Licensing Act 2003

A yearly barbecue in a Rectory garden, accompanied by music, could not go ahead as planned as they did not have a licence under the Licensing Act 2003. One can have music which is "incidental" to an event without a licence but a licence is needed if the music is considered by the local authority to be a significant part of the programme.  This event has been held yearly without problems but the mistake this year was that the singer's name was printed on the advertising posters in the same size typeface as the word "barbecue".

Following the PCC meeting of our Parish last night, we wish to express our concern at this unduly restrictive legislation.

H. Lloyd (Mrs.), Parochial Church Council Secretary, Parish of Burham and Wouldham

Why is this idea important?

A yearly barbecue in a Rectory garden, accompanied by music, could not go ahead as planned as they did not have a licence under the Licensing Act 2003. One can have music which is "incidental" to an event without a licence but a licence is needed if the music is considered by the local authority to be a significant part of the programme.  This event has been held yearly without problems but the mistake this year was that the singer's name was printed on the advertising posters in the same size typeface as the word "barbecue".

Following the PCC meeting of our Parish last night, we wish to express our concern at this unduly restrictive legislation.

H. Lloyd (Mrs.), Parochial Church Council Secretary, Parish of Burham and Wouldham

Licensing live music

I’m not sure what was hoped to be achieved by these more recent music licensing laws but I do know the effect it has had on the small amateur musical band I play in. We no longer are able to sing and play at our local old folk’s homes and similar venues. Everyone got lots of enjoyment from our visits and it was for the love of music not money. Surely that’s what making music should be about. We no longer have anywhere to play without breaking the law and I feel it is an infringement on our freedom of expression.
The final nail went in the coffin, when I found out that the children from the local school won’t be making their annual visit to sing carols at the library Christmas coffee morning due to the music licensing laws. The young are unfortunately not exempt.
Youngsters love music and being free to play and sing in bands etc. It’s what made the 60’s come alive and be remembered as good times. Not so now, hey! It’s probably more a kin to Cromwell’s puritan times.
Change the music licensing laws so that everyone can enjoy playing and listening to live music!

Why is this idea important?

I’m not sure what was hoped to be achieved by these more recent music licensing laws but I do know the effect it has had on the small amateur musical band I play in. We no longer are able to sing and play at our local old folk’s homes and similar venues. Everyone got lots of enjoyment from our visits and it was for the love of music not money. Surely that’s what making music should be about. We no longer have anywhere to play without breaking the law and I feel it is an infringement on our freedom of expression.
The final nail went in the coffin, when I found out that the children from the local school won’t be making their annual visit to sing carols at the library Christmas coffee morning due to the music licensing laws. The young are unfortunately not exempt.
Youngsters love music and being free to play and sing in bands etc. It’s what made the 60’s come alive and be remembered as good times. Not so now, hey! It’s probably more a kin to Cromwell’s puritan times.
Change the music licensing laws so that everyone can enjoy playing and listening to live music!

Abolition of the Licensing Act 2003 Section declaring IVAs an act of bankruptcy

The Licensing Act treats Individual Voluntary Arrangements as an 'act of bankruptcy' and so, if a licensee wants to start an IVA then they have, first, to replace themselves as the Premises Licence Holder with someone else. Failing that, the Insolvency Practitioner, in theory, can apply to take over. This is all well and dandy for large chains going into Administration, but for small pubs with historic debt, but now a good business (for which an IVA would be ideal), this, effectively, means they can't do an IVA as no IP is going to take on the premises licence and all the legal liabilities that go with it.

The law needs to be amended to exempt IVAs as acts of bankruptcy and triggering the failure of the premises licence.

Why is this idea important?

The Licensing Act treats Individual Voluntary Arrangements as an 'act of bankruptcy' and so, if a licensee wants to start an IVA then they have, first, to replace themselves as the Premises Licence Holder with someone else. Failing that, the Insolvency Practitioner, in theory, can apply to take over. This is all well and dandy for large chains going into Administration, but for small pubs with historic debt, but now a good business (for which an IVA would be ideal), this, effectively, means they can't do an IVA as no IP is going to take on the premises licence and all the legal liabilities that go with it.

