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Law prevents carol singing

The Shambles 30 Dec 05 - 08:34 AM
The Shambles 30 Dec 05 - 07:47 AM
The Shambles 30 Dec 05 - 07:30 AM
The Villan 29 Dec 05 - 05:08 PM
The Villan 29 Dec 05 - 05:08 PM
Tootler 29 Dec 05 - 04:56 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Dec 05 - 04:46 PM
Snuffy 29 Dec 05 - 02:53 PM
The Shambles 29 Dec 05 - 01:45 PM
The Shambles 29 Dec 05 - 09:18 AM
The Shambles 28 Dec 05 - 02:44 AM
Snuffy 27 Dec 05 - 11:14 AM
Mr Happy 27 Dec 05 - 10:21 AM
The Shambles 27 Dec 05 - 07:54 AM
The Shambles 27 Dec 05 - 07:15 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 27 Dec 05 - 04:31 AM
The Shambles 27 Dec 05 - 02:46 AM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 26 Dec 05 - 01:15 PM
The Shambles 26 Dec 05 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,Obie 24 Dec 05 - 09:29 PM
Don(Wyziwyg)T 24 Dec 05 - 08:32 PM
Folkiedave 24 Dec 05 - 07:38 PM
Melani 24 Dec 05 - 03:53 PM
The Shambles 24 Dec 05 - 12:55 PM
The Shambles 24 Dec 05 - 12:08 PM
ET 24 Dec 05 - 07:12 AM
Folkiedave 24 Dec 05 - 06:15 AM
The Shambles 24 Dec 05 - 04:06 AM
The Shambles 23 Dec 05 - 09:07 PM
Folkiedave 23 Dec 05 - 05:40 PM
Nigel Parsons 23 Dec 05 - 03:58 PM
ET 23 Dec 05 - 03:18 PM
The Shambles 23 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM
The Shambles 23 Dec 05 - 12:13 PM
PennyBlack 23 Dec 05 - 11:26 AM
DMcG 23 Dec 05 - 11:04 AM
DMcG 23 Dec 05 - 10:54 AM
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The Shambles 23 Dec 05 - 08:25 AM
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Folkiedave 23 Dec 05 - 05:53 AM
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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 08:34 AM

However, having followed various of these threads, it seems that for a landlord to allow music in his/her premises, they need to tick certain boxes in their application and, providing the licence application goes through, then music is allowed and you can have your session if the landlord wishes it to happen.

First and with respect - I think it regretable that anyone who has followed these threads would still refer to 'box ticking' in this way. For in has been demonstrated that this was always just Government spin (but obviously very effective spin).

Apart from the costs of licensing entertainment alone - which has generally reduced and must be welcome (although the overall cost of licensing has increased) - the process for obtaining entertainment permission - triggered by the said box-ticking - is in fact pretty much the same as before.

And any public notice declaring a venue intends to provide any form of live music - tends to result in objections to this. A good way for premises to avoid any public objections and not hold-up their application for a Premises Licence - (even if they may welcome a session for example) is not to apply for live music permission.

For officers do tend to see these objections as an open invitation to interfere and impose judgement on unrelated matters that are really none of their concern. You will still also find that in response to a noise concern for example - no distinction will be made between amplified and non-amplified music - and the latter is often limited or prevented (on application and in advance of any noise actually being made) when there is no justification.

If they do not tick these boxes, surely there must be provision to apply for a variation in the licence conditions - with appropriate justification and safeguards - so that the situation can be remedied should they so wish to do?

Any variation involves the same process (and payment) as the original application - so how likely is it that any licensee who has not made application for entertainment permission in this first round - is now going to go through all of this again - just to enable you and I to make music together for our own enjoyment? Be it carols, traditional music or a cockney knees-up?

The question I would ask is what has the nature of what material is being sung - really got to do with licensing under the four main objects of the Act?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 07:47 AM

Dr Ian Russell: I think that er if the local authority take a liberal view there should be no problems.

Sheffield council also consider that this pub event could be Regulated Entertainment. To their credit (and because they have also permitted this event to continue unlicensed under the previous legislation) they have found a way around this. Some authorities (like mine in the following letter of 14 December 2005) are not quite so prepared to take a liberal view to enable threatened musical activities. In fact it almost appears that they are continuing to be as obstructive as possible towards live music and as prejudiced against musicians as they have been in the past.

I am sure that they would not see regular congregations of pool players in a pub as ever constituting Regulated Entertainment - even though the Licensing Act 2003 now requires them to view indoor sports like pool and darts equally as Regulated Entertainment.....Why are musicians singled-out and considered by them as requiring special treatment?


I write following our recent meting. Apologies for not writing earlier – I needed some time to gather views of colleagues to respond to your specific points. Please also consider this as a response to your letter dated 19th November to Councillor Ames.

You raised 4 points. I have reproduced these along with our response to each below:

Firstly Perhaps our Licensing Authority can be advised to formally hold and issue a policy that pub sessions are considered locally as incidental live music – if or until there is any test in the nations' court that may decide to the contrary and require a change?

As you know, we have a Statement of Licensing Policy and I understand that you have had input into this. We will review this policy every three years and will consult on this as a matter of course. If we discover there is a problem in the Borough regarding sessions and incidental music, we seek to provide clarification when we revise the policy (in December 2007).

As I said when we met, if we do this, we will need to provide a definition of a session. Whilst we will need to prepare specific wording, and consider any relevant case law, our definition would stress that session:

could take place without an audience;

would not be advertised;

would not be amplified; and

would be spontaneous and not organised to take place on a regular basis.

We would also stress that the musicians involved do not receive payment.

