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Concerns rise about licensing implications of police bill

By | Published on Monday 23 May 2011

Houses Of Parliament

While the Live Music Bill works its way through parliament, aiming to remove elements of licensing law that have caused unnecessary problems for the live music sector, especially at the grass roots, some in the live industry fear that a new bit of legislation will introduce a new set of problems, especially for festival organisers.

The Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill, which is at committee stage in the House Of Lords, includes proposals that would give more people within a local area the right to object to temporary event licences being issued, plus make it easier for local authorities to impose conditions on organisers of such events.

Noting the contradictions between the Live Music Bill and the licensing elements of the Police Reform Bill, live music campaigner Hamish Birchall told Music Week: “If the Police Reform & Social Responsibility Bill does pass into law it could result in the bizarre situation where the government is trying to deregulate on the one hand, while at the same time local authorities will be entangling live music in more red tape: things are going to get worse before they get better”.

Representatives from the live and festival sector, supported by the likes of Liberal Lord Tim Clement-Jones, hope to raise these concerns when the Police Reform Bill is next discussed in the Lords later this month.