The law needs to be amended to exempt IVAs as acts of bankruptcy and triggering the failure of the premises licence.

Keep drinking to pubs

There is no doubt that we are losing a British institution ie the pub.  There are many reasons for this and why we must try and save them but essentially it is because the current tax on alcohol is too high and makes a trip to the pub far too expensive.  It strikes me that we should treat alcohol in a similar way to food.  Take away food is exempt from VAT so why not reverse this idea and allow alcohol (or lower alcohol drinks – say 4% or less) that is drunk on the premises VAT free and alcohol tax free and charge VAT and high alcohol tax on any take away alcohol.  There has to be an incentive to go to the pub rather than buy a "six" pack from the supermarket and this idea or something along the same lines would skew in favour of drinking in licenced premises.

Why is this idea important?

There is no doubt that we are losing a British institution ie the pub.  There are many reasons for this and why we must try and save them but essentially it is because the current tax on alcohol is too high and makes a trip to the pub far too expensive.  It strikes me that we should treat alcohol in a similar way to food.  Take away food is exempt from VAT so why not reverse this idea and allow alcohol (or lower alcohol drinks – say 4% or less) that is drunk on the premises VAT free and alcohol tax free and charge VAT and high alcohol tax on any take away alcohol.  There has to be an incentive to go to the pub rather than buy a "six" pack from the supermarket and this idea or something along the same lines would skew in favour of drinking in licenced premises.

24 hours is not the problem – !!

Before any further reviews or sub-committees are set up (“with industry insiders”) to discuss the continuing debacle of binge drinking in our society, and the laws that surround it, may I at this late stage offer my own comments on a possible way forward.
As a 62 year old ex licensee, with more than 25 years experience in the trade, I have seen most of the situations that regularly arise at weekends in our city centres. It pains me terribly to think of the wasted energies and the lack of moral compass that these young people exemplify. However, I believe that the root of the problem does NOT lie in an all out ban on late drinking, or 24 hour drinking for that matter. There has been a root change in the licensed trade, some of which has slowly evolved with time, but more importantly, a well defined alteration to our laws that occurred in the very recent past; namely the transfer of powers from the Local Magistrates Courts to Local Councils.
Have we all not seen how so many of our councils are overburdened, and may I add, far too heavy at the top end of management in being unable to control their own spending, and yet seem to be able to be aware of and govern everything from the environment to an in depth knowledge of our culture.
The simple fact is that when the Local Magistrates were in control, every late licence application had to be applied for IN PERSON, and good cause had to be given for its use. The Magistrates over a period of time got to know every licensee individually. They made regular visits every 4 or 5 months just to keep an eye on the licensee. In 14 years in my last pub, which was in a village location, I never had 1 single application refused, and I applied for dozens. I kept my house in order, and used my loyal customers to defuse any possible sign of disturbance there might be. At the same time, I have seen licensees who have been turned down at the same time as my own application has been passed, and who have said to me on exiting the court, “How did you get yours, when I can’t ?”I have had a 30th birthday celebration accepted when a 50th. wedding anniversary has been refused; need I say more other than the fact that the magistrates knew who they were dealing with, and treated all the licensees with respect but also with a firm hand.
The problem with the weekend culture in our towns and cities is not new. I was one of a crowd of friends who from our mid teens used to find a pub where we could get a drink under age, but we never abused that privilege because we knew what the consequences would be for both the licensee, and for us from our parents. But those licensees do not exist now.
In those days, most of the pubs, if not all in our town centres were ran by breweries. They knew their licensees and had regular contact with all their licensees through their Area Managers. Today, let us not forget that there aren’t too many breweries left. They are mostly pub management companies whose sole interest is a profit for their investors. This, along with 1 or 2 other extremely important factors is what has transformed the business.
Because of the greed of nearly all the pub companies; one only has to look at the overall investment in pubs at a grass roots level (virtually NIL – unless there is a potential niche market opportunity) and see that this has led to the rapid decline in our pubs in recent years. But where the pub struggles to survive, and the old licensee gives way and retires, the only people today who are available to take over are young people. The extortionate rents being applied have finally dawned on the older licensee that there is NO Profit to be made from a tenancy or at the very least a subsistence income.
Young people are flocking to become managers – an easy way out of not working for a living, but watching everyone else giving them their income. A 20/25 year old CANNOT and never will be able to control the respect of a pub’s clientele if their language and demeanour is that of their customers. In today’s environment, a licensee cannot be one of the boys. He must stand back and manage his business.
My own pub stands as an excellent example of the problem. As I retired, the brewery was taken over by a pub company. After 14 years with the same licensee, the company produced 9 managers in 9 years – 6 of whom were in their early to mid twenties. Their language, attitude and social awareness was that of the clientele they brought with them. My old pub went from being a totally village orientated family friendly pub with customers from 16 to 90, to a virtually teenage club for youths and their girlfriends, whose language in many cases was worse than that of the boys. ALL the older clientele stopped supporting the pub, and it is only now, ten years on that we have a 54 year old licensee who is trying to redeem the situation, but is struggling tremendously to turn the pub round. I digress, but do believe that the above provides an excellent example of the fundamental problems facing the trade.

