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A little more news on Licensing

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ET 14 Jun 04 - 12:17 PM
Dave Bryant 14 Jun 04 - 12:27 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Jun 04 - 12:41 PM
Sooz 14 Jun 04 - 12:49 PM
GUEST,Henryp 14 Jun 04 - 01:13 PM
Dave Bryant 14 Jun 04 - 01:19 PM
The Shambles 14 Jun 04 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman 14 Jun 04 - 05:01 PM
ET 14 Jun 04 - 05:37 PM
Ed. 14 Jun 04 - 06:31 PM
JennyO 14 Jun 04 - 09:31 PM
The Shambles 14 Jun 04 - 09:54 PM
JennyO 14 Jun 04 - 11:14 PM
The Shambles 15 Jun 04 - 02:04 AM
The Shambles 15 Jun 04 - 02:06 AM
GUEST,Jon 15 Jun 04 - 07:20 AM
JennyO 15 Jun 04 - 10:52 AM
The Shambles 15 Jun 04 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,BIG ANDY 15 Jun 04 - 05:37 PM
The Shambles 15 Jun 04 - 05:52 PM
The Shambles 16 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM
The Shambles 28 Jun 04 - 12:05 PM
pavane 28 Jun 04 - 12:46 PM
GUEST 28 Jun 04 - 02:54 PM
RichardP 29 Jun 04 - 02:06 AM
The Shambles 29 Jun 04 - 02:25 AM
The Shambles 29 Jun 04 - 06:37 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Jun 04 - 06:39 AM
The Shambles 29 Jun 04 - 06:53 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 29 Jun 04 - 08:08 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Jun 04 - 09:26 AM
JennyO 29 Jun 04 - 09:46 AM
The Shambles 29 Jun 04 - 02:08 PM
Dave Bryant 30 Jun 04 - 04:49 AM
GUEST,Spike 30 Jun 04 - 11:06 AM
The Shambles 01 Jul 04 - 02:24 AM
The Shambles 01 Jul 04 - 11:58 AM
The Shambles 18 Jul 04 - 09:39 AM
Folkiedave 18 Jul 04 - 08:33 PM
The Shambles 19 Jul 04 - 04:00 AM
Dave Bryant 19 Jul 04 - 06:10 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 19 Jul 04 - 07:44 AM
Chris Green 19 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM
The Shambles 19 Jul 04 - 11:58 AM
Dave Bryant 19 Jul 04 - 12:12 PM
Folkiedave 19 Jul 04 - 03:10 PM
Richard Bridge 19 Jul 04 - 03:54 PM
fiddler 19 Jul 04 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 20 Jul 04 - 05:43 AM
Dave Bryant 20 Jul 04 - 06:17 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 20 Jul 04 - 07:37 AM
The Shambles 29 Jul 04 - 11:32 AM
Folkiedave 29 Jul 04 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,ian 30 Jul 04 - 04:11 AM
The Shambles 02 Aug 04 - 06:17 PM
The Shambles 03 Aug 04 - 12:18 PM
RichardP 04 Aug 04 - 09:23 AM
The Shambles 04 Aug 04 - 09:54 AM
The Shambles 08 Aug 04 - 10:27 AM
The Shambles 11 Aug 04 - 12:17 PM
DMcG 11 Aug 04 - 12:38 PM
DMcG 11 Aug 04 - 12:54 PM
The Shambles 11 Aug 04 - 05:58 PM
RichardP 11 Aug 04 - 08:40 PM
The Shambles 12 Aug 04 - 02:25 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 13 Aug 04 - 04:39 AM
The Shambles 13 Aug 04 - 08:20 AM
Dave Bryant 13 Aug 04 - 09:59 AM
The Shambles 24 Aug 04 - 11:26 AM
The Shambles 24 Aug 04 - 08:31 PM
DMcG 25 Aug 04 - 02:40 AM
The Shambles 25 Aug 04 - 03:01 AM
DMcG 25 Aug 04 - 06:00 AM
The Shambles 26 Aug 04 - 07:27 AM
RichardP 26 Aug 04 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 27 Aug 04 - 08:44 AM
RichardP 27 Aug 04 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Hamish Birchall 27 Aug 04 - 02:13 PM
The Shambles 27 Aug 04 - 05:16 PM
RichardP 29 Aug 04 - 04:57 AM
The Shambles 29 Aug 04 - 05:46 AM
The Shambles 29 Aug 04 - 05:51 AM
The Shambles 29 Aug 04 - 06:04 AM
The Shambles 29 Aug 04 - 06:13 AM
The Shambles 29 Aug 04 - 06:23 AM
The Shambles 30 Aug 04 - 03:37 AM
The Shambles 12 Sep 04 - 07:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 12 Sep 04 - 08:00 PM
The Shambles 13 Sep 04 - 09:25 AM
The Shambles 13 Sep 04 - 10:13 AM
The Shambles 13 Sep 04 - 02:16 PM
The Shambles 15 Sep 04 - 05:36 AM
Lady Nancy 15 Sep 04 - 04:02 PM
The Shambles 15 Sep 04 - 08:59 PM
GUEST,RichardP 03 Oct 04 - 07:03 AM
GUEST,RichardP 03 Oct 04 - 07:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Oct 04 - 10:03 AM
Leadfingers 03 Oct 04 - 09:17 PM
Leadfingers 03 Oct 04 - 09:20 PM
Leadfingers 03 Oct 04 - 09:21 PM
Paco Rabanne 04 Oct 04 - 09:58 AM
The Shambles 08 Oct 04 - 12:13 PM
DMcG 08 Oct 04 - 12:29 PM
Willa 08 Oct 04 - 04:44 PM
The Shambles 14 Oct 04 - 01:46 PM
The Shambles 15 Oct 04 - 05:33 AM
The Shambles 22 Oct 04 - 08:54 AM
The Shambles 23 Oct 04 - 07:26 AM
The Shambles 27 Oct 04 - 01:54 AM
pavane 27 Oct 04 - 09:39 AM
The Shambles 28 Oct 04 - 02:13 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Oct 04 - 07:54 AM
The Shambles 28 Oct 04 - 09:56 AM
Steve Parkes 28 Oct 04 - 10:33 AM
The Shambles 28 Oct 04 - 10:41 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Oct 04 - 05:02 AM
The Shambles 29 Oct 04 - 06:03 AM
sian, west wales 29 Oct 04 - 06:45 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Oct 04 - 07:27 AM
The Shambles 29 Oct 04 - 10:56 AM
The Shambles 29 Oct 04 - 10:59 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Oct 04 - 11:18 AM
The Shambles 29 Oct 04 - 01:25 PM
The Shambles 07 Nov 04 - 09:49 AM
RichardP 09 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM
The Shambles 10 Nov 04 - 11:30 AM
The Shambles 10 Nov 04 - 12:05 PM
Folkiedave 10 Nov 04 - 02:31 PM
The Shambles 11 Nov 04 - 02:07 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Nov 04 - 09:42 AM
The Shambles 11 Nov 04 - 10:10 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Nov 04 - 10:53 AM
The Shambles 12 Nov 04 - 06:37 AM
The Shambles 17 Nov 04 - 03:40 AM
The Shambles 25 Nov 04 - 11:47 AM
Paco Rabanne 25 Nov 04 - 12:03 PM
The Shambles 25 Nov 04 - 02:30 PM
RichardP 25 Nov 04 - 06:55 PM
RichardP 25 Nov 04 - 07:15 PM
The Shambles 26 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM
RichardP 26 Nov 04 - 02:56 PM
The Shambles 27 Nov 04 - 07:47 AM
The Shambles 27 Nov 04 - 08:15 AM
RichardP 27 Nov 04 - 05:37 PM
The Shambles 28 Nov 04 - 06:16 AM
The Shambles 28 Nov 04 - 07:40 AM
The Shambles 28 Nov 04 - 07:46 AM
The Shambles 29 Nov 04 - 09:45 AM
The Shambles 21 Jan 05 - 08:54 AM
DMcG 21 Jan 05 - 09:19 AM
IanC 21 Jan 05 - 09:41 AM
DMcG 19 Mar 05 - 02:45 AM
Bonecruncher 19 Mar 05 - 08:24 PM
Andy Jackson 20 Mar 05 - 07:11 AM
The Shambles 20 Mar 05 - 07:28 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM
ET 21 Mar 05 - 02:37 AM
The Shambles 22 Mar 05 - 12:16 PM
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Subject: A little more news on Licensing
From: ET
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 12:17 PM

Apart from concerns about football holigans, and the fact that Howells and co decided wide screen events did not need a licensing (owing to the "Murdoch" factor no doubt), I understand that the Licensing Act 2003 has been put back again to January 2005 to commence. I also understand, thought this would no doubt be denied, that there is a wide split between DCMS and the Home Office on this Act and some sections of Government wish the thing had never been started. The Home Office concern is that 24 hour drinking will bring 24 hour disorder, not as stated by DCMS. Still as we all know, the Association of Chief Constables (ACPO) stated that live music is often accompanied by violence!.   Last week I attended a music concert in a local cathederal - A Bach festival played on period instruments. The tension in the audience was obvious as the Lord Mayor and the Local Council Chief Executive could have come to blows over a cadenza!

Later in the weekend, a concert given by John Mayor and Hilary James gave rise to great tensions in a village hall - one man almost caused an explosion opening an over lively can of coke - no sign of the police!

In contrast the following did not need a licence :-

"A total of 83 arrests were made across the country as angry fans went on the rampage after England's dramatic Euro 2004 loss to France.

Police officers were attacked with bricks and bottles as a surge of violence erupted following French captain Zinedine Zidane's late double strike.

Serious disturbances broke out in Croydon, south London, a number of towns in Hertfordshire, Wakefield in West Yorkshire and Boston in Lincolnshire.

As many as 400 people were involved in disturbances in Croydon town centre as 12 people were arrested."

Hmmmm


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 12:27 PM

But just think of the serious effect on law and order that could result from a single folksinger performing a twenty verse ballad :-)


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 12:41 PM

Dave, I'm working on the Famous Flower of Serving Men over an almost rock guitar riff. It should upset everyone if I ever learn all the verses.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Sooz
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 12:49 PM

John Major and Hilary James - now that might be cause for a riot! Did John play mandolin as well as Simon?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Henryp
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 01:13 PM

Saturday Market in Beverley is already a lively place on Friday and Saturday nights, with a large police presence. Does the noise from the Push Inn count as music? I hope the Folk Festival this weekend won't make things worse.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 01:19 PM

Hmm - I don't know about the "McFat Fringe" - that might start a riot !


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 02:20 PM

I have today written to my MP. I have requested that he ask the Minister to address this issue. There are powers in the Act that will allow the Secretary of State to introduce into the Act, the need for this TV pub sport, to require entertainment permission. I really think it is time to do this and try and prevent what is happening now - and before there is a major inccident.

The more letters that are written making this request, the more difficult it will be for our Government to refuse to address this.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,The Vulgar Boatman
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 05:01 PM

A few weeks ago, we held a Morris Ring meeting based on the sleepy village of Sutton Bonnington. Consider the following:
Over a hundred blokes of all ages off the leash; six barrels of free beer at the village hall plus a variety of booze with meals; pub serving until the Gods know what hour in the morning; music sessions going on right left centre and up the chuff coupled with a basic and heart-felt desire to go on the screaming p*ss for an entire weekend. And the alcohol and music-fuelled violence? The Upton on Severn stick dance. Shome mishtake, shurely...

Oh yes, and the people of the village welcomed us to their parish church and then followed us to the pub to watch the final display. So we obvoiusly weren't wanted there then.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: ET
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 05:37 PM

Sorry it was Simon, not John. Mind you?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Ed.
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 06:31 PM

Shambles,

Maybe I'm dim, but 'The Vulgar Boatman' appears to have been able to enjoy his village entertainment without any problem. That is of course how it should be.

Despite all of your scaremongering, that wasn't really ever at threat.

For reasons best known to yourself, you've decided that rather than deregulation, televised sport needs to have more regulation, now.

Your logic is difficult to follow (unless you mean that everyone should agree with you).


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: JennyO
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 09:31 PM

Geez, that bit about the televised sport? I took that to be humour. It has to be, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 09:54 PM

Maybe I'm dim,

If the premises used for this event have Public Entertainment Licenses, under current legislation, why should there be a problem?

As for the second point.
This Government have argued that pubs showing live TV football matches do not require any safety measures as a result of additional entertainment licensing permission introduced in the new Licensing Act. No pub will require any additional inspections or permissions to ensure the safety of the public who pack into places where there is no safe capacity limit and consume vast ammounts of drink (often at reduced promotion prices) and then spill out onto the streets. Not much humour in the potential for disaster in this scene is there?

There is deregulation and there is reckless stupiity - you decide.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: JennyO
Date: 14 Jun 04 - 11:14 PM

Sorry, not living in the UK and not being interested in frequenting televised sport in pubs, I had no idea it was such a shitfight. All the more reason for staying away ;-)

We know that folkies at sessions are not as wild as this lot sounds, but if we want to argue for lack of regulation, we have to be consistent and ask the same for everyone IMO.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 02:04 AM

I tend not to comment much (if at all) on the complexities of US party politics, as not being a resident, my understanding is such that I feel any contribution from me would be of little or no value.

Entertainment Licensing here has historically been used for raising revenue, all undertaken in the noble aim of ensuring the public's safety.

The campaign was to try and limit additional licensing in this field, to where such measures could be justified on these grounds. The new Act we now have will prevent even one non-amplified performer without this additional licence but considers these TV sporting nights, to be safe without.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 02:06 AM

Perhaps someone would care to explain 'the Murdoch factor' referred to in the original post?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 07:20 AM

Ed,

For reasons best known to yourself, you've decided that rather than deregulation, televised sport needs to have more regulation, now.

Your logic is difficult to follow (unless you mean that everyone should agree with you).


I've no problems with Shambles' logic. My own logic is that if as we have been informed that a folk session in a pub needs regulation and have had had to accept that, surely events which in this case led to 83 arrests (and is likely to be noisier than accoutic folk) also should be regulated.

We still do not know how the PEL regulations will work out but all I would ask for is at least a level playing field and that a reasonable risk factor in terms of both noise and safety is taken into account accross the board rather than exemptions being made for (strangely enough) big commercial players such as tv companies.

You may think it unimportant but if you were the landlord of a pub and were faced with this: "I can include the ability to include a session for free on my licence but in order to do so, I'm going to have to spend a few grand on sound proofing but I could be showing football to draw in customers or have a juke box without this hassle" would your choices not be at least slightly influenced by that?

You may argue that common sense may be applied. I'd like to think that it will be but we have both the letter of the law and history to go by. That history under the current system has taught us that while some areas have had no problems (and I've played in countless sessions in pubs that I knew full well had no PEL), other areas have suffered badly witnessing pettiness and definitions taken as strictly as possible.

Overall, I think the PEL issus have become a wait and see job but if an oppertunity crops up to question what is law that has not been equaly applied in terms of risks, I firmly believe we should take it.

Jon


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: JennyO
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 10:52 AM

...all I would ask for is at least a level playing field and that a reasonable risk factor in terms of both noise and safety is taken into account accross the board rather than exemptions being made for (strangely enough) big commercial players such as tv companies.

Well said Jon. That was what I was trying to get at.

Also I was thinking that if in fact the big commercial players ARE getting special treatment, is there some funny business going on, ie money changing hands? Just a thought.

Jenny


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 12:10 PM

The UK Government have a Live Music Forum, that we can write to.

The follwing exchange was posted on the Action for Music list.

From: Sue Cavendish
To: Live Music Forum
Subject: Live Music in UK in Peril

Live Music in UK in Peril:


Please Consider This.
As I'm sure you are aware, it is the small clubs & pubs backrooms where artists hone their performance skills. Practise makes perfect and schools and rehearsal rooms are necessary but it doesn't make performers - that comes from regularly facing the public in less than commercial settings.

It's the lack of opportunity to play in front of small audiences in those clubs & pubs - squeezed by the new licencing laws which is causing very grave concern to so many of us. There is also the worrying threat of increased legislation restraining
something which is life-enhancing within us all - that something that wants and needs to make music - even if it's just to hum a tune, join in singing a chorus or clap hands to the rhythm.

I can't believe that any country that believes in freedom of speech could be against freedom to make music, but that's what seems to be happening - and I hope something can be done before it's too late.
Sue Cavendish
www.netrhythms.com


Dear Ms Cavendish,
Thank you for your e mail of 22 May outlining your concerns for Live Music in the UK. As a bit of background, the Live Music Forum met for the first time on 3 February and met again on 4 May. For more information about the work of the Forum please visit our website at the following address
http://www.culture.gov.uk/creative_industries/music/livemusicforum.htm

As the Forum's work develops it is consulting widely and ontributions from right across the sector are being welcomed. The comments and feedback from individuals like yourself will help inform any final recommendations. If you have any feedback on the work of the forum as it progresses please contact the Forum at LiveMusicForum@culture.gsi.gov.uk.

You also mentioned the new Licensing Act. We believe that the Licensing Act 2003 will make it easier for premises to put on live music events. There is no cost disincentive to premises in providing live entertainment under the Act - the licence fee will be the same whether or not entertainment is provided. In addition, there are special provisions contained in section 177 of the Act in relation to small scale music events.

To qualify as a small scale musical event, the premises licence must contain provision for "music entertainment" (dance or live amplified or unamplified music) and have a capacity limit not exceeding 200 persons. If the event meets these criteria then any licensing authority imposed conditions relating to the provision of music entertainment will be suspended, subject to the exception of conditions related to public safety or the prevention of
crime and disorder. These suspensions can be removed following any review of the licence and extra conditions imposed. The exemption is restricted to the hours of 8am to midnight in certain circumstances, the full details of which are contained in the Act.

For further information on the Licensing Act 2003 please contact Ronnie Bridgett in DCMS Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Team on 020 7211 6374.

Thank you again for your interest and please feel free to contact me if you have any queries or require any further information.
Yours sincerely,
Hannah Davis
Creative Industries Division
DCMS


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,BIG ANDY
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 05:37 PM

The bit about the wide screen telly, I find amusing after what happened in Wakefield last Sunday. After watching France strike back, one of the gorge cross and no brain brigade decided to through a pint glass and a chair at the plasma screen and wondered why the bouncer was throwing him out on his arss. Then it blow up. The crowd not the telly.
What can I say, I do like wakey, it never fails to amaze me what good ides beer can put in folks head's


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Jun 04 - 05:52 PM

If you have any comments or feedback regarding the Live Music Forum please write to the following address.

LiveMusicForum@culture.gsi.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 16 Jun 04 - 02:40 PM

This is the letter to my MP. The more folk who write, the more chance there is of some action.

Live TV sport in pubs

Dear Mr Knight

Under Schedule 1, para 4, the Secretary of State may by order add, vary or remove descriptions of entertainment.

In view of the violence of football fans in bars following the England football team's defeat on the 13 June, can I request that you write on my behalf to the Secretary of State? Can she use her powers under the Licensing Act 2003 so that sporting events will become 'regulated entertainment' when broadcast in bars, pubs etc?

Would it also be possible to do this to ensure that small-scale participatory sessions can take place without the premises requiring additional licensing? Or being prevented without this and licensees (and the 'organisers' of these) facing criminal prosecution? And that the position of these under the Act activities is clarified as being 'incidental'?

Under the Act, exactly the same music as takes place in these sessions, can be performed in a pub by exactly the same unpaid participants as safe and exempt from the additional licensing permission, only when there is (Morris) dancing to this music!

In other words, it is only unsafe and requiring additional licensing permission, without the dancing! If there is some logic to all of this, it will need to be good explanation to convince the vast majority of the voting public and the media of this. I suggest that it would be a far better option for the Secretary of State to review and use her powers to change these descriptions of regulated entertainment.

The facts demonstrate that the potential risks presented by these two activities could not be further removed from one another. But the one currently presenting real problems and presenting the potential for future major incidents, is now free and will be free under the new Act, from additional licensing permission. And just as importantly, from any imposed safe maximum safe capacity limits. Those which even the smallest non-amplified musical gathering is thought necessary to be first subject to in a pub.

I would also be grateful if you would ask for a copy of the response her department gave to the Association of Chief Police Officers' representative (Peter Keown) when, in 2002, he recommended on ACPO's behalf that such entertainment when provided in licensed premises be licensed as regulated entertainment under the Act because 'they attract large crowds and are quite frequently a source of disorder'.

Three of the four objectives of the Licensing Act 2003 are: 1) to prevent crime and disorder; 2) to ensure public safety; and 3) to prevent public nuisance (Licensing Act 2003, s. 4 (2)). You will also remember that Tessa Jowell launched the original Bill as 'a central plank in the government's drive to tackle antisocial behaviour'.

