel, but equally we should not discount them as ridiculous until there is factual information to support either of the positions. This just does not exist at present.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 May 04 - 02:37 AM

Richard I have no idea what licenses you refer to and when, or what you are saying here. I rather suspect the reason for this is that you do not know either. The end result, I fear is that many folk will become as confused as you are.

Basing your argument on DCMS research and figures is possibly the cause of your confusion. You tend to accept their statements, and then assume there is, or struggle to try and find some justification for this 'spin'.

The cost of the current Justice's Licence (to serve alcohol) is as stated (for a 3 year period). That is the total current (licensing) cost of running a pub, (without any licensable entertainment, and the payment for the additional PEL required for this).

Perhaps you can tell us what the new (total) licensing) figure for the 3 new elements will be under the Act, for a small pub to be able to do exactly the same thing?

Perhaps you can then compare for us, the 3 new elements, the cost of the Premises Licence (for the life of the current business), the Personal Licence (every 10 years) and the annual inspection charge, with the cost of the current Justice's Licence (quoted above)?

I think you would agree that the is the basic starting point for any comparisons, between the true cost of the old and the new licencing?

My point is simply that it is clear that under the new Act, all licensees will be paying more, just to stand still.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 24 May 04 - 08:15 PM

The cost of a Justice Licence, a PEL or a new premises licence must not be confused with the price of the licence. There may be other elements within the total cost. For instance there are many cases where the cost of structural works required by a PEL are greater than the face value of the licence. This is frequently the case in the more rural authorities which make relatively lower charges for PELs. The other main elelment in the cost is the cost of internal staff or professional advisers in making the preparations and submissions for the licence (whichever it is).

I am not privy to the fees aid by any applicant for any licence. The research undertaken by the DCMS showed them to be considerably higher than the face value of the licences that are currently issued (again I assume with the possible exception of the most expensive PELs.).

I wonder if anyone knows the actual cost of any current licence since there are bound to be some internal staff costs which are not charged directly against the licence application.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 May 04 - 02:19 PM

In the end the "small premises" exception was written into the Act, primarily on the basis that small premises can only host small events but in large premises you cannot know whether an event will be large or small until the audience arrives.

It is quite wrong to still refer to this as an 'exemption' The impression is then wrongly given that this is an exemption to the licensing requirement, along with those for Churches and Morris etc.

When of course, it is no such thing, is it?


Have you any comment Richard, on the 'significant' current cost of the Justice's Licence that was provided?

an existing Justice Licence is £30 for 3 years but the PEL is separate, local authority and expensive.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 24 May 04 - 12:35 PM

I have recently been thorugh some of the debates on the Act. There were several amendments proposed for a "small events" exemption, but they were always defeated, sometimes because the case for them was not accepted and sometimes because they were technically inappropriate (i.e. badly written). In the end the "small premises" exception was written into the Act, primarily on the basis that small premises can only host small events but in large premises you cannot know whether an event will be large or small until the audience arrives.

Richard


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 May 04 - 01:10 PM

The following link is to a thread that is not about the new Act but the problems presented to sessions by the current legislation. It does however show some of difficulties presented when local authorities do take an unhelpful approach under licensing legislation.

Palm sesh update

Perhaps the lesson of this is for us to work locally and ensure the new Act does support us, rather than waiting until it is too late?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Amos
Date: 20 May 04 - 02:06 PM

Huh!! These Tories never rest, do they?


A


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 May 04 - 07:20 AM

Me thinks Tony is organising the piss up there!

I thought by now that we'd all realised that a task like that would be beyond his capabilities !


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 May 04 - 07:06 AM

3 quick things

an existing Justice Licence is £30 for 3 years but the PEL is separate, local authority and expensive.

In the paper yesterday there were concerns about entertainment Licenses for circuses at $500 per sight would do away with 90% - government reviewing

Tony Blair is suddently alarmed about binge drinking (shades of Euan). Making a speach today at a lunch hosted by a well known brewery. Me thinks Tony is organising the piss up there!


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 20 May 04 - 05:13 AM

I have just discovered that the Guidance will be debated by the appropriate commons committee next Wednesday. This will be a 90 minute meeting of about 10 MPs. On past form this is likely to consist of three lengthy speeches from a minister and spokesmen for the Tory and Lib Dem parties followed by a formal motion that the document has been debated. Following this there the normal process would be a formal non-debateabe motion in the commons to approve the document.

