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UK Government to license Morris Dancing

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The Shambles 17 Apr 03 - 03:18 AM
The Shambles 17 Apr 03 - 03:26 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 17 Apr 03 - 03:28 AM
Greycap 17 Apr 03 - 03:57 AM
fogie 17 Apr 03 - 04:23 AM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 17 Apr 03 - 04:27 AM
clansfolk 17 Apr 03 - 05:23 AM
Alexis 17 Apr 03 - 05:59 AM
Doktor Doktor 17 Apr 03 - 06:08 AM
Alexis 17 Apr 03 - 06:28 AM
Doktor Doktor 17 Apr 03 - 07:00 AM
Rapparee 17 Apr 03 - 07:15 AM
John J 17 Apr 03 - 08:22 AM
The Shambles 17 Apr 03 - 08:42 AM
stevetheORC 17 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM
The Shambles 17 Apr 03 - 11:10 AM
Hester 17 Apr 03 - 11:26 AM
GUEST 17 Apr 03 - 11:26 AM
stevetheORC 17 Apr 03 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,JohnB 17 Apr 03 - 12:58 PM
Troll 17 Apr 03 - 09:14 PM
The Shambles 18 Apr 03 - 02:54 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 18 Apr 03 - 06:02 AM
clansfolk 18 Apr 03 - 08:01 AM
clansfolk 18 Apr 03 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,Cookieless Nickp 18 Apr 03 - 02:25 PM
vindelis 18 Apr 03 - 02:36 PM
Rara Avis 18 Apr 03 - 04:00 PM
DonMeixner 18 Apr 03 - 08:23 PM
The Shambles 19 Apr 03 - 07:09 AM
The Shambles 19 Apr 03 - 07:13 AM
The Shambles 21 Apr 03 - 02:38 AM
The Shambles 21 Apr 03 - 04:38 AM
Rara Avis 21 Apr 03 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,JohnB 21 Apr 03 - 12:39 PM
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Grab 22 Apr 03 - 02:56 PM
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Subject: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 03:18 AM

The latest from our friends at the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Whilst reading this letter, please remember just how hard the Government are trying to make this sound like good news and also this department is supposed to be promoting our culture.

Thank you for your e-mail of 13 March to Dr Kim Howells, about the Licensing Bill. I am replying on his behalf.

The definition of regulated entertainment can be found in the Licensing Bill, Schedule 1. The Bill, along with explanatory notes, can now be read or downloaded from our web site (www.culture.gov.uk ) under New Responsibilities; news; the parliament website.

As you may know spontaneous performance is not licensable. Where a public house has advertised that Morris dancers would be in attendance, a licence would then be necessary. However, this should not prevent dancing from taking place as the pub owner, who has to obtain the new licence to sell alcohol, can simultaneously apply for permission to provide any amount of entertainment at no extra cost.

Outdoor events would benefit from the more informal system of permitted temporary activities under the Bill that requires only a simple notification to the licensing authority and the police and a small fee of around £20.

Although outdoor events would be licensable under the Bill, we will be
encouraging local authorities to licence public open spaces, such as village greens, on which many performances take place. No additional licence would need to be obtained by dancers or anyone else carrying out licensable activities covered by such a licence, although the consent of the local authority holding the licence would be required.

Also, under the Bill the provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities at a garden fete, or at a function or event of a similar character, is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment. This, however, does not apply if the fete, function or event is promoted with a view to applying the whole or part of its proceeds for purposes of private gain.

You may be interested to learn that Dr Howells recently held a meeting with representatives of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and the Morris Federation, among other Morris dancing organisations, to discuss their concerns.

I enclose, for your information, an updated copy of the fact sheet that explains how the Licensing Bill would affect public entertainment. This incorporates the amendment to the Licensing Bill to exempt the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities at places of public religious worship from the need for an authorisation under the Bill and our decision to exempt village, parish and community halls from the need to pay a licence
fee in respect of the provision of regulated entertainment.

It also refers to the Government's commitment to exempt schools and sixth form colleges where the entertainment or facilities are provided by the school from the fees associated with the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities under the Bill.

The fact sheet also contains the amendment to the Bill that clarifies that regulated entertainment would not be provided for consideration and with a view to profit in circumstances where a charity intended simply to cover the costs of a private event. Events that were not intended to make a profit but only to cover costs would not be licensable only because consideration was involved.

Furthermore, we have incorporated in the fact sheet the amendment to the Bill which makes it clear that entertainers who performed at unlicensed venues and did nothing else in relation to the provision of regulated entertainment would not be committing an offence.

There is also a reference to the amendment that was made to the Bill in the House of Lords but resisted by the Government, which provided an exemption for the provision of entertainment or entertainment facilities at events attended by no more than 250 people at one time and which finish before 11.30pm. The Government has overturned this amendment because, in addition to the small-scale events intended to be covered by the exemption, a great deal of potentially undesirable activity would be without any kind of regulatory control whatsoever. It would, for instance, completely undermine the film classification system. Film classifications are currently enforced through conditions on licences. This amendment would mean that any film
showing attended by fewer than 250 people could not have a classification imposed, potentially allowing young children to watch violent or pornographic films with no restriction or control. It would also remove the right of the police to object on grounds of protection of children from harm if an unsuitable person - perhaps someone involved with drugs - tried to organise a musical event for up to local children.

We will be working with musicians' representatives, local authorities and industry, to inform the drawing up by us of statutory guidance for licensing authorities with the aim that venues can put on live music more easily, while protecting the rights of local residents. This follows concerns expressed by musicians that licensees will be discouraged from putting on entertainment by a fear that licensing authorities will impose unnecessary and costly conditions to their licences, such as requesting expensive alterations to venues. The guidance will recommend for licensing authorities what would be appropriate conditions.

The Government has also accepted the principle that the performance of live music which is incidental to activities which are not themselves entertainment or the provision of entertainment facilities should be exempt from the provisions of the Bill, along with the playing of recorded music which is incidental to activities which are not themselves entertainment or the provision of entertainment facilities.

We believe that the Bill will make it more affordable than now to stage live entertainment in the vast majority of cases and increase opportunities for musicians and other artists to perform. In short, entertainers have nothing to fear from this Bill, but much to gain from it. I hope this letter reassures you.

