mudcat.org: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Will you write an Email for Shambles?

Related threads:
How old is Brit trad of music in pubs? (88)
PEL: Mummers stopped Cerne Abbas (101)
PEL: demo - pictures (14)
BS: Is Kim Howells an arsehole? (65)
Licensing Bill - How will it work ? (331)
Weymouth Folk Festival (UK) (120)
A little more news on Licensing (158)
Killed by the PEL system Part 2 (93)
The New Star Session R.I.P. PELs (55)
PEL Problems in Hull (39)
PELs: Are we over-reacting? (74)
Circus PELs - I told you so! (16)
PEL Mk II: UK Government at it again (24)
PEL stops session in Cheshire (78)
Lyr Add: PEL Song: A PEL Protest (Julie Berrill) (27)
PELs - Letters to important folk. (50)
Sign a E Petition to 10 Downing St PELs (506) (closed)
PEL: Architect)?) Andrew Cunningam (11)
Licensing Bill moves on -OUR FUTURE (286) (closed)
UK Government to license Morris Dancing (68) (closed)
EFDSS on the Licensing Bill - PELs. (38)
PEL: Doc Roew gets through to Minister !!! (11)
PELs Dr Howells on Mike Harding Show. (106)
From Eliza Carthy & Mike Harding PELs (36)
Common's Early Day Motion 331 (new)(PEL) (69)
DANCING OUTBREAK! and definition. PELs (16)
PEL threads. links to all of them. (50)
BS: Village Greens and licences (3) (closed)
PEL's: News Blackout! (53)
PEL: Billy Bragg BBC1 Monday nite (17)
PELs: Exemptions? (107)
Petition Clarification (PELs) (9)
PEL debate on BBC TV Now. (6)
further 'dangers' with the PEL (24)
Stupid Music Law. (8)
Howells (now) asks for help PELs (68)
PEL : MPs' replies to your e-mails (40)
PEL: Where does Charles Kennedy stand? (10)
PEL: NCA Campaign free Seminar (18)
PEL: Howells on BBCR1 TONIGHT! (45)
PEL : Hardcopy Petition (44)
PELs Government v MU & lawyers (48)
PEL Pages (5)
Human Rights Committee AGREES! PELs (20)
Churches now exempt from PELs (55)
Lyr Add: PEL 'Freedom to sing' song (12)
Lyr Add: PEL Protest song (14)
Can YOU help The Blue Bell session? (9)
PEL: Urgent soundbites - CBC interview (25)
BS: Kim Howells, but NOT PELS for a change (8) (closed)
PEL: Billy Bragg on Question Time 6th Feb (15)
Kim Howells (PEL) (85)
PEL - A Reply From An MP. (22)
BS: What is PEL? (3) (closed)
PEL - 'Demo' Fleetwood 30th Jan 2003 (25)
PEL – Robb Johnson on R3, 1215h, 26/1. (8)
New PEL. An alternative argument. (31)
PEL: DEMO 27 JANUARY 2003 (95)
PEL: VERY URGENT - CONTACT yr MP TODAY (46)
Poet against PEL - welcome Simon (10)
PEL: First Lord's defeat of the bill (10)
PEL - 'Demo' Fleetwood 23rd Jan (5)
kim howells does it again (PEL) (69)
PEL UK - Unemployed Artist Dancer - look (22)
PEL hit squads! (16)
PELs for beginners (26)
PEL: Latest rumour/lie? It's gone away? (3)
PEL: but not music (9)
Folking Lawyers (PEL) (26)
MU campaign - Freedom of Expression (36)
PEL- Enforcement: How? (8)
PEL: Inner working of Minister's minds? (9)
PROTEST DEMO WITH GAG (PEL) (10)
PEL: What activities to be criminalised? (29)
A Criminal Conviction for Christmas? (PEL) (45)
PEL - Idea (34)
Glastonbury Festival Refused PEL (5)
MSG: x Pete Mclelland Hobgoblin Music (23)
Sessions under threat in UK? (101)
PELs of the past (13)
BS: PELs and roller skates. (1) (closed)
PELs UK Music needs your HELP (64)
Fighting the PEL (43)
URGENT MESSAGE FOR THE SHAMBLES (22)
Lyr Add: The Folk Musician's Lament (a PEL protest (2)
BS: Queen's speech, and licensing reforms (32) (closed)
PELs UK BBC Breakfast TV Monday (1)
PEL: Licensing Reform? (46)
BS: PELs in Scotland (12) (closed)
BS: The Cannon Newport Pagnell UK - no PEL! (18) (closed)
Action For Music. PELs (28)
Killed by the PEL system (66)
TV sport vs live music in pubs. HELP (6)
PEL and the Law: 'Twas ever thus (14)
EFDSS letter to UK Government HELP! (2)
24 July 2002 Day of Action - PELs (77)
Help: PELs & The Folk Image (12)
Official 'No tradition' 2 (PELs) (55)
Is this man killing folk music? (19)
We have PEL - Rose & Crown Ashwell, 23/6 (2)
BS: Vaults Bar, Bull ,Stony Stratford - PEL (4) (closed)
What is folk ? - OFFICIAL (26)
Official: No tradition of music in pubs (92)
UK catters be useful TODAY (70)
Help Change Music In My Country (102)
PEL-More questions (7)
NEWS for visitors wanting to play in UK (56)
Nominate for a Two in a Bar Award -UK (11)
USA- HELP Where is Dr Howells? (13)
BS: URGENT UK contact your MP TONITE (18) (closed)
ATTENTION ALL UK FOLKIES URGENT HELP? (97)
Write an Email for Shambles? Part 2 (75)
UK TV Cove Session/The Shambles (24)
All UK folkies take note - the law!!! (68)
BS: Tenterden weekend (and PELs) (11) (closed)
PEL (UK) (25)
Important - Attention All Mudcatters (99)
Council Bans Morris Part 2 (73)
Council Bans Morris Dancing (103)
Day of action for live music 19th July (44)
Traditional activities and the law (13)
Sessions under threat in UK PART 2 (15)
Making Music Is Illegal. (56)
Urgent Help Required!! Threat to UK Sessions (11)