There is a comparable process in the Lords but I cannot find what stage they have reached through the Web. This menas that we are very close to the start of the approximately six month period for Local Authorities to develop and publish their policy documents.

RichardP


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 May 04 - 05:11 AM

I agree that the PRS consideration is another issue. What I want to know is what extra costs and charges is a publican likely to face (on top of the basic licencing costs) if he/she ticks the entertainments box ?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 May 04 - 02:12 AM

I simply pointed out that it exsisted, in reply to a question about any possible 'hidden' cost arising from applying for the entertainment permission. A new licensee who had accepted the Government's claim that it would not cost any extra to provide entertainment under the Act, may be a little upset to find that they have to further pay for a PRS licence.

Any judgement on the PRS licence was started by you Richard. And as you did start this, perhaps one more thing needs to be added to Dave's comments in this thread, before we move back to the Act.

A session of tradiditional, original or other non-copyright material would not be liable for any payment to PRS and it would be incorrect for them to do so. But the default position held is that all live music venues must pay and the onus is one you to prove that the material in not under copyright.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 19 May 04 - 07:55 PM

The fact that the PRS is fine in theory but a total failure in practice is a strong argument for the reform of the performing rights operation but not a justification for undermining it. This is way outside the scope of the Licencing Act. We should not have opened up that can of worms here. If there is any benefit to be gained by a mudcat discussion a new thread should be opened. Let's stop discussing it here.

RichardP


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 19 May 04 - 04:51 AM

However, the songsmith is worthy of the few coppers that the PRS typically recover when his song is performed. I am ashamed to think that any folkie would take a stand on behalf of evaders of the PRS levies.

Investigation by the EFDSS some years ago proved that PRS returns for all but the largest venues - many festival concerts would not even qualify, are basically chucked in the bin. The PRS fees from all the smaller venues are apportioned as per the returns from the large venues. This would mean that if I make a return for singing a Cyril Tawney song in a folk club, the fee would quite likely go to S Club 7.
If I were to sing a traditional version of Scarborough Fair in a large venue, Paul Simon would get the return. PRS provides very little benefit to any folk authors.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 May 04 - 02:05 AM

If I knew the cost of a justices licence, I would indeed tell you, but I see no point in inventing figures to create an argument.

Then perhaps we can both leave biased statements about the relative costs of the two systems until the true figures are known? The true figures for the current alcohol licence are known however. and as you described them as 'not insignificant', we should expect you to know
and be able to tell us.

Perhaps you can tell us, what is the Secretary of States's latest figure for the inspection charge? The figure I gave was certainly in the range of figures that the DCMS have expressed for this element.

On your other posting: I would certainly agree if you argued that the PRS is ineffective and inequitable in its support for the minor song writers. However, the songsmith is worthy of the few coppers that the PRS typically recover when his song is performed. I am ashamed to think that any folkie would take a stand on behalf of evaders of the PRS levies.

I would be ashamed to think that any folkie would try so very hard to convince others that this new Licensing Act is anything other than a disaster and would try to minimise the financial aspects of it. Not that I am accusing anyone....

Nothing that I said in my post that suggested any support for evaders of anything. It was simply making the point that PRS inspectors had to work harder than they will have to find venues providing live music and it was in response to a question about possible hidden costs under the new Act.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 18 May 04 - 05:56 PM

Shambles,

If I knew the cost of a justices licence, I would indeed tell you, but I see no point in inventing figures to create an argument.

It is easy to invent high fees for new licences and then demonstrate that they are high. Unfortunately the fees are still the subject of consultation. However, the Secretary of State has given an indication of her present expectations which are typically a third of the figures that you postulate. Your argument falls completely if the Sec of State sticks with her figures.

On your other posting: I would certainly agree if you argued that the PRS is ineffective and inequitable in its support for the minor song writers. However, the songsmith is worthy of the few coppers that the PRS typically recover when his song is performed. I am ashamed to think that any folkie would take a stand on behalf of evaders of the PRS levies.