I puzzle to try and square all of this with the reported Government concern with antisocial behaviour. Many of us have experienced great difficulties with local authorities, in trying to hold these sessions, which are not in any way anti-social but the complete opposite. These difficulties and uncertainties look set to continue under the new Act. In stark contrast with the current ease by which these pub TV sports events and the risks presented by them, can currently take place and the ease by which this is set to continue under the Licensing Act 2003.

Your sincerely


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:05 PM

The following from Hamish

For all musicians - please circulate
From Hamish Birchall - 28 June 2004
Email: drum.pro@virgin.net

Musicians should get involved now with their local authority if they want to make the best of the new entertainment licensing regime. Although it may be late 2005 before new licences take effect, over the next few months local authorities will be preparing Statements of Licensing Policy. This involves local consultation. Musicians can and should be a part of this process. This is particularly important for those who organise and promote their own gigs.

The Musicians' Union has just sent all members a leaflet primarily aimed at encouraging landlords and licensees to put on more live music. This is a great idea, and may produce good results, but neither the leaflet or the in-house magazine 'Musician' mentions the freedom of expression legal context. This is an unfortunate omission because this context could be used to influence local authority licensing policy in musicians' favour. This circular explains how that might work (see section 4 below) and includes an already-drafted paragraph that musicians' could ask local authorities to include in their Statement of Licensing Policy.

The MU leaflet also claims: "There will be a single charge for the 'alcohol and entertainment licence' regardless of the nature of the entertainment". That is somewhat misleading. In fact the single charge will only apply to existing pubs/bars etc during the six month Transition Period, and then only if they apply for permission to host entertainment at the same time as converting their alcohol licence to the new premises licence. After the Transition Period an additional fee would be payable by such venues if they wanted to host regulated entertainment.

The new legislation gives the Secretary of State at the DCMS power to change or remove descriptions of entertainment, so lobbying your MP is still relevant. The recent violence associated with bars screening Euro 2004 emphasises the need: if licensing is necessary to prevent overcrowding and noise, why should solo performance be illegal unless licensed, while big screen sport in bars is exempt?

The text below is an edited version of advice commissioned by Jazz Services, 132 Southwark Street, London SE1 OSW, Tel: 020 7928 9089, www.jazzservices.org.uk (Director: Chris Hodgkins). I am very grateful to Chris for his support, and for keeping the campaign flame alight. I am also grateful for the help of Richard Bridge, musician-solicitor founder of the Performer Lawyer Group. (For those who don't already know, my work for the Musicians' Union ceased in September 2003.)

NB: This circular does not constitute legal advice. If you are promoting your own gigs - particularly solo or duo performances currently exempt under the 'two in a bar rule' - you may need to seek independent legal advice from an experienced licensing lawyer, as well as the advice of your local authority.

~ ~ ~ ~

New entertainment licensing laws - musicians - local authority involvement etc

Contents:

1    Background
2    Timetable for reform
3    Two in a bar and the new incidental music exemption
4    Recommended action
5    Lobbying

1    Background
The Licensing Act 2003 requires local authorities to prepare a Statement of Licensing Policy and to consult widely in its preparation. The Act does not specify musicians as consultees, but it does say that local authorities must consult with people they consider to be 'representative of businesses and residents in its area' (s.5(3)(f)). The Licensing Guidance, recently approved by Parliament, says that in preparing Statements of Licensing Policy local authorities 'may also consider it valuable to consult local performers, performers' unions (such as the Musicians' Union and Equity) and entertainers involved in the cultural life of the community' (para 3.5, p21). It also stresses the importance of live music and recognises that freedom of artistic expression is a fundamental right (para 3.58, p36).

2    Timetable for reform

Please note the date for the availability of new licences - the 'first appointed day' - has yet to be confirmed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Further delay is possible.

During the next six months local authorities in England and Wales will prepare their Statement of Licensing Policy. This should include how they will promote live music in the context of the new entertainment licensing regime.

At the end of the six months new licences become available on the 'first appointed day'.

This is the beginning of a nine month Transition Period. New licences granted during this time will be dormant.

At the end of the Transition Period (the 'second appointed day') new licences take effect and the old regime finally ceases.

3    Two in a bar and the new 'incidental music' exemption

The new law will cover more gigs than before, including many, and maybe all 'two in a bar' gigs.

However, the new law is open to interpretation.

Local authorities will have some discretion in the way they regulate live music. They cannot ignore the Act, but they must consider carefully when and how to enforce it.

If they seek to interpret and enforce the law restrictively, local authorities should provide good reasons.

There is a new exemption for incidental music (Licensing Act 2003, Sch.1, para 7), but it is unclear how many 'two in a bar' gigs will qualify.

Many, and maybe all, landlords/licensees already providing live music under the 'two in a bar' exemption will need to apply to 'vary' their new premises licence in order to continue providing even this minimal entertainment.

If they don't do this at the same time as converting their existing alcohol licence during the Transition Period, there will be a fee for variation at a later date.

There is a potential cost-saving provision - but not an exemption - for premises up to 200 capacity hosting live music (Licensing Act 2003, s.177).

Venues already holding a public entertainment licence for live music may save money under the new regime .

4    Recommended action

4.1 Start talking to your local authority

Find out who is leading on the licensing policy consultation. If you cannot be directly involved, ensure that your local MU rep is participating (assuming you are a member).

4.2 Read the live music sections of the Licensing Guidance

You should inform yourself about how the new system is meant to work. This is particularly important for musicians who organise and promote their own gigs.

The Guidance was produced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in consultation with the Musicians' Union, Arts Council and others. It is a guide to the new legislation for local authorities and other official bodies involved in licensing, but it is also for performers and the general public. Copies can be downloaded from the Department for Culture website: www.culture.gov.uk. Follow the links to 'alcohol and entertainment', then 'publications'. See Appendix 1 at the end of this document for a list of relevant sections.


4.3 Important principles

Apart from general arguments about the benefit of live music for the community and the need for more venues, live music does enjoy a degree of legal protection from over-regulation through licensing. If this were fully understood and implemented by local authorities, it could help create new venues and would certainly benefit existing gigs.

Understanding two basic principles would put musicians in a stronger position when arguing for a music-friendly licensing policy, particularly where two in a bar gigs are concerned:

The performance of live music is a fundamental right. It is part of the protection for freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act.

It is a 'qualified right' and as such is subject to legitimate restriction by public authorities on the grounds of, among others, public safety, prevention of noise nuisance, prevention of crime and disorder. However, such control must be 'necessary to meet a pressing social need' and must be proportionate to the need.

The courts, and hence local authorities, have a statutory duty to interpret all legislation as far as possible compatibly with fundamental rights (s.3, Human Rights Act 1998). Also, public bodies, including local authorities, must not act in breach of human rights unless primary or secondary legislation obliges them to do so (s.6).

This basic legal context should inform all licensing decisions where live music is involved. But how might this be included in a Statement of Licensing Policy, and what is the practical benefit?

4.4 Paragraph to recommend for inclusion in every local authority's Statement of Licensing Policy

The Licensing Guidance stresses the value of live music, and recognises that it is a fundamental right. It also explicitly refers to the UK's ratification of an international treaty which requires 'progressive measures' be taken to ensure that everyone can participate in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts (Article 15, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). Furthermore, it warns that licence conditions must not duplicate provision available under separate legislation (see Licensing Guidance, para 7.13, and 7.17-7.19).

Taking all this into account suggests that every local authority's Statement of Licensing Policy could include a paragraph like this:

"Live music, dance, theatre etc: This authority recognises its duties under Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to take progressive measures to ensure that everyone can participate in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts. Artistic freedom of expression is a fundamental right, and this authority is bound by s.3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 to read and give effect to all legislation, including licensing legislation, so far as possible compatibly with the right to freedom of expression.

This authority will take all this into account when considering the licensing of live music, dance and theatre. Where the Licensing Act 2003 is open to interpretation which may be more or less restrictive for these activities, the authority will fully explain the reasons for its interpretation of the Act. In such cases, and particularly where licence conditions are proposed, the authority will set out in detail where, how and why it believes subsisting safety, noise, crime or disorder legislation, is inadequate such that licensing is, or licence conditions are, not only necessary, but a reasonable and proportionate means to address the risks arising from the entertainment.

The authority, in accordance with the Licensing Guidance document, will also monitor the impact on regulated entertainment, in particular live music and dancing, of the licensing provisions. Where it is found that such entertainment is being deterred, it will review its policy with a view to reversing that trend."

4.5 What practical benefits could this bring?

A benchmark against which all licensing decisions involving live music could be measured.

Local authority commitment to transparent decision-making.

Help prevent over-prescriptive entertainment licence conditions.

Encourage relaxed interpretation of, for example, the incidental music exemption. This may keep some existing 'two in a bar' gigs out of the licensing regime altogether.

Some redress for musicians if the local authority does not provide adequate justification for a licensing decision which unnecessarily prevents, or disproportionately restricts, performance.

4.6 Discuss implications with landlords/licensees

It is very important to discuss the new licensing regime with licensees. Even now, many do not know what the new Act will mean for 'two in a bar' and/or live gigs in general.

If you are performing in a 'two in a bar' gig, find out whether the licensee knows about the possible 'variation' requirement during the Transition Period.

Do they know about the incidental music exemption?

Do they know about the new requirement to licence 'entertainment facilities', such as musical instruments if these are provided by the venue?

Would they be prepared to press the local authority for exemption under the incidental music exemption?

Do they know about the concession for premises up to 200 capacity?
Are there local bars/pubs etc that might consider putting on live music if persuaded that licensing would not cost very much?

4.7 Provide feedback to Jazz Services, MU and/or Live Music Forum

It is vital to provide feedback, to musicians' organisations and to the Department for Culture: Jazz Services (020 7928 9089, email: education@jazzservices.org.uk), the Musicians Union (020 7582 5566, info@musiciansunion.org.uk), and the Live Music Forum at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. For the latter see the DCMS website (reference above), or phone DCMS on 020 7211 6000 and ask for the Live Music Forum.

5    Lobbying

During the final stages of debate, the government made a commitment to revisit the Act if there are problems for live music:

"... I can give today a firm undertaking that the Government will review the existing descriptions of entertainment in the Bill six to 12 months after the end of the transition period. If it proves that the Bill has had an unintended, disproportionate, negative effect on the provision of live music, we will use the powers already in the Bill to modify the position through secondary legislation. I say now that the Government are convinced that the Bill will already provide a real shot in the arm for entertainment and allow it to thrive. "
Lord McIntosh, House of Lords, 03 July 2003

It would have been better if he had said '.. if it proves that the Bill has not significantly increased the number of venues for live music, we will use the powers...' etc. Since only 5% of licensed premises in England and Wales currently hold public entertainment licences allowing more than two musicians to perform it is hard to see how the present situation could get much worse.

The power Lord McIntosh referred to is in Schedule 1, para 4 of the Act. This allows the Secretary of State at DCMS by order to change, add or remove descriptions of entertainment. She could in theory add the televising of sporting events in public places to the list of regulated entertainments. Euro 2004 has demonstrated that televised sporting events in bars are a serious law and order problem (rioting against police in Croydon and elsewhere, for example, following England's defeat by France on June 13).

All this presents lobbying opportunities. Here are a few suggestions:

Write to your MP and ask whether he/she considers it fair that while televised sport in bars is exempt, the provision of a piano for regular public use should be illegal unless licensed for safety and noise purposes.

Ask whether, in view of the recent violence associated with televised football in bars, he/she will press the Secretary of State at DCMS to use her powers under Sch.1, para 4 of the Licensing Act 2003 to make such entertainment licensable when broadcast in pubs/bars etc? You could add that Tessa Jowell launched the original Licensing Bill as a 'central plank in the government's drive to tackle anti-social behaviour'.

Ask your MP to ask the Home Secretary whether he will be making representations to the DCMS Secretary of State to use her powers to amend the Licensing Act so that televised sport in bars becomes a regulated entertainment.

If there are local examples of football violence associated with big screen broadcasts in bars you should include these.
If there is a local angle, then the local press may be interested.
Appendix 1: Licensing Guidance - relevant sections

Chapter - Heading: 'sub-heading', paragraph reference

Foreword

1 - Background (whole chapter - 2 pages).

2 - Introduction and Purpose: 'Partnership working' paras 2.7 and 2.8; also 2.21 (new anti-noise powers).

3 - Statements of licensing policy: 'General' paras 3.2-3.6, 'Limitations on special policies' para 3.23; 'Cultural strategies', 3.47-3.49; 'Duplication', 3.53-3.55; 'Live music, dancing and theatre', paras 3.58-3.60.

5 - Premises Licences: 5.2-5.19, plus 5.127; 'Application for premises licences', 5.40-5.46; 'Steps to promote licensing objectives' , 5.48-5.50; 'Advertising applications', 5.52; 'Casinos and bingo clubs', 5.54; 'Vessels', 5.58; 'International airports and International ports', 5.60-5.61; 'Vehicles', 5.62-5.63; 'Trains and aircraft', 5.64; 'Considering applications for new and major variations of premises licences', the whole section; 'Relevant, vexatious and frivolous representations', whole section; 'Large scale temporary events requiring premises licences', 5.127 to end.

7 - Conditions attached to Premises Licences and Club Premises Certificates: all of the first five pages, with particular attention to Duplication and Proportionality sub-sections; 'Public safety', whole section; 'Public nuisance', whole section; 'Copyright and royalties', 7.73.

8 - Permitted Temporary Activities (Temporary Event Notices): 'General', whole section.

11 - Police Powers to close premises: 'Public nuisance caused by noise coming from the premises', 11.28; 'Noise nuisance and liaison with the local authority', 11.43-11.47.

13 - Transitional Matters: 'Variation of new premises licences', 13.25-13.29.

14 - Other Offences: 'Unauthorised licensable activities', 14.4-14.9; 'Defence of due diligence', 14.14

Annexes A, D, E, F, G,


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: pavane
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:46 PM

Are the MU compiling a list of members who are talking to specific authorities, so that duplication or omission can be identified?

Also, not being a professional musician, I am not a member of the MU.
Would I be able to join, and would increased membership lend weight to their campaign? Is there an associate member status?

I did write letters to my MP before the act was passed, but they were just passed over to the originator who gave me the standard reply about a good thing it was. So much for representation.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 02:54 PM


Are the MU compiling a list of members who are talking to specific authorities, so that duplication or omission can be identified?


The original quotes were posted by a third party. If you want more info from the MU you will need to ask them.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 02:06 AM

Returning to the initial reason for this thread, which got quite out of hand, before it was reinvented as an important but unrelated thread about the forum and Local Authority Licencing Policies, let us be clear about the problems of hooligans viewing televised sport in pubs.

1) There are two entirely separate issues - the licencing of the pub premises and the actions of the hooligans watching. The TV on the premises was the catalyst for the offensive behaviour, but the actual behaviour was the act of the hooligans themselves. Furthermore, it was very localised - most of Britain only experienced it as a news item. However, in those cases where it occurred it was clearly inconsistent with the licencing objectives introduced with the new Act, and hence it is a matter with which the Act is concerned.

2) You no more need a licence to watch a TV (as distinct from receiving a TV signal) than you need a licence to attend (or perform in) a concert. Therefore the hooligans cannot commit a licencing offence under any law. On the other hand they may well be committing public order (or other non-licencing) offences. If they are the police can take action - but it gets harder and harder the more numerous the hooligans. In the ultimate use the riot act and call out the troops - but this has been recognised as over-reaction ever since Peterloo. The important fact is that no-one licences crowds or individual pub customers. So neither crowds nor individual pub customers can commit licencing offences. You have to use other legislation to deal with their offensive behaviour.

3) As far as the premises are concerned, present licencing law is no practical help at all. The only practical sanction is non-renewal a long time in the future. Under the new legislation a police officer could enter the pub which was the source of the offensive behaviour and close it for 24 hours. Just like that. That power alone needs to be exercised only a few times before landlords start to protect their own financial self-interest by seeking to regulate the unacceptable hooligan behaviour.

4) Although pubs do not need an entertainment clause in their licence to have a wide screen TV (and this is not really the place to reopen the equity of what does and does not require explicit licencing), they do have to prepare an operational schedule for the pub. In certain circumstances it is open to the Local Authority to require changes to the operational schedule. In cases of repeated occurrences of the bahaviour complained of at a specific pub, the operational schedule could be compulsorily modified to preclude the use of the big screen TV (or any other received) from being used on the days of big matches. It would need very few pubs to be subjet to such sanctions for all landlords to become protective of their livelihoods and seek to ameliorate the behavious of their rowdy customers.

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 02:25 AM

2) You no more need a licence to watch a TV (as distinct from receiving a TV signal) than you need a licence to attend (or perform in) a concert.

I probably agree that this is so. However I have struggled with my local authority for 4 years now to establish the right of the public to make some form of unpaid, non amplified music in pubs that do not pay the LA for an additional licence. This is set to continue under the new Act, in that this music making will now need advanced entertainment permission or it will be illegal.

The trouble at these TV sporting events are hardly new. The cases of similar disorder at small-scale folk events are a little more unusual.

I would also be grateful if you would ask for a copy of the response her department gave to the Association of Chief Police Officers' representative (Peter Keown) when, in 2002, he recommended on ACPO's behalf that such entertainment when provided in licensed premises be licensed as regulated entertainment under the Act because 'they attract large crowds and are quite frequently a source of disorder'.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 06:37 AM

The follwoing should be a link to the Parliament site and the 23 June 2004, Westminster Hall debate on the Licensing Act 2003.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/cm040623/halltext/40623h01.htm#40623h01_head0


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 06:39 AM

In the letter quoted in a posting above, from Hannah Davis of the Love Music Forum, she states:

There is no cost disincentive to premises in providing live entertainment under the Act - the licence fee will be the same whether or not entertainment is provided. In addition, there are special provisions contained in section 177 of the Act in relation to small scale music events.

To qualify as a small scale musical event, the premises licence must contain provision for "music entertainment" (dance or live amplified or unamplified music) and have a capacity limit not exceeding 200 persons. If the event meets these criteria then any licensing authority imposed conditions relating to the provision of music entertainment will be suspended, subject to the exception of conditions related to public safety or the prevention of
crime and disorder.


I thought we were all still waiting with bated breath to find out if her first statement (no extra cost for an entertainments provision) is really going to be true, or if there could still be hidden charges, ie for a survey to determine the maximum capacity of the premises etc. It would also be grossly unfair if a maximum premises capacity was needed for a pub with live music, but not for a grossly overcrowded on showing live TV.

As far as the scond part goes, it's all fine, but for the fact that you have to have an entertainments provision in the first place and other possibilities can be taken into account before granting that.


JennyO - "Also I was thinking that if in fact the big commercial players ARE getting special treatment, is there some funny business going on, ie money changing hands?"

This is what has been referred to as "The Murdoch Effect". It is generally assumed that the reason why Televised Sport etc is not going to require an entertainments licence is because Murdoch contributes to Labour Party funds, and the government doesn't want to upset him.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 06:53 AM

Thanks for the explanation of 'The Murdoch Effect Dave - but the Love Music Forum?

Sounds like a place for the late Barry White.........


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 08:08 AM

This is a response to Richard P's spurious arguments concerning televised sport in bars and 'regulated entertainment'.

Richard's blend of half-truth, misinformation and obfuscation has the depressingly familiar ring of a civil servant from the DCMS entertainment licensing branch. Sorry Richard, but you sound to me like a government lackey. How much are they paying you?

You focus on 'hooligans', when there need be no hooligans present in bars for the situation to become inconsistent with the licensing objectives. What about the risk of overcrowding and noise nuisance - or are these risks already covered by separate legislation?

You should at least get your facts straight first. You say (in point 2) that 'present licensing law is no practical help at all' in dealing with offensive behaviour. Wrong. Under s.172 of the Licensing Act 1964 licensees commit an offence if they sell alcohol to 'drunken persons'. They also commit an offence if they allow 'violent, quarrelsome or riotous conduct' on the premises. Under the same Act, the police can instigate a review of a justices on-licence if there is a serious problem.

You imply that police power of immediate closure of licensed premises is an innovation of the new licensing laws. Wrong again. Since December 2001 the police have had that power under separate legislation.

And of course, as far as noise nuisance is concerned, again under separate legislation, for more than 10 years local authorities have had the power to seize noisy equipment immediately, and/or to issue anticipatory noise abatement notices.