The Shambles 18 Aug 01 - 04:22 AM
Mudcatter 18 Aug 01 - 04:49 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 18 Aug 01 - 05:47 AM
The Shambles 18 Aug 01 - 05:55 AM
The Shambles 18 Aug 01 - 06:01 AM
Roger in Sheffield 18 Aug 01 - 06:19 AM
The Shambles 18 Aug 01 - 06:51 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM
Liz the Squeak 18 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 08:55 AM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Aug 01 - 10:10 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Mudcatter 19 Aug 01 - 12:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 12:39 PM
Mudcatter 19 Aug 01 - 12:56 PM
The Shambles 19 Aug 01 - 01:09 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM
wysiwyg 19 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM
The Shambles 19 Aug 01 - 01:40 PM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Aug 01 - 01:46 PM
IvanB 19 Aug 01 - 02:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 02:34 PM
Mudcatter 19 Aug 01 - 02:50 PM
Terry K 19 Aug 01 - 03:07 PM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Aug 01 - 03:47 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 19 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM
Roger in Sheffield 19 Aug 01 - 04:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM
Barry Finn 19 Aug 01 - 05:58 PM
Micca 19 Aug 01 - 06:25 PM
catspaw49 19 Aug 01 - 06:55 PM
Gareth 19 Aug 01 - 07:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Aug 01 - 07:45 PM
Roger in Sheffield 20 Aug 01 - 01:08 PM
Roger in Sheffield 20 Aug 01 - 01:12 PM
The Shambles 20 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM
Roger in Sheffield 20 Aug 01 - 02:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 02:50 PM
Jacob B 20 Aug 01 - 05:26 PM
running.hare 20 Aug 01 - 05:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 06:11 PM
The Shambles 20 Aug 01 - 06:16 PM
Linda Kelly 20 Aug 01 - 06:23 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 20 Aug 01 - 07:33 PM
Gareth 20 Aug 01 - 07:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 07:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 08:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Aug 01 - 08:04 PM
Gareth 21 Aug 01 - 02:21 PM
Roger in Sheffield 21 Aug 01 - 03:20 PM
The Shambles 21 Aug 01 - 03:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Aug 01 - 04:23 PM
Gareth 21 Aug 01 - 06:56 PM
Gareth 21 Aug 01 - 07:32 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 21 Aug 01 - 09:59 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 03:10 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 22 Aug 01 - 04:24 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 22 Aug 01 - 05:37 AM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 08:42 AM
IanC 22 Aug 01 - 09:00 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 09:40 AM
GeorgeH 22 Aug 01 - 12:03 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 12:28 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 12:55 PM
running.hare 22 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM
The Shambles 22 Aug 01 - 04:41 PM
Gareth 22 Aug 01 - 06:11 PM
M.Ted 22 Aug 01 - 08:11 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Aug 01 - 08:25 PM
Susan from California 22 Aug 01 - 10:48 PM
Sourdough 23 Aug 01 - 12:40 AM
M.Ted 23 Aug 01 - 02:13 AM
The Shambles 23 Aug 01 - 01:33 PM
Gareth 23 Aug 01 - 05:06 PM
running.hare 24 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM
Roger in Sheffield 24 Aug 01 - 01:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Aug 01 - 02:17 PM
running.hare 24 Aug 01 - 03:04 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 04:16 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 05:18 PM
Gareth 24 Aug 01 - 08:22 PM
Roger in Sheffield 25 Aug 01 - 02:01 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Aug 01 - 04:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM
Roger in Sheffield 25 Aug 01 - 04:42 PM
Roger in Sheffield 25 Aug 01 - 05:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Aug 01 - 05:16 PM
Roger in Sheffield 26 Aug 01 - 05:37 AM
Roger in Sheffield 26 Aug 01 - 03:15 PM
Gareth 26 Aug 01 - 04:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Aug 01 - 05:02 PM
Roger in Sheffield 27 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM
The Shambles 27 Aug 01 - 06:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 01 - 08:05 PM
Gareth 27 Aug 01 - 08:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 01 - 09:54 AM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 10:36 AM
Gareth 28 Aug 01 - 01:48 PM
Roger in Sheffield 28 Aug 01 - 02:52 PM
Roger in Sheffield 28 Aug 01 - 03:13 PM
Alice 28 Aug 01 - 03:44 PM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 04:33 PM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 04:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 01 - 04:48 PM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 05:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 01 - 05:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 28 Aug 01 - 05:11 PM
The Shambles 28 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM
Kimberlin 28 Aug 01 - 05:48 PM
Gareth 28 Aug 01 - 07:09 PM
GUEST,_gargoyle 29 Aug 01 - 02:53 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:













Subject: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 04:22 AM

After eight months of trying, I am (supposed) to be meeting with the Chief Executive of my local council this Thursday 23/08/01.

I have been unable to gain much support locally and I am speaking to him from a position of weakness.... I am just an individual with a complicated issue that makes it difficult to gain support from anyone else but people that love traditional music and freedom of expression.

I know that Mudcatters, all around the world are such people. Can I ask for your urgent help?

The details of the issue and where to write can be found here Council Bans Morris 2.

Please do what you can? Thank you very much.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Mudcatter
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 04:49 AM

Shambles,

Your problem is spread other 3 long threads here, and I've found it quite hard to follow what exactly is going on.

If you could provide a short précis of the issues and what exactly you'd like us to say / argue in an email, I'd appreciate it.

Thanks, and good luck for next week


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 05:47 AM

Shambles-I have sent you a PM about this.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 05:55 AM

There are some words of general principle that can be used in the 2nd post of the thread linked to above but..

This is the background. When the current licensees took over the Cove, my wife and I performed there as conventional paid public entertainment. As a result the Friday night became a regular night for this. As long as the two-performer aspect was kept to, a Public Entertainment Licence was not required as the Section 182 exemption (the so-called two-in a bar rule) applied.

Another pub has held a regular sing-around for about 5 years now, without a Public Entertainment Licence. This is not a conventional public entertainment. The musicians are unpaid customers just making traditional song for their own entertainment, with the permission of the licensee. The licensee of The Cove had visited this sing-around with me and would have liked to have a similar thing in their pub but did not want to take away any custom from this establishment.

This session became busy and there was a conflict between songs and tunes. We thought that a session on another night of the week, for tunes only would solve a number of problems. We needed to advertise that it was for tunes only. In our naivety we did not dream that the licensing authority would class customers providing their own traditional music, as performers for the sole purpose of preventing it.

I advertised for participants for the first night 07/12/200, in our local paper, the licensing manager saw this, wrongly assumed that the licensee had place it and was staging a public entertainment. The premises were visited the next day 08/12/00 and the licensee was threatened, even though at this point, the event had not been witnessed to ascertain how many musicians were involved. When it was witnessed they saw what they wanted to see, a public entertainment with more than two performers. They did not bother to speak to any of the musicians. A letter was issued warning that the licensee faced a possible £20,000 fine or a six month prison sentence if it continued.

When I heard of this action I contacted the licensing dept and explained. It would be fair to say that they did not really consider it to be any of my business but a matter only between them and the licensee. Despite the council's other obligations, all they appeared to be concerned about was that it was unfair on the pubs that had PELs. The original event has not received any attention from our officials and continues.

Events of this nature usually stop at this point, the licensee being unwilling to pay for the cost of a PEL. In this case however the licensee did apply on 01/02/01 The PEL was eventually granted on 16/05/01 but with conditions that were not decided by councillors, in the public hearing scheduled for this on 09/05/01. This hearing being cancelled at the very last moment, by the officers, and the conditions applied in private. These conditions preventing any outside entertainment from taking place except once every August. I have established that this includes Morris dancing on land belonging to the premises. Far from enabling it the PEL has resulted in this traditional activity at the pub being prevented.

I did not feel that the elected members and the public would be happy with this and requested that the policy and the future of traditional music locally, be decided by a meeting of the elected members. Eventually on 05/06/01 a meeting of the Social and Community Committee were recommended to "confirm that steps taken by Licensing Officers to encourage an application from the proprietor of The Cove House Inn., Portland for a licence permitting public entertainment on the premises were appropriate and justified"

.

The officers presented 'advice' for this meeting, that really gave the members no other choice but to confirm this. They state: "By applying the relevant licensing legislation the council has imposed conditions and restrictions on Mr Gall's rights (of freedom of expression), that are legal, necessary and proportionate in the interests of public safety, control of nuisance and the prevention of crime and disorder

.

They admit that no public complaint was ever received about the session and no additional safety, noise, or crime measures were required to enable the granting of the PEL. In other words everyone was just as safe before this action as they now are with a PEL and there were clearly never any grounds for preventing for six months, my right of freedom of expression contained in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 06:01 AM

More details of this, links to previous Mudcat threads on the subject and of the wider issue can be found on Trevor Gilson's site HERE.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 06:19 AM

Thanks Shambles I was looking through the Morris thread wondering what I should write in support and where to
When I write complaint letters though I like them to be short and to the point, otherwise the reader might get bored and bin my letter before understanding the point
I think McGrath made the point in the other thread that for many of us any place that is not session friendly is off the tourist map
So where do I write to...?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 06:51 AM

The Director of Tourism, Council Offices, North Quay, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8TA.

ianlocke@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk

A copy to the Chief Executive
tomgrainger@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk and the local paper letters@dorsetecho.co.uk may help too.

Thanks to you all.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 10:44 AM

I've PM'd you a draft of an email I've written, Roger, but not sent off to Weymouth yet.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 18 Aug 01 - 04:26 PM

I remember Ian Locke - he always was a bit of a twit, but get him on your side and he's pretty good.

You have my support Shambles, maybe next time I'm down that way, I'll pop in....

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 08:55 AM

So drop a line to him now Liz, and put the fear of God in him.

A lot of people have dropped in on these threads ove rthe past couple of months - I'm hoping that some of them will respond to Shambles' invitation here and lobby. This business of defending/recovering our right to sing and play matters, and there is actually something to be done here.