As I said in our meeting, it is important to emphasise that if musicians regularly congregate at a pub to play, this could constitute regulated entertainment and so the pub would be likely to apply for a licence to provide regulated entertainment as the Cove House Inn already has. I would emphasise that we have had very few issues regarding incidental music to date. I would also like to emphasise that we are not keen to apply 'one size fits all' rules and so we will continue our approach to consider each case on its individual facts wherever possible.
ENDS


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 30 Dec 05 - 07:30 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

BBC Radio 4 Today continued its licensing and live music coverage with a piece this morning about Sheffield pub carols (transcript below).

Dr Ian Russell, an expert in this field, was interviewed by presenter Stephen Sackur. Dr Russell suggests that if local authorities 'take a liberal view', such events will escape red tape. He adds that 'many local authorities' are of the opinion that where a pub is singing 'the rules do not apply in the same way'. I hope he is right, but in the past at least many local authorities took a very different view of communal singing in pubs.

Dr Russell also says: 'The enthusiasm for the carols has never been stronger. There are more people from outside coming into the area. Cultural tourists, if you like, visiting the Sheffield region staying B&B for a short holiday, a week's holiday, and then travelling round several communities to sing the carols.'

This calls to mind the contrasting attitude of chief police officers, expressed publicly and to great effect during the Licensing Bill debates:

'Live music always acts as a magnet in whatever community it is being played. It brings people from outside that community and having no connection locally behave in a way that is inappropriate, criminal and disorderly.'
[letter to Tessa Jowell by Chris Fox, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, 2nd July 2003]

The Government broadly endorsed this statement. It was read into the Hansard record by government minister Lord McIntosh as a supporting argument for rejecting an entertainment licensing exemption for small venues (House of Lords, 3rd July 2003).

I missed presenter Stephen Sackur's introduction to this piece. However, you will be able to catch it on the web later this morning: www.bbc.co.uk/radio4

Transcript of BBC Radio 4 Today - Pub carols and licensing - Friday 30 December 2005, 7.45-7.48am approx

[sound of communal singing 'While shepherds watch their flocks by night...' to an original tune]

Stephen Sackur: Now Sarah beside me is humming away. I'm sure many of you are at home as well. Familiar words there but perhaps not quite such a familiar tune. Dr Ian Russell is an expert on these kinds of 'village carols', that's what he calls them. Dr Russell, what is special about them?

Dr Ian Russell: Well, in the first place the carols are very much something that has come from the grass roots. They're carols that are considerably older than 'O little town of Bethlehem' or 'Once in royal David's city'. They, the carol we were listening to has its origins in the mid-18th century and erm came from the pen of somebody who was an artisan, a tradesman, not, not somebody who was educated in Oxford or Cambridge, or from a high church background.

Stephen Sackur: Um I don't know how to put this delicately, but you don't really need a good voice to sing some of these village carols.

Dr Ian Russell: No, they're not about elitism in any sense, they're about people joining in and participating, and anybody who wants to sing is welcome, it's not as...

Stephen Sackur: Usually in a pub, is that right?

Dr Ian Russell: Yes, many of the traditions are based in the pubs. There are several that are not, er some are itinerant traditions visiting and going round communities as many many places did in the past, and some, er a few are based also in chapels.

Stephen Sackur: Because of that, and because of what you were saying about the artisans who actually came up with some of these songs, is there no religious element at all, or is that in the background or what?

Dr Ian Russell: Well carols have always been betwixt and between. They've always been a bit liminal, a bit secular at the same time as being sacred. I'm sure for many people er the carols have a very strong spiritual content, and for some a very sacred content. But for others the carols are very much to do with the time of the year, very much to do with fellowship and community, and being together in warm convivial surroundings.

Stephen Sackur: Now we we captured that one in Ecclesfield. Are they thriving?

Dr Ian Russell: They are indeed thriving. I've been quite amazed this Christmas as I've gone round. Um, numbers are up in many of the communities. The enthusiasm for the carols has never been stronger. There are more people from outside coming into the area. Cultural tourists, if you like, visiting the Sheffield region staying B&B for a short holiday, a week's holiday, and then travelling round several communities to sing the carols.

Stephen Sackur: And quickly if I may there's some suggestion the new licensing laws might be a problem for these village singers because there is the idea that if you plan a carol concert in a pub you've got to get a Temporary Event Notice from the local council.

Dr Ian Russell: Yes, these these temp.. I'm not sure about the full legal situation, but the Temporary Event licence are not very expensive, I do know that. But apart from that, er many licensing authorities are of the opinion that where a pub is singing um we're not talking about a performance situation with an audience, and therefore er the same, the rules do not apply in the same way.

Stephen Sackur: They can escape the red tape?

Dr Ian Russell: I think that er if the local authority take a liberal view there should be no problems.

Stephen Sackur: Good to hear. All right, Dr Ian Russell thank you very much indeed.

Sarah Montague: The time 12 minutes to 8...

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 05:08 PM

I finally did it 100


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Villan
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 05:08 PM

100


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Tootler
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 04:56 PM

Given there is a body of Christian Rock music and performers of same, the answer could possibly be yes :-)

Seriously, though, I am beginning to wonder if this whole issue isn't being blown up out of all proportion.

Granted we have a major new piece of legislation, some parts of which do not seem to have been properly thought through which appears to be leading to a number of anomalies. OTOH, with any major change there are inevitably those who will foresee problems simply because they do not like change and the uncertainty it brings.

However, having followed various of these threads, it seems that for a landlord to allow music in his/her premises, they need to tick certain boxes in their application and, providing the licence application goes through, then music is allowed and you can have your session if the landlord wishes it to happen.

If they do not tick these boxes, surely there must be provision to apply for a variation in the licence conditions - with appropriate justification and safeguards - so that the situation can be remedied should they so wish to do?

That still leaves temporary and one off events, but provision seems to have been made for that, providing the organisers think ahead.