In order to impose licence conditions (such as the presence of a door supervisor) under the new licensing law, local authorities must first have received 'relevant representations', i.e. from the police, fire service, other 'responsible authorities', or from local residents. But since broadcast entertainment is not a 'regulated entertainment' it would not be listed on an operating schedule submitted from an entirely new venue. So, neither the police or anyone else would be in a position to make a 'relevant representation' about the possible risk to residential amenity of, say, big screen broadcasts of major football matches in that premises.

As you point out, however, steps to regulate what may turn out to be a very troublesome venue would have to be taken reactively.

But here we are back with perverse government logic: dramatically increase the pre-emptive regulation through licensing of live music - even though no evidence of any need for increased regulation was ever provided. But where there is already abundant evidence of a serious problem associated with big screens in pubs, deal with that reactively.

No matter which way you look at it, Richard, there is no coherent rationale that can explain criminalising the provision of a piano in a bar unless licensed, but exempting the provision of big screen broadcast entertainment in the same premises.

You'll never convince musicians, or anyone else, otherwise.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 09:26 AM

It was previously stated on another thread, that premises only have to be assessed for a maximum capacity if they require to have live entertainment. Having seen vast hoards emerging from pubs which have been showing televised sport, I wonder why it is deemed to be unnecessary in this case. Sadly, I think that a serious disaster will have to occur in an overcrowded pub with wide screen television, before the government etc will admit that this probably needs at least the same degree of regulation as live music.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: JennyO
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 09:46 AM

"The Murdoch Effect" - of course. Had to be.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 02:08 PM

This was posted on uk.music.folk.

In a similar vein, the Musicians' Union Folk, Roots and Tradtitional Music section (www.mu-frtm.org) has provided a form on their website to report any PEL incidents as they relate to the performance of live music in licenced premises under the new law.

The intent is to collate any information information submitted and present it to the music forum and/or the governement's promised consultation on the operation of the new law - after it has been operation for 18 months. If the new law does have a negative effect on the performance of live music then a body of verifiable incidents will have more weight than uncoroborated, anecdotal accounts.

You can find the form on the web at; http://www.mu-frtm.org/pel-form/
         
Brian Heywood
--
Musicians' Union
Folk, Roots & Traditional Music Section (Vice Chair)
http://www.mu-frtm.org


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 04:49 AM

Well since the new law doesn't look like being in operation until next year - possibly later if some LAs decide to drag their feet or hold out for the right to charge exhorbitant rates, It'll be some time before anyone will be able to complete one.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Spike
Date: 30 Jun 04 - 11:06 AM

You can drink yourself to death, you can smoke yourself to death, you can even smoke dope yourself and be ignored, but, El Presidente Blair says - HOW DARE YOU SIT IN A PUB AND SING!! DO YOU THINK YOU LIVE AND WORK IN ENGLAND TO ENJOY YOURSELF?? :)


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Jul 04 - 02:24 AM

In a similar vein, the Musicians' Union Folk, Roots and Tradtitional Music section (www.mu-frtm.org) has provided a form on their website to report any PEL incidents as they relate to the performance of live music in licenced premises under the new law.

This is what the MU's form say's. You will see that it is not limited only to the new Act.

This form is designed to help the collection and collation of information about any effects of the implementation of the current or new PEL legislation as being implemented in England and Wales. Any contact information included will be strictly confidential and will only be used to contact the submitter to verify and expand on the information received.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Jul 04 - 11:58 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

On Monday 28 June, licensing minister Richard Caborn was asked in the Commons whether Tessa Jowell would use her powers under the Licensing Act 2003 to make big screen sport in bars licensable, alongside live music, as a regulated entertainment.

Caborn's answer: No. Predictable enough, perhaps. But check out his explanation why (see Hansard excerpt at the end of this). It amounts to this: the public safety/noise nuisance/crime and disorder risk is already covered by separate legislation, and if there is a problem the licence can be reviewed. Marvellous.

(Note also that no licence under the Act is required to provide broadcast entertainment anywhere, no matter how big the screen or how powerful the amplification.)

So what is it about live music, or even a piano, in a bar or restaurant that justifies stricter regulation than big screen sport provided in the same venue?

Don't let the government off the hook. Write to your MP - fax direct from: www.faxyourmp.com

Snail mail: House of Commons, London SW1A OAA
Some MPs accept email. This link to the Parliamentary website identifies them:
http://www.parliament.uk/directories/hciolists/alms.cfm

If you want ideas for what to write, see below - but it is better to use your own words:

"The minister's reply to Mr Moss in the House of Commons on Monday 28 June shows that the government believes that a premises licence to sell alcohol, without an authorisation for regulated entertainment, is adequate to address any safety, noise nuisance, crime or disorder risks inherent in the provision of televised sport in bars, restaurants etc.

However, under the Act the provision of a piano for regular public performance in similarly licensed premises would be a criminal offence unless its provision were also explicitly licensed as a regulated entertainment. Can the minister please specify the risks inherent in the provision of a piano that justify stricter, pre-emptive regulation through entertainment licensing than is applied to the provision of televised sport in such premises?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Monday 28 June 2004 – House of Commons:

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will use her powers under the Licensing Act 2003 to include sporting events shown on large screens in bars, public houses and other licensed premises within the definition of regulated entertainment under Schedule 1 of the Act. [180370]

Mr. Caborn: We have no current plans to use the powers in the Licensing Act 2003 to license the showing of live broadcast sporting events on large screens in licensed premises. Under the 2003 Act, all public houses and bars showing live sporting events on television will require premises licences because they sell alcohol and, as a result, will be required to take steps to ensure the promotion of the licensing objectives in relation to the premises. These objectives are the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. If they fail to do so, they could face a review of the licence.

Furthermore, it will be an offence under the 2003 Act to allow disorderly conduct on the premises and knowingly to sell, attempt to sell, or to allow alcohol to be sold to people who are already drunk. Finally, the police have powers (in certain circumstances) under the 2003 Act to close down instantly for up to 24 hours any relevant premises where a senior officer believes there is, or is likely to be, disorder on or in the vicinity of the premises, or alternatively where a public nuisance is being caused as a result of noise emanating from the premises.

28 Jun 2004 : Column 9W

Mr Caborn appears to have made a wonderful argument as to why there is no need at all for any additional entertainment licensing permissions for any live music in any pub, under the new Act. However, he does not go on to explain why the Act insists that they do now need this......


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 09:39 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.


The Department for Culture has announced the timetable for the Licensing Act 2003 which treats live music as a greater threat to society than rioting football supporters in bars.

Did Tessa Jowell have the exemption for big screen sport in bars in mind when she said: "The reforms brought about by the Act, including flexible opening hours, complement steps taken by the Home Secretary to crack down on alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder, so that we can turn our town and city centres into safe, sustainable, and vibrant locations, that the entire community can enjoy."

See DCMS press release below. It looks like it will be November 2005 before the automatic exemption from entertainment licensing for one or two musicians in bars, pubs, restaurants etc, finally comes to an end. New licences become available on 7 February 2005.

Note the usual DCMS spin:
Licence fees: in fact existing pubs or bars, or any premises with a current justices on-licence will have to pay an additional fee to seek permission to have regulated entertainment - unless they take up the 'two for the price of one' alcohol/entertainment offer during the six month Transition Period. We won't know exactly what the fee levels will be until this August.
The incidental exemption: will be disapplied if venues provide instruments, or any other 'entertainment facility', for regular public performance.
On the positive side, high annual entertainment licence fees should end. A relatively low annual fee for 'inspections' will, however, still be payable.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Date: July 07, 2004
COUNTDOWN TO LICENSING REFORM BEGINS

The countdown to the reform of England and Wales' archaic licensing laws formally began today with the publication of key guidance by Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell.

She would also be laying today an Order for 7 February 2005 to be the first appointed day - the beginning of the Act's transitional period when applications for conversions to new licences can be made.

The Guidance will assist licensing authorities in delivering the reforms to be brought about by the Licensing Act 2003, including flexible opening hours.

In addition, Tessa Jowell today issued guidance to police officers on using expanded closure powers within the Act to deal with problem premises, where disorder, or likely disorder, or noise nuisance is occurring.

And she spelt out the likely timetable for delivery of the new licensing laws:
* 7 July 2004 - Guidance issued. Licensing authorities begin preparing licensing policy statements, which set out how they will deliver the Act's reforms.

* August 2004 - DCMS releases draft application regulations with forms, proposed fees and other draft regulations for public consultation.

* 7 February 2005 - first appointed day. Licensing authorities can begin processing licensing applications under the new regime.

* Approximately November 2005 - second appointed day. The new licensing regime begins as new licences take effect.
The Licensing Act 2003, which received Royal Assent 12 months ago, paves the way for a more responsive and flexible system of licensing the sale and supply of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment and the provision of late night refreshment.

Tessa Jowell said:
"The countdown to the reform of our outdated licensing laws has now begun.
"They will be replaced by a regime that will give people more choice about how they spend their free time, while giving the police and licensing authorities tougher powers to bring the minority of badly run premises into line with the best.

"And importantly, the new regime will give local residents a greater say in licensing decisions that affect them and the communities they live in.

"The reforms brought about by the Act, including flexible opening hours, complement steps taken by the Home Secretary to crack down on alcohol-fuelled crime and disorder, so that we can turn our town and city centres into safe, sustainable, and vibrant locations, that the entire community can enjoy."

The Guidance, which has been approved by Parliament, will assist licensing authorities in promoting the four licensing objectives of the Act:
* the prevention of crime and disorder;
* public safety;
* the prevention of public nuisance; and
* the protection of children from harm.
It focuses on establishing effective partnerships between licensing authorities, local businesses and residents, the police, and others to promote good licensing practice and responsible behaviour and to target and penalise licensed premises, or their customers, who are causing problems within our communities.

Licensing authorities are required to consult the police, fire authority, local businesses and residents, and other interested parties about their licensing policy statements and it is recommended that they integrate these with other policies, such as tourism, culture and the arts, regeneration and crime prevention.

Notes to Editors
1. The draft Guidance is available on the DCMS website at: www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainnment
2. Section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003 provides that the Secretary of State must issue Guidance to licensing authorities on the discharge of their functions under the 2003 Act. The Guidance was approved by Parliament in June 2004.

3. Ministers also gave undertakings to Parliament that guidance would be issued to police officers about the operation of extended closure powers under Part 8 of the 2003 Act. That advice was included with the Guidance issued under section 182.

4. The Guidance is being issued to Chief Executives of district councils in England, county councils in England where there are no district councils, county councils and county borough councils in Wales, the London borough councils, the Sub-Treasurer of the Inner Temple, the Under-Treasurer of the Middle Temple, the Common Council of the City of London and the Council of the Isles of Scilly. It has also been issued to all Chief Constables and Justices Clerks in England and Wales.

5. Tessa Jowell is today laying an Order in the House to appoint the first appointed day, when licensees can begin applying for conversion of their existing licences, variations to those licences and new licences, as 7 February 2005.

6. The expected timetable for licensing reform in fuller detail is as follows:
7. July 2004 - Secretary of State issues Guidance to licensing authorities and names the first appointed day. Licensing authorities begin preparing licensing policy statements having regard to Secretary of State's Guidance and with a view to promoting the licensing objectives.

August 2004 - DCMS releases draft regulations for public consultation.
7 February 2005 - first appointed day. Licensing authorities can begin processing applications for conversions to premises licences, club premises certificates, simultaneous variations, and new licences/certificates and fast track applications for personal licences.

Approximately November 2005 - second appointed day, bringing an end to old licensing regimes. New premises licences and club premises certificates will take effect.

8. The Licensing Act 2003 received Royal Assent on 10 July 2003. Fuller details of the contents of the Act are as follows:

* The amalgamation of six existing licensing regimes (alcohol, public entertainment, cinemas, theatres, late night refreshment house and night cafe).

* A single integrated scheme for licensing premises which sell or supply alcohol, provide regulated entertainment to the public or provide refreshment late at night, sweeping away considerable red tape and cost.

* Premises licence to incorporate licensing conditions (e.g. hours, fire exits, capacity) necessary for the promotion of the licensing objectives, namely the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm.

* A new system of personal licences in relation to the sale or supply alcohol for consumption on or off any premises in respect of which there is a premises licence authorising such sale or supply. (Those providing regulated entertainment or refreshment at night which do not involve alcohol, would require a premises licence only).

* Personal licences to have effect for 10 years and personal licence holders to a pass a test of knowledge of licensing law and social responsibilities. Personal licences will be subject to police scrutiny if relevant or foreign offences have been committed, with provision for suspension or withdrawal of licences within the 10 year period: abolition of vague "fit and proper person" test in respect of licences to sell alcohol. Personal licences are also renewable.

* Personal and premises licences and club premises certificates to be issued by licensing authorities: generally local authorities.

* Premises licences to be subject to a flexible range of remedies open to the licensing authority following review (including temporary reduction in opening hours) instead of present single all or nothing sanction available to licensing justices of loss of licence if conditions have been breached.

* An avenue of appeal for parties (including the police and local residents following relevant representations) to the magistrates' courts.

* To minimise public disorder resulting from fixed closing times, the opportunity for flexible opening hours, subject to consideration of relevant representations made by local residents and other interested parties and responsible authorities (and therefore existing permitted hours to be abolished).

* Children under 16 to be allowed access to pubs only if accompanied by an adult. Licensing authorities to have the ability when determining applications, if necessary, to restrict or deny access for children to unsuitable licensed venues following relevant representations.

* The legal age for drinking alcohol on licensed premises and for buying it anywhere is 18. An exception will allow 16 and 17 year olds accompanied by an adult to consume beer, wine or cider with a table meal on licensed premises.

* New requirements in the wake of the Thames Safety Inquiry for licensing the sale of alcohol, and the provision of regulated entertainment and late night refreshment on boats travelling within England and Wales.

* New arrangements for non-profit making qualifying clubs supplying alcohol and providing regulated entertainment, which preserve their special status.

* Incidental live and recorded music to be exempted from licensing for the first time.
* Unamplified live music in small venues to be treated exceptionally to ensure traditional and amateur folk music thrives.

* For the first time, the provision of regulated entertainment in a school and sixth form college by the school or college will be exempted from the licensing fee associated with that provision.

* The current exemption from the payment of fees for entertainment in every village hall, church hall and community building outside Greater London to continue, and extending it throughout the whole of England and Wales.

* For the first time, it will cost nothing extra to get permission to put on live music in pubs - given that pubs have to get a premises licence anyway for the sale of alcohol, applying for permission at the same time for the provision of live music becomes effectively free.

Public Enquiries: 0207 211 6200
Internet: http://www.culture.gov.uk
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
www.culture.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 18 Jul 04 - 08:33 PM

I wrote to my MP re: Caborn's Question and Answer on June 28th and so far I have had no reply......

Has anyone else?

Helen Jackson MP is a bit sympathetic because the "Sheffield Carols" take place mainly in her constituency. Not that hse is likely to vote against the government you understand..........

Dave
www.collectorsfolk.co.uk


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 04:00 AM

No reply either.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 06:10 AM

Does anyone have any idea how much the new licenses will cost, and also whether (as promised) there will be no extra charges (including hidden ones) if an entertainments provision is applied for initially.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 07:44 AM

This is a reply to Dave Bryant's question about new licence fees/costs.

The last government estimates were £100-£500 for a 'premises licence'. This could include authorisation for a venue to sell alcohol, provide 'regulated entertainment', and/or late night refreshment. Once granted, the licence is supposed to last for the lifetime of the business.

In addition, there will be annual 'inspection fees' of £50-£150. But again, these are DCMS estimates.

If a venue only wanted authorisation to sell alcohol - and did not 'tick the box' for entertainment, for example - there would be an additional licence fee to seek that permission at a later date. The DCMS say this fee for 'variation' will be about the same as the premises licence fee, i.e. £100-£500. The DCMS claim that applying for entertainment permission is 'effectively free' is therefore misleading. The 'two for the price of one' alcohol/entertainment permission will only apply to existing bars, pubs etc, if they make a simultaneous application during the six month Transition Period (which starts on 7 February 2005).

Venues that are not licensed for the provision of a regulated activity, but do not want or need a full-on premises licence, could seek a Temporary Event Notice. A fee of £20 has been suggested by DCMS. Such a notice would allow events of up to 96 hours duration, subject to a maximum 499 persons participating. There would be a limit of 12 such notices per year per premises, but no more than a cumulative total of 15 days of such events per year. Applications have to be submitted at least 10 working days in advance to both the police and local authority. You can see that a Temporary Event Notice would, however, be impractical for an event such as a city centre folk or jazz festival lasting a weekend. Such events will need premises licences because they would almost certainly exceed the maximum 499 persons limit on a Temporary Event Notice.

Although the premises licence fee estimates are considerably lower than many local authorities currently charge for annual public entertainment licences, this doesn't mean there are no hidden associated costs. Far from it.

It is likely that there will be knock-on costs for many premises licence applications. That is because local authorities will continue to impose licence conditions, such as a requirement to have bouncers on the door for certain venues, or events. There is also the potential for further costs if there are representations which have to be considered at a public hearing (such as objections from residents over possible impact on residential amenity of later opening, live music etc). A local authority concerned about the potential for noise associated with a live band might require the premises to fit double-glazing, for example.

Finally, you have to remember that the figures above are only estimates. The government has yet to publish any of the fees, and it is known that local authorities have been lobbying hard for much higher fees. Licence fees, and other important matters covered by the term 'regulations'in the Act, will be published in August, according to the last DCMS press release.

Hamish


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Chris Green
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 11:11 AM

pavane - Yes you can join the MU as a non-pro - it works out at about £6.50 a month if your earnings from music are under £5000 a year. All you need to do is go to the website (here) print the form off and send it out. And, yes they are fighting the new legislation. Tooth and nail.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 11:58 AM

And, yes they are fighting the new legislation. Tooth and nail.

Difficult to do this and support the Government/Labour Party at the same time. The following link, with more information, was sent to me by Graham Dixon.

http://www.letter.ukart.com/


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 12:12 PM

If a pub does apply for the entertainment permission at the same time as their first new licence (during the transition period) are they likely have to make any major modifications to the premises before it is granted ? - sound-proofing having already been mentioned. The reason I ask is that my own LA, Greenwich has been making a nice little income out of Entertainment Licences, and I don't think that they will relinquish it witout a struggle. Requiring bouncers on the door or even sound-proofing for the average folk club or session would be ridiculous, but I'm afraid that som councils might resort to such tactics to put landlords off getting their entertainments provision for free.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 03:10 PM

Just to add - Helen Jackson has written to me to tell me she has had a reply from DCMS promising a reply within 18 working days from acknowledgement which was July 13th.

I have written my reply to DCMS already. It goes like this...

You have deliberately failed to understand the question.....

Best regards,

Dave


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 03:54 PM

I think you will find the MU is working hard to get alongside the goverment, not fighting the new legislation tooth and nail. For example, they are no longer funding Hamish's excellent work.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: fiddler
Date: 19 Jul 04 - 06:29 PM

I couldn't resist it I forwarded the first posting of this thread to my official mp - Margaret Beckett!

Lets see if she replies!

Andy


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 05:43 AM

I will try to answer Dave Bryant's question about the likelihood of licence conditions, and give my view about the MU's current position on licensing reform.

First, conditions: they are likely, but they should not - in theory - be imposed if the condition is already provided for in other legislation. For example, if safety or noise legislation already provides adequate safeguards for a public safety or noise nuisance risk identified by the local authority, a licence condition duplicating that provision may be unlawful. The Licensing Guidance goes into some detail about this (copies available from DCMS website, see paras 3.53-3.55 and Chapter 7). The various exemptions from entertainment licensing have interesting implications in relation to conditions. The government must accept that safety legislation adequately covers the public safety risks arising from the provision of regulated entertainment because places of public religious worship are exempt from licensing for such provision. The government also must accept that crime and disorder legislation, and legislation protecting children from harm, is adequate to cover risks of disorder or crime, or possible harm to children, arising from the provision of televised football matches in pubs. Broadcast entertainment is exempt, anywhere, anytime.

That accounts for three of the four licensing objectives. So, it would seem that the only reason that a broad exemption was not granted to live music in pubs, bars and similar places, was because the government feared a) that noise complaints would soar, and b) that existing anti-noise legislation is inadequate.

The experts I spoke to in the course of researching this (environmental health officers, DEFRA consultants, acoustics consultants) were generally of the view that noise legislation was not inadequate, rather its enforcement was under-resourced. Irrespective of entertainment licensing, local authorities can issue pre-emptive noise abatement notices and confiscate noisy equipment immediately. The police can close noisy pubs immediately for up to 24 hours.

