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Perspective: It's all a myth says Kim Howell.

Licensing Minister Kim Howell says he has identified various myths about the proposed changes. In response to the criticism, he maintains that:

Existing public safety and noise legislation does not cover all of the issues dealt with by licensing law. Music in pubs will not be harmed by the Bill.

It will not cost anything extra for a pub to apply to provide entertainment as well when applying for permission to sell alcohol.

Local authorities will not be able to impose unreasonable conditions on licences.

Individual performers will not be disadvantaged by the Bill.

Performers will not need to be individually licensed.

Performers will not now be liable to a fine or to imprisonment just for playing or singing.

A licence will not be needed every time someone plays a musical instrument. Rehearsing or practising will not be licensable.

Music tuition will not be licensable.

Busking will not be licensable.

Testing a musical instrument in a shop will not be licensable.

Community venues will not be disadvantaged by the Bill.

Village, church and parish halls, and other community buildings will not need to pay for licences to provide entertainment.

Any entertainment provided in a church will not be licensable.

Church bell ringing will not be licensable. Spontaneous performance will not be licensable.

So spontaneously singing Happy Birthday will not be illegal.

Spontaneous pub singalongs will not be licensable.

Carol singers, going from door to door, or turning up unannounced in a pub and singing, will not be licensable.

A postman whistling on his round will not be licensable.

Private events where invited guests are not charged will not usually be licensable.

A school Nativity play, which took place before a non-paying private audience of parents will not be licensable.

A licence will generally not be required for performances taking place at a private party where the host organises the music and does not charge guests.

A licence will not be required for a band playing in a marquee at a wedding reception in someone's garden.

A performance in an old people's home, hospice or hospital before a non-paying private audience of staff and patients will not require a licence.
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 10, 2003
Previous Article:Perspective: The black hole of despair. . . or is it just another cavity?
Next Article:Perspective: Political pub brawl to keep the music on tap; An unholy racket has been raging since the Government announced licensing changes that...

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