Yes there will still be teething problems with this legislation, but in time it will all settle down and everyone will begin to wonder what all the fuss was about


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 04:46 PM

Well Carol never could sing that well.......


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Snuffy
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 02:53 PM

So my local church can put on rock concerts 7 nights a week without needing a licence?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 01:45 PM

Religious services, places of worship etc.

9
The provision of any entertainment or entertainment facilities —
(a) for the purposes of, or for purposes incidental to, a religious meeting
or service, or
(b) at a place of public religious worship,
is not to be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment for the
purposes of this Act.

So my cockney knee-up around the pub piano would have earlier qualified as being thought 'traditional' enough to be exempt and now I assume it would not be considered as religious enough............

There must be some irony in the fact that these carols are only being sung in the local pubs because they were not thought suitable for church services. Perhaps LAs should not be risking being seen to take sides in these theological matters?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 29 Dec 05 - 09:18 AM

The following from Hamish Birchall.

Carol singing has exposed not just confusing ambiguity at the heart of the Licensing Act, but also potential discrimination issues under human rights legislation.

While acknowledging DCMS advice that prearranged carol singing may be licensable, legal officers for Sheffield City Council appear to have decided that the annual tradition of carol singing in local pubs should benefit from the licensing exemption for music that is incidental to a religious meeting or service (Licensing Act 2003, para 9, Schedule 1) unless they receive evidence suggesting that such events are not religious meetings.

In a letter to me dated 23 December 2005, the council's Assistant Chief Executive Liz Bashforth drew my attention to the religious meetings exemption, adding:

'Carols, are hymns of the Christian faith, usually sung in celebration of the Christian festival, that is, Christmas. I take the view that there must be a presumption that a prearranged carol service close to the Christian festival of Christmas is the provision of entertainment for the purposes of a religious meeting or service unless there is evidence to the contrary.'

This response came in reply to my request for clarification about carol singing at the Travellers Rest pub in Oughtibridge, near Sheffield, which does not have a live music permission on its premises licence.

Sheffield's welcome light touch contrasts sharply with other councils. On 23 December, the online Church Times reported the cancellation of carol singing outside a shopping centre near Norwich because of doubts about its legality without a licence:
http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/80256FA1003E05C1/httpPublicPages/819AA21916708E2C802570DE0044C1E8?opendocument

A DCMS spokesperson is quoted suggesting that such carol singing could benefit from the exemption for incidental music. But this welcome advice came rather late in the day. In any case it contradicts the long-standing advice on the DCMS website:
'... if a business in a shopping mall, for example, arranges for a group of singers to sing carols this will be the same as their arranging any performance of live music and a premises licence or a temporary event notice would be required.'
http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/regulated_entertainment.htm#26

The only carol-singing exemption considered on the DCMS website is where the event is 'spontaneous' - a word that is not used or even implied in connection with regulated entertainment under the Act.

The exemption for music that is for the purposes of, or purposes incidental to, a religious meeting or service would seem to discriminate against secular music in secular venues or at events that could not be described as 'religious meetings'. Why should carol singing in bars be treated differently to secular singing in bars?

The Joint Committee on Human Rights, the Parliamentary committee which scrutinises all new legislation, considered the religious venue exemption back in 2003, commenting:

'The Government announced on 3 February 2003 that there would be exemptions from the need to obtain a licence for places of religious worship where secular entertainment takes place. This apparently random exemption for places of religious worship might tend to undermine the argument for the rationality of the blanket licensing scheme as a whole, and could engage other human rights issues by appearing to discriminate against occupiers and users of non-religious premises.'
['Scrutiny of Bills: Further Progress Report', Fourth Report of Session 2002-03, HL Paper 50, HC 397, 10 February 2003, para 18, p10]

Of course, the Act's exemption for entertainment at places of religious worship covers not only entertainment at places of religious worship, but entertainment at any other place if it is for the purposes of, or purposes incidental to, a religious meeting or service. In other words, the scope for potential discrimination is far wider than first considered by the JCHR.

It may therefore be possible for secular singers in non-religious venues reasonably to argue that this exemption amounts to arbitrary and wholly unjustified discrimination against their right to manifest '...religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance' under Article 9 of the European Convention. This in addition to the by now well rehearsed arguments that the Act unjustifiably restricts the right to freedom of expression (Article 10) and freedom of assembly (Article 11).

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 02:44 AM

The following from the Statutory Guidance to the Act.

Page 28

Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003

Cultural strategies


3.47 In connection with cultural strategies, licensing policy statements should include clearly worded statements indicating that they will monitor the impact of licensing on the provision of regulated entertainment, and particularly live music and dancing. Care will be needed to ensure that only necessary, proportionate and reasonable licensing conditions impose any restrictions on such events.

Where there is any indication that such events are being deterred by licensing requirements, statements of licensing policy should be re-visited with a view to investigating how the situation might be reversed. Broader cultural activities and entertainment may also be affected.

In developing their statements of licensing policy, licensing authorities should also consider any views of the local authority's arts committee where one exists.

3.48 Over 325 local authorities from all over England and Wales are members of the National Association of Local Government Arts Officers (NALGAO), which is the largest organisation in the country representing local government art interests. Some local authorities do not yet have arts specialists or arts development officers and in such circumstances, a licensing authority may wish to consult NALGAO for practical help and advice.

3.49 The United Kingdom ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1976. Article 15 of the Covenant requires that progressive measures be taken to ensure that everyone can participate in the cultural life of the community and enjoy the arts. It is therefore important that the principles underpinning ICESCR are integrated, where possible, with the licensing authority's approach to the licensing of regulated entertainment.

ENDS


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Snuffy
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 11:14 AM

Mummers plays could be classed as stand-up comedy (well, the way we do them...)