So it would seem that even where a pub with thin walls and no double glazing wanted to provide heavy metal bands 24 hours a day, local authorities and the police have sufficient powers to prevent that, irrespective of licence conditions. The Licensing Guidance puts it more cautiously: '... there will be circumstances where no additional conditions may be necessary where existing legislation and regulation already effectively promote the licensing objectives, and where, for whatever reason, licensed premises could not conceivably add to any crime and disorder or other relevant issues.' [para 3.55]

Secondly, the MU: as you probably know I ceased working for the MU in September 2003 (although I remain a member). The only work on this issue I have been paid for since was the 4-page briefing for musicians, commissioned by Jazz Services, recommending ways to work with local authorities so as to make the best of the new regime.

The MU appears now to be reluctant to criticise the Licensing Act strongly. It is certainly no longer fighting 'tooth and nail' against it. It also seems to have sidelined the 'freedom of expression' arguments which have important implications for all musicians and local authorities. I have asked the General Secretary, John Smith, several times about this, but have yet to receive a credible explanation.

My impression is that the Union's Executive Committee has collectively decided to 'move on' and to work as closely as possible with the government to promote maximum take-up of entertainment authorisations under the new regime. Personally, I see no contradiction in working hard to make the best of unsatisfactory legislation, but at the same time making it public that you strongly oppose its underlying assumptions and its unjust treatment of live music. But it appears to me that the MU now thinks differently.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 06:17 AM

I think that from the folk scene point of view, we should all be talking to the landlords of all the pubs that we currently know which do host sessions or clubs and which don't currently have music licenses.

We should be explaining to them that their first license application under the new scheme gives them the chance to obtain an entertainments license at no extra cost, but that if they delay, they will have to pay for one later.

We should also include the pubs which have non-regular events - ie during festivals or which are visited every now and again by sessions like "Travelling Folk" or even Morris Sides who like to have a song/music session after they've danced.

If a large percentage of pubs do take up the oportunity, many LA's will probably consider it not very profitable to witch-hunt those that haven't.

I realise that the act covers much more than pubs, but the vast majority of folk clubs and sessions do happen in these places.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 20 Jul 04 - 07:37 AM

Talking to pubs about the new rules and live music is essential, but it is also essential to get involved with LA's now on their licensing policy consultation.

If you would like an email copy of the recommendations document I prepared for Jazz Services please do not hesitate to email me your request at drum.pro@virgin.net

Hamish


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 11:32 AM

Do I detect a little local 'spin'?

Weymouth Advertiser July 29th 2004

New Rules for pubs and clubs

By Advertiser Reporter

People in Weymouth and Portland can have their say on new licensing laws that could see pubs opening 24 hours a day. The Licensing Act 2003 heralds changes to the sale and supply of alcohol and late-night refreshment licensing laws.

The rules for public, theatrical and film entertainment licenses will also be overhauled. Magistrates will pass responsibility to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council in February 2005, and members of the licensing committee met to consider what the new legislation means.

Weymouth and Portland licensing manager Sue Moore said the new act would replace current rules dictating that pubs and other venues need an entertainment licence if more than two people are performing in an organised concert. She said: "If anything, this should encourage live music, but people have eight weeks to give us their comments and we will incorporate everything that we can. "Once you cut through the red tape, it's a very positive piece of legislation."

Coun Mike Goodman said: "We have got to have a lighter touch = there is a presumption that people applying for licenses should be granted one. "We would only take action if we needed to."

The public has until September 24 to respond to the draft policy statement that sets out what is expected from licence-holders. Separate conditions can be attached to each of the individual licenses, for example if there are concerns about drinks being spiked in pubs, or not enough ventilation in clubs. Councillors hope the new laws will encourage more dancing and theatre, prevent crime and public nuisance and protect people, especially children.

They will be able to target premises that cause problems to the community, while firms that go about their business in a legitimate way will be left alone. Members are also consulting police, firefighters, other local authorities, landlords, breweries, business and musicians.

The policy statement can be viewed at libraries and tourist information centres next month.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 29 Jul 04 - 04:36 PM

I have had a rather interesting letter from the DCMS to my point about Richard Caborn's parliamentary reply.

Unfortunately I am in too much of a hurry to get to Sidmouth (that's me with the Giants) that I cannot post details of it now.

Catch you in September

Dave


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,ian
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 04:11 AM

I would ask that we keep pressing Boris Johnson ( Shadow Minister for the Arts) to object to the challenge to a free voice. Also his South Oxon Seat covers Thame. The Close neighbour of Towersey. The Three horseshoes only has the one weekend event to provide a venue for entertainment.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Aug 04 - 06:17 PM

The public has until September 24 to respond to the draft policy statement that sets out what is expected from licence-holders.

This may be my local deadline but it is vital that members of every folk club, session etc do get involved in their local consultation process. This to try and ensure that folk activities in particular, never again get prevented for no good reason by legislation that was never intended for this purpose. If the Government are to be believed, this is not the purpose of this new legislation - it is up to us to ensure that our local authorities cannot ever use this new Act as they use the current licensing legislation. To ensure that your local licensing policy finds the words to ensure that the following from the Government is given real form and is not just 'spin':
Incidental live and recorded music to be exempted from licensing for the first time.
Unamplified live music in small venues to be treated exceptionally to ensure traditional and amateur folk music thrives.


It would be a good idea to try and ensure that something like the following (From Hamish) appears in your local policy.

Live music, dance, theatre etc: This authority recognises its duties under Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to take progressive measures to ensure that everyone can participate in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts. Artistic freedom of expression is a fundamental right, and this authority is bound by s.3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 to read and give effect to all legislation, including licensing legislation, so far as possible compatibly with the right to freedom of expression.

This authority will take all this into account when considering the licensing of live music, dance and theatre. Where the Licensing Act 2003 is open to interpretation which may be more or less restrictive for these activities, the authority will fully explain the reasons for its interpretation of the Act. In such cases, and particularly where licence conditions are proposed, the authority will set out in detail where, how and why it believes subsisting safety, noise, crime or disorder legislation, is inadequate such that licensing is, or licence conditions are, not only necessary, but a reasonable and proportionate means to address the risks arising from the entertainment.

The authority, in accordance with the Licensing Guidance document, will also monitor the impact on regulated entertainment, in particular live music and dancing, of the licensing provisions. Where it is found that such entertainment is being deterred, it will review its policy with a view to reversing that trend."


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 03 Aug 04 - 12:18 PM

If every pub includes an application to stage regulated entertainment for their initial premises licence (and receives it) so far so good (for pubs anyway). There will be no additional financial deterrent to provide live music or hold a session unless the pub changes hands or wishes to change the terms of the premise licence.

Cafes and places not providing alcohol, if they wish to provide regulated entertainment will have to apply and pay for a premises licence and the annual inspection charge.This is not likely to increase live music in these places.

However the entertainment permission is optional. The concern must be for these pubs as if they later wish to stage regulated entertainment - this will be considered as a change and a new charge will be liable. It is more than possible that rather than pay additionally and apply again - these pubs may choose not to stage regulated entertainment.

It should be the case that sessions should be OK in pubs without entertainment permission, by being classed as incidental live music and exempt. However, old habits die hard and it is possible that some pubs will try to stage regulated entertainment, without re-applying and sessions etc could get caught-up in battles with local authorities - who will not take kindly to any attempt to get around the requirement.

Whatever this legislation is surposed to do - it is not to prevent incidental live (or indeed recorded music). The stuggle will be to try and ensure that it is never allowed to.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 04 Aug 04 - 09:23 AM

Shambles,

There is only one thing wrong with your last posting. Whereas the licencing authority is the inforcement authority for existing PELs, the police are the enforcement authority for licences under the new Act. The only sanction that the licencing authority has is to review the conditions and apply harsher ones - essentially if the original ones are found to be ineffective in so far that when applied they do not prevent nuisance or any of the other licencing objectives. Consequently, if there is non-compliance the licencing authority's only real weapon is to try to persuade the police to prosecute. I suggest that it normally is extremely difficult to persuade the police to prosecute anyone.

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 04 Aug 04 - 09:54 AM

Richard, perhaps you would like to explain this to my local Enforcement Officer, who was employed (some time ago) in anticipation of the extra work as a result of what is now, the Licensing Act 2003?

You may well be right but it is rather a small point of difference. This officer is employed by the Licensing Dept and it is the Council as the local Licensing Authority who will make the policy, whoever is to enforce it. If this policy includes sessions etc as regulated entertainment - this must be enforced.

Now it is true that as the local authority is set to receive money from Premises Licenses irespective of entertainment permission, so we should not have the 'cash cow' driving their enforcement activities. However, in the case of coffee bars and cafes - the money will only come from those who need Premises Licenses in order to provide regulated entertainment. So not much has really changed there. If these places start to stage entertainment without a Premises Licence, the Council will insist on their money and will (get the police) to prevent the entertainment.

One of the effects of the new Act is that making music without a licence is as much an illegal unlicensed activity as selling alcohol without one.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Aug 04 - 10:27 AM

There is an account in the Sunday Times of 8 August 2004 of a 'two in a bar' prosecution that failed.

Dangerous Doo Dah Band


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 12:17 PM

Incidentally...

This may be useful with - your local licensing policy, then again, it may not........[note the date]
From the Commons Standing Commitee on the (then) Licensing Bill April 1st 2003.

Jim Knight:

I would not have become interested in the subject if it were not for Roger Gall, a constituent of mine, who lives on Portland, where there is a folk jamming session on a Friday night in a pub called the Cone House Inn. It became known that the landlord was comfortable with people coming along on a Friday night and playing their music. These sessions were not advertised. Such an event, which is not advertised or actively encouraged, may be a passive part of the atmosphere of the pub, and it may begin to build up business and become a substantial attraction and profit maker for the publican. Would the Minister regard such an activity as one that should be regulated under the Bill?

Dr. Howells:

It seems that that is largely a spontaneous activity, to which people turn up occasionally, and it seems also that the word has spread that people can hear some nice music. However, as the hon. Gentleman says, the licensee does not spend money on advertising. If it is clear that music is being played in the corner of the pub, that would be incidental in my book. I do not know whether that gives him any comfort.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: DMcG
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 12:38 PM

Richard: I'm sure it couldn't be used, but what is the position on vexatious litigation here?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: DMcG
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 12:54 PM

I've decided I was so succinct above no-one could really guess what my question is.

For a start, it was directed at Richard Bridge, not RichardP, but anyone who knows something about the law could answer.

Secondly, I realise a single case would not rarely be enough for a vexacious litigation claim. But what are the parameters? If someone kept bringing cases against gypsies, for example, could that make a case, or does it always have to be the same gypsy? If the former is the case, then potentially rejected cases by the same council against a range of pubs could be contenders: it would not have to be the same pub each time. But could a council be charged? Could the individual heading the relevant department? Clearly it is possible in principle for a council to bring spurious charges and so waste a lot of court time. Is there any legal framework in which a case could be made against the council for this?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 05:58 PM

Shambles,

There is only one thing wrong with your last posting. Whereas the licencing authority is the inforcement authority for existing PELs, the police are the enforcement authority for licences under the new Act. The only sanction that the licencing authority has is to review the conditions and apply harsher ones - essentially if the original ones are found to be ineffective in so far that when applied they do not prevent nuisance or any of the other licencing objectives. Consequently, if there is non-compliance the licencing authority's only real weapon is to try to persuade the police to prosecute. I suggest that it normally is extremely difficult to persuade the police to prosecute anyone.


Given the latest failed prosecution by the local authority in North Devon, and all the expense entailed in that, it would be nice if Richard P was correct. Sadly he is not.

See s.186(2)(a) of Licensing Act 2003: for the enforcing authorities.
Number one on the list: 'a licensing authority' - i.e. the local authority. The police are number 2 on the list (for Director of Public Prosecutions read police). So I am advised..........


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 11 Aug 04 - 08:40 PM

1) Shambles, unfortunately you are right on your last point. I should not have relied on a faulty memory.

2) You were however wrong on a previous point. It is not illegal to make music under the Act. It is illegal to permit or organise some music on unlicenced premises, but the musician as such does not commit an offence under the Act.

3)   Going back to your post of August 4th. Much has been made in the past that the Guidance cannot change the primary legislation - which is true and the DCMS contend that they have not in any way intended to do so. It is also a fact that a council licencing policy cannot prevent anything that is explicitly permitted by the Act. Specifically, they cannot make a condition that would prevent incidental music. Whilst some sessions might be so all encompassing that they genuinely are the principle reason most people are in the room - many more are clearly of interest to a minority of people in the premises and hence are incidental within the Act and are explicitly legalised by it. Of course it may need case law to prove that to local authorities.

4)   The DCMS has just issued a newsletter on the Act. Most of the information is old hat. But it may be of interest that the Musicians Union is reported to be producing a Live Music Kit to advise pubs etc. how to arrange live music under the Act.

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Aug 04 - 02:25 AM

2) You were however wrong on a previous point. It is not illegal to make music under the Act. It is illegal to permit or organise some music on unlicenced premises, but the musician as such does not commit an offence under the Act.

I think you ar referring to this?

One of the effects of the new Act is that making music without a licence is as much an illegal unlicensed activity as selling alcohol without one.

This was making a general point - the prosecution of unlicensed premises selling drink would not see police reluctant to prosecute and whoever is actually prosecuted for unlicensed music making does not alter the fact that the activity is now on a par with this law-breaking.

Session and sing-around organisers could be committing an offence under the new Act.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 04:39 AM

Richard P is wrong again to make the sweeping claim that 'It is not illegal to make music under the Act'.

Read Sch.1 paras 1(1)(a) and 2(a) with para 2(1)(e) of the Act and consider a solo musician, or bandleader, organising and performing their own gigs. If he/she performs with any intention to entertain 'to any extent for members of the public or a section of the public', they are indeed open to criminal prosecution - unless the venue is appropriately licensed. There is a 'due diligence' defence if they can prove they were incorrectly advised beforehand that the venue was licensed for the performance. But broadly, music-making is a potential offence unless the organising performer has a) no intention to entertain, and/or b) no audience or even spectators are present, or c) the event is totally private and not-for-profit.

Richard P could argue that under s.136(2)(d) of the Act a person 'does not commit an offence... if his only involvement in the provision of the entertainment is that he ... performs live music...'. But that does not protect performers who organise their own gigs. S.136 only protects 'hired hands' or other musicians who might sit-in.

And what about sessions and the 'incidental' exemption? This exemption is void if entertainment facilities are provided (Sch.1, para 7(b)). It is clear from the entertainment facilities description (Sch.1, para 3) that, in the context of a typical pub session, musical instruments are entertainment facilities. Musicians bring their instruments to sessions, and venues often provide instruments or other facilities enabling persons to make music for the purpose of being entertained. The Act does not discriminate between a venue or a performer as a potential provider of entertainment facilities. It is also clear that making premises available can count as the provision of entertainment facilities. In the Act's definition of music (Sch.1, para 18), unaccompanied singing is also covered.

Strictly adhering to the words of the Act renders many sessions illegal unless the venue is licensed. Those performers also responsible for organising such events would also be open to prosecution.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 08:20 AM

And now the good news...................


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 13 Aug 04 - 09:59 AM

Just thought that you might like the amusing story.

Last night I was enjoying a meal in the "Won Kei" a well-known cheap chinese restaurant in the Chinatown area of London. One of the chinese customers seemed to be high on something and after having loud conversations (in chinese) with a non-existant person, started singing very loudly. Now I'm not an expert in chinese song, but from the looks of the other oriental customers, neither was he. Several of the waiters tried to make him desist, but he just sang all the louder. In the end he turned to the restaurant and in very bad english, asked why he shouldn't sing. I couldn't resist telling him that it was illegal if the premises didn't have an entertainments license - he didn't sing anymore, much to everyone's satisfaction.

OK - I sure that it would have counted as spontaneous - and perhaps I've pissed off people as much by singing in some pubs - but I still found the incident amusing.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 11:26 AM

I am reminded of the advert that uses an old sketch of Tommy Cooper. Last night I ordered the entire meal in French - It was a Chinese restaurant!!

The following from Graham Dixon.

Tonight - Maybe tomorrow - The Live Music Forum Quango (DCMS) is going to make a statement - Hamish Birchall will be there giving the alternate view.

Sorry don't know the exact time of the broadcast.

If Sky ask for feedback please let them know your thoughts


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Aug 04 - 08:31 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

The Government will claim tomorrow that a survey conducted on behalf of the Live Music Forum shows:

almost half (47 per cent) of pubs, clubs, student unions and restaurants have put on live acts at least once in the past year

a fifth (19 per cent) of the venues staged live music regularly - at least twice a month

more than half (55 per cent) of venues who put on music do it because
customers demand it; but many potential venues have not thought about putting on live music despite the changes in the new licensing laws

1600 licensees of 'small venues' were interviewed. The data so far released, however, does not discriminate between currently exempt 'two in a bar' gigs, and gigs by three or more musicians. Without that information it is impossible to say anything meaningful about the live band scene in bars,clubs, restaurants etc. However, that hasn't stopped ministers' spin.

A DCMS press release announcing the survey includes the following quote by licensing Minister Richard Caborn:
'From the Beatles to Blur we have a live music heritage to be proud of. This survey shows that heritage is alive and well with a flourishing music scene - an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the past year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business isn't putting on live music.

'The new Licensing laws will create more opportunities for budding
musicians, but the survey shows that there are many potential venues who have not thought about putting on live bands. We need to encourage them to do so and show them that the licensing changes will make staging live music easier so that they are ready to embrace the new law when it comes in next year.'

The recently published DCMS newsletter on licensing (available from the entertainment section of the DCMS website: www.culture.gov.uk) claimed that the response to the MU's live music leaflet had been 'overwhelming'. The MU told me this afternoon that the last time they checked the Freepost returns, about 400 had been received, of which an unspecified proportion is from licensees. Over 30,000 leaflets were sent to members.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: DMcG
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 02:40 AM

I think that's useful information. It points out the new laws are not yet in place, having already listed what is quite a high level and claimed this shows a flourishing music scene - so any negative impact by the new laws will be a problem for the government.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 03:01 AM

Probably not this Government....

The following from Terry Redmond.

This from Westminster Councils guide for licensees (the names seem so appropriate)

When will I have to do something to convert my licence?

The process will start on 7 February 2005.

You must submit an application to the Council within six months from 7 February, the first appointed day (FAD) of the transition period. As the Council will be operating a phased approach to applications, we will be contacting you over the coming months to let you know when you should submit your application.

The Government will announce the second appointed day (SAD) in due course, which we expect to be nine months later. On the SAD the new licensing regime will come into effect.


Let's hope it isn't a SAD day for the music scene we enjoy........


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: DMcG
Date: 25 Aug 04 - 06:00 AM

The Executive summary of this survey is now available here.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 07:27 AM

This response from 'our Ronnie' at the DCMS, was posted by Mary on her Action for Music list
-------------------------------------------

Dear Mr T

Thank you for your e-mail of 8 July to Tessa Jowell about the Guidance to
Licensing Authorities which relates to the Licensing Act 2003. If you have
not previously received a reply to your e-mail, please accept my apologies
for the delay in getting back to you.

It was not the Government's intention to create new licensable activities
when taking the Licensing Bill through Parliament last year. Our priority
was to modernise the existing licensing regimes and to remove anomalies and
out-dated exemptions.   During the Parliamentary stages of the Licensing
Bill, both Houses debated the case for licensing the showing of live
sporting events on widescreen television.   Both Houses rejected that case.

No-one doubts that the prevention of crime and disorder arises in the
context of the showing of particular live sporting events (mainly major
football matches) in places where the sale of alcohol takes place. We have
not heard anyone suggest that the Open Golf Championship or the showing of
rugby or cricket matches gives rise to similar concerns. It is not
therefore live widescreen television broadcasts per se which give rise to
concern, but the live broadcast of certain high profile football matches in
places where alcohol is sold for consumption. Crucially, it is the impact
of alcohol that gives rise to the need for licensing. Under the Licensing
Act 2003, all public houses and bars showing live sporting events on
television will require premises licences because they sell alcohol and, as
a result, will be required to take steps to ensure the promotion of the
licensing objectives in relation to the premises. These objectives, as you
know, are the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the
prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. If
they fail to do so, they could face a review of the licence, which would
place it in jeopardy. There is therefore no case for licensing live
broadcasts of sport on widescreen television, but a strong case for
licensing sales of alcohol.

