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Les Jones UK catters be useful TODAY (70* d) RE: UK catters be useful TODAY 20 Apr 02

I e-mailed my MP, Tony Lloyd, Labour, Manchester Central. This is his reply:

Thank you for your e-mail about singing in pubs.

Apparently it already is an offence. If more than two people are singing the venue is required to obtain a public entertainments licence.

In mid-February, in the court case of the London borough of Southwark v. Sean Toye, it was demonstrated that it was not only an offence for a performance to include more than two people singing or playing at the same time, but for people to perform sequentially. The liability rests with the managers and not the singers concerned. The British Institute of Innkeeping's "Handbook for the Entertainment Licensee's National Certificate" states:

"Where community style singing to music is encouraged to take place, the entertainment will be licensable. If, however, the singing is spontaneous the council is unlikely to take action, although technically there is a breach of the law."

I know the Government are trying to reform these archaic and plain daft licensing laws. The Queen's Speech promised new legislation but no date has yet been given. I have also written to Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. As soon as she replies I will let you know.

Tony clearly understands the problem and is in favour of a change in the law.

I am sorry, I have not followed this thread. Does an organised National campaign exist? Why has it become more of a problem recently?

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