Richard

My understanding is that at present Fire Service inspections do not incur a fee and that the situation will not change. However, I could be wrong. Certainly there is nothing in the act which explicitly authorises the Fire Service to charge a fee.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 May 04 - 03:17 PM

"Perhaps it might be a nice idea to have folk in many non-pub venues, but you could have a problem getting many folkies there"

Myself, I'll go anywhere where there's music. When I'm sitting in a coffee bar I'll happily drink coffee, and I won't grumble if it doesn't sell beer. I'd be glad to have a chance to take part in a song or tune session in a bookshop, for example, and maybe I'd drop into a pub before and after. It's silly to limit in advance, in the way you imply, and wrong that the law should effectively force us to do so.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 May 04 - 01:03 PM

Are they going to get the extra provision for free, or will there be extra hidden costs if they tick the box ?

Well one thing is for sure, if they don't apply for entertainment permission - they will not be able to provide any.

As to getting anything for free, no they won't. The safe capacity aspect is just part of the application to provide entertainment and in order to get this, the licensee will have to pay for the Premises Licence (for the life of the current business), an annual inspection charge and a personal licence every ten years.

Nothing to do with the Licnsing Act but there is also the matter of PRS licence fees. For the first time, PRS inspectors will have a list (kindly provide for them by the LA), of every pub that can legally provided lve music. Before there was no such list as some live music could take place without a PEL.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 18 May 04 - 10:07 AM

In other cases a premises licence holder is supposed to undertake a risk analysis to establish an appropriate capacity and then to submit it to the fire authority for confirmation.

This will presumably be at the landlord's expense - will all landlords ticking the "Entertainments Box", who have not previously had a PEL, be expected to pay extra for this.

I am trying to get facts sorted out, before I start trying to persuade landlords to apply for an entertainments provision when their new licensing application is made. Are they going to get the extra provision for free, or will there be extra hidden costs if they tick the box ?


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 May 04 - 07:07 PM

No Richard this 'spin' really won't do.

Shambles next posting appears to be based on ignoring the fact that every building which sells alcohol already has to have a licence (at not insignificant cost) although that licence is currently handled by the licencing justices rather than the LA.

The actual cost of the current justice's licence is not really a significant cost at all. Perhaps you would like to inform us of the current figure?

The annual maintenance payment, which cannot result in any changes to the licence being instigated by the LA, will be far less than the regular reapplications to the justices for new licences.

Let us say £150 for this annual inspection charge and leave out the cost (for 10 years) of the personal licence and the cost of the Premises Licence (for the life of the current business). Not only is this alone more than the current justice's licence, it is more than many local authorities currently charge annually for their PELs.

There are some LAs currently charging a lot of money for their PELs, some in the many thousands of pounds. But most of the (rural) LAs actually set the figures very reasonably. For example.........

A cafe or coffee bar (not serving alcohol) in my borough that wished to obtain a PEL for live music would now pay £220 a year. Under the new Act they will have to pay for the Premises Licence (for the life of the current business there) and the annual inspection charge (whatever this figure turns out to be). They may also find themselves next door and in commpetion with a church or church hall also providing commercial entertainment.

The church would not need a Premises Licence and would be required to pay pay nothing at all. The church hall would need the Premises Licence and the annual inspection but would not be charged for either.


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Subject: RE: Licensing Bill - How will it work ?
From: RichardP
Date: 17 May 04 - 04:29 PM

Taking points from the last few postings in the order ini which they are made.

Yes. The fee for a licence is dependent only on the size of the premises probably as a rateable value band.

The "small" clause was always "small premises" but was mistakenly referred to as a small event clause in postings. It really is not a very significant consession and even then it is open to the LA to explicitly insist on some or all of the excepted conditions.

Turning to the second posting. Since the small premises exception only applies to premises that have included musical entertainment in their licencing application, there is no increase in the number of the cases where capacities have to be defined unless - as we must all hope - more premises seek licencing for entertainment. The Guidance states that permitted capacities are defined by the Fire Authority. If a permitted capacity already exists it transfers into the new regime. In other cases a premises licence holder is supposed to undertake a risk analysis to establish an appropriate capacity and then to submit it to the fire authority for confirmation. Present practice is for each room to have a permitted capacity. On that basis the small premises conditions should apply to every room that has an individual capacity of less than 200. How many folk events even at festivals are held in rooms with a capacity of more than 200? Consequently, it appears that most folk events will be able to "benefit" from the small premises relaxation.

Shambles next posting appears to be based on ignoring the fact that every building which sells alcohol already has to have a licence (at not insignificant cost) although that licence is currently handled by the licencing justices rather than the LA. The annual maintenance payment, which cannot result in any changes to the licence being instigated by the LA, will be far less than the regular reapplications to the justices for new licences.


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