The Government has never accepted that live music, or certain types of music
(for example, acoustic folk music), should be excluded from the new
licensing regime; and Parliament has now endorsed that view. Regulating the
performance of music in public and bringing it within the licensing regime
allows the licensing authorities, following relevant representations, to
impose necessary and proportionate conditions to promote the licensing
objectives for the benefit of residents and customers. If the performance
of music were not brought within the regime it would mean that the licensing
authorities would be unable to impose conditions in order to protect the
public. The licensing authority will consider on a case-by-case basis what
range of conditions are appropriate following any representations that are
made. Major venues staging rock bands would, for example, be likely to have
to comply with a greater range and number of conditions than a small pub or
club which puts on unamplified music. Issues relating to public safety and
public nuisance, and occasionally to do with the prevention of crime and
disorder, arise in the context of live music whether or not it is combined
with alcohol. Any comparison between widescreen television broadcasts and
live music does not therefore stand scrutiny.

An example of a live music event which resulted in police intervention is
the 16th annual Brecon Jazz Festival. At this event, police arrested 90
people (nearly half for controlled drug offences) and 23 people were taken
into custody for public order disturbances.

In the context of the Licensing Act 2003, the important point is that
venues, including pubs and bars will be able to add a permission to put on
live music at no additional cost when applying to sell alcohol through the
premises licence. We believe that if the industry makes full use of the
reforms on offer, it will vastly increase the opportunities for musicians to
perform. We are working closely with organisations representing musicians
and the music industry, including the Musicians' Union, through the Live
Music Forum to ensure that full advantage is taken of these reforms.

If you would like more information about the work of the Forum please visit
our website at the following address:
.

With regard to circuses, we recognise that there are specific issues about
the number of sites which circuses visit and concerns about their
flexibility to move sites at short notice. The main consideration has
always been whether there is any justification for treating circuses
differently from other forms of commercial entertainment with which they are
in direct competition. Circuses have been licensed in Scotland and Northern
Ireland for many years, but in England and Wales they have traditionally
been regarded as falling within old exemptions applying to fairs and
travelling showmen.

The four licensing objectives are intended to benefit and protect local
communities and we do not accept that these issues are any less relevant to
circuses than they are to other entertainment providers. No credible case
has ever been made out for the exemption of circuses from the 2003 Act where
they are carrying out similar licensable activities.

I should make it clear that the Licensing Act 2003 will not specifically
exempt travelling fairgrounds from the requirement for a licence. The 2003
Act applies to circuses and travelling fairgrounds only to the extent that
they carry out licensable activities. Whether or not their activities fall
within particular definitions, relating to the 2003 Act, for example of
indoor sport, music or dancing will be a matter of fact in each case, and
will ultimately be for the courts to determine.

Circuses are large commercial events that attract large numbers of people,
including a significant proportion of children (often as much as 50 per cent
of the audience), and it is difficult to justify their exemption from the
regime, given the potential risks involved.

The facts do not lend support to the view that the financial burden on
circuses will be unreasonable. The fees for premises licences have not yet
been finalised, but as we have said on many occasions, we estimate that fees
will be between £100 and £500 in bands likely to be based on non-domestic
rateable values. Most open land would fall at the lower end of this scale
and most circuses should not expect to pay more than around £100 per
premises licence. There are about 30 travelling circuses and they claim
that, on average, each attracts annual audiences totalling 160,000 and
visits about 40 individual sites. The total cost of licences to the circus
industry in England and Wales in the first year is therefore likely to be
about £120,000. With a total annual audience of 4.8 million, this would
mean that less than three pence would have to be added to each ticket
normally sold to cover these costs.   

In addition, there will be no bureaucratic renewal process under the new
regime and licences will be valid indefinitely, if not revoked or suspended.
In subsequent years, the licence holders will pay only an annual charge to
cover inspection and enforcement activity, which will be lower than the fee
for the grant of a premises licence.   

The way to make progress is for the circus industry to engage with licensing
authorities to seek agreement on some common approaches and best practice.
This includes encouraging local authorities to consider licensing certain
public areas themselves, thus obviating the need for individual applications
for premises licences. The Guidance to licensing authorities encourages
licensing authorities to emphasise in the statements of licensing policy the
aims of providing diverse entertainment and culturally enriching activities,
which would of course include circuses. I should make it clear that the
Guidance cannot be used to amend the Act, as some have suggested, in order
to exempt circuses.

This Department has met circuses representatives, the Arts Council and
Equity on several occasions and signalled our willingness to help the circus
community engage with local authorities and to understand the terms of the
2003 Act. We will continue to work with circuses in order to help them
adapt in the most effective way to licensing reform and are more than happy
to consider any practical measures which are justified within the licensing
objectives.

It has been indicated that circuses have no objection in principle to being
licensed, but do have some issues with the scheme agreed in the 2003 Act.
What we are doing, as we have with other sectors, is finding ways to assist
this important and popular part of our cultural heritage to adjust to the
requirements of the new regime in a way that is as smooth and manageable as
possible.

I hope this reassures you that we are listening to the concerns of the
circus community and that circuses will continue to bring enjoyment to a
great many people in the future.

Yours sincerely



RONNIE BRIDGETT
Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Policy Branch
Tourism Division


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 26 Aug 04 - 07:37 PM

Having just returned from festivals, I find that Hamish has misquoted me. Said that the misquotation was wrong and then produced a whole load of red herrings about musicians instruments being under the control of the act as "facilities" which equate to "premises".

He should have gone back to clause 1 of the Act, which makes it clear that licences are issued for premises and premises supervisors only.

You cannot walk into the local council with a comb and a sheet of tissue paper and take out a premises licence on it. You cannot get a premises supervisors plicence because you have expertise in controlling that comb and paper.

Simply an instrument is not a premise and cannot be licenced.

The only rational reason for the facilities clause is to prevent a loophole for the private functioin excemption where (more realistic than the examples in the guidance) a publican lets you have a room for free but insists that you use and pay through the nose for the in-built PA system.

Hamish is correct in noting that a musician can get into a position where he commits an offence under the act. (He might be a publican of an unlicenced pub). However, he does not commit an offence just by playing, or by writing a set list or by arranging the music. He does it by actions that could equally be performed by a non-musician.

Most importantly in the pub context, the permission for incidental music in unlicensed premises should be highly liberating. In Whitby week take a specific point of the fringe in the Tap and Spile. There is little doubt that the attraction to the Landlord of permitting the sessions on the fringe is the large quantity of liquor consumed by participants rather than any enjoyment he may get form hearing the music. That might not apply to the official singaround at the Plough down the street, where the festival may have paid for the upstairs room, but it must also apply to the informal sessions in the downstairs rooms at the same pub.

RichardP


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 08:44 AM

This is a response to Richard P's message yesterday (26 August) which concerns the question of whether the performance of live music itself is licensable, and the implications of the 'entertainment facilities' provision.

I did not misquote Richard P. His posting of 11 August unambiguously states, under point 2: 'It is not illegal to make music under the Act'. On 13 August, I said, by way of reply, that he was wrong to make this 'sweeping claim'. I went on to point out that the Act does create circumstances where the performance of live music is a potential offence for the performer. This is not the case in every conceivable circumstance, but it is the case for many common performance scenarios. I set those out in my posting of 13 August and there is no need to restate them here.

Richard P is wrong to claim that '… clause 1 of the Act… makes it clear that licences are issued for premises and premises supervisors only.' Clause 1 does no such thing: what it does is list the licensable activities. These include 'the provision of regulated entertainment' (s.1(1)(c)). The entertainment schedule goes on to define this further, and specifically includes both the provision of a performance of live music, and the provision of facilities to enable people to make music for the purpose of being entertained (see Sch.1, paras 2 and 3 for the full definitions/descriptions).

In plain English Richard P is right that an instrument is not a premises – but that doesn't stop the Act rendering the provision of a musical instrument in many ordinary performance scenarios a potential criminal offence.

Richard P's misunderstanding arises to some extent from the term 'premises licence'. How can a licence for a premises also be a licence for an activity? The answer is: a premises licence is, in effect, a dual licence for the premises AND licensable activities. This one reason why DCMS has claimed, misleadingly, that 'the concept of an entertainment licence will entirely disappear'. The term has changed, but the concept remains.

A premises licence 'authorises the premises to be used for one or more licensable activities' (s.11). This means that a premises may be authorised to be used for the sale by retail of alcohol but the licensee may not have obtained authorisation on the premises licence to provide performances of live music. Providing live music could therefore be an offence in such a place. And, crucially, solo performers particularly may be open to prosecution under s.136(1)(a). In this case, his or her actions could not be 'performed by a non-musician', as Richard P claims. In a public venue not licensed for live music, if the performer had organised the gig and promoted it, the only way for that performer to avoid committing an offence would be not to play.

Note also that 'premises' is defined in the Act as 'any place', including 'a vehicle, vessel or moveable structure' (s.193). The licensing lawyers I speak to agree that, under the Act, buskers should therefore first check with their local authority whether the street, square or park in which they wish to busk is covered by a premises licence.

Licensing lawyers have also questioned the need for the 'entertainment facilities' provision. This was the case when it first appeared in the draft Licensing Bill. The paragraph was not inserted late in the day to close a loophole – it has been there from the start.

Unfortunately, the implications for sessions still stand (as explained in my 13 August posting).

I would urge Richard P to read the Act more closely, and to consult some good licensing lawyers, before leaping to any more conclusions.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 11:19 AM

Hamish

Repeating your misquotation does not make it true. What I said was "the musician as such does not commit an offence under the Act". It is certainly possible for a musician or anyone else to commit an offence by doing something beyond playing music.

It would be easy to be sucked into a series of postings along recent lines and just generate more confusion - so I will forego the temptation.

However one aspect of your last posting could be seriously misleading. The act is much clearer about the offences that can be committed by organising unlicensed performances than even you suggest it is about the offences resulting form performing so you are holding uot a flase hope to a performer in suggesting that he can organise and promote a gig and then protect himself by not playing.

In your recent postings you have not addressed the impact of the exemption for "incidental music" which is explicitly defined not to be regulated entertainment (Schedule 1 Para 7). Incidental music is defined as music incidental to any activity other than one which is itself entertainment or the provision of entertainment facilites. On this basis music incidental to drinking in a pub (which is a nearly ideal description of most sessions) is incidental music and hence is not regulated entertainment. I recognise that there may be some sessions at festivals which would not be covered by this exemption but where do you see the boundary which has to be crossed for the music to cease to be incidental and to become regulated entertainment?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,Hamish Birchall
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 02:13 PM

Richard, I did not misquote you. You made a sweeping statement that is not true.

In certain fairly common gig situations, performance itself can leave musicians open to a potential prosecution. The solo performer who knowingly organises and performs his/her own gigs in a pub that is not authorised for the provision of live music could be open to prosecution. But if there is no performance at all, what offence has been committed? There would be no provision of a regulated entertainment. Are you saying that such musicians could be prosecuted for not performing?

I discussed the incidental exemption in depth in my posting of 13 August. Briefly, I argued that the exemption could be of limited benefit because it is disapplied if 'entertainment facilities' are also provided. This is based on careful analysis of the entertainment facilities provision, and the way it works with the rest of Schedule 1.

If you doubt my analysis why don't you discuss it with expert licensing lawyers?

To spare Mudcatters from tedious sparring, I am happy to continue this debate if you wish to write directly to me at drum.pro@virgin.net


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Aug 04 - 05:16 PM

The law may have changed but the situation has not. If licensing officers continue to see licensing legislation firstly as a means to prevent live music - there is more than enough ammunition in the act - in the guidance and in their local licensing policy - for them to do so.

The evidence I have seen from various examples of local licensing policies does not look very hopeful that their attitudes have changed.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 04:57 AM

Shambles,

Is it possible to post links to any of the examples of licencing policies that you have seen? We could all learn about appropriate comments from examples of good and bad.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 05:46 AM

We do not have much time, so I think we should safely assume that if we leave there entire drafting of policy up to the same officers - all local licensing policy for the new Act, will be bad.......

The following sample is from my Council's website, where the full draft policy can be seen: [ although the site does appear to working, this weekend]
WPBC :

Given this following emphasis placed on the website now, it would seem that as far as our licencing officers are concerned - nothing much has changed. If they continue to see licensing as a way to prevent live music - there is little hope.

Regulated entertainment is any of the following in the presence of an audience:
? performances of plays and film shows
? exhibitions of indoor sporting events, boxing and wrestling
? performing live, or playing recorded music
? dancing performances
? performances of anything similar to music and dancing
Regulated entertainment is entertainment for:
? members of the public, or a section of the public
? members of a club exclusively, and their guests
? for money and with a view to profit, which could include charitable
fundraising

Exemptions are given where entertainment is provided, or facilities for entertainment are provided:
? as part of a religious service or meeting
? as a film shown as part of a museum exhibition
? as TV or radio, seen or heard simultaneous to its broadcast
and, on premises consisting of or forming part of a vehicle which is not permanently or temporarily parked.
It is likely that church buildings, community centres and village halls will be exempt from having to pay fees. Church buildings and educational establishments may be exempted from licensing requirements altogether.


Why is there no mention in this list of the new exemptions - like Morris or incidental live and recorded music? Could it be that these officers do not want to bring attention to the fact that it may not be necessary for many premises to apply for entertainment permission or even a Premises Licence at all?

Or is it that they are they still determined to ensure all premises with any form of music , will need to apply, mainly for these officer's convienience?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 05:51 AM

This posted by Terry Redmond on uk.music.folk. See also his site:

www.does4you.co.uk

"Your two e-mails regarding customers making their own music have been referred to me. I quite agree that it is a confused area, spontaneity would seem to be clear, but beyond that it is a grey area. I think that all I can say at the moment is that each case will be treated on its merits."

This was the reply I got from my Environmental Health Officer (the
Local Authority department responsible for licensing under the 2003
Licensing Act) when I asked which events, if any, would be exempt from
Licensing regulations.

When the same department is to make the rules AND enforce them the
least one could expect is that the Department would understand the
rules well enough to answer questions. Otherwise Herr Jobsworth is
going to have a field day every time they come across a music session
they don't like.

Time to ask YOUR local authority if they can explain which sessions
are exempt from licensing?

And what IS a 'spontaneous' session?
If you take an instrument are you 'going equipped'?

Terry


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 06:04 AM

Again from Terry Redmond - in reference to the officer's reply given in the preceeding post. This is what they were replying to.

Hi all Good luck with the respective Licensing Departments under which you suffer....
For information I've copied part of an exchange between Wandsworth Licensing Department and myself. Watch out for this, it's a 'wait and see' strategy that could prevent any discussion until it's too late.

At present, a solo musician (or a duo) would be allowed with the Licensees permission to play without needing a Public Entertainment License. As Kim Howells (when taking the Licensing Bill through Commitee stage on behalf of the Government) publicly stated that he had 'no intention of making something licensable that was not already so' can you catagorically state that the 'two in a bar' rule will continue to apply in the Brighter Borough?

Or are you actually saying that Wandswoth Councils Licensing Policy will be to wait and see if anyone plays music in premises that would require a license for other activities - such as the sale of Alcohol -and only then decide if a 'crime' has been committed?

Isn't that bordering dangerously on entrapment, as on the one hand you are saying it MAY be legal and on the other you say it MAY NOT be legal - what does it depend on exactly?

I'm not sure about the validity of your answer to the spontaneity part - if someone takes an instrument into a public house the presumption must be that it was taken with the intent to use the instrument.
(Oh look, I've got my Cello with me. Fancy me not noticing. Yeah, right! )

If on the other hand the licensed premises supply the instrument (a piano would be a good example, something that used to be a feature in a lot of pubs until the seventies craze for piano smashing contests) a breach of the Licensing Act would definitely have occurred So before anyone inadvertently - OR deliberately - commits the dreadful
crime of playing a musical instrument in Wandsworth, under what
circumstances would it be legal to do so without the Licensee having made formal application for the musician to be allowed to play?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 06:13 AM

Again from Terry Redmond.

Check the Westminster Council links (D.C.M.S. Guidance Notes? "Not worth the paper they are printed on!" http://www.westminster.gov.uk/news/Licensing-guidance-not-worth-the-paper-it-is-written-on.cfm) and remember that Local Authorities must have completed any consultation process by November 2004.

Loads of variation in the few Draft Licensing Policies I've read so far - Westminster doesn't appear to have one, Norwich has nothing about occasional permissions, Wandsworth has extended the 72 hours to 96 hours, etc. Some want general consultation, some don't - it's bedlam.
Best of luck.
Terry


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Aug 04 - 06:23 AM

The link I gave does not seem to work - I think this one should.

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


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Aug 04 - 03:37 AM

Richard P, what does your local licensing policy look like?

How about everyone else? Do you know how your officers will view the new exemptions like those for incidental live and recorded music etc - or will they prevent Morris if one of the musicians has an amplified instrument? The list of questions is pretty endless - the answers to them remain more than a little unclear.

I agree that it would certainly be helpful for us to pool these experiences here and for us all to get involved in the local public consultation processes, and quickly.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 07:10 PM

The public has until September 24 to respond to the draft policy statement that sets out what is expected from licence-holders.

How are you getting on with your local authority's draft Licensing Policy?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 12 Sep 04 - 08:00 PM

Here's a link to the Harlow Council Draft Statement of Licensing Policy
Made under Section 5 of the Licensing Act 2003
(you have to scroll down the page and click to open up the actual text)- and there's a deadline of October 4th to put in comments and suggestions, which I plan to do.

I strongly suspect that these draft policies will be very similar in a lot of places. It'd make sense for people to put in a similar set of suggestions to match.

So if anybody would like to have a look at this policy draft, and come up with some suggestions, it might be useful for other people as well. (I'll be getting round to doing that anyway, if need be, but I don't want to go reinventing the wheel)


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 09:25 AM

It would be a good idea for everyone to try and ensure that their policy contains something like the suggestion from Hamish Birchall - that I have posted earlier in this thread.

Or something shorter - like the following:

Simply demonstrating that a borderline activity is – or may possibly be a Regulated Entertainment – is not sufficient grounds alone, under the four specific objectives of the Licensing Act 2003, for the Licensing Authority to automatically inhibit or prevent the activity from taking place without the required licensing permission.

But as we will not be able to cover and predict every possible problem at this point - inserting something like the following will ensure that you will be able to approach your Licensing Committee directly for a policy decision at any point in the future.

If the Licensing Authority receives any representation on any aspect of local Licensing Policy and especially its effect on regulated entertainment, the appropriate officer will ensure that this will be presented to the Licensing Committee to enable them to make a decision on the representation.

If you do not manage to get them to include anything else at this point, inserting something like this will at least ensure that you will have access and may be able to do this later. For the danger is that the officers can go through all the motions but simply ignore every suggestion and concern made to them now - and still claim to have consulted..............


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 10:13 AM

A quick comment on Harlow's Draft.

They refer to Licensed Premises and of course your non-alcoholic coffee bars etc, requiring entertainment permission in a Premises Licence - will be correctly referred to from now on as Licensed Premises. There is a danger that if Harlow does get a sudden increase in music providing coffee bars - these non-alcoholic Licensed Premises will be included in any total count of Licensed Premises.

The Licensing Authority will recognise that the prevention, inhibition or placing of conditions for concerns based - for example on alcohol – will not prevent permission being sought or given for Regulated Entertainment or inhibit or prevent such activities that are exempt. For example – non-alcoholic premises requiring permission to provide Regulated Entertainment in a Premises Licence – will be known and correctly referred to as Licensed Premises but will not be presenting the concerns that have come to be automatically linked to this term.   

I couldn't find the Enforcement Policy they referred to.......


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 02:16 PM

It is interesting what (if any) exemptions are mentioned. This is Bath.

http://212.158.27.91/BathNES/environment/Licensing/LicensingAct2003.htm

What are some of the key exemptions in the Act?
 Live music at small premises (Section 177) – Where there is musical entertainment at premises which have a permitted capacity of not more than 200 persons and are used primarily for the supply of alcohol for consumption on the premises, only licence conditions relating to either crime and disorder or public safety apply to that musical entertainment i.e. those relating to protection of children from harm or public nuisance do not apply to the musical entertainment. However, if there is a review of the licence then the exempted conditions can be applied. Where there is a performance of live music between 8am and midnight (and no other form of regulated entertainment) at such premises then no licence conditions can apply with regard to the musical entertainment unless there is a review of the licence.
 Place of Worship (Schedule 1, Part 2 Exemptions) – Premises such as churches do not require a premises licence for activities which would otherwise be classified as 'regulated entertainment' taking place at the church.
 Garden Fetes, etc. (Schedule 1, Part 2 Exemptions) – Entertainment provided at a garden fete, or similar event, is not 'regulated entertainment' and thus requires no licence.


I have seen no specific reference at all to Entertainment facilities.