Claire Vickers
Alcohol & Entertainment Licensing Branch
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Floor
2-4 Cockspur Street
London
SW1Y 5DH

Tel: 020 7211 6380
Fax: 020 7211 6319

Email: claire.vickers@culture.gsi.gov.uk
www.culture.gov.uk


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 03:26 AM

Anyone in the UK concerned about the Licensing Bill can now lobby their MP and local press directly from the Musicians' Union website:
http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/welcome.shtml

In addition to a pre-prepared text that can be sent automatically to your MP and the press, the site is running a Poll and a new petition highlighting the findings of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

I am not aware that this petition is limited to UK residents so any help from overseas will be much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 03:28 AM

why dont the goverment just fuvk off and mund there own bisiness? i might start morris dancing just to pis them off!, they should be doinf stuff to encourage traditional culture not restrict it , a while ago a bloke was paid £12,000, yes, twelve thousand pounds for kicking a coke can down the street, this was considered art! and folkies are threatened with 6 montyhs jail for playing music? load of shit if you ask me! ps if you want to know aboit the 12, 000 pound thing look at the media gaurdian site, do a search in the art section.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Greycap
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 03:57 AM

It's really heartening to know that Morris dancing is going to be a source of revenue for the Department of Culture, Media & Sport( DCMS).
I'm unaware of any help or encouragement from them in the past.
I actually started going to folk type venues in the 60's ( yes, I'm that old ) to avoid being corralled into official, overseen, over-directed pastimes.
Now they are here, in my face.I wish they weren't.
What does anyone else feel?


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: fogie
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 04:23 AM

John from Hull says it more sweetly than many of us weaker-spleened individuals ever could


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 04:27 AM

i think i speled bisiness wrong, but you know waht i mean.john


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: clansfolk
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 05:23 AM

I thought it needed a license already - For public performances?


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Alexis
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 05:59 AM

I'm still confused. What does this mean?

"Furthermore, we have incorporated in the fact sheet the amendment to the Bill which makes it clear that entertainers who performed at unlicensed venues and did nothing else in relation to the provision of regulated entertainment would not be committing an offence".

and it seems that Morris dancing at a pub or specific venue will need to be licenced, but a Morris side wandering about performing impromptu, won't ?

Any help on this?
Alex


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 06:08 AM

Didn't use to need a licence - per se, although pubs & festivals did and mass dance events that involve closing off streets always have involved a lot of negotiation with the town hall.

The real change so far as I can see is that if you are organising a dance event of any sort (apart from village fetes - but you won't be organising them anyway) you will in future need to ensure that the event / venue has a licence. The exemption from the criminal law is only for performers - not organisers. So if you're the squire / foreman and you feel like doing a summer's evening tour, you now have to decide exactly where & when you're going to do it about 6 weeks in advance. You'll than have to approach all the publicans / village councils on your route to confirm that licences are in place. If they aren't, you'll have to give a temporary event notice to the / each local authority for each unlicenced spot @ £20 quid a go.

DCMS have already conceded that wassailers (carol singers) won't have to go through all this rigmarole and I can't really see whole rapper sides being carted away by the feds - but the letter of the law looks as if it's going to stand. Obvious danger is that local authority prodnoses are going to use it for a re-run of the Cerne Abbas Mumming Scandal.

Still theres scope for a whole new tradition - the Annual Banning of The Mummers. Suggestions invited for the format of the event!


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Alexis
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 06:28 AM

On Mumming, am I right in thinking that Mummers would be ok in a pub if collecting for charity, ie no consideration to them, but not ok if the landlord bought them a pint?
Alex


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Doktor Doktor
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 07:00 AM

As Mumming is generally done to members of the public, it needs a licence whether or not a charge is made, because it's the performance of a play. The bit about "consideration & a view to profit" only applies if you do it to someone in private.

I think .................


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 07:15 AM

So, if I was enjoying a pint in a pub and suddenly and spontaneously a whole bunch of oddly dressed men started Morris Dancing, it would be okay? But if they said, "Our dancing starts in five minutes!" it would have to be licensed they could be fined? Morris Dancing inside pubs seems to me to be a chancy thing at best -- ribbons whipping around, getting in your ale and so forth. And those sticks!

Frankly, I don't see the point of the whole license thing, unless it's to make money and give the government even more control.

Come to think of it, Bush will probably reciprocate on this side of the pond because Blair supported his thing. Probably include Morris Dancers in the list of terrorists.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: John J
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 08:22 AM

What's really worrying is that these clowns are running the country.

How many other bloody stupid things are they trying on that we aren't aware of?

I can't seriously believe that 'they' are out to make money from our activities (this is going to cost a lot of money just to administrate), the goverment waste a huge amount of money even on a good day. These characters wouldn't last two minutes in the real commercial world.

A very recent and very local (to me) event: a Job Centre Plus in Wythenshawe, South Manchester, recently moved premises. All the new (less than two years old) office furniture in the old location was skipped / given away. The new location has been fitted out with brand new furniture and equipment at a cost of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Any manager of a commercial company would have quite rightly lost his job for pulling such a stunt. The Civil Service seem to waste our money like it's going out of fashion. Then they put tax up to finance their sprees.

I just can't take this bunch of lunatics seriously.

John


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 08:42 AM

The follwing from Hamish Birchall.

Here is a draft reply to the latest from the DCMS for anyone to adapt as they wish:

Dear Ms Vickers

Thank you for your recent email setting out the latest Government position concerning licensable entertainment and the Licensing Bill.

You say that 'spontaneous performance is not licensable' and yet the Performing Right Society (PRS) says that this is licensable. Here is the relevant section from PRS Tariff 'P' which applies to pubs:

3.3 Sundry musical performances Higher Royalty    Standard Royalty

3.3.1
For occasional and spontaneous (ie not pre-arranged or promoted) musical performances, whether instrumental or vocal, by customers or bar employees, the annual royalty is ............................

£83.90 (£82.25)

£55.93 (£54.83)

PRS has confirmed that the song 'Happy Birthday' is still in copyright, so even spontaneous public renditions of Happy Birthday in a pub are therefore licensable. Unlicensed public performance of a copyright work is an offence, so I would be grateful if you would explain why you say that spontaneous performance is not licensable? What action will your department be taking to ensure that landlords pay for the right to host spontaneous performances of live music?

You confirm that a licence would be necessary for Morris dancing in a pub, but that the pub owner can 'simultaneously apply for permission to provide any amount of entertainment at no extra cost'. Unless the pub owner had made his application to host licensable entertainment at the same time as his application to sell alcohol, and this application was subsequently approved by all the necessary agencies, and local residents, he/she will be restricted to 5 licensable entertainment events a year (under the Temporary Event Notice scheme).

Furthermore, obtaining permission to host more frequent entertainment at a later date requires a formal application to 'vary' the licence, a process that is essentially a re-run of the full premises licence application. This involves notification of and approval by the police, fire service, environmental health department of the local authority, planning authorities, local residents, and the licensing committee of the local authority. Your own department has estimated that licence variation will cost between £100-500, not to mention possible compliance costs arising from licence conditions. It is therefore misleading to say there will be no extra costs.

Culture Minister Kim Howells has explained during recent Commons Committee debates that the definition of the performance of dance excludes people dancing for their own amusement.

