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BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms

13 Nov 02 - 08:57 AM (#825105)
Subject: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Grab

Hmm.

The Queen's Speech has just happened. Full text is here.

We were expecting some news about the new licensing laws which would do away with the "two in a bar" rule. The speech only says briefly that there will be new licensing laws, but gives no details of them:-

"My government will bring forward legislation to streamline the licensing system for premises selling alcohol. This will abolish fixed opening hours and introduce a range of measures to reduce antisocial behaviour."

Disappointing. To be fair though, there was a lot of other stuff in there too, so we can't realistically expect a lot of detail on what is quite a minor issue nationwide - it's a big deal for musicians, but musicians playing in sessions are definitely a minority compared to people worried about crime/asylum seekers/town planning.

We'll have to wait and see for the details, I guess. I'm sure Shambles will post any new info about this, as it arrives.

Graham.


13 Nov 02 - 09:11 AM (#825113)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Schantieman

Presumably, therefore, we'll be able to sing and drink all day as long as there aen't more than two of us? That would be antisocial!

Steve


13 Nov 02 - 10:01 AM (#825167)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Mr Happy

no, we'll be able to drink all day alright- but NOBODY will be allowed to sing!


13 Nov 02 - 11:43 AM (#825273)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Grab

Oops! Apologies for missing a close-quotes. Ho hum.

Graham.
Fixed it.
-Joe Offer-


13 Nov 02 - 01:44 PM (#825387)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

My government will bring forward legislation to streamline the licensing system for premises selling alcohol. This will abolish fixed opening hours and introduce a range of measures to reduce antisocial behaviour.

That was it!

As the papers refer to the Queen's Speech as being about measures to deal with crime and anti-social activities, perhaps a Bill that makes people into criminals for simply making music, fits in there quite well?


13 Nov 02 - 02:21 PM (#825413)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Nigel Parsons

The whole idea of the Queen's speech has been defenestrated by Tony Blair stating in advance what some of it would be.
Normally the speech (written by the party in power) would state what measures 'my government' (i.e. the Queen's) would be putting forward within its next term. Tony Blair has usurped this prerogative. He also wants to curb the power of the House of Lords. (the only stabalising influence on 'the commons')
Go Figure!

Nigel


13 Nov 02 - 02:34 PM (#825421)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

The following link from the BBC Online News says about all there is to say at the moment. I have yet to see any mention of the music or entertainment aspects of the reform....Maybe they didn't put it in?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/2458867.stm


13 Nov 02 - 04:22 PM (#825525)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

You can watch the debate on the Queen's Speech, that is going on now, not that there are many MPs present in the Commons.

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/hocvidrp.asp?scheduleID=0#


13 Nov 02 - 05:30 PM (#825591)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Word is filtering through of a press launch of the Bill by Tessa Jowell to be held in London this Friday.

In of all places, The Red Lion in Whitehall!!!!

The very same place where the Musician's Union have help two protests against the Bill's entertainment reform proposals.

An invitation was given for Dr Howells to attend the last one, with Billy Bragg singing with MPs, but was declined as it was too left wing.

It does not look as if the invitation is to be returned. The MU do not appear to have received an invite...........Maybe they need some music?


14 Nov 02 - 05:03 AM (#825691)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

The whole 'shebang' can be read here. I have yet to find any reference to music at all!

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhansrd/cm021113/debindx/21113-x.htm


14 Nov 02 - 06:55 AM (#825699)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

The press only launch of the Licensing Bill is set for 10.30 at the Red Lion in Whitehall tomorrow, Friday 15th November.


14 Nov 02 - 09:02 AM (#825742)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: GUEST,Steve

Here's the URL for the white paper released in 2000

I am presuming that this is the white paper which will be laid before parliament.


14 Nov 02 - 10:22 AM (#825829)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Talks have been going on to settle the final wording of the Bill. There is some (if little), hope that it will be a better document than proposed in 2000 and linked to above.

I have asked the question of the DCMS, as to when and where we can see the final words and will of course post the reply here.


14 Nov 02 - 10:28 AM (#825836)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

From Andrew Cunningham of the DCMS (the man in charge of this Bill).

The Bill will not be published until Friday when it will be available on Parliament's website.


14 Nov 02 - 01:13 PM (#825997)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Ian

As long as the new MEASURES are not metric. Keep the pint campaign must start now!


14 Nov 02 - 01:36 PM (#826016)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

This from my MP.

The bill will be introduced first in the Lords in the next couple of weeks when it will be published with its initial wording. It will then have a second reading in the Commons in mid December. There will be committee and third reading stages next year with a hope that it will complete its stages and hence have final wording around Easter.