The trouble is, the authorities don't think there are enough people around who care about this kind of thing. Maybe they are right, even here on the Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 10:10 AM

I am a bit slow sometimes...... our university students ceilidh society should be interested in this as they hold a pub session
They can be contacted here or if someone can come up with a concise explanation of the problem I could print it off and leave it at the pub for them
Kevin are you trying to say we would rather argue about session etiquette than do something about the demise of the actual sessions? If only half the effort that was expended in the Jug episode were directed at the council it would have them reconsidering fast enough

Roger


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 11:01 AM

Here's a song I wrote about a related aspect, based on a true incident when I went to a session where there was noone I knew, and no music playing. And later I met someone who had been there, who'd also gone there for the session that never took place.

But the moral is, as they say, if you don't use it, you'll lose it.

The Silent Session

Oh Monday night was a dull old night
so the landlord ups and says
"I know, we're going to have a music night,
like we did in the good old day.
We'll have musicians in the public bar,
in the corner of the crowded room,
and we'll all be ready for a good old show,
and we'll have some good old tunes.


Well there was one musician had a song to sing,
and a pair of healthy lungs
but he sat there smoking of his pipe all night,
and we never had a single song. So that was one musician in the public bar,
in the corner of the crowded room -
but he sat there waiting for the show to start,
and we never had a single tune.


And there was one musician had an old guitar
on the back seat of his car -
but he never went to fetch it,
he just sat and sulked,
a-drinking in the public bar.
So that was two musicians in the public bar,
in the corner of the crowded room -
but they sat there waiting for the show to start,
and we never had a single tune.


And there was one musician had a mandolin
it was lying there in its case,
but it lay there silent underneath his chair,
while the evening was going to waste.
So that was three musicians in the public bar,
in the corner of the crowded room -
but they sat there waiting for the show to start,
and we never had a single tune.


And there was one musician had a fiddle and a bow
and a head so full of tunes
but they all sat there, waiting for the show to start,
like a family of old baboons.
So that was four musicians in the public bar,
in the corner of the crowded room -
but they sat there waiting for the show to start,
and we never had a single tune.


And the landlord said "Time Gentlemen!"
and he sent them on their way.
"That's the very last time we'll have a music night
it seems there's nobody as wants to play.
But we were all musicians in the public bar,
in the corner of the crowded room -
but we sat there waiting for the show to start,
and we never had a single tune.


So now come all musicians in the public bar,
in each corner of the crowded room -
don't you sit there waiting for the show to start,
when you can start it with a good old tune.



Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: GUEST,Mudcatter
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 12:02 PM

Kevin,

It's not a case of not wanting to help, but a case of not knowing what to say.

I asked Shambles what I should say to help in an earlier message.

Maybe I'm stupid but I still found the reply difficult to understand.

In 'write in' to give your support campaigns, sample letters are sometimes given, where you can just sign it, and add your own thoughts if you want.

If we were given something similar here, I expect there'd be a better reply.

Mudcatter

who'd like to help but doesn't have the time / legal knowledge to sift through everything here


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 12:39 PM

The legal complications don't really come into it. The law needs changing, but even as it is seems to be only relatively few places where councils see it as their job to try to interfere with people singing and playing music for their own mutual enjoyment, and insist that this counts as something for which a Public Entertainment Licence is required.

So basically you just need to say that this is the sort of thing you like doing, and that, while Weymouth has this policy, you won't be going there for your holidays. And that doesn't matter whether you live in England or the USA or Australia, directors of tourism are there to be interested in that kind of thing.

Indentikit letters such as Mudcatter suggested are in my view a bit of a waste of time. Essentially they are spam, and treated as such. With the right program you could send millions of them, and they know that. Individual letters are much better, and it doesn't take any longer than it does to write a post on the Mudcat,

Anyway, as an example, not a model, here is what I sent them - you could probably write something much more effective by keeping it short and sweet.

For the attention of The Director of Tourism, Council Offices, North Quay, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8TA (ianlocke@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk)

I am writing to you in connection with a matter concerning your council's policy and practice in regard to Public Entertainment Licences.

I currently run a website, which among other things tries to carry up to date information about folk music activities in my part of the country, the Essex Herts border.

This includes keeping people advised about local public houses where the licensees are happy to allow musicians to come in and sing or play music together for their own enjoyment - "sessions" as these are called.

These take places in numerous places all over the country, and generally appear to be accepted by local authorities as social activities which do not require any Public Entertainment License, since there is no question of people being paid to entertain - it is just a matter of people preferring to make music together rather than talk about football or the weather.

However it has come to my attention that some local authorities have interpreted the law in a different way, under which if more than two people take part in any such activity ( by which I mean the activity of making music, not the activity of talking about football or the weather) on any public premises, the activity has to be classed as a public entertainment and requires a public entertainment licence.

So I have been thinking of adding to my website, for the benefit of people planning to go on holiday, a checklist of such authorities. I know that I would always myself prefer to holiday in a place where such sessions, and other traditional folk activities such as Morris Dancing, is not subject to this kind of restriction, and I know that this is true of many people. Fortunately there are many places where the local authority sees no problem in accepting such activities.

Such a list would provide a way of avoiding embarrassment for anybody, especially of course people coming from overseas. I have on a number of occasions had enquiries about this kind of thing from acquaintances in other parts of the world who share my interest in folk music, and whom I have come to know through the Internet. Having this information readily available will enable them avoid those places where they would be unable to relax and enjoy themselves in their chosen fashion.

I understand that Weymouth is such an authority which has determined on a restrictive interpretation of the law - in fact there was a recent story in the national press about this. So the purpose of this letter is to check that the facts which have been stated are correct. So it would be helpful if you could let me know if I am by any chance wrong.

Essentially, if a group of people wish to sing or play unamplified music in a public house, for example, for their own social enjoyment, with the consent of the landlord, and with no objection from other customers, would your council insist that they have no right to do this, unless a public entertainment licence has been obtained? And would,the same policy apply in relation to other public places.?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Mudcatter
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 12:56 PM

Kevin,

I have to disagree regarding 'identikit' letters. Done in the traditional written way, they are more useful than a petition... the person concerned has a big pile of correspondence in their in-tray.

Done electronically, I don't know

Sending thousands of people the same email is easy, but sending one person the same email from thousands of different people is harder (I don't know of any software that allows you to do that - please post details)

Anyway, I'll write, concentrating on the fact that I won't go to Weymouth if this is the situation regarding live music


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 01:09 PM

It is complicated I accept but here are a few points of principle........

I refuse to accept that customers of all ages, sex, race or religion making unpaid music together, for the sheer joy of doing so in a public house, where the interests of the public are already assured by existing legislation, can or should be prevented.

 In this activity the public's freedom of expression is guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

 Where the licensee has given permission for their customers to traditionally make music or sing, there is no additional issue of noise, nuisance or public safety, that is not already more than adequately covered by other existing legislation.

 If a public house's maximum capacity is not exceeded, and all of those customers were to sing, would this activity alone make them unsafe? …..It would however make it illegal, according to WPBC policy.

 This policy is that members of the public making music are performers and where there are more than two people singing along, this activity is illegal, without a Public Entertainment Licence.

 Case law has not established that members of the public are performers but WPBC's policy has.

 Further that traditional activities like Morris Dancing, taking place on private or land belonging to a public house, will also be illegal without this licence.

 I strongly request that Weymouth and Portland Council Borough urgently re-examine both the legality and wisdom of this policy also to establish if this policy has been made in the best interests of all the visitors and residents of Weymouth and Portland?

Roger Gall.

If you agree with the above, it may help if you copy some of all of it, add your own comments and send them to The Director of Tourism, Council Offices, North Quay, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8TA.

ianlocke@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk

Many thanks......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 01:29 PM

Identikit mailings on real bits of paper possibly have some impact, though far less than individual letters I am sure.

As email I suspect they have virtually no effect exceopt to annoy.

And it's so simple to write what you want to say in your own words.

No need even to go into the rights and wrongs of it.

