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A little more news on Licensing

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The Shambles 22 Mar 05 - 12:16 PM
ET 21 Mar 05 - 02:37 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 20 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM
The Shambles 20 Mar 05 - 07:28 AM
Andy Jackson 20 Mar 05 - 07:11 AM
Bonecruncher 19 Mar 05 - 08:24 PM
DMcG 19 Mar 05 - 02:45 AM
IanC 21 Jan 05 - 09:41 AM
DMcG 21 Jan 05 - 09:19 AM
The Shambles 21 Jan 05 - 08:54 AM
The Shambles 29 Nov 04 - 09:45 AM
The Shambles 28 Nov 04 - 07:46 AM
The Shambles 28 Nov 04 - 07:40 AM
The Shambles 28 Nov 04 - 06:16 AM
RichardP 27 Nov 04 - 05:37 PM
The Shambles 27 Nov 04 - 08:15 AM
The Shambles 27 Nov 04 - 07:47 AM
RichardP 26 Nov 04 - 02:56 PM
The Shambles 26 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM
RichardP 25 Nov 04 - 07:15 PM
RichardP 25 Nov 04 - 06:55 PM
The Shambles 25 Nov 04 - 02:30 PM
Paco Rabanne 25 Nov 04 - 12:03 PM
The Shambles 25 Nov 04 - 11:47 AM
The Shambles 17 Nov 04 - 03:40 AM
The Shambles 12 Nov 04 - 06:37 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Nov 04 - 10:53 AM
The Shambles 11 Nov 04 - 10:10 AM
Dave Bryant 11 Nov 04 - 09:42 AM
The Shambles 11 Nov 04 - 02:07 AM
Folkiedave 10 Nov 04 - 02:31 PM
The Shambles 10 Nov 04 - 12:05 PM
The Shambles 10 Nov 04 - 11:30 AM
RichardP 09 Nov 04 - 11:53 AM
The Shambles 07 Nov 04 - 09:49 AM
The Shambles 29 Oct 04 - 01:25 PM
Dave Bryant 29 Oct 04 - 11:18 AM
The Shambles 29 Oct 04 - 10:59 AM
The Shambles 29 Oct 04 - 10:56 AM
Dave Bryant 29 Oct 04 - 07:27 AM
sian, west wales 29 Oct 04 - 06:45 AM
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Dave Bryant 29 Oct 04 - 05:02 AM
The Shambles 28 Oct 04 - 10:41 AM
Steve Parkes 28 Oct 04 - 10:33 AM
The Shambles 28 Oct 04 - 09:56 AM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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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