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Lib Dems include small gig licensing proposals in manifesto

By | Published on Friday 16 April 2010

The Liberal Democrats have included some key points from the previously reported Live Music Bill in their election manifesto.

As previously reported, the live-focused bill was introduced into parliament by Lib Dem Lord Tim Clement-Jones, and incorporated a number of the recommendations made by the Culture Select Committee in its review of the 2003 Licensing Act which had been subsequently ignored by the government. In particular, those recommendations to remove certain licensing obligations that were put on smaller gig venues and pubs that stage live music by the 2003 legislation.

Although the Bill was well received in some quarters in parliament, as it failed to get support from the government it was unlikely to ever become law and, indeed, the proposals fell by the wayside when parliament packed up for the election last week. But by including some of the key provisions of the Bill in its manifesto, the Lib Dems are presumably confirming this is an issue they will continue to lobby on once the next parliament and government are in place.

According to Music Week, the Lib Dems manifesto says: “We will reintroduce the rule allowing two performers of unamplified music in any licensed premises without the need for an entertainment licence, allow licensed venues for up to 200 people to host live music without the need for an entertainment licence, and remove the requirement for schools and hospitals to apply for a licence”.

The Labour manifesto also mentions the need for a review of licensing rules for smaller venues, but is less committal as to what changes might be made. The Tories make no mention of such things.