"I like to be able to take part in informal folkmusic sessions in pubs when I go on holiday. I have heard that Weymouth Council has a policy that makes it hard to have such sessions. So I won't be going to Weymouth for my holidays until this policy has been changed, though I have heard that otherwise it is a very pleasant place." For example.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 01:34 PM

Just sent, subject "PEL Question"

Dear Mr. Locke,

Over on this side of the pond, many of us in the Colonies are baffled over current issues over PEL and the informal music-making that has been the UK tradition for centuries.

What is the problem, exactly, that the PEL is meant to address? And what are the interests competing here?

Thanks for your help,

Susan Hinton Mansfield, Pennsylvania USA


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 01:40 PM

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council. You will see that it is indeed a very pleasant place and may be open to any suggestions from prospective tourists as to how it could be made even more pleasant...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 01:46 PM

Thanks Susan, I get the feeling that when it comes to tourism, one american voice equals ten locals at current exchange rates. I am writing mine now but might have to have it checked for foul language before sending


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: IvanB
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 02:08 PM

Sent via email to Ian Locke with copies to Tom Grainger and the Echo:

Dear Mr. Locke:

My wife and I will be leaving the U.S. on 31 August to spend two weeks in England. We have budgeted £2,000 for sightseeing costs, above and beyond our housing and car rental costs. One of our favorite activities when traveling is to attend music 'sessions,' especially those emphasizing folk and/or traditional music. As musicians ourselves, we find it very enjoyable to join in the sharing of our music as well as the partaking of that of others.

One disturbing tendency I'm finding is the interpretation of some local government bodies to treat public sessions as an 'entertainment' requiring licensing. Since I find sessions to be one of the means by which traditional music can be maintained and conveyed to succeeding generations, I believe that, despite the fact they may have some entertainment value, sessions are more educational in nature and should be encouraged rather than restricted.

I've recently found that Weymouth is one of those jurisdictions imposing what I see as unreasonable restrictions on musical sessions. Due to that fact, we will, unfortunately, be forced to forego any visit to your area and will instead spend our money in jurisdictions which take a more enlightened attitude to public sessions. Hopefully, your council will see fit to encourage the dissemination of traditional music in the future. Until such time, we will not be visitors to your area.

Yours truly,

Ivan L. Bradley


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 02:34 PM

Going well!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Mudcatter
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 02:50 PM

Bravo, Ivan B

Just the sort of thing that might make a difference.

One thing that I'd suggest others to do is demand a reply to their complaint.

That way it can't be just swept under the carpet


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Terry K
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 03:07 PM

I just emailed the head of tourism with a copy to Ian Locke via the Council website as linked by Shambles above - it's really easy as they have a contact system with all their job titles and email addys listed. Hope it all works out.

Cheers, Terry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 03:47 PM

Ok so should I send it to all those nice councillors too? and should I wait till tomorrow now as they will have a few to look at Monday morning it seems, a few more Tuesday might be nice don't you think?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:03 PM

Ive sent mine as well, as this is an important issue could somebody refresh it if it goes off the main screen?

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:34 PM

I couldn't wait... its gone
found a nice quote to send them too
.....Music played a role of marked importance in the life of Thomas Hardy. Hardy was surrounded by a family and a community in which music enhanced everything from church services to social gatherings at the local alehouse.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM

On a roll. Who goes next?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 05:58 PM

I've sent (PM) you a copy of my e-mail in support. Best of luck, Barry


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Micca
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 06:25 PM

I have used the form letter above and added this para
".. I have reqularly visited the Weymouth Portland area for many years but will cease to do so and advise others to do likewse until this is satisfactorily resolved, that a council should be so intent on discourageing visitors and harmless activities is wrong and reprehensible..


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: catspaw49
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 06:55 PM

Done.

Spaw


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 07:13 PM

A little bit of technical advise.

For my sins I am involved in political organisation here in South Wales - and while this, quite rightly, outside of the political arena - there are tried and tested ways of maximising pressure on the Councillors (elected) over decisions.

The names and addrsses and where applicable E-Mail addresses of the Local Councillors are included on the Weymouth and Portland Website which "The Shambles" has Clickied earlier in this thread.

Target them by E-Mail or Post - and for GODS sake dont use standard letters, type or manuscript with difference in the wordings.

Invite selected councillors to a meet/sing along etc. so that they can see how orderly and friendly things are.

And make sure that everybody is on thier best behaviour, no singing the "Men behind the wire" etc when the leader of the Conservative Group is present. It will only annoy.

Find a way for the politico's to change without loosing face.

I will stand by my earlier comments that I think this fiasco is a "Jobsworth" trying to justify the worth of thier Jobs.

Bullet points which will always put the fear of God into Councillors and Council officials are 1/. A report to the District Auditor on Waste of Public Money, and 2/. A reprt or complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman on unfair treatment.

(If any catter wants private guidance please PM me.)

Accelerating up the scale your MP will start to take note is he receives 5 or more letters on the subject from voters in his constituency, Again individual letters, not proforma's, and by hand, not photo copies.

Pressure through the Local Chamber of Trade and Licensed Victuallers association, Muscians Union, it effects them as well. Get thier details, the Council and libuaries will have the details.

And again make sure that the "Jobsworths" have a line of retreat. Only an unwise person backs them against a wall.

just a few thoughts but they have worked eslewhere.

I'll do a little research, and post mames and addresses later in the week, but having just got back from Grove I'am knackered.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Aug 01 - 07:45 PM

On a strict interpretation of the law it seems to me that anybody who sings or plays an instrument in a public place, such as a coffee bar or a shop is doing something which requires a Public Entertainment Licence.

The two-in-a-bar exemption just means that, in a pub, up to two people are allowed to "perform" without a PEL being needed. Anywhere else even one person is sufficient to require the licence.

Pretty well the only other exception is church services. So leaving aside carol services in church, carol singers in public places, such as the street or in pubs, are pretty clearly in breach of the law. So are Rugby Players singing Rugby songs, whether in a pub or elsewhere. (All right some might say a bloody good job too - but those might be handy guys to have on our side. I'd love to see council officers trying to stop a bunch of rugger buggers.)

For that matter I would think this would apply to Football Crowds when they sing, since so far as I am aware football grounds would not have this kind of PEL. (After all, this is considered entertaining enough for them to put out records of such singing sometimes.)

Stupid laws survive because sensible people don't bother to enforce them. When stupid people start enforcing them and claim that they are obliged to do so, they should be obliged to do so across the board.

So what plans does Weymouth have to stop Carol Singers? I think they should be asked. Maybe when they reply to those emails and letters explaining how they have to enforce the law, and don't have any discretion on the matter.

Keep those emails going in. When Shambles sees the Chief Executive on Thursday 23rd wouldn't it be nice if the man had been snowed under by polite but emphatic messages from all over the planet?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 01:08 PM

Mine bounced back !
at least it gave me time to tidy it up before sending again, and now they will have something to read tuesday morning


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 01:12 PM

Is it worth trying to get something on the radio 2 message board?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 01:56 PM

I have e mailed mike.harding@bbc.co.uk about the issue, asking if they could feature it on the show. I have not received a reply.

A few more requests may not hurt?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:13 PM

I am not sure the BBC would allow him to Shambles but the message board may be a different a matter?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 02:50 PM

I've just sent an email to Mike Harding giving him a link to all the stuff we've had about this here, which might waken his curiosity.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Jacob B
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:26 PM

I just sent the following:

To: ianlocke@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk, tomgrainger@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk, letters@dorsetecho.co.uk From: Jacob Bloom Subject: Music sessions and morris dancing Date: Mon 5:25p Aug 20, 2001

I have recently learned that public houses in the Weymouth and Portland area are being discouraged from holding music sessions and from having Morris dancing. My understanding is that the discouragement takes the form of requiring the public house to get an entertainment license for an open music session, as if the singing patrons were employees of the public house.

On my last trip to England, Morris performances and music sessions were the most enjoyable parts of my visit. I look forward to bringing my family for a visit, but I certainly would want to avoid any parts of the country where these things were not available.

Can you tell me if there is any chance these policies will be reversed soon?