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Mr Happy
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 10:21 AM

Standup comedy is not regulated entertainment and musical accompaniment incidental to the main performance would not make it a licensable activity.


so if someone tells a joke between tunes/songs at a sessh, then no licence needed?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 07:54 AM

Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003

Incidental music

5.18 The incidental performance of live music and incidental playing of recorded music may not be regarded as the provision of regulated entertainment activities under the 2003 Act in certain circumstances.

This is where they are incidental to another activity which is not itself entertainment or the provision of entertainment facilities. This exemption does not extend to the provision of other forms of regulated entertainment.

Whether or not music of this kind is "incidental" to other activities is expected to be judged on a case by case basis and there is no
definition in the 2003 Act. It will ultimately be for the courts to decide whether music is"incidental" in the individual circumstances of any case.

In the first instance, the operator of the premises concerned must decide whether or not he considers that he needs a premises
licence. One factor that is expected to be relevant is "volume". Common sense dictates that live or recorded music played at volumes which predominate over other activities at a venue could rarely be regarded as incidental to those activities. So, for example, a juke box played in a public house at moderate levels would normally be regarded as incidental to the other activities there, but one played at high volume would not benefit from this exemption.

Standup comedy is not regulated entertainment and musical accompaniment incidental to the main performance would not make it a licensable activity.

But there are likely to be some circumstances which occupy a greyer area. In cases of doubt, operators should seek the advice of the licensing authority, particularly with regard to their policy on enforcement.


Guidance issued under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2003

Spontaneous music, singing and dancing


5.19 The spontaneous performance of music, singing or dancing does not amount to the provision of regulated entertainment and is not a licensable activity. The relevant part of the 2003 Act to consider in this context is paragraph 1(3) of Schedule 1 to the Act. This states that the second condition which must apply before an activity constitutes the provision of regulated entertainment is that the premises (meaning "any place") at which the entertainment is, or entertainment facilities are, provided are made available for the purpose, or purposes which include the purpose, of enabling the entertainment concerned to take place. In the case of genuinely spontaneous music (including singing) and dancing, the place where the entertainment takes place will not have been made available to those taking part for that purpose.

ENDS

Can arranged carol singing of the type prevented in Norfolk be considered as specifically exempt as 'incidental'?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 07:15 AM

I suggest that it is the words of the Act that should form the basis of any advice or public statements on carol singing from the DCMS or at least reference to the following statutory guidance. [see pages 40 onward for Regulated Entertainment]

http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/7B118F40-5BCC-4195-8DA0-9E1A3A1FDAD1/0/Guidanceissuedundersection182.pdf


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 04:31 AM

Now on this, Roger, I have no difficulty in agreeing with you. It would seem that just about everything we predicted to Kim Howells, Tessa Jowell, and Ronnie (Sir Humphrey) Bridgett, is happening exactly as we said, and the responsibility rests firmly on a Philistine government which has made an art form out of bad legislation.

It is becoming harder by the day to believe that the main protagonists know anything about the culture and heritage of their own nation.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 02:46 AM

A DCMS spokeswoman said on Tuesday that parts of the Licensing Act were currently being reviewed, and specific aspects of it, including the parts relating to public carol-singing, would be looked at in detail.

"Carol-singers who entertain shoppers on a high street would not need to be licensed, providing the performance is incidental to the main activity, which, in this case, is people doing their Christmas shopping. If in doubt, organisers should contact their licensing authority," said a DCMS official.


This is interesting. The DCMS now seem determined that this form of arranged carol singing is not illegal under the words of their own Act - even if they are not sure why. So the buck is passed back to the local authority who do not know either but which will have to be prepared to try to legally defend any decision to their local electorate and in court if/when it is challenged.

The DCMS first attempt seemed to be on the grounds that the arranged event was 'spontaneous' even though this is not a word that appears in the Act. They now seem to be trying to claim it is a performance of live music that is 'incidental'. Which does at least appear in the Act and may give other similarly threatened activities some hope when all the seasonal fuss about carol singing dies down.

But interesting that it seems now to be the nature of the 'audience' doing their main activity of Christmas Shopping that classes the earnest performing efforts of the singers to entertain them as incidental.....

The history is yhat after drafting and introducing this catch-all legislation and having all the things listed for them that would be caught by it - including carol singing - the DCMS then tried to rather imaginatively reassure us all (despite the words of the Act) that all these things were actually safe.

They tried this only because the act was understandably unpopular with all the voters whose activities were really threatened by this catch-all legislation. http://tinyurl.com/ccchk

For in reality- the words of the Act, as they currently appear in Schedule 1 mean that just about everything from darts to mumming undertaken anywhere - if it is for the purpose of an audience or spectators is a Regulated Entertainment and illegal without Premises Licence entertainment permission.

All the words of DCMS spokespersons, websites and guidance will not change the words of this Act but will only continue to confuse everyone even more.

Until the words of Schedule 1 are changed by the Secretary of State


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 01:15 PM

Obie,

That's the sentiment of virtually every SINGER/MUSICIAN in England and Wales. The problem with that is the fact that they are not attacking the performers. It is the licensees who face maximum penalties of £20,000 fine, or six months jail, or both, and understandably, a man whose livelihood is selling beer is most unlikely to take that chance. So, the thing that is missing is the venues.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Dec 05 - 12:35 PM

http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/80256FA1003E05C1/httpPublicPages/819AA21916708E2C802570DE0044C1E8?opendocument

The Curch Times
'Sing now: talk later' - council
By Rachel Harden


CONFUSION surrounded the licensing laws for carol-singers this week after churches cancelled a joint event that could have gone ahead without a licence.

Churches Together in Poringland, near Norwich, called off carol singing outside a local supermarket because they believed they needed a temporary-event licence, and it was too late to apply for one.

South Norfolk Council, which would have issued the licence, said on Tuesday that the new licensing laws (2003) were "grey" on whether carol singers collecting for charity needed a licence or not.