Does that mean a pub landlord does not commit a criminal offence if people dance for their own amusement on his/her premises? Or would the landlord be guilty of providing an unlicensed dance floor ('entertainment facility') in those circumstances - unless he/she had already ensured that any or all of his floors were licensed as potential dance floors?

These are important questions since many local authorities have prosecuted landlords under current legislation where a few people, or even just one, dance for their own amusement. Last October, two pubs in Soho were fined £5,000 for allowing 11 people to 'sway rhythmically'. I refer you to the report in the London Evening Standard that is reproduced on the Musicians' Union website: http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/articles/dancing_fines.shtml.

I would also be grateful if you would confirm that under the Licensing Bill a pub landlord would commit a criminal offence if he/she provided a piano for public use and this was not specifically licensed as an 'entertainment facility'. Perhaps you could also confirm that providing a jukebox will not be licensable under the Licensing Bill, no matter how powerfully amplified.

You talk about outdoor events and the 'more informal system of permitted temporary activities'. A present, no public entertainment licence is currently required for events in the open air on public land outside London. Can you explain why your department considers it necessary to extend criminal law sanctions to such activity down to the smallest scale, such as one musician performing acoustically, or one person performing a dance?

Under the new licensing regime, any place which does not hold a 'premises licence' specifically authorising licensable entertainments is restricted to a maximum of 5 temporary events notices are allowed per year per place. Does that mean a village green would be restricted to hosting only five public performances of dance per year, unless it was permanently licensed for such activity by the local authority?

Would the provision of a maypole on a village green become a criminal offence for the local authority, unless it is explicitly licensed as an 'entertainment facility'? If a local authority failed to licence its own entertainment facilities, would the local authority then be obliged to prosecute itself? Perhaps you can explain the benefit to the community of this additional regulation, bureaucracy and administrative cost.

You refer to the recent Lords' amendment that exempted entertainment events where no more than 250 people attend at any one time, and which cease by 11.30pm. You say that the Government has overturned this amendment, although not because of risks arising from unlicensed live music, but principally on the grounds that children could be shown unsuitable films.

Of course, this will happen in any case because of the Government's very broad exemption for broadcast entertainment (Schedule 1, paragraph 7). Films such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are already broadcast on national television, and since the government wants to increase children's access to bars, unaccompanied by adults, children will undoubtedly be exposed to such broadcasts and more besides.

Indeed, the broadcast exemption allows big screens and a powerful sound system to be set up in any place without a licence under this Bill. An unsuitable person could therefore organise a musical event for local children simply by tuning in to MTV or any of the proliferating satellite music channels. Opposition Peers proposed amendments that would have made such events licensable. Can you explain why the Government resisted those amendments?

You do not mention the recent reports of the Joint Committee on Human Rights which warn the Government that the Bill continues to carry a significant risk of violating people's right to freedom of expression (Article 10 of the European Convention). The JCHR's most recent report on the Licensing Bill (the 7th Report of the 2002-03 session) also warns that the exemption for places of religious worship, but not secular venues, gives rise to potential discrimination under Article 14 of the Convention, and a potential violation of Article 9. I would be grateful if you would explain what action the Government will be taking to address those warnings.

I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: stevetheORC
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 10:17 AM

license Morris Dancing, Quite right as well bloody dangerouse, any of you attending the Hastings May day Festival will have been frightend out of a days growth by the scarry lot with big sticks and the even scarrier lot wiv scarves. How can you be expected to have a quiet piss up wiv all that noise going on!!!

Same goes for Folk Music Ban it and shoot all the Musicians then we can sit in the pub all day watching football and kicking shit out of each other in peace.

De Orc


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 11:10 AM

See also EFDSS on the Licensing Bill for links to their site.


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Subject: RE: Bans on Mumming and Morris
From: Hester
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 11:26 AM

Doktor Doktor wrote:

>>>Still theres scope for a whole new tradition - the Annual Banning of The Mummers. Suggestions invited for the format of the event! <<<

Oh, that's already a long-established tradition. In _Stations of the Sun_, historian Ronald Hutton notes that:

>>>'Mummers', 'maskers', and 'guisers' were also recorded among the inhabitants of British towns, and posed a problem to law and order because the combination of dark evenings and revellers in disguises afforded marvellous opportunities for crime. This is almost certainly why the custom was banned at Troyes, and at other European urban centres during the fourteenth century. It was explicitly the reason for a municipal order forbidding 'mumming' on the streets of London in 1405. Similar measures were subsequently taken at Bristol and Chester. An Act of Parliament in the third year of Henry VIII's reign prohibited the 'wearing of visors' across England, as 'a company together naming themselves Mummers have come in to the dwelling place of divers men of honour and other substantial persons; and so departed unknown'. The same problem affected Scotland, where a man was hanged in 1508 for stealing 'under guise of mumming'.<<< (p. 12)

Mumming in Newfoundland was banned in 1861, after a group of mummers committed a murder (which apparently had connections to labour unrest). The ban remained in place until the 1970s, when the custom was revived, despite its illegality, by a theatre troupe.

John Forrest discusses the numerous early ecclesiastic and legal bans on Morris Dancing in his book, THE HISTORY OF MORRIS DANCING 1458-1750.

Hmmm... not hard to see why Mumming and Morris dancing repeatedly face bans and/or official regulation, as they are so closely connected with festivals of misrule (predominantly Yule and the May), in which authority is mocked and challenged. The line between such "licensed" misrule and real political unrest/violence is very thin. See for instance Sandra Billington's book Mock Kings in Medieval Society and Renaissance Drama, in which she documents the commonality of imagery and ritual structure in medieval political revolt, festivities of misrule, and later professional drama.

The proposed licensing restrictions in the UK actually provide folkies with an opportunity to renew the tradition of the Morris and Mumming as acts of civil disobedience, political protest and social resistance.

Cheers, Hester


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 11:26 AM

All Morris Men should need to be licensed (and probably certified as well). They should be rquired to have third party insurance, and have a safety test every year. If they intend to dance on the public highway they should have a Road Fund license as well.

Ducking flying sticks and empty beer mugs..........


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: stevetheORC
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 11:32 AM

Totaly agree wid Guest, except they should also be flogged and hung at least twice a year until they learn the errors of their ways.

De Orc

*in Hiding again*


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 12:58 PM

Our side Orange Peel Morris is planning a trip to England next year. We are located in Canada. Should we buy one way tickets to keep the cost down and rely on being deported back to the Colonies for Illegal Morris Dancing? Something which is NOT Illegal in Canada.
Seriously, how the hell will this affect us?
JohnB (planning spontaneous Morris for next May)


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Troll
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 09:14 PM

Don't sweat it, JohnB. These dangerous idiots will probably ban all performances by foreigners as threats to "Traditional English Culture".
What do you want to bet that someone is in the pocket of the jukebox industry? Or the broadcast industry? Or both.

troll


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 02:54 AM

Seriously, how the hell will this affect us?