5.18 of the Guidance states: It will ultimately be for the courts to decide whether music is "incidental" in the individual circumstances of any case and concludes: But there are likely to be some circumstances which occupy a greyer area. In cases of doubt, operators should seek the advice of the licensing authority, particularly with regard to their policy on enforcement.

It is quite obvious that no one wants to touch this with a barge-pole and local authorities will want to hang-on to the courts 'ultimately deciding' but we should not let them off the hook. The guidance says to ask them and refer to their policy. It is this that will later be challenged or accepted in the courts.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 05:36 AM

I am a little confused: I am getting the impression that there is the Licensing Policy that is subject to this public consultation and other policies etc it would appear, that are not?

The reference in 5.18 of the DCMS guidance is to 'their [The licensing Authority] policy on enforcement. < Is this different to the Licensing Policy?

My local policy 4. Rules of Procedure 4.1 states The Council has published separate guidance on the procedure to be followed by applicants and *objectors". These are called the 'Rules of Procedure' and should be read in conjuction with this Statement of Licensing Policy. [not supplied] *[It uses this term even though under TEMININOLOGY- it states that the Act does not use the term "objections"]

And 3. Consultation 3.4 An internal consultation protocol has been approved by the Council to achieve consistency in its handling of representations from Council officers in relation to both the Statement of Licensing Policy and application under the Act. This protocol can be viewed by any person upon request.

Not too sure if these references are to the same thing or two different 'policies' but these do not seem to be open to public consultation??

A quick look at Harlow's Draft - contained a reference to an 'enforcement policy' - and the site linked to this - but I could not find it!


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Lady Nancy
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 04:02 PM

Ced2 has posted some information tonight relating to our own local council/consultation meetings. I can't do blue clicky thingies, but it is dated today (15/09/05)..... Perhaps the information here and his information need to be connected.....? Cheers! LN


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 08:59 PM

A link to the thread mentioned.

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=73409&messages=2


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,RichardP
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:03 AM

Long ago Shambles asked what my local authority draft policy said. It was not published at that time and I have only just got round to dealing with it. It is good in one respect. It says "Through this Licensing Policy we aim for ...the further development within communities of live music, dancing and theatre, both in rural areas and in our towns." Totally commendable. However there is no further mention of regulated (or exempt) entertainment anywhere in the document.

I am submitting suggested additions on the lines developed in the early long thread.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: GUEST,RichardP
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 07:55 AM

Everyone should be aware that the DCMS has published the draft regulations and transitional arrangements for rapid consultation. They lay down how the transition from exisiting to new licencing is to be handled in the sixth months between February and September when applications for replacement licences are submitted. The major omission is the table of FEEs. The consultation document is accessed through the "blue clicky" link.

The question that lots of people will be whether it is a simple matter of ticking the box to get entertainment cover. Yes and No. Firstly you have to tick one of 14 boxes to establish your right to apply. There are then 14 tick boxes to identify what is already licensed and a further 13 to identify what is to be added or altered. In each case the box has to be accompanied by a schedule of when the activity is to be permitted on each day of the week plus a number of text boxes to cover seasonal or other variations etc. However it is just a matter of ticking and writing in boxes. The best news is that in those lists, music comes first and the sale of alcohol comes last. So everyone will at least have to look at music before they come to the tick that every pub needs. Take pleasure in small mercies.

Good luck wading though it.

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:03 AM

Here's the "comment or representation" I wrote and dropped in to our town hall, in time for the deadline for responding to the Harlow Council's "Draft Statement of Licensing Policy", which I linked to earlier:

Comment on Harlow Council's "Statement of Licensing Policy"

1.0 First some background. In common with a fair number of other people around the country and locally, I enjoy taking part in informal folk music sessions in pubs – these are not formal folk clubs, but take place in bars, where friends will meet and make music and sing a few songs, with no kind of payment involved, and with the bar being open for business as usual.

1.1 Under the present law, before the new Act, these have had a grey status legally – in some localities they have been accepted as a normal social activity, no different essentially from a game of darts. However in other cases they have been seen as entertainment requiring a PEL, since more than two musicians are involved and on occasion long-standing music sessions had to closed down.(For example in the Welsh Harp in Waltham Abbey a couple of years ago). The two in a bar exemption has sometimes been used as a way of fudging the issue, but in many cases publicans have been reluctant to permit informal sessions, for fear of possibly trespassing against an unclear law.

1.2 In common with a lot of people involved in folk music – and other type of informal music making – I was very worried about some aspects of the new Act, especially the complete removal of the two-in-a-bar exemption for licensed premises.

1.3 However there have been a number of firm Government promises that under the Act the kind of informal sessions which I have mentioned will not be threatened, and will in fact be welcomed, and that one intended impact of the Act will be to make this country a place where it will be easier for live music to happen.

1.4 In the words contained in one Government press release "Un-amplified live music in small venues to be treated exceptionally to ensure traditional and amateur folk music thrives."

1.5 This would be in line with a pledge made by Kim Howells in a BBC broadcast on 17th July 2002 to the effect that when it comes to "sessions and singarounds, people just playing for their own fun" there would definitely be no requirement for any kind of licence – referring to such activities he said "There shouldn't be a problem. As long as money isn't changing hands, then there's no reason why they should have to have a licence."

1.6 In the actual Act this appears to have been carried into effect by the exemption given to "incidental music", which is specifically excluded from being treated as entertainment that requires regulation

1.7 It seems to me that the Harlow policy statement would be improved if there was some specific recognition of this. This would serve to reassure proprietors of pubs, coffee-bars or other places where people meet informally that they do not need to be worried about allowing their customers to sing rather than talk, or to play musical instruments rather than, for example throw darts at a dart board.

1.8 I suggest an addition to the Harlow policy statement recognising that where customers in such places as public houses or coffee bars wish to socialise through making music or singing, this is not in itself "regulated entertainment" any more than where they prefer to talk to each other, or watch a football match on the TV.

2.0 I also believe that the council in producing this draft statement could register its determination to ensure other types of small venue live music, such as folk clubs, are encouraged and protected.

2.1 I think this could be achieved, and the document improved by the insertion of a section along the lines recommended by the Musicians Union (contained in paragraphs 2.2-2.4 below) :

2.2 "Live music, dance, theatre etc: This authority recognises its duties under Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to take progressive measures to ensure that everyone can participate in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts. Artistic freedom of expression is a fundamental right, and this authority is bound by s.3 of the Human Rights Act 1998 to read and give effect to all legislation, including licensing legislation, so far as possible compatibly with the right to freedom of expression.

2.3 "This authority will take all this into account when considering the licensing of live music, dance and theatre. Where the Licensing Act 2003 is open to interpretation which may be more or less restrictive for these activities, the authority will fully explain the reasons for its interpretation of the Act. In such cases, and particularly where licence conditions are proposed, the authority will set out in detail where, how and why it believes subsisting safety, noise, crime or disorder legislation, is inadequate such that licensing is, or licence conditions are, not only necessary, but a reasonable and proportionate means to address the risks arising from the entertainment.

2.4 "The authority, in accordance with the Licensing Guidance document, will also monitor the impact on regulated entertainment, in particular live music and dancing, of the licensing provisions. Where it is found that such entertainment is being deterred, it will review its policy with a view to reversing that trend."

Whether they take on board any of this, I've no idea, though I don't expect much. Might have more chance when it comes to the appendices still to come: "There will be a number of appendices, but these cannot be produced until the final regulations have been issued by the Department for Culture Media and Sport. The appendices will provide additional guidance on the licensing process, but will not affect the detail of the policy nor prevent consultation from taking place."


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:17 PM

The Mind Still Boggles !!


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:20 PM

So Now I get silly !


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Leadfingers
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 09:21 PM

And Nick Post 100 - just for the hell of it 1


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 04 Oct 04 - 09:58 AM

oi! all 100th posts are mine! Hands off!


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 12:13 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

Next Wednesday, 13 October, the government will be asked by Lord Redesdale in the House of Lords to explain "...on what basis they have concluded that the United Kingdom has a flourishing music scene given a recent survey indicating that a majority of restaurants, hotels and public houses had had no live music in the previous twelve months."

On 25 August, licensing minister Richard Caborn had announced: "From the Beatles to Blur we have a live music heritage to be proud of. This survey shows that heritage is alive and well with a flourishing music scene - an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the past year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business isn't putting on live music."

But this is about as credible as the government's claim, prior to the invasion of Iraq, that Saddam Hussein could deploy WMD within 45 minutes.

In fact the MORI survey to which Caborn referred found that the majority of such venues had no live music at all in the previous 12 months. The actual percentages for no live music were: 56% of pubs/inns, 58% of 'small clubs', 61% of hotels and 72% of restaurants/cafes. And, of nearly 1,600 venues surveyed, only 19% had put on live music two or more times a month.

But even the rather dismal 19% having two or more live gigs a month is probably much too high if you focus on bars, clubs and restaurants. The 19% statistic incorporates data for all venues, which include the categories where a majority had some live music in the previous year, i.e. Student Unions (91%), Clubs and Associations (70%), and Church Halls/Community Centres (68%). These venues raise the overall percentage of live performance. However, many gigs in these venues are likely to have been private and therefore inaccessible to the general public. The MORI data so far provided by DCMS does not identify private gigs (although it is safe to assume that most gigs in private members clubs were private), nor how many were 'two in a bar'


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 12:29 PM

Maidstone UK is advertising for a senior licensing officer "who will be responsible for day to day operational, administration and enforcement of all matters related to Licensing." (See http://www.digitalmaidstone.co.uk)

That's it! We should all become Licencing officers. End of problem!


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Willa
Date: 08 Oct 04 - 04:44 PM

E Riding of Yorkshire Council has prepared a Draft statement of Licensing Policy 'which details how the council will deal with applications for premises, temporary events and personal licences, and is designed to facilitate the better regulation of licensable activities covered by the Act within the Council's area', and is now consulting with interested parties until Oct 22nd.
The process includes a questionnaire (available on-line)for members of the public.

The site is here
http://www.eastriding.gov.uk/in_focus/if_licensing.html

pp 12and 14 are relevant, I think.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 01:46 PM

This posted on uk.music.folk by Terry Redmond.

In the House of Lords, government whip Lord Evans of Temple Guiting, stuck
to the word 'flourishing' to describe the live music scene.

Read the full exchange in Hansard:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld199900/ldhansrd/pdvn/lds04/text/41013-01.htm#41013-01_star0

The DCMS/MORI live music survey states that its main objective was to:
'identify the reasons why establishments do or do not stage live music and
the extent to which licensing arrangements are a significant factor in this
decision making process'. [p1]

However, DCMS itself now seems to be back-tracking. It would seem that the
number of performers, and/or whether events are private, are no longer
relevant when evaluating whether live music flourishes. In an email to me
yesterday, a senior DCMS civil servant wrote:

"Whether private or 2 in a bar, we expect that both will have been counted
by the venue operator as contributing to the overall estimate of live music
they have staged over the past 12 months and over the past 3 months. If the
new licensing arrangements result in a substantial number of venue operators
suddenly cancelling their arrangement with the local folkies, then this will
show in the follow up survey as a drop in the number of live events they are
putting on, i.e. we will have a measure of impact. This, along with the
information collected on motivations to stage or not to stage events, will
give us a pretty comprehensive picture. This was a survey of the opportunity
to stage live music; the distinction between public and private
functions is not strictly relevant in our view. "


That explains how licensing minister Richard Caborn, and Lord Evans of
Guiting, can confidently claim that live music is flourishing.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 05:33 AM

'My view is that there will be an explosion of live music as a result of removing the discriminatory two-in-a-bar provision.'
Government minister Lord Andrew McIntosh, House of Lords, 26 November 2002

"Additionally, those who 'know a great deal' or 'fair amount' about the Act are significantly more likely to say that they won't consider putting on live music in the future, compared to those who 'know nothing' about the Act (70%, compared with 58% who know nothing at all about the Act)." DCMS/MORI live music survey, p21, 'Consider Having Live Music', October 2004

See also responses to survey question QN9 which outlined 'key changes affecting the staging of live music' (including abolition of the two in a bar rule) and asked whether, taking these changes into account, respondents will consider having live music. A majority respond negatively, a depressing 35% say they will be 'certain not to'.

Link to the full survey (1.7Mb PDF file):
http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/eoyguhlqp32dcg5wipmdpvj2d3pd5uzspswj3owg4njd226ttubku7nn6mkw7ly3ug5pnpjc2pemwg55dmvpvx2xmxd/livemusicsurvey.pdf

The MORI survey found that the majority of bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels had no live music. However, of the minority that had regular live music, jazz does not score badly.

Overall, jazz accounted for 20% of the live music provided by venues in the 12 months prior to the survey. Interestingly this is only 6% below 'Disco' and only 8% below 'Rock'. Jazz is ahead of country music (which scores 14%), and ahead of 'Swing/R&B' (10%), 'Brass band' (10%), and 'Folk' (10%). 'Pop', at 49%, is the only category with a really big lead. [See QY3].

'Disco' is a strange category. It would seem to refer to live bands playing this type of music. However it is possible that licensees were confused by the definition of live music: '... By live music we mean music performed in public by at least one person in real time, that is, not pre-recorded' [Q1]. Does that mean if you add one 'live' performer, even with pre-recorded music, it counts as live music? Could DJs therefore count as live performers? What about Karaoke?

Whatever the reality about 'Disco', the survey also shows live jazz as more popular than rock in hotels and restaurants, and more popular than rock and pop in restaurants.

Type of live music provided in past year:
Hotels: Pop 53%, Jazz 38%, Disco 33%, Rock 28%
Restaurants: Jazz 37%, Pop 27%, Disco 17%, Rock 9%

It is when you look at pubs/bars that pop and rock have a really big lead:

Pubs/bars: Pop 56%, Rock 35%, Disco 21%, Jazz 20%

The total number of pubs (58,000 approx) is about double the total number of restaurants and hotels. So, even where jazz scores highly, there is clearly a lot more work for rock and pop bands in pubs.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Oct 04 - 08:54 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

On 25 August, licensing minister Richard Caborn claimed that the MORI live music survey showed 'an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the past year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business isn't putting on live music'. [DCMS press release]

This now looks shaky. Analysis of the survey data suggests that an estimate of 855,000 would be nearer the mark. So how did licensing minister Richard Caborn get 1.7 million?

By 13 October, the government position had changed. Questioned in the House of Lords, government whip Lord Evans of Temple Guiting said the MORI survey showed that there were '... around 1.7 million live music events in England and Wales in the previous 12 months'.

So, was 1.7 million the estimate for all venues combined, as Lord Evans implies, or just for 'bars, clubs and restaurants', as Caborn claimed?

And what about venues whose main business was putting on live music? The survey itself says that: 'It focused on those venues in which it was thought the new licensing arrangements may have the biggest impact, and whose core business (for the majority of them) is not staging live music.' Does that mean that the survey includes some venues whose core business was staging live music?

Expect more Parliamentary questions.

Hamish Birchall


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Oct 04 - 07:26 AM

Again from Hamish Birchall.

Apparently the Live Music Forum decided in February that 'that DJ's would be classed as live performers because on occasions they are an integral part of a live music set and also the mixing/scratching 'creative' aspect of their music-making was recognised as such.'

MORI told me last week that the survey's definition of live music was informed by their close collaboration with the LMF.

Whatever your view about DJs being classified as live music, these latest revelations go some way to explaining the ambiguous live music definition in the survey.


ENDS

Having just decided for us without any public consultation that Public Entertainment currently includes DJs, under the exsisting law - I wonder when/if the Live Music Forum [or Feargal Sharkey and the Quangos] is also going to decided for us what is 'incidental' live music and what is 'incidental' recorded music under the new Act?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 01:54 AM

Lord Avebury yesterday asked the government how the used the MORI data to calculate the 1.7 million gigs estimate 'in the past year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants', and how they selected venues whose main business was not staging live music (see text below). Analysis of the published MORI data suggests that 855,000 a year would be a more accurate estimate for pubs, small clubs and restaurants.

The government should answer before 23 November, the date of the Queen's speech.

Lord Avebury: 'To ask Her Majesty's Government how they were able to select the venues studies in MORI's Survey of Live Music Staged in England & Wales in 2003-04 which did not have a core business of staging live music in arriving at the conclusion, given in a Department for Culture, Media and Sport press release of 25th August, that "an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the past year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business isn't putting on live music"; and whether they will give details of the calculation.' (HL4624)


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: pavane
Date: 27 Oct 04 - 09:39 AM

OK, so if a future survey shows that there is LESS live music, as everyone expects, do they have any plans to reverse the changes?

No, I thought not.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 02:13 AM

I think it is clear from the use of theses figures that the Government will use any figues to support any claim they wish to make.

You will find that these will be forgotten as soon as every pub in England and Wales has a Premises Licence. For that will mean that they will all be able to provide live music - instead of the current 5% who hold PELs. This will be claimed as a great improvement.....


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 07:54 AM

For that will mean that they will all be able to provide live music

Only if they tick the box for entertainments when they apply for their first license under the new system. What we all need to do is make sure that landlords know about this.

I'm trying to get Greenwich council to actually state that doing this should not cost the publican anything, providing they apply for it at the outset. The only answer I can get out of them at present is that each case must be decided individually.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 09:56 AM

Only if they tick the box for entertainments when they apply for their first license under the new system.

While this is true it will I suspect be a detail that will be lost in practice and any later statistics. The assumption will be made that Premises Licence = permission for Regulated Entertainment and the places that have not applied or not received this permission will be just overlooked in the rush to claim the new Act to be a success.

Even if say 50% do not apply for this permission with their Premises Licence - the Government can still claim the 50% that do, is a take-up figure to be a substantially better one, than the previous 5%.

However, It is comparing apples and oranges as with the 5% take-up figure currently, much (exempt) live music can still take place - that will not be the case under the new Act.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 10:33 AM

With all the fuss that (I presume) we are making, what proportion of licencees is NOT aware of the situation?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 10:41 AM

It is a difficult one to answer, for licensees are as worried by different aspects of the new Act, other than just the concern for live music. However, that was always the case anyway - which is why it is important for those of us whose main concern is for live music, to do our best to ensure that it does thrive, despite the clumsy efforts of our Government.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 05:02 AM

I think that many councils like Greenwich would prefer licensees not to realise that they can get a free entertainments licence, or at least to think that they might have to have expensive structural modifications if they do apply.

I am hoping to get to one of Greenwich council's licensing policy meetings next week to try and get some straight answers, but I'm very doubtful if I will. The council would lose a lot of revenue if everyone gets entertainment free of charge. On the other hand, they would find it very difficult to suddenly decide not to grant the concession to premises which they had previously granted licenses for money.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 06:03 AM

No pubs are going to get entertainment permission free of charge. Village halls etc will get theirs free of charge and churches don't need a Premises Licence.

But the concept is, (for pubs etc) that it will not cost any more to obtain this, on top of what it will cost them to pay for the Premises Licence and the yearly inspection charge (and personal licence).

The bottom line of course is - that we still don't know what the level of these fees will be set at. All the noises from the LAs will indicate that they will not rest until these are set as high as they can be and possibly dictated locally by them (as before).


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: sian, west wales
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 06:45 AM

Licensable venues - pubs, halls, whatever - are actually worried about the 'bottom line'. Whatever the license fee is, there may also be the cost of compliance, some of which can be to conform with requirements beyond the Council, i.e. Fire and Police. Rather than research all this the licensee, particularly the small business, may simply not tick the box.

And I believe it is right to say that Authorities are concentrating on contacting the businesses which generate the most money and often ignoring the community ventures.

Churches may prove to be caught out as well. I understood that they do not require licenses for activities promoting their religious aims. That suggests to me that, if they are used for general concerts (as many are, particularly in rural communities) a license would be required.

I will be sending out a Press Release on behalf of my company (trac) next week reminding communities to read their LA's consultation document and respond. Also, to write to their Licensing Officer, describe specifically with what musical activities they are involved, and ask for written opinions on whether or not they will be considered licensable.

We'll see if it has any effect ...

sian


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 07:27 AM

Roger, is your point that because LAs will be getting license fees from every pub, they therefore won't miss the fact that they're not getting the PEL fees from only a few? The only problem with this is that currently PELs are charged on an annual basis, while the new License is a one-off charge for the life of the business. I'm still not sure exactly what defines "the life of the business", but presumably a large number of pubs expect to stay in business for a considerable length of time. Most of the pubs which have closed in my area, have become offices, private homes, or other concerns which would not need a license. Anyway unless many new licensable businesses (restaurants etc) are being created in the future, the license fee seems like more of a one-off than a renewable income.