Jacob Bloom Arlington MA, U.S.A. bloom@gis.net


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: running.hare
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 05:48 PM

The followin is saved in my drafts box, as I wanted to check it with you guy's before sendding it. + I have a few spesific Questions. --------------------------------------------------------- Dear Sir, As a young person, with an Interest in Folk music I am sure you will understand that I am concerned with ensuring its future. The very nature of Folk music means it must be played / sung in order to survive, and the most effective traditional way for this to occur is groups of people to get together to share the music they love. It has come to my attention however that Weymouth and Portland District Council consider this to be unlawful if a PEL is not held. Having lived my entire life in Dorset I am dismayed to discover that yet anther part of our rural life is under threat because members of the public, singing for their own enjoyment, with no money passing hands, are considered by this council to be 'performers'. ".....Music played a role of marked importance in the life of Thomas Hardy. Hardy was surrounded by a family and a community in which music enhanced everything from church services to social gatherings at the local alehouse..... " Will such music denied to me and future generations? Will I be silenced if I sing while relaxing on the beach in weymouth, or climbing in Portland?

I truly hope you reconsider this matter seeing that it is a matter of freedom of expression rather than entertainment. I look forward to your reply,

Yours sincerely, _________________________________________________________

1) should I include my postal address?

2) Roger in Sheffield where is the quote from? I like to sourse Quotes I use.

3) Shambles has the been anything in the local or national press that I could have seen, & therefore refer to, but which in reality I missed.

4) General opinions whould be verry welcome.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:11 PM

Here is an article from the Guardian -"Councils make song and dance over pub law"

I liked that - would do for a letter to the editor or an MP as well as for sending to the council. Send it to all of them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:16 PM

Your full address will enable a snail mail reply and will be more difficult to ignore.

The Guardian had a story on the Cove on 28th July. It can be read on Trevor Gilson's website HERE.

General comments: Bloody Good! Thanks.

A letter to the editor of The Echo for publication on the letters page will be good too.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Linda Kelly
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 06:23 PM

Sent one in similar vein.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:33 PM

I sent one similar to the other 'merican ones.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:49 PM

Hit the Councillors.

Snail mail and Email Addresses to be found on the Weymouth and Portland DC website The Shambles posted earlier.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 07:58 PM

the Weymouth and Portland DC website The Shambles posted earlier.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 08:01 PM

And I've just noticed that that have a Chat Room on the site...maybe we should adjourn there soon. It's a bit later tonight for people in the UK.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Aug 01 - 08:04 PM

Or maybe better still, the WeyBoard they have there.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 02:21 PM

The McGrath of Harlow

VMT for the clicky.

Interestingly the Weyboard has nothing on this discussion.

Perhaps it should !

Hint Hint, Nudge Nudge, Know what I mean !!

I'll lay odds the council IT and legal departments moinitor it, for libel if nothing else.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 03:20 PM

Lizabee I only just had another look at this thread
The quote is here http://www.gettysburg.edu/academics/english/hardy/contexts/folkmusic/music.html
......but I am afraid I already used it so perhaps you could mention THs pub musicianship without using the same quote?
Gareth I think two of the councillors may no longer be in office as I got an error message back from two of the names in the list when I emailed.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 03:51 PM

Gareth said hit them so I did.

*Smiles*

I would have thought that the list would be current, I will check.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 04:23 PM

I've just dropped in on the WeyBoard and left a message, following on Gareth.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 06:56 PM

Go on, the more the merrier.

Use the McGraths Clicky you Cousins.

I can vouch for this - A threat to income from the US Dollar don't half worry tourist orientated towns.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 07:32 PM

Sorry - not 100% thinking

Cross reference to this thread

click here

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 21 Aug 01 - 09:59 PM

I have left a message at the chat room, can somebody let me know if they can see it? I think their chat room is shite, I could not get out of it, I ended up switching my whole system off, and starting again. :-(


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 03:10 AM

So it was you that broke it?

I thought it was me................

The message booard (WEYBOARD) is where you can leave the messages John. I think the chat rooms stuff just goes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 04:24 AM

I will leave a message on the message board then, I certainly wont be going to that chat room again, I had to reset my whole system!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 05:37 AM

Just a thought, would it be worth trying to get an item on BBC Radio 4 Today prog where they have been airing Council jobsworths (eg one where the winner of a council-sponsored best business floral display was served a notice that his 11-year old hanging basket display didn't have planning permission!)?
RtS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:42 AM

Good idea Roger. The piece on the 'happy birthday' case, was submitted but I am not sure if it went on air.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: IanC
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 09:00 AM

I've already e-mailed "Today" with this one, but it won't hurt if someone a bit closer to the action got in touch.

Cheers!
Ian


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 09:40 AM

I had another look at the Weymouth Bulletin Board, and saw your responses IanC (at least I assume that was you). The threads don't seem to be very long there - most are singletons or one or two replies, and the longest they ever seem to have had is only 12 posts long.

But there's some interesting stuff there. I'm going to suggest that our council in Harlow sets one up. But I think they'd be terrified of anything they didn't control out there. So Weymouth does get some things right. Maybe Shambles will be able to help them see that they are making fools of themselves totally needlessly over this, and instead they could set an example.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 12:03 PM

McGrath - re: your post of 19th . .

As I recall and understand: a Pub can be licenced for Music (as part of its Drinks licence) - which covers the "2 in a bar" activity, and has traditionally covered Folk performances - which in turn encompass sessions. The PEL thing is ADDITIONAL to this . . .

Does anyone know whether my understanding is correct here?

George


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 12:28 PM

I think you're essentially right George - any public entertainment anywhere requires a Public Entertainment Licence, unless there is a specific exemption. The only exemptions I am aware of are for church services, and for pubs, where there is a limited exepmtion covering two-in-a-bar. (Elsewhere even one person providing "Public Entertainment in principle means a Public Entertainment Licence is needed.)

There does not seem to be any clear or agreed definition of what "Public Entertainment" consists of. That means that it is open to a local council to call virtually any activity "Public Entertainment" and see if it stands up in court. That is where sessions come in. The fact that an activity is traditional or has always been accepted does not seem to carry any significant weight in court, though I suspect that it could, if the justices thought it should.

The other factor is that human rights legislation enters into the picture now, and it seems improbable that a court taking this into account would see it as legal to forbid people to sing or play musical instruments for their own enjoyment, so long as this did not cause inconvenience to other people.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 12:55 PM

Thanks for all your efforts. But the pressure must continue and grow if at all possible.

The council have never taken this challenge to their authority seriously, thinking that as it was only one musician they had to deal with and he would eventually tire. If the pressure now dies down and fizzles out, their tactic will have been successful. That cannot happen. For it is only US that cares……

You will have seen the official line that has been given to many of those who have written. You will see that the same tactic is being used.

This can be done as it is not done in public. The local paper does not wish to publish any more on the subject, for fear, I assume of upsetting the council who do pay for a lot of advertising. Can we try and get this debate in the public view?

If you express your opinion of Mr Gilmour's position in the local press (and everywhere you can think of) and just copy it to him, even if it does not get published, the council will not know this for sure. If enough short emails or letters are written, with your full address (and phone No), it will make their tactic much more difficult. Especially if you are not local and say you will not be visiting until the policy changes. For they will not wish to be pressured by local Hoteliers and businesses.

Letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

I will post all those that are published (if any).

We have to try and get them to defend their policy that more than two members of the public singing along together, count as performers and will be prevented without a PEL. They have yet to debate it or try and defend it……………They will look ridiculous if they try and they know this.

They hide behind the claim that the law makes them do this, the law does not.

Thanks to everyone for what you have done but we have to keep the pot stirred, and as publicly as possible.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: running.hare
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM

I've replaced my qoute with

"Through the incorporation of music into his works, Hardy strove to preserve the musical traditions of his familiar rural settings."

from the same artical.

hope thats ok, will send email now with a Cc to the echo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 04:41 PM

This appears on Weymouth and Portland's web site, on the entry to their chat room.

Weymouth and Portland's own chat room. No smoking, no drinking or loud music in the chat room......HAVE FUN.

There is a sort of double irony here, don't you think?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 06:11 PM

Keep up the pressure.