Well you have a year. Although it is not looking good, no one really knows at this stage what the situation will be then, for this Bill has still to go back to the House of Lords. So there is still time year to organise and to support the groups here by writing to your media and our media and both our Governments.

The point has been made that this Government minister is also responsible for attracting tourists to the UK, so will be more likely to pay attention to you, than they have been to us......The more concern expressed from overseas the better, it is ironic that our traditions are far more valued abroad that they are here.

The DCMS letter in the first post of this thread is interestingly and perhaps hopefully a response to a letter of concern from France.....


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 06:02 AM

For the benefit of GUEST 11@26 AM - local authorities normally require 5 million pounds public liability cover for street entertainment.

Alexis - the act as originally worded made every single performer in a choir, orchestra or dance troop criminaly liable if they personaly failed to check the status of the venue. The only serious "improvement" to come out of the debate is that this has been changed so that only the person responsible for taking the booking carries that liability now.

The expemption for "garden parties" should protect Bampton, assuming that that is what the act actualy says and not just DCMS spin. For the street dancing will it be possible to license the whole town as one venue or will each stand require its own license?

I am still trying to work out the point of Roger's post about PRS. The issuing of PRS licenses has nothing to do with local authorities' responsibility for licensing of venues and never has done.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: clansfolk
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 08:01 AM

- Didn't use to need a licence per se, although pubs & festivals did and mass dance events that involve closing off streets always have involved a lot of negotiation with the town hall.


The new license proposals have not yet been passed - when you say "Didn't use to need a licence" did you mean prior to current restrictions and licensing???

Presuming the entertainment to include music and dancers - the current "Two in a Bar" rule applies on licensed premises (including car park, forecourt etc. In a public place - local bye-laws cover this under busking permission/license (charges vary as does permission and restrictions) furthermore if a collection is to be made a further license will be required (again charges/permission/restrictions vary from area to area and can of course be nil. Local licensing/permission for public entertainment will also (normally) be restricted to certain areas.


Pete


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: clansfolk
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 08:07 AM

Peter from Essex - many areas are now quoting us £10 million pounds public liability - not just local authorities/street entertainment, some large complexes, shopping centres, and even private fuctions!!! - that's as hired artists not buskers!!!

thank God for the MU!

Pete


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: GUEST,Cookieless Nickp
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 02:25 PM

Just in case Guest John B is panicking about all this talk of big money insurance, members of organisations like the Morris Federation are often able to have this as part of the membership deal. I don't think the Fed. has any restrictions on Canadian - or other non-UK - members although maybe someone more knowledgeable can drop in here


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: vindelis
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 02:36 PM

Have I missed something or is it simply a case of 'scrap the programme' and just turn up, dance to the empty chairs and then move on to the next 'venue'. Once apon a time, people (not all I grant you,thanked the ladies of Esperence Morris for keeping the tradition alive, while their husbands, fiances and boyfriends were fighting in the trenches. Was it all a complete waste of time?


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Rara Avis
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 04:00 PM

Mumming, strumming, dancing with sticks, dancing while wearing antlers, colliery bands, music hall, panto. It's all part of your heritage and it is absolutely criminal that your government seems intent on licensing it out of existence. I've been trying to follow these PEL threads but, not being fluent in UK government mean spiritedness, they make my head spin. I adore spending my holidays in the UK and while I enjoy the beauty spots and churches and the like, it is the music and dancing that connects me to my past. There is something supremely satisfying to listen to songs as they've been sung for hundreds of years. Mind you, it's pleasing to hear the same songs updated so they resonate with today's culture but it's that connection back through history that is most meaningful. I don't know what else to say except that these bans reduce the pleasure of the cultural experience and I'm so sorry that it's happening. Good luck with your fight.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: DonMeixner
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 08:23 PM

WEll I just read this thing. I think it's about time you Brits stopped tell us that the government that runs the United States is a pack of idiots when you have got a full boat of them over there.

Don


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 07:09 AM

I am still trying to work out the point of Roger's post about PRS. The issuing of PRS licenses has nothing to do with local authorities' responsibility for licensing of venues and never has done.

Given certain noises about measures to deal with piracy creeping into thinking of the Bill at a late stage, it may well prove to have. But the point Hamish Birchall was making was a response to the DCMS claim that 'spontaneous' (however they define this) music was not licensable.

Difficult to see, if like every other licensable music the PRS have a fee set for it - that this form of music alone should not follow suit and be licensable also........................

This from Hamish.

The DCMS is factually incorrect in stating that spontaneous performances are not licensable.

They probably meant 'not licensable under the Licensing Bill', which is arguable, but that's not what they said.

And I wonder if they are aware of the scope of copyright licensing? If not, they should be. They should not be allowed to get away with claiming spontaneous performances are not licensed without adding 'under the Licensing Bill'.

I checked with PRS about the nature of the offence of performing copyright works without permission and in certain circumstances this can be a criminal offence.


And on the current law on outside events and Morris etc.

The discretionary element of entertainment licensing that applies outside London (Local Gov. [Miscellaneous Provisions] Act 1982) is whether or not local authorities adopt s.3 of Schedule 1, i.e. the power to licence entertainment events on private land (such as a pub car park or garden).

Most local authorities have adopted this part of the Schedule, which is why Morris dancing in such places is illegal without a PEL. The legislation does not apply to events in the open on public land, and that was why the Fat Boy Slim concert in Brighton did not hold a PEL.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 07:13 AM

Details of a concert on Brighton Beach with Fat Boy Slim.

http://www.meridiantv.com/artman/publish/article_1779.shtml


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 02:38 AM

I don't know what else to say except that these bans reduce the pleasure of the cultural experience and I'm so sorry that it's happening.

Thanks for the support and you don't need to say anything more here but it may be of some help if you make your views known to our Government and copy it to our media......

kim.howells@culture.gsi.gov.uk

letters.online@telegraph.co.uk

letters@guardian.co.uk

letters@thetimes.co.uk


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 04:38 AM

You might be interested in this letter, which appeared in the latest edition of the Lute Society's newsletter Lute News.

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

In mediaeval times university men used to debate how many angels could
dance on the head of a pin. If only they had lived till now! The nice Tessa Jowell, and that clever Kim Howells (or should that be Kim Il Howe?) at the Department of Culture Media and Sport have finally resolved the matter, as follows:

Under the new Licensing Bill, currently before parliament, up to 500
angels will be able to dance on the head of a pin, without a licence from their local licensing authority, provided that, firstly, the performance is not to any extent for members of the public or a section of the public, or exclusively for members of a club which is a qualifying club in relation to the provision of regulated entertainment, or for members of such a club and their guests, or if neither of the above (i.e. even if the dance is private) provided that they are not dancing for consideration (that is, a payment
made by an audience to watch the angels dancing, to the angels, or to the owner of the pin) and with a view to profit (including the profit of a charity, if the angels are dancing for charity); secondly, provided that the head of the pin has not been provided for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of enabling the dancing to take place.