BTW - will there be a fixed national rate for the new license or will each LA be able to determine their own ? - and when will the cost be known ?

As far as a landlord is concerned if the cost of the new license (which he has to pay to stay in business) remains the same irrespective of whether he ticks the entertainments box, then from his point of view the provision is free.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 10:56 AM

Churches may prove to be caught out as well. I understood that they do not require licenses for activities promoting their religious aims. That suggests to me that, if they are used for general concerts (as many are, particularly in rural communities) a license would be required.

That is more the case now, but under the new Act, is clear that commercial concerts in places of public worship do not require a Premises Licence at all.

Roger, is your point that because LAs will be getting license fees from every pub, they therefore won't miss the fact that they're not getting the PEL fees from only a few?

No the LAs will miss the fees a lot. My point is that as far as the government are concerned, the distinction between places with Premises Licenses and entertainment permission and those without - is one that will be lost.

The only problem with this is that currently PELs are charged on an annual basis, while the new License is a one-off charge for the life of the business. I'm still not sure exactly what defines "the life of the business", but presumably a large number of pubs expect to stay in business for a considerable length of time.
The annual inspection charge is the one that most resembles the old PEL. perhaps when the fee level is eventually set - it may resemble the old PEL even more?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 10:59 AM

Churches may prove to be caught out as well. I understood that they do not require licenses for activities promoting their religious aims. That suggests to me that, if they are used for general concerts (as many are, particularly in rural communities) a license would be required.

That is more the case now, but under the new Act, is clear that commercial concerts in places of public worship do not require a Premises Licence at all.

Roger, is your point that because LAs will be getting license fees from every pub, they therefore won't miss the fact that they're not getting the PEL fees from only a few?

No the LAs will miss the fees a lot. My point is that as far as the government are concerned, the distinction between places with Premises Licenses and entertainment permission and those without - is one that will be lost.

The only problem with this is that currently PELs are charged on an annual basis, while the new License is a one-off charge for the life of the business. I'm still not sure exactly what defines "the life of the business", but presumably a large number of pubs expect to stay in business for a considerable length of time.

The annual inspection charge is the one that most resembles the old PEL. perhaps when the fee level is eventually set - it may resemble the old PEL even more?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 11:18 AM

Will the annual inspection chrge still apply if the entertainments option is not applied for ? I thought that a statement was made that opting for entertainment should not include any hidden costs.

The problem which I foresee is that if these costs are set at too high a rate, many smaller independent pubs will close down and pub chains will also be inclined to sell some of their less profitable smaller pubs. These are usually the very pubs which provide venues to folk activities. We'll end up with mainly the Wetherspoons, Ember Inns, Beafeaters, etc and lose the little corner pubs. In the same way that the government appears to be in Mr Murdock's pocket, LAs will probably be exchanging favours with the big chains and of course developers and property companies waiting to grab some premises with character. If many of those small pubs with character are forced toclose, we will have have lost as much of a part of english tradition as the folk scene itself.

It seems disgusting to me that at this point in time pubs have absolutely no idea of the fee levels that they will be required to fork out in only about 4 months time.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Oct 04 - 01:25 PM

The annual inspection charge is due every year where a Premises Licence is in place. Whether entertainment permission is obtained or not, will make no difference to this.

It will go some way to replace the revenue from the current low-level magistrates alchol licence and the annual PEL (where these are in place). And as it comes from all places with Premises Licenses -instead of just the current 5% with PELs - even though the individual fee may be lower, this will be a lot of money comming in every year.

In most areas where the current PEL fees are set low - the figues proposed for the annual inspection charge should roughly work out the same. It is areas where the current fees are set too high - that may see a shortfall in their current revenue........


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Nov 04 - 09:49 AM

From Hamish Birchall

Last week the government replied to Lord Avebury's questions about the live music survey. The government's answer (see below) shows that key DCMS claims made on 25 August were wrong:

the 1.7 million gig estimate was for nearly the whole survey, not just 'bars, clubs and restaurants'.

It is also likely that, contrary to Richard Caborn's statement, venues whose main business was staging live music were included.

Their gig averages would not only distort the overall picture, but since they are already operating under entertainment licences, the new Licensing Act is unlikely to have much impact.

Using the calculation method outlined in the government's answer gives the following gig estimates for the 12 months leading up to the survey
(NB: for pubs in particular gig estimates may include karaoke and DJs as 'live music'; many, if not most, Student Union and club gigs are private):

Pubs/Inns: an estimated 25,520 stage an average of 26 gigs/year = 663,520 gigs
Hotels: 8,580 x 26 = 223,080
Restaurants/cafes: 6,980 x 19 = 132,620
Small clubs: 2,436 x 24 = 58,464
Church halls etc: 12,240 x 20 = 244,800
Clubs & Assocs: 15,400 x 31 = 477,400
Student Unions: 407 x 32 = 13,024

This gives an estimated total of 1,812,908 gigs in the past year for all seven venue categories combined. If you then break this down just for pubs/inns, small clubs and restaurants, this gives 854,604 gigs - way below Caborn's estimate of 1.7 million.

But perhaps Caborn had thrown in 'Clubs and Associations' as well. In that case the total estimate rises to 1,332,004 - still well below 1.7 million.

Government answer to Lord Avebury's question:
Live Music
Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:
'How they were able to select the venues studied in MORI's survey of live music staged in England and Wales in 2003–04 which did not have a core business of staging live music in arriving at the conclusion, given in a Department of Culture, Media and Sport press release of 25 August, that "an estimated 1.7 million gigs were staged in the past year alone in bars, clubs and restaurants whose main business isn't putting on live music"; and whether they will give details of the calculation.' [HL4624]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey:
The venues included in the sample were randomly selected by MORI, using the Yellow Pages database (yell.com).
The venue types from which the sample was drawn were provided by DCMS.
These reflected the range of venues where music can be staged, but where the public also go for reasons other than live music.
Some public houses may, for example, stage live music on a very regular basis, but they do not exist purely to stage live events. Other forms of entertainment are an option, and the venues could exist with no live music at all.

The other factor involved in selecting the range of venues to be included was the likelihood of there being any impact on live music provision resulting from the new licensing arrangements.

The venue types included in the sample were also those on which the department and, through advice from the Live Music Forum, the industry more generally felt that the new licensing arrangments might, if anywhere, have an impact.

The estimated figure of 1.7 million live music events in England and Wales in the previous 12 months, was calculated through first establishing the average number of live music events which venues had staged in the previous year, and multiplying this figure by the estimated number of venues which exist of the types included in the survey.


Ends

I can't help thinking that if there is anyone on the Live Music Forum who wishes to retain any credibilty - (like perhaps its chairman) - they should resign now. For every time the DCMS wish to try and make anything look respectable - they quote this quango as having provided advice. The advice may have been provided by them - and completely ignored. Or even if given, this advice could have been the complete opposite of what the government eventually comes out with.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 09 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM

The DCMS has now published its intended fees, which are subject to consultation up to December 23rd. There are five fee bands based on Non-Domestic Rateable Value of £0-4300, £4301-£33000, £33001-87000, £87001-£125000 and over £125000. The initial fees for these are - £80, £150, £250, £350 and £500 respectively. The annual charge for maintaining the licences are £40, £125, £175, £200 and £225 respectively.

For those who have been questioning whether the fees will indeed be set so that there is no difference in fee as a result of the inclusion of entertainment - this draft should lay there minds at rest. There is an indication that (although a few individual local authorities may still press for the principle to be changed) the local authority associations have accepted the single fee level concept.

The lowest fee levels are somewhat higher than ministers have spoken of in the past, but very much smaller than the worst speculations of rumour-mongers. It is also noteworthy that although the top and bottom annual renewal fees are in line with previous indications that continuation without change would be half the new licence fee. The other three bands are significantly more than 50% and in the case of the relatively common band 2 they are over 80%.

Whilst it is relatively easy to ascertain the suggested fees for a particular set of premises, since the NDRV is a published figure, the general impact needs an overall knowledge of how NDRVs are distributed for relevant types of premises.

There is a stated expectation that the currently notoriously expensive local authorities (notably in central London) will have to make do with the fact that the typical rateable value in their areas is much higher than the rest of the country so they will have more high fee incomes.

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 11:30 AM

Details on the DCMS website (shortened link follows).

http://tinyurl.com/45qwn


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 12:05 PM

For those who have been questioning whether the fees will indeed be set so that there is no difference in fee as a result of the inclusion of entertainment - this draft should lay there minds at rest.

The fact that news is possibly not as bad as some may have feared - does not make it good news - no matter how cheerfully Richard tries to present it. The DCMS are pretty good at doing their own spin - pehaps we can leave this to them?

The fact that it may not cost more in fees to provide entaintainment is not much consolation to the current 95% of licensed premises that do not currently pay to provide any and will have to pay considerably more than at present - to just provide alcohol. Paying for any musicians to perform on top of this, will be extra cost again.

Although the proposed fees may be lower than present PELs in some areas, the fact that a coffee bar or cafe not providing alcohol will have to apply and pay for a Premises Licence - just to enable them to have a piano player - is hardly going to encourage live music in these premises.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 10 Nov 04 - 02:31 PM

From the DCMS website....."We estimate this new system will free up around £80 million over the first three years of full operation, for local authorities and the police to spend on better intelligence-lead enforcement to target rogue premises - benefiting the whole community".

When it means "free up" it means raise extra revenue of course. Now the local authority can only raise money to cover the cost of licensing so where is this money coming from? And how will the extra cash be divided up between the local authority and the police? I will believe it when I see it.

And what will a rogue premise be? Can't be one that serves after time for example - there will be no such thing. Could it be ones that have entertainment when they have no license?

And what has happened with this flat rate of course is that the larger multi-nationals who probably contribute to the Labour Party and have the ear of the government will pay a lot less whilst the local small folk friendly pub will pay a lot more.

Nice one Tony.

Dave Eyre


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 02:07 AM

Will not all pubs be in the highest rateable bands?

May as well show the whole thing - in their own words.

145/04
4 November 2004

Proposed New Licence Fees Announced

The proposed fees for licences, certificates and notices under the new Licensing Act have been published for consultation and everyone is invited to take part, Licensing Minister Richard Caborn, announced today.

They include:
£80 - £500 one-off payment for a licence under the new system;
£40 - £225 annual fee;
£37 for a personal licence; and
£21 for a temporary event notice.
The fees will recover all the licensing authorities' costs of administrating, inspecting and enforcing the new regime. They will not cover health and safety and environmental health functions, which are unrelated to licensing and which are funded separately. The income from the fees may not be used to finance other local authority activity relating to the night time economy generally.

Venues which serve alcohol and choose to put on live music will not have to pay anything on top of the basic licence fee. Under the current system, for example, licencees pay £30 every three years to magistrates for a basic licence to serve alcohol until 11pm. If they want to put on live bands they must obtain a separate licence for an additional cost. Similarly a bar, pub or restaurant that wishes to serve alcohol after 11pm must pay extra.

For the first time fees will be set centrally, removing the inconsistencies that currently exist. This will create a fair and level playing field across all licensed premises in England and Wales.

top

Licensing Minister, Richard Caborn, said:

"This is the first major overhaul of licensing in 40 years and it's long overdue. For years alcohol licence fees have not been reflecting the true costs and taxpayers have effectively been subsidising the licensed trade. This will not be the case under the new system.

"We estimate this new system will free up around £80 million over the first three years of full operation, for local authorities and the police to spend on better intelligence-lead enforcement to target rogue premises - benefiting the whole community.

"The new licensing regime will be easier and more efficient as six licences will become one. All decisions will be taken by licensing authorities who are democratically accountable.

"Once the new system has bedded in there will be an independent review and we will adjust the fees if necessary."

Once the seven-week consultation is completed, the Government will carefully consider the responses, and make any necessary amendments to the draft regulations and order.

Notes to Editors

1. A full copy of the consultation is available on the DCMS website.

2. Responses can be e-mailed to feesconsultation@culture.gsi.gov.uk or sent to: The Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Branch, Tourism Division, 3rd Floor, DCMS, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH.

3. The seven week consultation closes on 21 December.   

4. Currently a venue does not need an additional licence if a live band comprises of two or less people. This 'two in a bar' will be abolished and every live act will need to be licensed. The Government believes the current rule in practice restricts what entertainment will be provided, creates disincentives to the presentation of more diverse musical acts and fails to protect local residents from noise nuisance.

5. Licensing authorities will begin processing applications from 7 February 2005 – the start of the period of transition.

6. The Licensing Act 2003 received Royal Assent on 10th July 2003. Its reforms will come into effect in full in early 2005. Further details can be found at:
www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003.htm

Press Enquiries: 0207 211 6271 / 6267
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 020 7 211 6200


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 09:42 AM

What is the average Non-Domestic Rateable Value of the typical pub - does anyone know ?   I believe that it is calculated on the average annual turnover for the business, rather than on the value of the property.   

Once again I suggest that we all urge our local publicans to tick the entertainments box when they make their initial applications. At least then we shouldn't see clubs and sessions being forced to close because of the lack of an entertainments licence.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 10:10 AM

We can certainly urge those we know to apply for entertainment permission with their initial Premises Licence applications - but it does remain optional and a matter only for them.

It remains a fact that where licensees choose not to apply - even one musician on the premises, will be an illegal unlicensed activity - like selling alcohol without a licence or serving under-age drinkers.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 10:53 AM

Roger, am I right in thinking that playing recorded music would also be an illegal unlicensed activity if the entainments provision was not applied for ? If that is so, then most licensees would need to apply.

My main concern, is that Linda and I do quite a few pub gigs (St Pat's/George's nights, New Year etc) in places which don't tend to have regular entertainment. It's obviously in our interests to make sure that these venues are covered for these events.

There are also several venues where the landlord wants (and in many cases has had events which were discovered by the "PEL Police") sessions etc, but is currently deterred by the cost of the license. There are also many other places (including our regular monthly session) where the landlord has so far got away without a PEL, where it would be a good idea if the situation was legalised.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 12 Nov 04 - 06:37 AM

Roger, am I right in thinking that playing recorded music would also be an illegal unlicensed activity if the entertainments provision was not applied for ? If that is so, then most licensees would need to apply.

I think you are right, they would need to, but it still remains optional for licensees to apply or not along with their compulsory Premises Licence and Personal Licence.

There is the exemption for the playing of recorded music that is 'incidental'. However, the use of this argument looks set to keep Richard and his fellow legal friends in employment for many years to come.

-----

I heard this morning that as part of the consultation process, I have been invited to a meeting of my Council's Licensing Committee on 23 November 2004. There I will hear the licensing manager's appraisal of my written comments placed before the Committee, for consideration. I won't know what her appraisal of my comments are but I am also invited to address the Committee and have all of 3 minutes to do so.............

Any ammendments to the draft Licensing Policy will be incorporated in a final document to be presented to the Full Council for adoption on 16 December 2004.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Nov 04 - 03:40 AM

I have the agenda for this meeting but this is little use as there are no comments on my contribution - as all of them have been sent to the legal section for advice. Perhaps I will see theses comments before the meeting?

There are some comments from the Licensing Manager on some of the other contributions from the public and these are interesting and may be some help to others.

Equity were reported as making "the comment that this conncil is virtually alone in including a paragraph which seeks to encourage the develpoment of live music, dance and theatre - and thanked us very much for this."

The apprasial states that. "Whilst it is nice to receive praise it must be pointed out that this is a Council aim/objective as distinct from a Licensing Authority one."

The Musicians' Union. "Notes with pleasure that WPBC's Statement of Licensing Policy makes reference to live music and, in so doing, demonstrates our commitment to the aims and objectives of the Act." AND "Takes the opportunity to thank WPBC for supporting live music."

After accepting this praise, it is interesting to find later in the document a letter from Feargal Sharkey as Chairman of the Live Music Forum, which suggested some words for inclusion.

The Council wishes to encourage and promote live music, dance and theatre for the wider cultural benefit of the community. We will seek to obtain a balance between the potential for limited neighbourhood disturbance and the benefits of cultural activities, particularly for children, and will not allow the views of vocal minorities to predominate over the general interests of the community.

The appraisal of this was. "For the Committee to consider."

Now all these fine words remain just words. I have pointed out that there are no suggested measures on how this is to be achieved or how effects on live music are to be monitored and suggested that this is addressed in the policy.

Equity went on to suggest that the public are consulted about the amount and type of entertainment in the area so that the Council will know if it is providing this.

The appraisal of this was. "The consultation process was alrady well under way by the time this comment was received and I would also argue that it is not the role of the Licensing Authority to determine such things (see above). The correct procedure for considering such matters is that Licensing Committee would receive reports from other Committees on the following matters to ensure that these are reflectd in their decisions.
-The needs of the local economy and cultural stategy for the Borough, and
-The employment situation in the Borough and the need for investment and employment where appropriate
-The steps taken to disperse people from town centres swiftly and safely to avoid concentrations, which produce disorder and disturbance. (See 5.3 of Licensing Policy)


Equity also expressed that it was important for the policy to include a commitment to licence public land for entertainment purposes for such things as circuses and Punch and Judy shows.

The apprasial was.
"I have already brought this to the attention of Ian Locke and had discussions with Kevin Good [whoever they are] about it suggesting that this is a very sensible way forward. I have set up a meeting of all interested parties in early December as a decision will have to be made as to who, within the Council, will be the licence holder for each area. I don't think it necessarily needs to be referred to in the statement of licensing policy as I am sure this Council will wish to embrace it of their own accord.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 11:47 AM

I did score one success, although I will wait and see first, how this will be recorded in the minutes and submitted in the final document to the full council.

The draft had referred to Article 8 of the European Commission on Human Rights [ECHR], which is basically the right to object to someone else's freedom of expression that may be affecting you. When I pointed it out - they rather had to agree to include reference to Article 10, which is your right of freedom of expression. At least the document will now be a little more balanced {and they can now ignore them both equally].

But it is going to be a struggle to get some of the Government's stated good intentions for live music etc, adopted by our LAs. For LAs have recognised the words of the Act do not in fact enable these good intentions to be carried out.

The official line when it comes to asking for measures to encourage live music to be included in the local Licensing Policy appears to be that this may be a matter for the Council –through the Local Cultural Strategy but it is not a matter for the local Licensing Policy or the Licensing Committee.

Other Committees and internal bodies would cover these things and then have to inform the Licensing Committee. The view is that the Licensing Committee just carry out their duties objectively.

This does not seem to work the other way. I pointed out that it was not enough for the Licensing Committee to simply to demonstrate that a borderline musical activity was Regulated Entertainment to enable them to prevent it without the required entertainment permission. But that they would have to establish first if the activity could be prevented under the four objectives of the Act and state what the specific danger presented was.

The Chairman's response was not encouraging and even less encouraging was that no other member seemed to differ or recognise the difficulties presented. He stated that the Council would prevent the activity but only secondly that they would insist of the entertainment permission. Nothing much seems to have changed.

This after all the stuff about having to decide favourably in applications when there was little reason not to and the Government's ideas that this Act would allow live music to thrive. Now there may not be anything in words of the Act that obliges Licensing Committees to encourage live music – but there is certainly nothing in there that specifically requires them to prevent it either.

My next approach is to try to 'hoist them with their own petard'. I will suggest (for inclusion in the Licensing Policy) that when there is any question of the Licensing Section preventing any live music by simply including it as a borderline regulated entertainment – this is first passed to the appropriate section for the relevant Committee or full Council to decide if there are grounds under the four licensing objectives and instruct the Licensing Committee accordingly.

I won't go in to details but the procedure used to appraise the Public Comments at this meeting were seriously flawed. I have written to the Mayor and requested an urgent review as because of the Chairman's preferred method, many comments (most of mine) were simply not able to be discussed by the Committee and were simply lost and will not be presented to the full Council, as a result.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 12:03 PM

In the Hull Dily Mail tonight, there is an article about the Grafton pub which wanted to put on a 'Beautiful South' tribute band. The landlady advertised the gig locally, t'council wrote to her prohibiting the concert, so she has had to buy a one - performance - only licence costing FOUR HUNDRED AND THIRTY POUNDS!!! democracy? my arse!


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 02:30 PM

Is that £430 for democracy or for your arse?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 06:55 PM

It is £430 of bare-faced extortion and 20 times the fee for a temporary event notice and only £20 less than two years renewal fees for the largest facility under the 2003 Act. It was legalised daylight robbery!!

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 25 Nov 04 - 07:15 PM

It was interesting reading Shambles recent postings about the process in WPBC. It would appear that they may continue to be their maverick selves for a while. They are correct in saying that the Policy is properly a Council policy. However in any normal local authority committee members would be well aware that their tenure of committee membership would be very short-lived if the committee did not act in accordance with the published council policy.