For my e-mail two of two
own small effort, I would like to propose the following:
1) Re-assign the extended licence applications to the magistrates.
They know the licensees and would therefore have an insight into the premises and any local issues that may result from such applications. Also make ALL new applications acceptable only on a 3 monthly basis initially, and a regular 6 monthly review thereafter, at which time any breaches of the terms would be dealt with and in extreme circumstances the licence be revoked.
2) Insist that all Managers of town centre establishments are a minimum of 30 years of age and BAN BY LAW, all cheap doubles and chaser drinks. If they continue to be advertised outside premises, then prosecute IMMEDIATELY.
3) Differentiate BY LAW, the difference between “pubs & restaurants” and those premises which although classified as pubs, are in fact clubs that have escaped the net of membership by a lack of enforcement of what is allowed in pubs. Dancing and discos were at one time subject to certificates for entertaining and cost a considerable amount of money.
4) In the case of Pub companies, persuade the management to make the BDM’s as they are called now (the old area managers) to be responsible for the management of their pubs.
At one time, a manager could not hold a licence of his own volition, but had to have his area manager’s name on the licence. Ie HE TOO WAS RESPONSIBLE.
5) By force of law, stop pub companies from retailing their goods to supermarkets and off-trade sales below that price applicable to their pubs. If they do have an “admirable working relationship” with their managers and tenants, which the directors of several have purported on BBC’s radio 4 on numerous occasions, then this would go a long way towards reducing the need for offers to attract custom because there would be a level playing field, and therefore no incentive to the licensee.

There is much more to be done, but the above would get to grips with the problem, and not condemn the average social drinker to the kicking in the teeth he keeps receiving from both government and the pub companies. I now have my own business doing accountancy for pubs, and if we are to keep the hub of our villages alive, then the owners must be far more realistic in the returns they expect from their pubs. Government guidance could come in here. When the average rates, council tax and utility charges for many pubs today approaches the region of £20,000 per year BEFORE rent at £18-30,000, how do the pub companies expect their pubs to survive ? That is BEFORE the licensee has bought his beer At the present time, the average licensee is a cash cow for the company who are only interested in their estate’s valuation. Why else are they forever selling their “unviable” pubs ?
It may be late in the day, but I do feel that my voice had to be aired in the current climate, and I know that many of my fellow licensees feel exactly the same way, but like farmers, we are a very competitive people, and have to be to survive, and yet more and more, the trade organizations who purport to represent the licensee, invariably are only representing the organizations that are killing the industry.
PRPMS

Why is this idea important?