If these provisos are not met, or if in any case there are more than
500 angels, then a licence will be required: either a temporary events
licence, if the angels do not dance on the pinhead more than 5 times a year, or, if they dance more than 5 times, then the pinhead will need a fully-fledged premises licence, and a more substantial fee will have to be paid. Any angel attempting to dance on the head of a pin without a licence, under circumstances where a licence is required, could be liable to a fine of £20,000 or six months in jail, as could the owner of the pin.

Under an amendment recently tabled by the government, if the head of
the pin is located in a church, then no licence will be required, and if it is located in a church hall, parish hall, or village hall, then a licence will be required, but the licensing authority will not be permitted to charge for the licence.

If the angels are in a pub or bar, the pub landlord may install a
jukebox without seeking any variation from his original premises licence provided that the angels only listen to the music, and do not attempt to dance. If they have brought their pinhead with them, and begin to dance to the music of the jukebox, then both they, and the pub licensee will be committing an offence under the new law.

    There now! What could be clearer than that?

Mrs Trellis, North Wales


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Rara Avis
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 08:57 AM

Thank you, Shambles, for the addresses. I will write letters.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: GUEST,JohnB
Date: 21 Apr 03 - 12:39 PM

I will be suggesting our side write to some of those Email addresses too.
Thanks, JohnB.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 09:54 AM

The following From Hamish Birchall

I must apologise for a misunderstanding on my part concerning the
Government's intentions for private events that provide 'regulated
entertainment' in order to raise money for good causes.

I thought the Government had amended the Bill to ensure they were not caught.

This is not the case. The Government intends that these events will
be illegal unless licensed, except where the intention is simply to
recover costs. The MU website will be updated accordingly as soon
as possible.

When the Bill was in the Lords, the Government withdrew the Bill's
sub-paragraph that defined 'with a view to profit' as including 'any
case where that entertainment is, or those [entertainment] facilities
are, provided with a view to raising money for the benefit of a charity.

However, this did not alter the section of the Bill that renders private events licensable where regulated entertainment is provided if the event is 'for consideration and with a view to profit'.

At last week's first meeting of the new music advisory group for the
DCMS, clarification on this subject was sought from Andrew
Cunningham, who chaired the meeting.

His explanation went something like this:

if people sold tickets for a private event with the intention of making a profit or surplus (even if this is for a charity or
good cause), then the event is licensable.

However, if people were not charged with the intention to make a profit, i.e. they were simply asked to chuck some cash in a bucket if they felt like it, then the event would not be licensable.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Grab
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 02:56 PM

Shambles, the linking of PRS "licensing" and alcohol/music/dancing "licensing" is really confusing the issue. Hamish Birchall's email does make it clear that the two are separate, however I can't for see what point he's trying to make by mentioning it in that email, unless he's getting them to tighten up the wording. In a Licensing Bill for licensing alcohol and public entertainment, anything saying "is/is not licensed" should be pretty obviously to do with that license, although it's no bad thing to have the wording say this explicitly. I presume anglers aren't also complaining because it doesn't explicitly say that it doesn't cover fishing licenses as well? ;-)

Anyway, the PRS issue is clearly unrelated to the Licensing Bill, present or future. "Licensable music" as far as the PRS are concerned is that written by their members. In fact, to quote directly from the FAQ on the PRS website:-

(start quote)
What is your position on the Government's new Licensing Bill?

The new Bill proposes changes to Public Entertainment Licensing (PEL), which is quite different to the licensing that PRS and MCPS undertake. PEL is undertaken by local authorities and is, effectively, a permit to stage live music. A PRS licence is required in addition to a Public Entertainment Licence (and will continue to be so). Nothing in the Government's new Bill affects the way in which PRS licenses the public performance of music on behalf of its composer and songwriter members.
(end quote)

"Unless the pub owner had made his application to host licensable entertainment at the same time as his application to sell alcohol"... which is free and requires no more than that the pub owner fills out the form correctly. Sorry, I don't hold too much sympathy for someone who lands themselves in the crap through their own incompetence.

Doktor Doktor, re that "summer evening tour", I do have sympathy on that score. Could you get away with that by saying the location was the whole area, in effect being a moving event, and just move the event between pubs? :-) Of course, if you make sure that all pubs know they need to tick the right box on the form, then there'd be no charge for you at all.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 06:59 PM

"Unless the pub owner had made his application to host licensable entertainment at the same time as his application to sell alcohol"... which is free and requires no more than that the pub owner fills out the form correctly. Sorry, I don't hold too much sympathy for someone who lands themselves in the crap through their own incompetence.

I am sorry but if we are talking of incompetence, if the object is providing safe public premises, the question that must be first answered by our Government, and has yet to be, is why must all live music (except in any church), be risked by being licensed and subject to a (so-called) no cost OPTIONAL additional application?

I consider this to be incompetence, especially when only 5% of premises have currently applied for additional entertainment licensing permissions. And despite the cost of some of these being very high, it must be stressed that the vast majority of PEL fees, in most of the country are less than the cost of the proposed annual inspection charge of the new Premise Licence.

For this course runs the risk that the very thing the Department of Culture is set up to promote. Much of which is presenting no risk to anyone, and will not be able to take place, then or at some future date - if the premises do not choose to take up the entertainment option, on first application of the mandatory Premises Licence.

But if the application really was only a simple matter of ticking a box (which even Dr Howells is now qualifying by saying you will have to write a few sentences explaining the nature of the entertainment) and there was not the risk of councils demanding expensive alterations to provide music, why on earth should this permission be even be a requirement? And an OPTIONAL one, if the issue is safety?

As under the Bill, all premises (exept churches), will have to hold a Premises Licence and be inspected, why cannot ALL premises automatically be made safe for any music making? The premises can then choose not to exercise the option, or choose to exercise it at short notice at some future date, but the authorities will not then be able to ever claim that any premises will be made unsafe if one person should sing in them.

As the main safety concern associated with music making is over crowding - all premises could have a maximum safe capacity imposed on inspection for the Premises Licence first application, and the problem of not being able to hold music because an application was not made (incompetence or not), is very simply solved.

Schedule 1 of this Bill, the definitions of regulated entertainment i.e. what will be prevented without an additional licence, is just a simple and clumsy attempt to close all the loopholes which resulted in just a 5% take-up figure of the current PEL. If this licence alone really had ever ensured our safety etc, this may have been considered a laudable aim.

But no evidence has been presented to show that current and exempt live music making in many of the 95% of premises without PELs, has presented any risks that could not be dealt with by other exsisting legislation.

