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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
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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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