How long will it take them to realise that they cannot refuse a licence application unless there is an objection, and while the council can raise an objection, it must come from a council body other than the licensing committee?

As far as the MU comment is concerned; I have not seen many draft policies but all that I have seen say that they support music. Maybe the MU has sent out a lot of essentially similar letters. Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether local authorities will turn supportive words into practical support.

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM

How long will it take them to realise that they cannot refuse a licence application unless there is an objection, and while the council can raise an objection, it must come from a council body other than the licensing committee?

I think that they have recognised this and that is probably why they are still clinging to the last vestige of their old powers. With the idea that they can prevent borderline music making simply by claiming that it is (borderline) Regulated Entertainment - rather than demonstrating which of the Act's four licensing objectives the activity is threatening.

However, in the case of a non amplified session in small pub (where else) even if they insisted on the pub obtaining entertainment permission to enable it - given S 177 of the Act - they would not anyway be able to place any conditions on its issue......! So why waste the effort?

As part of the their Cultural Strategies - every authority is specifically charged with encouraging live music in small venues. Are we realy back to one part of the LA encouraging things that another feels entitled to prevent?

Why then risk action being taken against them under the HRA for preventing the public's right of freedom of expression when the licensing Authority have no grounds to do so?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 26 Nov 04 - 02:56 PM

Shambles,

I take it that the questions are rhetorical. They are all valid rhetorical questions if your LA take the attitudes suggested. I only take issue with one thing. It iis almost certainly easier to use the Licensing Act itself as a defence in the circumstances that you postulate than it is to use the HRA. i.e. the best defence against a vexatious prosecution under the Licensing Act is to establish to the satisfaction of the magistrates that there was no breach of the act.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 07:47 AM

You are right Richard but the point is that you should not be forced to have to USE the HRA.

The Local Authority HAS to abide by this and can only prevent your right of freedom of expression - under HR legislation - on certain specified grounds. They have ignored and still appear to be trying very hard to ignore this HR legislation.

The point I am making to my council, is if it is thought that as it will not cast any more to apply for entertainment permission, there is as a result, no reason for pubs not to apply --------

As LAs will not receive any more money by ensuring that pubs apply for entertainment permission, there is equally no reason for them to insist on them applying. Especially when the activity is small-scale music making and borderline........


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 08:15 AM

However in any normal local authority committee members would be well aware that their tenure of committee membership would be very short-lived if the committee did not act in accordance with the published council policy.

Why should the committee follow their own policy when the senior officers do not? My council's elected members do exactly what these officers tell them.

I am prepared to accept that my local authority is comprised of a strange bunch of officers and members (especially after this latest meeting). However, I am less sure - as I have seen very little evidence of this - that there are any "normal" ones - anywhere.

How is everyone else faring with their local Licensing Policy?


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: RichardP
Date: 27 Nov 04 - 05:37 PM

Shambles,

They also HAVE to abide by the Licensing Act and all other legislation. They may not do so, but they are acting ultra vires if they do nt do so. My point was that it should be cheaper and easier to use the magistrates court to override a failure by the council to act in accordance with that Act than it is to pursue them for breaching the HRA.

Local experience is frustrating. The LEA published on its website that the policy was expected to be approved on October 20th and woudl then be available by the end of October. It is still not on their website and no information has been published. Mind you the latest minutes on their website are seven months old, so their website maintenance is not exactly informative.

I have seen a press report that Canterbury at least has committed itself to licensing all appopriate porperty in its ownership for entertainments and generally they appear to have followed much of the
helpful guidance from Fergal Sharkey

Richard


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 06:16 AM

They also HAVE to abide by the Licensing Act and all other legislation. They may not do so, but they are acting ultra vires if they do nt do so. My point was that it should be cheaper and easier to use the magistrates court to override a failure by the council to act in accordance with that Act than it is to pursue them for breaching the HRA.

I have accepted your point about a court challenge - but as there is no definition of words like 'incidental' and no case law that has established this - the outcome over such issues may be uncertain, protracted and possibly not as easy as you may think.

But the HRA is in place now and it means that they must already apply all other legislation in line with this and where there is a conflict - they MUST not use any other legislation that does not comply. Just saying that an additional licence may be required - is not sufficient

Where local authorities currently prevent the public's freedom of expression by insisting that a pub session cannot take place without an PEL but cannot specify the grounds and the particular safety risk at the premises, that only this additional licence can address - they are already in breach of the HRA. The right of freedom of expression is a conditional right but that means that this right it can only be prevented when these certain conditions apply.   

That is why it is so important to make sure that your local authority is aware of this for inclusion in this local Licensing Policy - as their legal officers seem unwilling to advise them of this.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 07:40 AM

Oh The Games People Play Now

This is a copy of an exchange in advance of the meeting. Sent: 12 November 2004 15:56 To: Sue King
Subject: Consultation Meeting

Dear Sue [King]
Thank you for Sue Moore's letter dated 9 November 2004. Could you establish the following for me in her absence from her office?
[1] You state that my comments, together with your appraisal of them, will be put before the Committee. Will it be possible for me to be informed of what your appraisal of my comments is - in advance of the meeting?
[2] Will I be addressing the committee before or after my comments and your appraisal of them, is presented to the committee?
Roger

Roger
I have checked with Committee Services and you will be able to address the committee before your comments are discussed. You will receive a copy of the comments on the policy and Sue's appraisal of them shortly. There are some areas that needed legal input and your letter was one of them. I have just checked with the legal
division but they are still working on this area. I have pointed out to them that you would like to see their comments before the committee meeting so I will remind them again at the beginning of next week.
Sue


As you can see – I was given the understanding in good faith that -
I would receive the Licensing Manager' appraisal and/or the Legal sections advice on my comments in advance of the meeting to enable me to study this appraisal and to be able address the Committee (for 3 minutes) prior to their consideration of all the public's comments.

The Agenda that I received in advance did not have any written appraisal of my comments nor any advice from the legal section in place of this. This was the form in which the Agenda was presented to the Committee at this meeting.

On arrival the Committee clerk (who remarked that I already had an Agenda) asked if I wished to address the Committee I confirmed that I did. I also pointed out that, as I had not seen the (promised) advanced appraisal of my comments, that I could not address the Committee on this appraisal, prior to the Committee addressing my comments (again as promised). She acknowledged this but nothing happened as a result and I had to address the Committee on other, more general matters.

I was not then aware of the next move – or I would have addressed the Committee on this matter.

The Chairman announced that he intended not to go through the comments one by one but would instead just look at the written appraisal of these comments in the Agenda. The members could either not make any comment - and the appraisal would go through as worded. Or the members could discuss the appraisal, and this was what would be recorded instead.

The Chairman did not seem to be aware that this process would mean that as none of my (10 pages) of comments had written appraisal in the Agenda and had no legal advice, in is place – that there was a danger that my comments would not be equally considered.

No systematic attempt was made to ensure that the committee, or I heard any verbal legal advice against each of my comments lacking the written appraisal. Some legal advice was sought or given but it would have not been possible for me or the committee to discuss or record, exactly what legal advice applied to what comment or what comment was lost completely - for the lack of any verbal advice being given.

A recess was held, after all the written appraisals had been covered and I informed the Vice-Chair that none of my comments had received the required written appraisal and that the particular comment on page 8, had not been discussed at all!

The meeting re-started and did cover this comment but no attempt was made to ensure that my other comments were adequately considered along with the public's comments that had received a written appraisal in the Agenda.

--The flawed Agenda alone meant that the specific assurances given to me in writing prior to the meeting was not met.

--That as a result of this flawed Agenda, I was unable to address the Committee as promised .

--The use of this flawed Agenda at the meeting combined with the process chosen by the chairman – resulted in my comments and the required legal advice, not being equally considered and not fully recorded for submission to the full Council.   

--As I do not know what the legal advice was on my specific comments, I am sure that the Committee members will not know either.

--From my past experience – I fear that the minutes will now contain some subsequent legal input against my comments. Rather like reporting a conversation where you state what you would have liked to have said – rather than what you actually did say at the time.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Nov 04 - 07:46 AM

This in reply - from my friend Mr Locke. Who, at the time of writing this, did not seem to be aware of the specific undertakings I had been given by his own officers, prior to the meeting.

Mr Gall,

The Mayor has asked me to reply to your email of 24 November regarding the Licensing Committee's consideration of your representations. I have discussed your comments with the Chair of the Committee, Councillor Mike Goodman and the Officers dealing with the matter at the Committee. I would make the following points:


·       Your comments were all scrutinised by all the Committee for over a week. If any Member wanted any further discussion or clarification they asked for it at the meeting.


·       There is no prescribed format for consideration of consultation feedback and I suggest that the Licensing Manager's report was extremely detailed. Dealing with the volume of comments from 21 respondents was a challenging task.

            
·       As you pointed out yours' were not the only comments without a written appraisal. That appraisal was not a condition of the Members discussing or asking questions about a particular representation.


·       In fact there was more discussion at the meeting on comments made by you than for most if not all other consultees. A significant number of your suggestions were discussed and adopted.


·         The issues of live music, small scale entertainment, incidental music and exemptions were all discussed at the meeting.


·       The tone of the meeting was relatively informal and encouraged questions from Members and questions were frequently asked of the Legal and Licensing Officers during the course of the meeting.


I am satisfied that all representations were properly reported to the Committee and that they had a full opportunity to consider them. The fact that Members did not wish to discuss all the representations in detail is not surprising and does not detract from the validity of the exercise. The Committee will now move on to the next stage of implementing the legislative provisions.

Ian Locke

Director – Community Services


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Nov 04 - 09:45 AM

A little more news on Dave Bryant where you send him your good wishes - as he is not too well.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 08:54 AM

The new (increased) fees have now been announced.

Details of the new fee structure, which follows a consultation with key stakeholders and is now subject to Parliamentary procedures, include:

A £100 to £635 one-off payment for a new licence a rise on the previous proposal of £80 to £500.

£70 to £350 for an annual fee up from £40 to £225.
The largest town and city centre pubs paying two to three times as much for their initial application fee and annual charge.

£37 for a personal licence

£21 for a temporary event notice.

Under the current system, licencees pay £30 every three years to magistrates for a basic licence to serve alcohol until 11pm, regardless of the size of the venue.

Under the new system, the largest city or town centre pubs would pay a £1,905 initial application fee and a £1,050 annual fee.

The fees will recover the licensing authorities' costs of administrating, inspecting and enforcing the new regime.


Full details at .........

http://www.culture.gov.uk/global/press_notices/archive_2005/dcms005_05.htm?month=January&properties=archive%5F2005%2C%2Fglobal%2Fpress%5Fnotices%2Farchive%5F2005%2F%2C

or

http://tinyurl.com/3q26k

I am a little surprised at the tone of alomost pride in announoucing this huge increase from the current situtaion. Those that have to pay it will not much like the increase or the tone. But I suppose that the majority of us do not have to pay directly. However, I suspect that we will all be paying indirectly.......

Those of us who rely on pubs for our live music will just have to get used to being kicked around as a political football.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: DMcG
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:19 AM

What of the position of one of the sessions I'm in? This takes place in a small room attached to a church, but the session is not in any way part of a church service. That room does not provide facilities to sell alcohol. We always have people in attendance who do not play (for example, one husband attends while his wife plays.)

I hope I'm wrong, but it looks like we are to be treated as if we were a small pub as far as fees go.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: IanC
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 09:41 AM

DMcG. You're exempt.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 02:45 AM

I wrote to my MP back on the 21st January ask what the position was at the same time as I made my posting above. On 31st January I got a letter from DCMS saying I would get a reply with 18 days and it finally arrived this morning. Signed by Richard Caborn, the Minister concerned, it confirms that we will need a licence but are exempt from fees. As has been discussed many times before, this means that the hall owner may still have costs associated with obtaining the licence in the first place, such as inspection charges, alterations, etc, and they may decide they don't want the hassle.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 19 Mar 05 - 08:24 PM

This week on HTV 6 o'clock news there was a bit about the local carnivals in the South-West possibly being in jeapardy due to the requirement for a PEL for each carnival.
As these and any other local carnival are primarily charity fund-raising events it looks as though charities may also suffer due to thoughtless politicians!
Colyn.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 07:11 AM

I do want to live in this country ..I do..I do ...I do ...I do ...I do. Can someone remind me why, when we have such daft infringements on our right to enjoy ourselkves in our so called free country? OOh I feel better now.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 07:28 AM

Not sure if the above link to the Press Release works but this (shortened) one should.

http://tinyurl.com/42otx

040/05
10 March 2005
Music To Your Ears The Industry Gets A Say

The British music industry is being invited to say what it thinks the Government should be doing to nurture and promote live music, Arts Minister Estelle Morris announced today.

It is the first time the industry has been asked directly to give its opinion on what can be done to strengthen live music in the UK. The consultation is being led by the Live Music Forum a group, chaired by Feargal Sharkey, which was set up at the beginning of 2004 to ensure live music thrives.

Over the next few months the Forum will be seeking the views of everyone from major record companies to jobbing musicians.

The resulting discussions and ideas will help shape a detailed report which will be submitted to the Government at the end of the Live Music Forum's lifespan in 2006. The report will feature a series of recommendations to the Government designed to maintain the UK's live music scene as one of the most diverse and vibrant in the world.

Estelle Morris said:
"From the Beatles at the Caven Club, to George Melly at Ronnie Scott's, to Norma Waterson at the Cambridge Folk Festival we have a live music reputation to be proud of.
"But it's a tradition to live up to and build on. That's why we're calling on the music industry help us to help you.

"Tell us what we can do to get more gigs and concerts put on throughout the UK in every genre of music."
Feargal Sharkey, Chairman of the Live Music Forum, said:
"It's no accident that this year's Brit Awards were dominated by acts who all cut their teeth on the live circuit. Franz Ferdinand, Joss Stone and Muse have proved what many of us in the music industry already knew that we have one of the most vibrant music scenes in the world and live music is at the heart of it.
"It's in the industry's interest to get involved with the work of the Forum and come and tell us what they think the Government should be doing to safeguard the future of the live music scene.
"There are no rules. No idea will be too sensational. For the first time the industry is getting the opportunity to influence Government policy and I whole heartedly recommend they use it."

Notes to Editors
1. The consultation will last for twelve weeks until 10 June 2005. The Live Music Forum will invite people from all areas of the music industry in the give their views. To get in touch with the Forum to request a meeting or to send in your views, email
LiveMusicForum@culture.gsi.gov.uk


The Live Music Forum was set up in January 2004. As well as working with partners across the live music world to ensure they make the most of the opportunities offered by the Licensing Act the Forum also looks at a range of ways to promote live music and foster grass roots talent.
Press Enquiries: 0207 211 6271
Out of hours telephone pager no: 07699 751153
Public Enquiries: 0207 211 6200
20


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 20 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM

If, by the term "music industry", we mean the pop music recording companies, they would like nothing better than to kill off all folk music. They are so determined to control all aspects of music, that they will not countenance the concept of songwriters whose material will remain (under the intellectual property legislation) in the ownership of the author. Why else would they give the likes of Gareth Gates, and Will Young, only covers to record. They have, per se, no interest in live music, as it makes no money for them. Even the Beatles (good as they were) could not have prospered under the current stranglehold they exert on the music business.

If they use their financial clout to scare the government into complying with their agenda, then, I'm afraid we can kiss original, live, innovative music goodbye, and say hello to a lifetime of soulless pap from manufactured bands with no sense of melody.

I feel like moving to Scotland, where folk musicians are considered a national asset, not a pernicious minority of seditious layabouts who are a danger to the general public, and an embarassment to a government who do not want us to be proud of our English traditions.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: ET
Date: 21 Mar 05 - 02:37 AM

I have asked Michael Howard (and have spoken to David Davis my local MP) if the Conservatives would amend Schedule 1 of the Licensing Act 2003 if elected, at least to the extent of exempting acoustic music by adding the word "amplified" to "live music" as a scheduled piece of regulated entertainment.

I know this will not help electric pianos and some Jazz Bands but it would be a start. I will let mudcatters know.

I get the impression that the Ministry of Fun are trying to downplay the regulations because they have become aware that, what they have done is having a bad effect on live music. I wonder, election pending, if they remember the largest e-petition ever - 120,000 votes against this piece of penicious regulation.


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Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Mar 05 - 12:16 PM

The following from Hamish Birchall

With a general election due in May, the government's licensing and live music spin machine is changing up a gear. Both the Musicians' Union (MU) and the Live Music Forum (LMF) seem happy to tag along. Recently both bodies have made dubious claims, no doubt unintentionally, in support of either the MORI live music survey, or the new licensing regime.

Taken at face value, musicians might conclude from these claims that gigs are thriving, and the new laws can only make things better. But as in other areas of government news control, necessary caveats have been omitted.

For example, Feargal Sharkey, chair of the LMF, writes in the current issue of 'M' (the MCPS-Performing Rights Society magazine):

'Whilst it's pleasing that 47% of the venues we surveyed put on some kind of live music, the flipside is that 53% don't. However after we told them that the new Licensing Act should make it easier and generally, cheaper to put on live music and then asked them if they would now change their minds - a third said they would.'

The survey found that the licensees who knew most about the new laws were most likely to say they would not consider having live music. 35% of MORI interviewees said they would be certain NOT to consider having live music after having the changes explained. An additional 30% were negative. In other words, more than two thirds were negative. (See MORI live music survey QN9 and p21).

John Smith, General Secretary of the MU, writing in the current issue of Musician (p23) says that the MORI survey showed '... approximately 1.7 million gigs were staged in the UK's 150,000 pubs, restaurants, clubs and student unions in 2003'. Smith, Sharkey and ministers have used this 1.7 million figure to suggest that live gigs are respectively: 'live and kicking', 'still the lifeblood of the music industry', and 'flourishing'.

In fact, the MORI data shows 850,000 was their best estimate for live gigs in pubs, restaurants and hotels for the 12 months leading up to the survey. The 1.7 million figure was an estimate for ALL venue categories, not a sub-section as implied above. There were seven venue categories, including members clubs and associations (i.e. political clubs), church and community halls and hotels. Many of the club and student union gigs will have been closed to the general public. Scotland was excluded from the survey. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has also since conceded in correspondence that it could not rule out the possibility that venues whose main business was live music had been included. If this is the case, gig averages would have been distorted upwards. There is also a possibility that some karaoke and DJs were included as 'live music', particularly in pubs.

On the Licensing Act, Sharkey claims: 'Later this year the outdated "two in a bar rule" will be ushered off the stage and replaced by a simpler and fairer licensing system which combines alcohol and entertainment.' [Article cited above].

He adds: 'The new licensing laws won't require pubs, bars, hotels or restaurants to pay an additional fee when they apply to put on live music...'

These claims are misleading. For existing bars, pubs etc, the 'two for the price of one' offer (i.e. alcohol AND music for one fee) only runs till November this year. After then, if these venues have not obtained a live music authorisation - which will be required for many 'two in a bar' gigs' - they will have to pay an additional licence fee for it later, not to mention running the gauntlet of complex forms, possible public hearings and costly licence conditions. Only new venues will have the option to seek a dual permission for one licence fee when applying for their 'premises licence'.

Sharkey continues: '... the form they use to convert their existing alcohol licence provides a simple "tick box" system, making it easier for applicants to "opt in" for staging live music, however many performers are involved'.

Just because you start by ticking a box it doesn't follow that the new forms are simple. As licensees have discovered, the new application forms are much more complex in terms of the information required. Local authorities are looking much more closely at the type of music being proposed. Indeed, this complexity has already been cited as one cause of the delay in licence conversion applications:

'Local councils are increasingly worried that pubs and clubs will not have completed their new applications in time to comply with the act. Only a handful have completed the forms in a number of London boroughs, for example, and the Local Government Association is warning that some landlords could end up being prosecuted. All establishments must apply for their fresh licence by 6 August. Those who continue to trade without one will be breaking the law. Part of the problem is the complexity of the forms, but there is evidence of landlords waiting to see what their rivals are doing.' ['Police fear chaos over pub hours', Jamie Doward, social affairs editor, Observer ,p3, Sunday March 20, 2005]

As for Sharkey's claim that the new regime is 'fairer', this is manifestly false. Without any rational justification, the new regime ensnares many more live music events than before, including 'two in a bar' gigs, and private gigs raising money for charity. Licensees may now face criminal prosecution for hosting solo unamplified musicians unless licensed, while any amount of broadcast music or football delivered via big screens and powerful amplifiers is exempt.

Hamish Birchall


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