14 Nov 02 - 02:23 PM (#826081)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

I still have not found any reference to music in the debate , but this chap does at least mention the Licensing Reform....And the full pint.

Richard Younger-Ross (Teignbridge)

There is a proposal to abolish fixed pub opening hours, and to introduce a range of measures to reduce the amount of antisocial behaviour. I approve of the wording, but the legislation is much overdue. I hope it has not been included just because the Government have been getting a lot of stick for not introducing it, having promised all the young people they texted before the last election that they would do so. I hope that it will have been enacted a year from now.

I also hope, however, that the licensing laws will remain with the magistrates. The industry fears that if they go to local authorities, they will become more arbitrary and will be subject to numerous pressures other than the basic question, which is "Are these people fit to run a licensed premise, and do they run it in a good way?" I think that the police and magistrates are better able to judge that than are local authorities, with all their politics. I am not disagreeing with what was said by the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) about the need for local authorities to have a say on the hours during which pubs can stay open. That is a separate debate, and I will not venture a view now. It is important, however, for licenses to be granted fairly, and for that to be seen to be done. Furthermore, if there are problems with antisocial behaviour, it is the police who will know about them.

I hope that other aspects of the present licensing legislation will be included in the new Bill. One of the early-day motions with the most signatures concerns the campaign for a full pint, which I am sure is supported by all parties and all political complexions. I also hope that the Government will review their decision to abolish the beer orders, which I fear would open up all the problems we experienced with breweries in the past. It would get rid of the guest-ale provision for chains of more than 2,000 pubs, and would introduce covenants to prohibit the use of premises as pubs in rural villages.

I hope that the Government will see the broader picture, and consider some of my suggestions.


14 Nov 02 - 02:30 PM (#826090)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Sir Teddy Taylor (Rochford and Southend, East):

The second policy that worries me is the introduction of unlimited licensing hours. I had the pleasure of speaking to a chief superintendent of police in Southend only two days ago. As a good public servant, he does not have views on public policy, but I got the clear impression that like most people in Southend he is very worried about the implications of unlimited licensing hours.

Although I know that the Government want to go ahead with that policy, a middle course would be to make no changes unless a local council agrees to them. The local council in Southend or Tilbury might say that it does not want unlimited licensing hours, and it is right that that decision is left to local people. I fear that unlimited licensing hours will create a nightmare for residents who live in certain areas. It will also mean a serious problem of encouraging alcohol consumption when we should be thinking about trying to discourage it. The health implications of alcohol have never been taken as seriously as they should have been.


15 Nov 02 - 07:04 AM (#826724)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport's announcement of the new Bill.

http://www.culture.gov.uk/ROLE/index.html


15 Nov 02 - 07:06 AM (#826725)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Not too easy to find. Look at the bottom for PRESS RELEASES.


15 Nov 02 - 07:34 AM (#826742)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Grab

For your viewing convenience :-) here's a direct link to press release page

And direct links to the relevant press release:-

Main press release (slow to load)
Key points (PDF)
10 'archaic' laws repealed (PDF)
Old vs new comparison (PDF)

Graham.


15 Nov 02 - 07:48 AM (#826753)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Grab

The relevant section from the "old vs new comparison" PDF:-

Old
"Two in a bar" rule means that where
more than two artists perform a public
entertainment licence is required, often
at considerable cost, even though one
performer with an amplifier can make
more noise than three or more.


New
All public entertainment will require a
licence but it will cost nothing to add
this to the list of activities undertaken eg
where a licence for sale of alcohol is
being obtained resulting in a big
increase in opportunities for musicians to
perform and a corresponding increase in
choice and variety for the consumer.


As long as your publican has enough brains to fill out a form to add live music to his license (which won't cost him anything except the time to fill out the form), I don't see there's a problem. If he doesn't, there's really no-one except himself to blame.

Grab.


15 Nov 02 - 08:01 AM (#826764)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Teribus

Hi Grab,

An example, my local pub, Licensee applied under the old system for a PEL, as you say no problem in that, although under the old system there was a charge for the license (around 350). What then happenned was that there was a stream of visitors on the doorstep to inspect the pub - Health & Safety, Fire Brigade, Police, etc, etc. After each inspection the Licensee was presented with a hit-list of work to be undertaken before the entertainment license could be granted. By the time the license was issued the actual cost to the Licensee was something in the region of 6000.


15 Nov 02 - 08:08 AM (#826774)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Graham it is foolish to rely on any press release, especially one from this Government.

The full Bill, kust up on the Parliament website, is where the detail is. http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/pabills.htm

It would be wise to read this first, I think.