A statement by Alex Evans, the council's licensing manager, said that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) had given varying advice on whether a licence was needed for singing carols outside stores.

The statement said that that church and other groups wanting to carol-sing should go ahead, and discuss the issue with the council in the New Year, to avoid similar problems at Christmas 2006.

A DCMS spokeswoman said on Tuesday that parts of the Licensing Act were currently being reviewed, and specific aspects of it, including the parts relating to public carol-singing, would be looked at in detail.

"Carol-singers who entertain shoppers on a high street would not need to be licensed, providing the performance is incidental to the main activity, which, in this case, is people doing their Christmas shopping. If in doubt, organisers should contact their licensing authority," said a DCMS official.


http://www.culture.gov.uk/

ENDS

Does anyone know what parts of the Licensing Act are currently being reviewed and by whom?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: GUEST,Obie
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 09:29 PM

If you have such stupid laws defy them and sing your hearts out.
Song will live on long after such stupid regulators are dead. Will they really throw you in jail for singing. If they do then sing in jail!
                      Obie


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Don(Wyziwyg)T
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 08:32 PM

Dave, Shambles does have a point (Christ, did I really just say that?).

The advertising is not important in the case of a strongly attended regular traditional event. The same cannot be said of sessions in general, as there is little point in the event proceeding if the only people present are the organisers and the licensee.

I am very pleased that your local event is being allowed to go ahead. We, in the affluent south, are not having the same experience.

Don T.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 07:38 PM

And many folk may consider that an LA insisting that a participatory singing event could go ahead but on the imposed condition that there could not be any advertising - IS an obstuction.

I agree. But I prefer the event to go ahead. You prefer to argue about it from 250+ miles away.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Melani
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 03:53 PM

Gaaaa!! Every time I start to think the Brits are civilized, the powers-that-be go and remind me why we had the revolution.

Of course, considering what we've got in power at the moment, who am I to talk...Anyway, try to have a Merry Christmas, guys, if you can manage it without getting arrested.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 12:55 PM

Bit of a sweeping generalisation I'd say. In fact there have been hundreds probably thousands of sessions which have been ignored by licensing authorities over the years (accepting the legality of the two-in-a-bar rule)that have been illegal.

I am sure the officers employed by the LAs concerned would not welcome the publicity you are giving them that they have been acting illegally over the years and failing in their statutory duty to protect the public.

And many folk may consider that an LA insisting that a participatory singing event could go ahead but on the imposed condition that there could not be any advertising - IS an obstuction.

It is perhaps also a sweeping generalisation to state that these sessions have in fact been illegal and such a statement is most probably not true.

For it remains a fact that the only case-law specifically on this issue does not support this opinion. It is one where a licensee was aquitted on appeal because the court judged that the customers were providing their own music.

This has not prevented the legal officers of my LA advising the elected members that the courts had decided that a licence was required even when customers provided their own music. The officer concerned later admitting that they had been unaware of this case-law when initially providing this advice in writing to my councillor. However, they were in posession of it when they they later ignored it and repeated this advice to a committee meeting.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 12:08 PM

We don't live in a fairytale world where we are unlucky if we live in kingdom governed by by wicked rulers or lucky to live under slightly more enlightened ones - just as long we don't do anything to risk upseting their patronising and conditional goodwill.

Why would anyone think such a model as this to be acceptable?

I understood that the rule of law is supposed to provide us all with equal protection - not some kind of regional lucky-dip.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: ET
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 07:12 AM

My experience of Local Authorities on enforcement are that they are erratic. They allow "illegal sessions" for many years then someone new comes to the athority wanting to make a name, and crash bang wallop.

It is obviously a good thing that local authorities are nervous about enforcing carol singing but this is seasonal, sessions are forever, I hope. I know that some Breweries have applied for music limited to 2 "performers" en masse for all their pubs, in the hope that this would not attract the wrath of locals. Somehow "performers", not part of the Act, connote something different to a "session" but that will not matter if the licensee says clear off, or words with similar connotations.

On the positive side, times are hard in some sections of the licensing trade and some licensees are actively seeking out musicians, (not many I accept).

In the week I went to a CHristmas party in a vertical drinking establishment.   The volume of recorded music (unlicensed-no dancing) was so great that many feared for their hearing and sanity and left for a traditional local. Am I getting past it? I don't understand the music content of computer generated beat at about 120 decibles, where one "tune" is indistingishable from another.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 06:15 AM

LAs will feel they can obstruct and prevent social music making like sessions etc, under this Act simply because they always have..

Bit of a sweeping generalisation I'd say. In fact there have been hundreds probably thousands of sessions which have been ignored by licensing authorities over the years (accepting the legality of the two-in-a-bar rule)that have been illegal.

All the carol sessions in Sheffield were decidely illegal. Virtually all sessions at folk festival fringes were illegal. So to say they always have obstructed is patent nonsense and as is often the case generalising from the particular does your case no favours. Please - if you would be so kind Roger - if you don't mind that is - no pressure you understand - feel free to do as you like - try and write with a modicum of thought.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Dec 05 - 04:06 AM

I should have said 'where carol singing is concerned'. I don't think there is the same agreement on sessions.

LAs will feel they can obstruct and prevent social music making like sessions etc, under this Act simply because they always have. Mainly by bullying individual licensees and by ignoring the relatively few active participants - safe in the knowledge that it is highly unlikely that they will have to prove their case in court.   

I think that we can see thay individual LAs are now a lot less sure what to do when it comes to arranged social carol singing outside a supermarket, for example. Simply because historically licensing officers they have not bothered with this before. I suspect that they would rather not have to be bothered with it now

It is a whole new ball game when obstructing or directly preventing church leaders and congregations. It involves a lot more people who understand the activity and brings quite different publicity. And with this comes a very real possibilty that they may at some point have to be prepared to prove their case in court.

