The latest DCMS consultation on licensing examines one of the most burdensome regimes introduced by the Licensing Act 2003.
Since 2005, operators need either a Premises Licence or a Temporary Event Notice to provide any, or all, of the following:
- Performance of a play
- Exhibition of a film
- Indoor sporting event
- Boxing or wrestling
- Performance of live music
- Playing of recorded music
- Performance of dance
John Penrose, Minister for Tourism and Heritage, stated that the current system is "a mess" and catches all sorts of events that should not be subject to costly and time consuming red tape. The result of the current system is that is that such innocent pleasures as watching a school play or Punch & Judy, or even listening to a brass band or pianist in a restaurant could gradually disappear from our lives because of excessive regulation.
This consultation is exploring the possibility of removing all these regulated activities from the licensing authorities' remit altogether. There are caveats; the sale of alcohol, boxing, wrestling and lap dancing, as well as events for more than 5,000 spectators would still require licenses, and existing legislation relating to noise, disorder etc would continue to apply.
The consultation ends on 3rd December. DCMS and trade bodies are urging people to respond, so that a more measured approach to small scale community entertainment can be achieved. In the current gloomy economic climate we could all do with a bit more fun in our lives!
For full details, go to the DCMS website, http://www.culture.gov.uk/