So the Government are simply prepared to gamble that more than 5% of premises will now willingly subject themselves to more council control and apply for the option to provide live music.

Be it incompetance or self preservation or whatever on behalf of licensees, if the majority of these premises do not choose to apply, and many are saying that they will not, then whatever judgements you may make, or lack of sympathy you may have - live music making is in big trouble. As the local authorities have shown the lengths they will go to in order to prevent any unlicensed entertainment.

Although due to a late change forced upon the Government, musicians taking part in unlicensed music making will not be criminals - organisers will now be.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Apr 03 - 07:20 PM

Anyway, the PRS issue is clearly unrelated to the Licensing Bill, present or future.

To you or I maybe. To a licensee who has to pay, the two are related.

Say a licensee did not wish to pay PRS fees, they would be unwise indeed if they applied for the entertainment element of the Premises Licence.

Again you can make a judgement but we have to accept that if these people do not apply - there will be no live music in these places and there is nothing that you or I can do about it.

If you had a suspicious nature, you may even believe that the need to specify that entertainment was to take place was only to enable PRS to know which places to approach...............

The PRS may well have argued that their job would be made more difficult without PELs or the optional enetrtainment element of the Premises Licence?


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 06:47 AM

The following from Ric on the Action fo Music Yahoo email list.

I've spent most of the weekend at Gosport and played in sessions without a problem, most of them in premises with an entertainment
licence although we had 2 mega pub sessions without any hassle, both
advertised in the programme.Perhaps the fact that the bloke who
organises it is also on the town council was an influence.

A friend did approach a local pub before the festival started
about having a session on the premises, the licencee was keen but
when musicians turned up they were told the "two in a bar" rule
applied.

The Victory Morris dance programme 2003 contains the following
message;
       Licentious Acts and Other Pleasures

The demonstration of Morris you see before you is provide by
Victory Morris, a licenced member of the Morris Re-enactment Society,
The RING.

The RING was established shortly after the final phasing out of
the Morris from English tradition in 2003 ( following the Music
Licence Act 2003 which made it impossible to perform in any venue
without a licence ).The following year, 2004,the term "English" was
also phased out and the area became Europe (Nord), "Tradition" now
officially dates from 1957 and is primarily based around Elvis
Presley and Les Beatles.

The RING was convened to provide examples of Morris Dancing to
the general public, to demonstrate the dangers inherent in allowing a
native culture or tradition to survive unregulated.
   
    Points To Note in this Demonstation

1, The participants imbibe alcohol: This does not meet with Health
and Safety guidelines laid down by European statutes relating to
consumpion of liquids in vessels measured in archaic units of pints
and quarts.

2, The dancers inbibe alcohol and wave heavy wooden sticks around,
thus endangering themselves and hapless members of the public.This
contravenes European legislation regarding the conservancy of timber
and also breaks length-of-stick guidelines, the length being in
illegal feet and inches rather than the Euro-metre.

3, The dancers inbibe alcohol, wave heavy sticks around and then
sing.They do not sing songs recommended in the European Guidelines
Volume 3 appendices viii ( Ode to Joy, Marseillaise or Deutscheland.
Deutscheland Uber Alles ), but instead insist on Frog-bashing This
contravenes the Amphibians Conservation Act 2002.


4, The dancers are enjoying themselves.


Note: These dancers are licenced Re-enactors NOT real Morris- men (
as Morris dancing is now illegal) They will not therefore, under any
circumstances, under threat of losing their entertainment licence,
dance " Wreck of the Victory ", as this dance is still banned under
the Geneva Convention as being too much fun.


Other Re-enactment groups of interest are:
   "The Happy Birthday Band" , The Society of Spontanious Song.
"You Ain't Singing Anymore" , The Society of Football Crowd Re-
enactments.


excerpt from FOLK ENGLAND: An alternative Universe


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: Grab
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 09:05 AM

especially when only 5% of premises have currently applied for additional entertainment licensing permissions

I understand the bill has not yet been passed, and publicans have not yet been asked to apply under the new system, right? If you're talking about 5% under the old PEL system, then this would surely be because of the massive extra costs to do so, costs which no longer exist under the new system. When pub owners are aware they can get something for nothing as far as entertainment licensing is concerned, I'd be amazed if those numbers didn't go up to the high 90 percents!

As under the Bill, all premises (exept churches), will have to hold a Premises Licence and be inspected, why cannot ALL premises automatically be made safe for any music making? The premises can then choose not to exercise the option, or choose to exercise it at short notice at some future date, but the authorities will not then be able to ever claim that any premises will be made unsafe if one person should sing in them.

Isn't this the point? If every pub owner gets a Premises License "for free", ALL premises will become available for music-making. No more restriction of sessions, no more crack-downs from petty bureaucrats.

I can certainly see that the inspection step could be a problem - this would be the stage where the bureaucrap could get in. If you and Hamish Birchall are looking at keeping that consistent across the country, with guidelines and stuff, then good on you.

Say a licensee did not wish to pay PRS fees, they would be unwise indeed if they applied for the entertainment element of the Premises Licence.

How so? If they're hosting bands other than trad folk, then yes. But if they're only doing folk music, can the PRS get involved? For the PRS to shove their oar in, would they not first need to show that we were playing songs by their members?

Granted, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the PRS sent round a "scare" letter to pubs with the entertainment element of the license. Organisations like this tend to do things like that.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 10:58 AM

I understand the bill has not yet been passed, and publicans have not yet been asked to apply under the new system, right? If you're talking about 5% under the old PEL system, then this would surely be because of the massive extra costs to do so, costs which no longer exist under the new system.

In the few areas where councils (unlawfully) use the current system as a 'cash cow' it certainly is a deterrent but as I pointed out, most of the PEL fees are NOT in fact set too high. For example West Dorset still charges just £60 for a full PEL. The real deterrent to a higher national take-up figure must then be another factor.

I suggest, and the licensee say - it is the hidden costs of application i.e. emergency exit lighting and other aspects that suddenly become essential when a PEL is requested. This will still be the main factor why many licensees will subject themselves to yet more contol and possible expense.

When pub owners are aware they can get something for nothing as far as entertainment licensing is concerned, I'd be amazed if those numbers didn't go up to the high 90 percents!

I hope you will be right but I doubt it and it still remains a risky gamble where we are the ones that stand to lose out. But I think even the Government would be amazed it they did reach that high a figure. They do not appear to be showing any concern if it should not do so.

But what exactly is a licensee without a PEL who has been providing currently exempt music - getting for nothing?
Well exactly what they were getting for nothing before - as long as they now pass the inspection with no additional and expensive conditions being imposed on activities which were always perfectly safe. Always assuming of course that they in fact apply.....