My fear is that the whole thing will die down - until next year and hat session will be no better off. Perhaps we should ensure that it is not allowed to and work out over the holiday the best way of doing this?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 09:07 PM

Although I agree in part that we will drift back to the "Old Days" of the two in a bar, I am glad in part that in fact the number of venues that have acquired a license, and as I have said before whether we want to class sessions as entertainment or not, that is the main reason behind the Landlord allowing them to happen.

The idea that a licensee would allow sessions and possibly class them as entertainment is at best only partly true. In many I have attended the participants were the only custom and very welcome on a cold mid-week night. And what a licensee (or a licensing officer) may assume - does not turn a participatory night of social music making into a entertainment - for the reasons I have given.

No more than wearing a crash helmet and making vroom-vroom noises will turn your bicycle into a Harley Davidson. Bicyles and motor bikes resemble each other as far as both have two wheels.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck - it might well be a duck - but it also rather depends on how skilled an ornitholigist the person making the idenification is. The problem has been in the past that in order to shoot down ducks - some of our LAs have been prepared to indiscriminately shoot down anything that flies into their sights to make sure that no duck escapes them.

I agree with Eric but until we can pressurise a change in the words of Schedule 1 we are stuck with the definitions in it. We will just have to do our best to make sure that the words of the law are followed, not selectively ignored and that LAs do not continue the practice of making up their own laws based on prejudice and lack of knowledge.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 05:40 PM

Canada sounds inviting!

What on earth can you mean!!
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/12/21/SCOC-swingers-051221.html


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 03:58 PM

Apropos the carol singing at (or near) Parliament, it has been suggested that the restriction there, under the "Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005", may be seriously flawed.
The ruling stipulates in section 138 (It's a big Act): the Act
The designated area
      (1) The Secretary of State may by order specify an area as the designated area for the purposes of sections 132 to 137.
      (2) The area may be specified by description, by reference to a map or in any other way.
      (3) No point in the area so specified may be more than one kilometre in a straight line from the point nearest to it in Parliament Square.

Sub section 3 would appear to be illegal, as the only measures of distance legally acceptable in UK are still the Imperial system of Miles & Yards

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: ET
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 03:18 PM

I read this thread with interest and particular the carefully considered opinion of Shambles. Most of this was raised to no avail in the debate on the bill and by the Performers Lawyer Group.

I have written to Tony Blair, to the Home Secretary, the Culture Secretary, the Education Secretary and all their shadow ministers to no avail. I sometimes think I would have been better off peeing up the wall, (if I had a licence!).

My suggestion has been that the Minister, by Ministerial Order (no need for primary legislation or parliamnetary time) simply amends the list of regulated entertainment to remove the clause "live music" or if that is too bitter a pill to swallow, to amend it to read "amplied live music". That way there is control over volume but no issue for carol singing or any other traditional music.

I clearly lack influence. What about musicians writing to their MP (each and every one of them?) Not too much to ask methinks to save music making from this horror.

Incidentally the reason (jusification?) DCMS advanced for wanting to control music was on Police Advice that "live music usually resulted in trouble". Oh yes. The methodists might start bashing the Quakers over Hark the Herald Angels Sing?   I don't think so. In any event Politicians are supposed to decide on a higher plane than the Police operate on. They did so over 90 day detention without trial!

Canada sounds inviting!


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 01:47 PM

This may mean paying for a TEN or finding another location, convincing the LA to review their policy or getting the landlord to get a licence, but the outcome should be to ensure the events take place.

The problem remains that all too often it would appear that some LAs still think it is their job to ensure they don't take place.

In all of this is it is seems easy to forget that making music is NOT illegal and that the public do have the right in law to freely express themselves in music.

It is one thing when organisers call off unlicensed carol meetings (as in Norfolk) on advice from the LA that it is Regulated Entertainment - and get the LA 'off-the-hook'. Which is usually their only concern. It is quite another for any LA to actually introduce enforcement action to prevent such an event....

And that is exactly why a return to the 'old days' is so important to avoid and this is largely up to us. So much valuable music social making was lost - not because it was or even could have been legally prevented by LAs in court but because licensees were understandable wary of challenging questionable enforcements.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 12:13 PM

This DCMS website advice and the statutory guidance (for what they are worth) all stress that if the activity is not for the purpose of entertaining it is not Regulated Entertainment.

The most important change to the old legislation which presents us with some hope - is that things like darts can equally be as much Regulated Entertainment as live music now. This demonstrates that local authorities (like mine) are simply showing a historical prejudice when it comes to live music and participatory session in particular, if they introduce additional restrictions to live music that they would not apply to social games of darts and pool, for example. And they are not following the statutory guidance to the Act - as they are required to.   

The following from the DCMS website.
If the re-enactment was staged purely for the enjoyment of those taking part and not for the purpose of entertaining an audience, no licence would be required.

No, unless the rehearsal is provided for the entertainment of the public, or the members and their guests of a qualifying club in relation to the provision of regulated entertainment or for consideration and with a view to profit.

Games commonly played in pubs like pool or darts would not necessarily need to be authorised under the licence as they are not generally played for the entertainment of spectators. However if, for example, a darts exhibition match or championship were staged for spectators, that would be regulated entertainment.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If social pub games are not to be so considered - do you consider arranged carol singing meetings outside supermarkets and regular participatory sessions an entertainment which takes place in the presence of an audience and is provided for the purpose, or for purposes which include the purpose, of entertaining that audience?

My view would be that any musical activity could and would repeatedly take place to the satisfaction of the participants in the complete absence of any audience or spectators (like a social game of darts) – it cannot and should not be considered as Regulated Entertainment.