Councillors have to answer thier own mail.

Try Here the Weymouth and Portland DC bullitin board & tourst comments You will find Councillors addresses though if you bundle letters in one envelope to the Council offices - address = Members Services Weymouth & Portland Borough Council Council Offices, North Quay, Weymouth, Dorset, England, DT4 8TA

It will be cheaper

Also on the Website you will find a bullitin board. USE IT !

You will also find a comment board/guest book under Tourism. Use It

Now come on you Cousins - The threat of the loss of the US Dollar hurts towns in Britain - To mis-quote Churchill ( or was it FDR ) "the time has come for the New World to come to the rescue of the traditions of the Old World"

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: M.Ted
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:11 PM

Shambles,

I am with you in spirit on this, but we have had a string of difficulties that haven't allowed me the time I need to put my thoughts to page--I will try to get something done next week and put it into the mill--I'll copy you, or even send it for your review before I send it out, as you like--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 08:25 PM

Still, it doesn't take any longer to post to the Weymouth bulletin board than it does to the Mudcat.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Susan from California
Date: 22 Aug 01 - 10:48 PM

Well, I sent an email mentioning that I will take my tourist $$ elsewhere if they shut down "sessions". I did give my snail mail address, but I didn't mention that my tourist $$ are sadly limited at this point and for the forseeable future :-) Hope it helps !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Sourdough
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 12:40 AM

I have sent a message from the US a few minutes ago.

Sourdough


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: M.Ted
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 02:13 AM

When I write something like this, I want it to stay written--There are a number of points that really need to be spelled out, with the intent of finally getting them to realize that there is a serious issue here--

As to the Weymouth Bulletin board, I think you've covered it pretty well--for myself, I lost it when I saw the post from Sally inquiring about a beach for dogs, and couldn't think of thing to say--


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 01:33 PM

I presented Lord Bash'em's comments personally into the Chief Executive's hands a few hors ago. The important bits were indeed underscored in red. He has got the message now........

He did not appear to know about it. Which is a little annoying as I presented to them via my councillor in January 2001.......

I basically requested that they accept that whether more than two members of the public were performers and to be prevented without a PEL, was now their policy.

I asked them to defend it or change it. They are to consider and come back.

The fact that they are even considering anything is a great leap forward and due almost entirely to your efforts. Please keep the pot stirred??

I will come back with more details when it has all sunk in.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 23 Aug 01 - 05:06 PM

Keep up the pressure -

Please use the bullitin board here

Also on that site if you dig you will find a guest/comment book for tourists - Why not use it, particullaly our American and Canadian Cousins.

Snail Mail to the Councillors - address as above clicky will certainly help.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: running.hare
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM

I thought you' like to see the replie I got from Weymouth & P. council.

"Before you judge us you may find it useful to know the position in Weymouth, and I would be delighted to supply you with the facts.

Weymouth is fully committed to the arts, not just in rhetoric, but in actions.

We provide a fully funded 1000 seat theatre, with a wide ranging programme from the Yetties to the Bolshoi Ballet. The Ocean Room a multi purpose venue (again provided by the Council) can accommodate 400 with a stage. Last year we held a FREE two week music festival on the beach with professional and amateur musicians across every spectrum of music. We have produced a Cultural strategy for the Borough and are currently consulting with the community to ensure that it reflects their needs and desires. We have an Arts Development Offices dedicated to working with groups in the community.

These are not the action of a Council that is opposed to the arts.

For your further information over 80 of the Public Houses in the Borough have an Entertainments License as is required by law. The Council did not make the law, but is required to enforce it. As to the cost, the pub you describe with a small group of people coming together would pay 55 pence per evening for their license, hardly extortionate. I should also point out it is not the pub who are objecting to having an entertainment license, but it is one of the musicians.

Having provided you with the accurate picture, I would ask you in return to tell your friend what an enlightened and fun loving council we are.

Yours

Peter Gilmour Publicity & Community Liaison Services Manager"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 01:41 PM

......sounds like mine Lizabee, do you think they are sending out a standard reply?????????


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 02:17 PM

They haven't sent me any reply yet. Either they've decided to ignore me, or they're working on a proper reply. Probably the former.

But reading the reply - does that mean there is a Public Entertainment Licence covering the beach all year? OR if you chose to sing a song on the beach outside that two week period, would you be offending against the law?

But of course they have completely ignored the central question, which is "Under what circumstances does Weymouth Council consider that the act of singing or playing a musical instrument becomes something that is to be classed as 'Public Entertainment'?" Which is a pretty simple question.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: running.hare
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 03:04 PM

"......sounds like mine Lizabee, do you think they are sending out a standard reply????????? "

proberbly, & a rather deffencive & evasive one at that! I still haven't the faintest idear when I will/won't be breaking the law in weymouth! What if I hum along to one of the'se backing music things most shops have. infact are those leagal???

"a wide ranging programme from the Yetties to the Bolshoi Ballet." So if your famouse you very welcome in weymouth, but local kidswill have to bugger off some where else to make a name for them selves? Is that what the council's saying?

"I should also point out it is not the pub who are objecting to having an entertainment license, but it is one of the musicians" ie, we as musscians have no right to an opinion!

Of course I may have read it wrong?!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 04:16 PM

Deputising for The Shambles as he has gorn away over the Bank Holiday weekend - Yes he needs a break !!

Herewith the text of the letters published in the Echo this week.

I put the JPG file Roger sent me through "TextBridge v9" and then "Word 2000" Any mistakes are mine.

I will put a Webpicture of the Newspaper up later tonite - if I am sober enough.

Music policy is down to council

WILL the borough council please finally explain to the people of Weymouth and Portland why they choose to hold a policy that considers more than two members of public singing along together in a pub as performers? As a consequence this activity is illegal and will be prevented without a public entertainment licence (held by only six par cent of licensed premises) .

This stifle policy also prevents Morris dancing on private land. Current legislation does not force them to do this, as they claim.

This is made clear in the following quote from The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Home Office (Lord Bassan of Brighton) replying on behalf of HM Government to 2 questions from The Lord Bishop of Oxford in The House of Lords Entertainment Legislation Debate (Monday, December 11, 2000) "Whether members of the public who sing on licensed premises count as performers is a matter for the licensing authority to decide depending on the circumstances." (I have supplied the council with the full minutes of this debate).

This clearly demonstrates that as the licensing authority it is the council's decision and councils policy alone. Why do we have this ridiculous policy? If the Council is not pre pared to defend it! then will they please take urgent steps to change it before many more valuable act activities are lost ?

ROGER GALL Wakehan Portland

Make song and dance on policy

I HAVE recently learned that public houses in the Weymouth and Portland area are being discouraged from holding music sessions and from having Morris dancing.

My understanding is that the discouragement takes the form of requiring the public house to get an entertainment licence for an open music session.

On my last trip to England Morris performances and music sessions were the most enjoyable parts of my visit. I look forward to bringing my family for a visit. But I certainly would want avoid any parts of the country where these things were not available.

Can you tell me if there is any chance these policies will be reversed soon?

JACOB BLOOM Arlington MA. USA

I AM an American Morris dancer folk Singer and music teacher looking forward to a visit to England next summer to make music with friends new and old, not as a paid performer but as a friend among friends. I am distressed to learn that the age-old tradition of making music in a public house is being threatened by what seems little more than bureaucracy .

A licensed house can only benefit lit from peaceful music making or dancing, and indeed, could suffer from Overly-stringent laws requiring public entertainment licenses, I strongly request that Weymouth and Portland Borough Council urgently re examining both the legality and wisdom of this policy and also establish if this policy has been made in the best interests of all the visitors and residents of Weymouth and Portland.

I do hope to visit and sins and dance in the home of my ancestors, freely and without fear of reprisal!

ALLISON ALDRICH COBB Keene, New Hampshire USA

Hope this HTML works

If it don't can a Muslef/Joclone please fix or delete

Gareth - for The Shambles

and Roger - if you see this over the weekend you owe me at least three choruses of Crawshaw Bailey


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 05:18 PM

As promissed here is a webpage including the Echo Letters page

Here it is

Again many thanks to you all who submitted.