But for the moment..........

Dr Howells to Chris Smith 4 September 2002

"It would cost no more to obtain both permissions than to obtain one. There
would be no deterrent in the system to providing live music at the venue but
because it would be necessary to disclose details of the activities to take
place at the premises, the licensing authority would be able to make
sensible decisions about the necessary and proportionate conditions to be
attached to the licence to protect local residents and the wider
community."


The Government will have corrected the low take-up figure of the old PEL,
currently only 5 % of licensed premises, by combining the old liquor licence
with the old PEL and making the increased payment compulsory.

Thus according to Dr Howells, there is nothing now to deter a licensee from
choosing the entertainment element, specifying in advance the nature of this
in an operating plan, and waiting to obtaining local authority permission
for any but only live music.

If as Dr Howells maintains, there is no deterrent to the venue providing
live music, what is to be gained by the Government making the application
for the entertainment element, optional?

If as Dr Howells maintains, there is no deterrent to the venue providing
live music, what is to be gained by the licensee being able to opt out of
the entertainment option?

If all premises are first made safe, the licensee will always have the
freedom to choose whether to provide entertainment or not, and the premises
would always be perfectly safe to host entertainment, if at some future
point the licensee wished to provide it.


15 Nov 02 - 08:42 AM (#826797)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Schedule 1 defines what is licensable 'entertainment.

http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld200203/ldbills/001/03001.107-111.html#J1s1


15 Nov 02 - 09:45 AM (#826849)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: Snuffy

That link doesn't work for me


15 Nov 02 - 10:11 AM (#826871)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

If the first one (to the Bill) does work, read the first few paras and you will see reference to Schdeules 1 and 2, which are links?

Can you explain to me what it means, when you find it?


15 Nov 02 - 11:30 AM (#826931)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex

Grab wrote

As long as your publican has enough brains to fill out a form to add live music to his license (which won't cost him anything except the time to fill out the form), I don't see there's a problem. If he doesn't, there's really no-one except himself to blame.


BUT
If its a current session no problem, possibly (I'm sure local authorities will find a loop hole for an extra fee). Details must be included in the landlords business plan. If the session folds and he finds no replacement music then the business plan must be updated (fee payable)

If there is no music currently then to obtain permission for entertainment on the premises license the landlord will have to submit a business plan stating what music will be provided. Any changes to the business plan will be subject to a fee and possibly reinspection (another fee).

As I have stated on various forums already, all the problems arise by starting from the assumption that all music in a pub takes place at the instigation of the licensee.


15 Nov 02 - 01:41 PM (#827052)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

A certain person from EFDSS, who shall remain nameless, stated to me that they were looking foward to the 24 hour Irish session in the UK.............. Well legal ones anyway. *Smiles*

Hamish Birchall has pointed out the following. - Clause 134 (1)(a) which criminalises any musician who performs anywhere without first checking that the place is licensed/authorised for the performance. Clause 137 allows a defence of 'due diligence', but basically it means that if the musician doesn't check first he/she could face heavy fines and a jail sentence.

I can't help wondering why being able to opt out of the entertainment element is there at all, any ideas?

If all premises were made safe (as they all should be), the licensee could choose to provide or not provde entertainment, but no one would ever be at risk of making themselves a criminal and automatically making he premises unsafe simply by making music.


15 Nov 02 - 03:04 PM (#827143)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Interesting comments in the Guardian on safe capacity.

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/queensspeech2002/comment/0,12595,840936,00.html


15 Nov 02 - 03:17 PM (#827162)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Local governments argue that they would like to see the right to impose numbers limits. We don't have that at the moment, apart from special cases like nightclubs where safety issues become important.

Those late nightclubs with loud music and noise may have to have numbers limits, to protect the safety of people using them. But if a pub that's usually open until 11pm decides to stay open an extra hour, why should they need a numbers limit?


"where safety issues become important"????? Are they ever not?

That premises don't have to have safe limit now , does not mean there is a sensible reason why they should not now, if the issue is safety.

The prentence is made that a safe capicity can only be imposed currently by a PEL, which is one of the reasons given for imposing them on premises where live music is to take place. Imposing them on all premises would counter one of the main arguments for additional entertainment licensing.


16 Nov 02 - 11:35 AM (#827736)
Subject: RE: BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms
From: The Shambles

Pub revolution will cut trouble.
Ann Perkins writing in today's Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,3605,841267,00.html

She did not manage to get Sheila Miller's name correct, but it is one article on the Queen's Speech that does mention the effects on music. All credit to Sheila, who asked the questions at the launch.