A logical look at it from the other side is. The main requirement of an entertainment is missing if the organiser/licensee cannot rely on anyone turning-up or rely on on anyone deciding to play or sing if they do. Without some way of obligating the 'entertainers' to entertain - there is little point in attracting an audience expecting to be entertained.

Sadly as demonstrated by my letter - this logic and the words of the Act do not seem to be able to counter years of prejudice against live music by some LAs.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: PennyBlack
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 11:26 AM

DMcG

As we all agree it's "Early Days" and the law in general is not applied Black/White - not everyone get fined for illegal parking, speeding or receive the same sentence for a particular crime - often a magistrate will make the final judgement and give a precedence.

I can't park outside my front door because someone in the highway dept decided DYL were needed there but my friends further down the street have none.

Although I agree in part that we will drift back to the "Old Days" of the two in a bar, I am glad in part that in fact the number of venues that have acquired a license, and as I have said before whether we want to class sessions as entertainment or not, that is the main reason behind the Landlord allowing them to happen.

As the LA will be the ones bringing prosecutions for contravention of the licence, surely the best way to find out is to approach them first to clarify? Whether we agree with their interpretation is another matter, and what action we take to resolve the situation to ensure the events take place surely is the important bit.

This may mean paying for a TEN or finding another location, convincing the LA to review their policy or getting the landlord to get a licence, but the outcome should be to ensure the events take place.

Having started another bottle of mulled wine and eaten even more mince pies I reserve the right that I may not have phrased everything to express what I believe (Pleading the 5th?)

Take care

PB


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 11:04 AM

That's what every agrees should happen

I should have said 'where carol singing is concerned'. I don't think there is the same agreement on sessions.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: DMcG
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 10:54 AM

That's the crazy thing, though, Penny. That's what every agrees should happen - DCMS, mayors, MPs, the lot - but its not what the law says. There is simply not the distinction between the different kinds of music making/singing that the DCMS statement implies.

My guess at what really went on is that the Government wanted enough penalties to deal with large scale raves (which haven't made the press for some years, as far as I have seen) and they were simply unable to come up with a means to distinguish between those and small scale music that allowed them to be confident they would always be able to prosecute the large scale offences. So the Government has issued guidence that has no basis in the law as passed, which roughly translates as 'be sensible about it, folks'. The problem is, though, as Shambles has told us at great length on many occasions, is that there will alway be bodies who are unable or unwilling to do so, and that leaves everyone unsure whether what they are doing will be prosecuted. That is roughly where we were with the two-in-a-bar rule that was widely ignored, and my best guess is that it is also where we will end up once all this has settled down.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: PennyBlack
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 10:07 AM

Will carol singers require a licence?

Carol singers going from door to door, or just deciding to sing in a particular place, or even turning up unannounced in a pub and singing, would not require a licence, just as drinkers in a public house who suddenly decided to start singing carols would not required license. However, if a business in a shopping mall, for example, arranges for a group of singers to sing carols this will be the same as their arranging any performance of live music and a premises licence or temporary event notice would be required


This to me is exactly the same as applied to sessions, Door to door - would be private property, the rest would be just "spontaneous", the last would be organised sessions, advertised arranged etc.

The outdoor Carol Services held in my area would fall under that exemption and as such didn't require a licence, Likewise when a bunch of us started singing "Come Landlord fill the flowing bowl" and "Poor Old Landlord can't get the Boozers" out after a check on beers at local hostelries the other night. The prearranged sessions and advertised ones are held in venues with a licences (and as usual we leave at 11.00 so we can get our beauty sleep :0)zzzzz)

The majority of venues in this area now have a licence, compared with 15% before, which means more chance for legal sessions remembering that with the 2inabar rule most session (and a lot of bookings) were illegal, so I'm sorry but as far as this area is concern things have improved, and with all the involvement we had with the LA whilst the "War" was going on has led us to a better relationship with advice going in both directions.

I still think there would be a better practise as far as the playing of music and dance is concerned within the provisions of the 2003 license and will still try and invoke changes that would make life easier for people to make music and dance. In the meantime I won't get so involved with "Rights" that it stops me doing what I spent so much time ensuring the new license wouldn't stop.

Let us sing and rejoice because we can.(and if you see that as forelock tugging OK) but although my face might have offended me I can still see, because I have a nose to rest my glasses on :0)

Merry Christmas and may God Bless us One and All

PB

Two bottles of Mulled Wine and 3 mince pies the better off.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 08:25 AM

The DCMS website is still saying the same thing.

http://www.culture.gov.uk/alcohol_and_entertainment/licensing_act_2003/regulated_entertainment.htm#26


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:24 AM

You may have missed this editing comment as it was inserted into my post and did not refresh this thread.

Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: The Shambles - PM
Date: 21 Dec 05 - 02:07 AM

Can who ever inserted 'England' to this thread's title please remove it?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I won't bother finding out who made the title change, but I can see no good reason for the change to have been made - so I changed it back. I would expect to see a location added to titles of threads about concerts or tours, not for every damn thing.
-Joe Offer-

[the above in small brown writing)


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: The Shambles
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 06:20 AM

Penny Black - perhaps you could provide me with an answer?

I have no wish to see these things prevented elsewhere but if they are a regulated entertainment as defined in the Act - why should these take place and my local sessions be prevented?

--------------------------------------------------------------
and why should amplification make any difference?

Because for the first time the words of licensing legislation make a distinction and specifically refer to music that is not amplified. In S177 it states the limited conditions that can be placed on such an activity.

The objection that causes most concern is one to noise. Much non-amplified music has been prevented or limited in the past along with amplified music because no distinction appeared in the licensing legislation.

so your complaint is that live music can't continue after 11.00pm?

No -

It is that extended hours were granted despite valid objections but actities that did not receive any reported objections had conditions imposed upon them, limiting the time they had to cease. This is exceeding their remit.