Gareth pp The Shambles.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Aug 01 - 08:22 PM

The Shambles is away and computerless untill Tuesday, he has asked me to continue in his abscence - don't know why - there are others who are better at this than me !

And if Catters are being bored by this - well your folk night may be the next to suffer !!

Well thank you all - I've been a bit naughty and checked up the traffic figures on the Website since putting it up.

Nice number of hits but joking apart.

The battle in not won, we need to continue the fight, so if you have a moment or two to spare keep those Emails and letters comming in

The addresses of Weymouth Councillors and the Bullitin Board can be found Here

An E-Mail to the ( ianlocke@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk )Director of Tourism

An E- Mail to the cheif executive of the Council tomgrainger@wpbc.weymouth.gov.uk ( what used to be known as the town clerk

And the Local paper, the Dorset Echo letters@dorsetecho.co.uk

It takes little effort to copy an E Mail !!!!!!!!!!!!!

NB if the Echo runs true to most local papers the letters section will close for press at about 1700 hrs GMT on the Monday of each week.

Remenber it's not just those bits published that count. Its the continued pressure that counts - this is why we ask you to keep it comming, and spend the odd postage stamp on letters to Councillors.

Have a good, musical weekend y'all

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 02:01 PM

...will someone join me on the Radio2 Folk and Acoustic message board? its very lonely there right now


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:28 PM

Put in a link RofS. Either a blue clicky or just the URL.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:37 PM

Found it!BBC 2 Folk and Acoustic Message Board

Off to leave a message. Though does anyone read them other than us? Thye probably do, buit I wish they'd stick their heads above the parapets sometimes.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 04:42 PM

Sorry thought I had but that could have been the other thread
R2 folk/acoustic message board
you have to register first by providing them with an email address


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 05:10 PM

They should be interested at Radio 2, their board has the following question at the top
Have you been to any good sessions lately? Where's your favourite?

I notice that the HOST Mel McClellan has not commented yet - do you think he is taking advice on the best course of action, to ignore or delete the offending messgages?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Aug 01 - 05:16 PM

Posted me message - mind you, it's not up their yet, they hold it in a queue before posting it. Not a patch on the Mudcat, or even the WeyBoard. I suppose it allows them to censor the messages if need be.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 05:37 AM

Its up there now
I suppose the problem for a lot of people who would like to comment on this is that they don't want to drop their favourite pub in hot water. I have only commented in a theoretical sense on the issues to those I have contacted to avoid any problem - unless I am talking about Weymouth which is out in the open anyway


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 03:15 PM

I just tried replying to someone on the R2 site but the connection here was really slow, so I kept on trying, and eventually it went


.....How surprised I was when the page refreshed, saying that my message would appear shortly........surprised as the background had changed and I was now looking at the Doctor Who message board !!!!!!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 04:10 PM

Roger - The Time Lord strikes again ! Its not a bad error if you compare the actions of certain councils with DALEK's

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Aug 01 - 05:02 PM

E-X-T-E-R-M-I-N-A-T-E


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 01:26 PM

Speak now if you think it's a bad idea, otherwise I am handing in a pile of background info with an explanation to my MP and asking him to pursue the matter with the relevant departments . I am using the Weymouth info as evidence and pointing out that other councils waste time and effort in the same way and for what purpose?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 06:44 PM

This must be a good idea and one that can only help, for the battles under the current legislation may be won locally but the war can only be won nationally with new and sensible legislation.

We are the only ones that care specifically about the effect on traditional activities........

If we don't get involved now, the new could be worse than the old?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 08:05 PM

Good luck with lobbying your MP - we should all do that. I'll send our man some stuff, and no doubt get a nebulous but friendly letter back, the way one does. At least he's got an email address, which makes it easier - though I think it's a good idea to send real letters in real envelopes as well.

One problem with MPs is they have strict limits on what they will take up - first reaction of most MPs to hearing anything like "Weymouth" will be to say "Oh that's a matter for the Weymouth MP, not me". If there's a local example of a session under threat, it'll be easier to get them interested.

In terms of political lobbying, I suppose what is needed is to find somewhere an MP who is willing to see this as a national issue, rather than just a local one, and get them to put an "early day motion" before the House of Commons, which we can then try to get our own MPs to sign.

But trying to find ways of getting favourable media attention might be more productive, and more fun.

Shambles is right enough about the fact that most people in England don't care much about traditional activities of this kind. But the rules at present don't just apply to us, and there are almost certainly other people who are at least potentially affected. Remember, it isn't just in pubs that these restrictions apply, and it isn't just our kinds of folk music. We need to be finding allies.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 27 Aug 01 - 08:34 PM

The McGrath / Roger of Sheffield.

I regret that there are Parliamentary Rules on this. An MP is not allowed to ask a question in Parliament about matters concerning another MP's constituency.

I speak as one who has drafted the odd parilamentary question for an MP from time to time, and may well do so again in the future.

Thus anything must be taken to include Harlow/ Your part of Sheffield, or of deemed national interest.

I am working on a early day motion, and will advice progress when I can.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 09:54 AM

Here's a link that looks useful Campaign for Live Music (CaLM) - I'll post this in the various threads about this currently with us.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 10:36 AM

I am working on a early day motion, and will advice progress when I can.

I too am a great believer in starting the day well, with an early motion. Be speaking to you when you eventually get out of the John.

Sorry to lower the tone.....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 01:48 PM

I retrieved the following off the Radio 2 massage/bulitin board,

re: Session legal? - PEL - session tax? Mel McClellan - HOST - 28 Aug 2001 10:33 - 25th post There's been a lot of coverage about PELs in the folk press lately and action is being taken. The EFDSS and Musicians' Union backed a Musicians' Day of Action in July and various groups have been set up, eg. The Campaign For Live Music, to battle the legislation. If lots of us get involved, maybe we can make a difference

Look as if some results are starting to come through

Here is Clikky for Radio 2 board Click here
please note that you will have to register.

And don't forget those E Mails clickkys in thread.

Gareth


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 02:52 PM

Call that a clicky Gareth !! You can get to it from there but the links back up the thread take you straight there

The letter I wrote to my MP was about my right to play music in a group greater than two in his constituancy. I said I might like to start a session here but the publicity over the situation in Weymouth looked like it would be prohibitively expensive to do so. I also mentioned that my instruments are different to those used in classical music and they were recently made by skilled UK Craftsmen. I asked how could such a cultural experience as freely exchanging traditional music and song be open to what seemd to be taxation? I asked him to take up the matter with relevant departments and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP
I sent lots of background info too, nicely typed - just the odd typo.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Roger in Sheffield
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 03:13 PM

Friday I sent this email message to Tom Grainger

The discussion in Hansard (11 dec 2000) seems to suggest that the licencing authority is able to interpret the act, At present I take it five amateur musicians playing quiet acoustic instruments (without an audience) would need a PEL while a famous crowd drawing entertainer playing a loud amplified instrument would not - for safety and noise considerations?

is the act not open to interpretation as you understand it?

I hope he won't mind me sharing the reply

...I just now got this back from Tom Grainger Cc Sue Allen,Melanie Earnshaw

Hansard is of course only a record of parliamentary discussions, not a statement of the law. What lord bassam said was "...depending on the circumstances" I outlined some of the more extremes of circumstances that could apply in my last email ie informal, unplanned sing song thru to professional regular acts. In so far as your examples are concerned, in principle 5 folk muscians quietly playing acoustic instruments are likely to require a PEL (or at least the premises in which the playing takes place is likely to need one) and the sole performer is unlikely to need one. We can only deal with the law as it stands, but one of the things the Council has said is that if sufficient musicians tell us that they think the law should be changed because it is curtainling pleasures and pastimes then tell us. We can't do anything directly, but we will pass informed comments to the appropriate Govt departments. To add weight to any points we could do with examples of cutailments/ infringements rather than unsustantiated statements.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Alice
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 03:44 PM

"curtailing pleasures and pastimes" is a phrase that lets me know that they are starting to understand the problem and communicating to you that they may understand the problem. A list of times, dates, and incidents that substantiate that the law is "curtailing pleasures and pastimes" should be sent to the "appropriate Govt departments". I know the Cove incident has already been written about. What other specific incidents do they need? Still, isn't their interpretation of the law different than other towns that don't have a problem with musical "pleasures and pastimes"?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 04:33 PM

They have had the comments of more than one musician for over eight months. I now doubt if they have even read them, let alone collate or pass them on to the Government

We have our MPs to do this anyway.