Isn't this the point? If every pub owner gets a Premises License "for free", ALL premises will become available for music-making. No more restriction of sessions, no more crack-downs from petty bureaucrats.

Then why take the gamble, why on earth make application for entertainment OPTIONAL????????

It will not be for free, as all pubs will be paying more for the new Personal Licence, the Premises Licence and the annual inspection charge - just to enable them to serve alcohol. The only places that will pay less overall are those who currently pay over the top for PELs. However, a lot of these are dancing nightclubs which only have a PEL to enable them to open late and do not provide any live music at all.

Granted, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the PRS sent round a "scare" letter to pubs with the entertainment element of the license. Organisations like this tend to do things like that.

The highest PRS fees are for live music so any pub that has applied to provide it, will get a vist from the PRS first. So by making the application the licensee is saying 'come and get me'.

Do you really still think 90% is likely? Even if you should be right, that still leaves 10% where one person singing is an offence. Do pubs really need to go through all the hassle, just to have us playing in them and will they be prepared to do so for more pain and very little gain?

If all pubs were now to be made safe for entertainment, the figure would be 100% and any figure less that this is incompetence on behalf of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Some form of live entertainment (if limited) can take place now in ALL 100% of our licensed premises - instead if improving the scope of this entertainment - this Department will have gambled and suceeded in placing this all at risk - and why?


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 11:46 AM

The following from Mark Gibbens

EFDSS met with Kim Howells and some of his legal advisors two weeks ago. One of the clarifications we sought was the situation for folk dance in the open on public land.

Sadly, the situation is even more worrying than below, according to what the Minister's advisors said.

Personal licenses will only be available to people who are organising entertainment *where alcohol is sold*. If you are just dancing (and not selling alcohol), you will need a premises licence - which is obviously not appropriate for a morris team performing in sometimes as many 50 "premises" a year.

We were told that the only option for such teams was to dance in places that are already covered by entertainments licensing. Teams will therefore be at the mercy of local authorities, some of whom may ensure their town centres and public spaces are covered by licensing. Realistically though, I don't hold out much hope that many public spaces will be licensed.

So it seems that even if Morris teams were to afford their own licensing, there will be no option open to them that would adequately cover what they usually do - as far as I understand it, and as far as you can trust a DCMS analysis. The Morris Federation were at the meeting with us and asked whether they could negotiate a PRS-style license that would cover all of their members. This suggestion was rejected by the Minister.
-----
Mark Gibbens, Development Officer, English Folk Dance & Song Society
[ Phone: 020 7485 2206 | Web: www.efdss.org/licensing ]


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Apr 03 - 06:52 PM

Article in The Publican on fees.

http://www.thepublican.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=9283&d=32&h=24&f=23&dateformat=%25o%20%25B%20%25Y


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: AggieD
Date: 24 Apr 03 - 06:42 PM

The Morris Federation (& I believe the Open Morris & probably The Morris Ring), has an insurance scheme for members. So that when we dancers start leaping about & accidentally beat a jobsworth from the local licensing authority over the head, we can be safe in the knowledge that this 'accidental' act of injury to the person is covered by insurance!


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 07:46 PM

I have sent the following to my MP.

Mark Gibbens, Development Officer, English Folk Dance & Song Society
[ Tel 020 7485 2206 | Web www.efdss.org ]
Asked Dominic Tambling of the DCMS the following.

I appreciate that you are busy. However, I must press for a hasty response particularly on the question of folk dance in the open on public land.

There is a crucial point here - namely that such activity is not currently licensable, yet will become so under the Licensing Bill. Folk Dance in public spaces can require the *permission* of the local authority in a large town or city, though I don't know of any instance where permission has been necessary on a village green. But this is not the same as requiring a entertainments or premises licence. I have been forwarded several DCMS responses to questions on this topic from folk arts representatives, and each response seems at best to completely duck the issue.

I note that Dr. Howells has said in Committee, "We should be slow to impose additional burdens without justification", yet no justification has yet been made for imposing additional burdens on folk dance.

We are running out of time to make this point heard in Committee, so I would appreciate an urgent response to these two direct questions:

a) Does the Government accept the point that to catch folk dance in the open on public land within the Licensing Bill is to extend licensing to an activity which does not currently require a licence?

b) How does the Government justify imposing additional licensing burdens in the case of folk dance in the open on public land?


Dominic Tambling replied:

Folk dance in the open on public land is already licensable in Greater London and in the parts of the country where the local authority has adopted the appropriate parts of Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.


He is correct on one point: the legislation in London is different, and technically public dancing in 'any place' is licensable in Greater London.

But again this is licensing reform, so even if it is currently licensable, given the stated objectives of this so-called deregulatory Bill, where is the evidence of the risks presented by it, that mean it should remain so?

Where is the Government's logic? The situation is identical to the one that existed with churches. So logically, the choice should be exactly the same choice that was made for churches. The churches in London were brought in line with those outside London and all made exempt. So all dancing on public land in London should also be made exempt, to bring it into line with the situation outside of London........

Can the Standing Committee establish why the Government are proposing the exact opposite?

For Mr Tambling is completely wrong about the legislation on PUBLIC land outside of London. The adoptive part of this legislation to which he refers is paragraph 3 of Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. This applies to performances on PRIVATE land, not PUBLIC land.

If a local authority adopts this provision (and almost all have), a PEL is required for public performance on private land (i.e. pub car park or garden).

But PELs are not currently required for open air events on PUBLIC land outside London.

So despite the deregulatory claim - yet more, perfectly safe and valuable cultural activity is to come under completely unnecessary and impossible to enforce licensing regulation. Can the Standing Committee establish why and what the evidence and justification is?

In the following, the DCMS at least agree that the Bill is increasing regulation, do you still support your Government's claim that the Bill is not? For there can be no question that for music and dance the overall effect of this Bill is a dramatic increase in regulation.

The Bill will introduce consistency throughout England and Wales and this means that in some areas activities which are not currently licensable will be caught.

However the claim that the Bill introduces consistency is illogical and reckless: As performance of dance in any place of religious worship (which could be in the open) will be exempt. As will performances of dance at non-profit-making garden fetes and similar functions. This is hardly introducing consistency.

The Government does not believe that there is any justification for treating public land in a different manner to other space since the issues of safety etc for performers and spectators are no different.

If they are no different, then all dancing on public land can be treated consistently and follow the Government's logic on the church U turn and be made exempt in London, as they currently are all across the country. Not by using the reverse logic and doing the very opposite by making all dancing on public land licensable as it currently is in London.

Given the above and the stated objectives of this Bill, if the safety of performers and spectators cannot be regulated except by permissions under the Licensing Bill, then clearly there should be no exemptions at all (especially for churches and TV sport).

Ministers have always been clear that the Bill is deregulatory in some ways and regulatory in others but that the overall effect is deregulatory. What the Government wants to achieve is better regulation.