Indoor sports (like darts) and live music had to stop at 11pm and recorded music was thought OK until midnight. How likely is it than any member of the public would have specifically objected to late night darts? In the first instance these matters are for the licensee, locals and entertainers/participants to sort out. They are not matters for the licensing committee or officers unless specific concerns arise or objections are made to them.

Can you demonstrate on what basis that recorded music presents less of a concern to residents than live music and can go on an hour longer? Perhaps this is something that should be left to those it concerns rather than being subject to the judgement of a committee who should perhaps not allow any of the premises activities to be extended?

What is happening here and probably elsewhere is that any objection is seen as an open invitation for LAs to nose into things which are none of their concern and as the start of a bargaining process. In cases such as this one - conditions are imposed on activities that no one has objected to - to make it look as if they are doing something to alay publc concern - when in reality - even with valid objections - it is almost impossible for them to refuse extended hours.

They can and do seem to think that any objections to a licnsing application enables them to judge and to place even further restrictions on how the public choose to spend their leisure time.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing
From: Folkiedave
Date: 23 Dec 05 - 05:53 AM

The more I read of Roger's postings the more I believe the council at Weymouth deliberately behave obtusely in order to wind him up.
And he falls for it every time. Shame the music scene in Weymouth has had to suffer because of their antics.

So now he insists on behaving identically in other cities - notably from my point of view in Sheffield. And no doubt his antics will lead to similar results.

I do wish he wouild take an interest in sex and travel instead.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: Peace
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 09:02 PM

Don't try to censor him. It opens a floodgate.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: PennyBlack
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 09:01 PM

live music to finish at 11pm

so your complaint is that live music can't continue after 11.00pm?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:33 PM

By the Police??

No by the licensing committee. One pub was granted the extended hours despite valid objections to this but conditions were imposed restricting indoor sports like darts and live music to finish at 11pm but recorded music until midnight.

There were no reported objections from the police, fire or health officers.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: PennyBlack
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:29 PM

Insisting that the riders of motor-bikes wear crash helmets and pay for their road fund licence is lawful and it makes sense. Insisting that the rider of a bicycle requires these by pretending that the bicycle is a motor bike - is not lawful and does not make sense.


But, Insisting that the rider of a bicycle requires these because statistics show that if they're in an accident they'll suffer brain damage and because they use the roads they should pay along with other road users could make sense (I'll ignore the fact that road tax was originally paid to the CTC to reimburse cyclist for building "modern" roads).

I am just trying to ensure that where the licensee is willing - the public can exercise their right of freedom of expression through non-amplified music without the local authority preventing it by classing it as Regulated Entertainment.

and why should amplification make any difference?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: PennyBlack
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:19 PM

Those who wish to stage Regulated Entertainment have applied and many of these have had questionably legal conditions imposed on the times these entertainments must cease

By the Police??


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 08:03 PM

It would appear that the pubs in your area don't want a licence to cover entertainment?

Those who wish to stage Regulated Entertainment have applied and many of these have had questionably legal conditions imposed on the times these entertainments must cease.

I am just trying to ensure that where the licensee is willing - the public can exercise their right of freedom of expression through non-amplified music without the local authority preventing it by classing it as Regulated Entertainment.

Insisting that the riders of motor-bikes wear crash helmets and pay for their road fund licence is lawful and it makes sense. Insisting that the rider of a bicycle requires these by pretending that the bicycle is a motor bike - is not lawful and does not make sense.

There is no exemption for the singing of carols or traditional music but in other parts of the country where this legislation applies - these things are being allowed to take place without the licensing permission that my LA insist on to re-start a session that ran for 5 yearsbefore the council prevented it for a lack of a PEL.

I have no wish to see these things prevented elsewhere but if they are a regulated entertainment as defined in the Act - why should these take palce and my local sessions be prevented?

A participant locally carol singing outside a supermarket was shown the report from Norfolk where a similar event was prevented after the LA advised that it was regulated Entertainment. He also read the DCMS website information. But when he retrospectively asked out MP's office if the event needed a licence - the word from the council was that it did not.

He asked our MP because he was invoved in the act. The MP knows perfectly well the words of the Act do not exclude the singing of carols in this situation - so what is going on? On what grounds is this activity not RegulatedEntertainment and my session is?


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: Bert
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:13 PM

I must agree with Shambles regarding the editing of the thread title.

1. editor should have made contact with the author first, just to be polite.

2. editor should have got it right.


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Subject: RE: Law prevents carol singing. (England)
From: PennyBlack
Date: 22 Dec 05 - 03:13 PM

I have met several people in local government that were what I believed to be obstructive and even argumentative. But have met many, many more who are very nice people some who I would be pleased to call friends. (likewise in the music scene and life in general)

Yes maybe we are "Lucky" here, that we can work with them and local licensees the media etc. to ensure live music continues, If you ask anyone that knows me they would have a real laugh at the prospects of me being a forelock tucker or kissing lower parts of the body (at the rear). However I'm not tunnel visioned, and I'm willing to sit down and sort things out within the guide lines that have to be (whether I agree with them totally or not).

If a pub wants the entertainment in the form of session to continue he/she has that opportunity, we are at the moment sorting out a day of dance and music to take place in June 2006 it will do and will be "legal", If the council area Licences don't cover the areas required we will pay for TENs - we have to pay for rooms, transport, food etc.. not a problem. Having been involved in session since the (very) early 60s I can honestly say not one was run for reasons other than increased sales, not a problem that's why the landlord is there it's working together and those same Landlord were happy to break the old "Two in a Bar Rule" if it meant more profit for them!

It would appear that the pubs in your area don't want a licence to cover entertainment?

Peace and Good Will

and as me old Dad (God Bless him) used to say; "Never Hate in Plural"

PB


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