We do not need this small West Country council to do anything other than address the problem they have created by ignoring musicians interests and by now ignoring a Government Minister's answer to the specific question of who decides if members of the public are performers.

They have tried to hide behind the law and passed the buck for all this time and now will decide when comments from musicians are "sufficient" enough for them to pass on?

Is this really the only constructive measure they can come up with, to deal with the effect their own policy is having on traditional events?

Alice they now understand the size of the problem. But only because many good folk like yourself have taken the time and trouble to point it out to them.

They cannot change the law and are not even offering to try, only to pass on the comments we have sent to them on to someone else, to deal with.

All they need to do is use the quite staggering powers of discretion they have demonstrated to me over this period, to try and enable folk events instead of stretching their interpretation of the law to prevent them.........

To add weight to any points we could do with examples of cutailments/ infringements rather than unsustantiated statements.

Who do they think they are and who do they think they are talking to?

The only curtailments/ infringments that will be going to central government are the ones that they alone are responsible for.....These will be substantiated I can assure them........Rant over...........


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 04:45 PM

After reading Roger's reply from Mr Grainger I really do not think that it is worth wasting time in sending any more emails to the officers.

Emails to the councillors (copied to the local paper) may stir them into questioning the officer's actions. The councillors after all have now endorsed the officers actions as policy. They will have to defend the policy to those that would elect them.

The councillors contact details can be found here..Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 04:48 PM

I've had Mr Gilmour's standard reply, about the Yetties performing in the Bolshoi Ballet or whatever. Here is the reply I've sent him:

Dear Mr Gilmour

I'm sure Weymouth is a delightful place and Weymouth Council is keen on promoting the arts. But that isn't what I asked.

My query in my email of August 18th was whether the council has a policy in place that regards informal music sessions, in pubs or in other places as "public entertainment" which requires there to be a PEL (except in the case in a pub where the two-in-a-bar exemption applies).

In my second email on August 25th I simplified the question, and asked: "Am I right in understanding that there are in fact no circumstances in which it is possible to sing or play a musical instrument, (apart from the case where this is being done within a private home with no visitors, or in the course of a music lesson), when this will not be counted as "public entertainment" by Weymouth Council?"

Your statement that "the Council did not make the law, but is required to enforce it" does not really answer either question. However from your response I take it that the answer to both questions is "yes". In other words, noone can make music or sing (except within a private home), except where a Public Entertainment Licence has been obtained. Presumably this includes carol singers, aside from church carol services.

It appears to me that the council has misunderstood the law in this matter. The law does not require that, when a group of friends, (or indeed a single individual in a coffee bar for example) make music or sing for their own enjoyment, this should be treated as constituting ipso facto a "public entertainment".

At least this appears to be how the law in question was understood when, in the House of Lords on December 11th, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton), replying on behalf of HM Government to a question from The Lord Bishop of Oxford, said "Whether members of the public who sing on licensed premises count as performers is a matter for the licensing authority to decide, depending on the circumstances".

Moreover Weymouth's position doesn't seem in the spirit Home Office circular 13/2000, which says "The purpose of licence conditions is to ensure safety, minimise nuisance and prevent crime and disorder. The nature of any conditions that are attached to a licence inevitably varies according to the venue, the event and local considerations. But there are concerns that some conditions are excessive, that they replicate other regulations or are inappropriate to the premises or event. Compliance with conditions clearly adds to the cost of the licence and it is therefore important that local authorities ensure that they are reasonable."

In any case, it appears that for the time being Weymouth Council policy is to exclude the possibility of informal musicmaking without a PEL. So until this policy has been changed, or until it has been overturned in court as inconsistent with other legislation relating to human rights, Weymouth is clearly not the place to go to if you value the freedom to do this, as part of your holiday.

If I have misunderstood the position in any way, please let me know, so that I can correct the information which I will include on my website and pass on to prospective visitors to our shores. I will tell people that though Weymouth is undoubtedly "an enlightened and fun loving council ", especially if they want to go and listen to other people being paid to make music, it is not the place to go if they wish to make music themselves just for their own enjoyment, and without any payment.

Yours

Kevin McGrath


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 05:05 PM

This thread is a bit big to load now.

Write an email for Shambles Part 2


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 05:08 PM

Remember, while what we say may not be seen as worth running as a story, what is said to use by officials and by politicians is much more likely to be seen as newsworthy. That is one reason why it is always worth keeping on writing the letters, even though the answers are laughable.

And one letter leads to another - I would think that Tom Grainger's reply to Roger of Sheffield would be the springboard for a letter to Lord Bassem, asking him what he thinks about the way that Weymouth Council evidently regards his advice as so insignificant.

Again, as Shanmbles poiints out "They will have to defend the policy to those that would elect them." So what is the position as regards music and singing as part of an elctoral public meeting?

Weymouth Campaign for Live Music, which is plannig to put up candidates at the next local election in defence of our right to have music sessions."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 05:11 PM

That last paragraph went wrong:

For example: "No, thisd is not a music session as such. This is a meeting organised by the Weymouth Campaign for Live Music, which is planning to put up candidates at the next local election in defence of our right to have music sessions."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 05:20 PM

PART TWO HERE


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Kimberlin
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 05:48 PM

As a public servant employed by Weymouth Council (but not in licensing) I am probably one of the few people to agree that if a licence is required by any pub due to mplaying of music than that requirement should be enforced universally whatever the background to the case. If you do not enforce rules universally, but only when you feel like it, anarchy entails. By this I mean that once you enforce it for one pub you must enforce it for all.

However that said this law is absolutely ridiculous as it is written (ie without an amateur performer exclusion) as it means every pub requires the licence as you can guarantee that more than once a year "happy birthday" will be sung and "Auld lang syne" will be rendered at new year.

The law needs to be changed to exclude all amateur performances from the scope of the law whether it is new music or traditional music. The fact that through this forum we support folk & roots music is irrelevant to the argument - the key factor is whether the performers are being paid whether they are playing folk, rock, reggae, jazz, Bangra, classical or whatever. All musicians whatever it is that they play should support a campaign to keep live, amateur, music venues open and unlicensed other than for sensible items such as noise levels and safety matters.

However before that change occurs a campaign needs to be aimed at the Local Government Association in the hope that an agreed national code of practice can be issued for the UK that means all local authorities interpret the rules in the same way particularly if, as seems sensible, an agreement is reached nationally that enforcement of the need for a PEL does not occur where the musicians/dancers are unpaid and any collection made on the night for dancing etc goes 100% to charity and not "club" funds.

The law is stupid but so is the current erratic policy regarding enforcement and I am sure as many people will be annoyed if they find their Council is not collecting revenue it could collect as are currently annoyed by what they see as over zealous enforcement of the current stupidly worded law!!!

I certainly hope that my Council tax is being kept down through the persuit of income by relevant officials of both the County and the District Councils - hence the dilemma raised by this daft Act of Parliament!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: Gareth
Date: 28 Aug 01 - 07:09 PM

Kimberlin - see my answer on the part TWO thread

PART 2 HERE


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Will you write an Email for Shambles?
From: GUEST,_gargoyle
Date: 29 Aug 01 - 02:53 AM

Shambles....thank you

I have written....and expressed my view to your counsel

The law .... IS THE LAW !!! .... it MUST be UPHELD !!!! .... or we will quickly descend into anarchy.

Without the law .... there would be no "copyright-police," or "guilds" or "unions" .... my GOD man .... without the "LAW" there would be no-one who could tell "mad max" what he can....or cannot post on his little MC site.

Have you lost ALL respect for authority????

Come to your senses QUICK!!!

Sincerely,

Gargoyle


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...


This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 4 August 11:20 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.