Long live Sir Humphrey! That means trample and ignore the culture, let's have the regulation instead.

The Government will be encouraging local authorities to license public land so that folk groups would simply have to request permission to perform on it, as they often do at present. Local authorities would, however, be able to refuse permission to performers who might cause nuisance to local residents such as young people with sound systems if that was appropriate.

The DCMS say the Government is going to just ENCOURAGE local authorities to licence some public land.
Can the Standing Committee establish how with the Bill as worded is it possible to require (or refuse) a further permission for premises that are already licensed for public music and dancing?

Can the standing Committee establish the evidence and justification for increasing the regulation and terminally damaging our precious cultural traditions in a completely reckless and illogical manner?

PLEASE HELP....................


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 08:16 PM

Eric Blair's or as he is better known - George Orwell's 1984 language is alive and well in namesake Tony Blair's Government.

Where deregulation means more regulation and consistency means inconsistency and the civil servants at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport come up with the following justification for increased and unnecessary regulation for safe and harmless traditions like Morris dancing and sessions.

Ministers have always been clear that the Bill is deregulatory in some ways and regulatory in others but that the overall effect is deregulatory. What the Government wants to achieve is better regulation.

If so perhaps the name should be changed to the Department of Regulation, Regulation and Regulation?

For are we be asked to accept that if the sandwich is filled with rat poison but the bread is fresh, the overall effect of forcing someone else to eat it will be nutrition?

I think not, the only effect achieved by poison is poisoning.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 10:49 AM

The following to my (poor) MP.

Labour MPs who wish to trust in the advice given to them by official advisors (who have an agenda and wish their advice to be correct), stand to be compromised, if they do not question this advice. An official line of defence (or excuse), that events were already covered by the current legislation is not the same thing as taking the opportunity to present us with true deregulation and the sensible entertainment licensing we are so badly in need of.

If the whole Bill is such a nutritional sandwich, then can you please examine it, eat it or arrange to test it first? Before blindly voting to expect us to be the guinea-pigs that find out exactly how the poison, that you are fully aware it contains, will affect us?

As the hoped for increase in the entertainment licensing take-up figure, also remains an untested and risky gamble, why the indecent haste to make it, when there are sensible alternatives? But most of all - why does the clear, blatant dishonesty continue, when it is so obviously and unnecessarily damaging, both your Government and Party?

As demonstrated in the following - the advice that forms the plank of the inadequate Government defence of this over-regulatory, inconsistent, illogical and dishonest Bill, is simply factually incorrect.

The following is a copy of letter from Mark Gibbens of EFDSS to Dominic Tambling of the DCMS.

>Dear Dominic,

This morning I received clarification on the situation for folk dance (in fact any folk arts) on public land from Birmingham University lecturer and author of Entertainment Licensing Law and Practice, Colin Manchester (see below). He appears to verify EFDSS' understanding of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 that folk dance on public land is *not* currently caught by entertainments licensing, except in Greater London.

I would like to draw your attention particularly to the statement by the then Home Office Minister Timothy Raison, "the controls extend only to entertainments on private land, because in practice there are already means of controlling events which take place on land which is not in private ownership".

In the light of this clarification, do you still stand by your statement, "Folk dance in the open on public land is already licensable in Greater London and in the parts of the country where the local authority has adopted the appropriate parts of Schedule 1 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982."?

Surely a government that was serious about the words "consistent" and "deregulatory" would make it a priority to bring London into line with the rest of the country, rather than extending London's extra regulation to everywhere else?

Best wishes,
Mark.<

--- Original Message ---
From: "Colin Manchester"
To: Mark Gibbens
Sent: Tue, 29 Apr 2003 07:34:49 +0100
Subject: RE: Folk dance on public land, and entertainments licensing

Dear Mark,

My understanding is the same as yours and there is a statement by the Home Office Minister at the time the 1982 legislation was passed to the effect that the controls only extend to activities on private land.

I refer to this in my book on Entertainment Licensing Law and Practice and I have copied and pasted the relevant section below:

"2.19 By para 4(1), 'an entertainment to which paragraph 3 applies shall not be provided except under and in accordance with the terms of a licence granted under this paragraph by the appropriate authority.' An entertainment to which para 3 applies is any public musical entertainment which is held wholly or mainly in the open air at a place on private land in an area in which paras 3-4 have effect(1).

The purpose of this provision is to enable local authorities to exercise some measure of control over open air pop or rock concerts or festivals held in their area(2). Control extends only to those entertainments held on private land and does not cover ones which take place on public property.

During the course of the legislation's passage, the Home Office Minister Mr Timothy Raison remarked that 'the controls extend only to entertainments on private land, because in practice there are already means of controlling events which take place on land which is not in private ownership'(3), although it was not stated what those controls were.

Land is private, for the purposes of the licensing provisions, 'if the public has access to it (whether on payment or otherwise) only by permission of the owner, occupier or lessee.'(4) Thus a licence may be required for concerts staged in areas to which the public generally have unrestricted access, such as parks, if access is restricted and a charge for admission made.

In the case of concerts held in parks, it is likely that the concert will be held wholly in the open air, but the licensing provisions also cover entertainments held mainly in the open air. Thus concerts held in football stadiums, a not uncommon venue for such entertainments, will fall within the provisions of paras 3 and 4.

(1)       Paragraph 3(1).
(2)       See HOC 98/82, App A, para 4: 'its primary aim is to regulate pop festivals, but outdoor concerts and other outdoor entertainments in which music is a substantial ingredient could also come within the provisions.' Whilst music at pop or rock concerts or festivals will feature live performances, it should be noted that there is no requirement in either para 3 or 4 that the music is performed live.

The requirement to obtain a licence should have equal application where recorded music is played in the open air on private land.

(3)       HC Deb, Vol 26, Col 1139 (2 July 1982).
(4)       Paragraph 3(2)(b).

Regards,

Colin Manchester


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: The Shambles
Date: 06 May 03 - 03:01 AM

Given the appearence of a fine energetic Morris Side on Saturday night prime TV (Jools Holland BBC 2 May 3rd), this may be good time to refresh this thread and the threat presented to all traditional dance, by our Government's Department of Culture, Media and Sport.


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Subject: RE: UK Government to license Morris Dancing
From: GUEST,ET
Date: 07 May 03 - 07:52 AM

On the Governments new DCMS website under Licensing, Entertainment, Frequently asked Questions is the bold statement

The Government does not intend to require the licensing of any type of entertainment not already covered by the existing public entertainment licensing laws.

If this is so how come "premises" is extended to any place and the clause in the 1964 Licensing Act that excempted entertainment wholly or mainly outdoors (such as Morris) is brought back in?

Since DCMS is no longer speaking to me does nyone know how to raise this profile particularly with Morris and Sword Dancers etc?


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