Before any further reviews or sub-committees are set up (“with industry insiders”) to discuss the continuing debacle of binge drinking in our society, and the laws that surround it, may I at this late stage offer my own comments on a possible way forward.
As a 62 year old ex licensee, with more than 25 years experience in the trade, I have seen most of the situations that regularly arise at weekends in our city centres. It pains me terribly to think of the wasted energies and the lack of moral compass that these young people exemplify. However, I believe that the root of the problem does NOT lie in an all out ban on late drinking, or 24 hour drinking for that matter. There has been a root change in the licensed trade, some of which has slowly evolved with time, but more importantly, a well defined alteration to our laws that occurred in the very recent past; namely the transfer of powers from the Local Magistrates Courts to Local Councils.
Have we all not seen how so many of our councils are overburdened, and may I add, far too heavy at the top end of management in being unable to control their own spending, and yet seem to be able to be aware of and govern everything from the environment to an in depth knowledge of our culture.
The simple fact is that when the Local Magistrates were in control, every late licence application had to be applied for IN PERSON, and good cause had to be given for its use. The Magistrates over a period of time got to know every licensee individually. They made regular visits every 4 or 5 months just to keep an eye on the licensee. In 14 years in my last pub, which was in a village location, I never had 1 single application refused, and I applied for dozens. I kept my house in order, and used my loyal customers to defuse any possible sign of disturbance there might be. At the same time, I have seen licensees who have been turned down at the same time as my own application has been passed, and who have said to me on exiting the court, “How did you get yours, when I can’t ?”I have had a 30th birthday celebration accepted when a 50th. wedding anniversary has been refused; need I say more other than the fact that the magistrates knew who they were dealing with, and treated all the licensees with respect but also with a firm hand.
The problem with the weekend culture in our towns and cities is not new. I was one of a crowd of friends who from our mid teens used to find a pub where we could get a drink under age, but we never abused that privilege because we knew what the consequences would be for both the licensee, and for us from our parents. But those licensees do not exist now.
In those days, most of the pubs, if not all in our town centres were ran by breweries. They knew their licensees and had regular contact with all their licensees through their Area Managers. Today, let us not forget that there aren’t too many breweries left. They are mostly pub management companies whose sole interest is a profit for their investors. This, along with 1 or 2 other extremely important factors is what has transformed the business.
Because of the greed of nearly all the pub companies; one only has to look at the overall investment in pubs at a grass roots level (virtually NIL – unless there is a potential niche market opportunity) and see that this has led to the rapid decline in our pubs in recent years. But where the pub struggles to survive, and the old licensee gives way and retires, the only people today who are available to take over are young people. The extortionate rents being applied have finally dawned on the older licensee that there is NO Profit to be made from a tenancy or at the very least a subsistence income.
Young people are flocking to become managers – an easy way out of not working for a living, but watching everyone else giving them their income. A 20/25 year old CANNOT and never will be able to control the respect of a pub’s clientele if their language and demeanour is that of their customers. In today’s environment, a licensee cannot be one of the boys. He must stand back and manage his business.
My own pub stands as an excellent example of the problem. As I retired, the brewery was taken over by a pub company. After 14 years with the same licensee, the company produced 9 managers in 9 years – 6 of whom were in their early to mid twenties. Their language, attitude and social awareness was that of the clientele they brought with them. My old pub went from being a totally village orientated family friendly pub with customers from 16 to 90, to a virtually teenage club for youths and their girlfriends, whose language in many cases was worse than that of the boys. ALL the older clientele stopped supporting the pub, and it is only now, ten years on that we have a 54 year old licensee who is trying to redeem the situation, but is struggling tremendously to turn the pub round. I digress, but do believe that the above provides an excellent example of the fundamental problems facing the trade.

For my e-mail two of two
own small effort, I would like to propose the following:
1) Re-assign the extended licence applications to the magistrates.
They know the licensees and would therefore have an insight into the premises and any local issues that may result from such applications. Also make ALL new applications acceptable only on a 3 monthly basis initially, and a regular 6 monthly review thereafter, at which time any breaches of the terms would be dealt with and in extreme circumstances the licence be revoked.
2) Insist that all Managers of town centre establishments are a minimum of 30 years of age and BAN BY LAW, all cheap doubles and chaser drinks. If they continue to be advertised outside premises, then prosecute IMMEDIATELY.
3) Differentiate BY LAW, the difference between “pubs & restaurants” and those premises which although classified as pubs, are in fact clubs that have escaped the net of membership by a lack of enforcement of what is allowed in pubs. Dancing and discos were at one time subject to certificates for entertaining and cost a considerable amount of money.
4) In the case of Pub companies, persuade the management to make the BDM’s as they are called now (the old area managers) to be responsible for the management of their pubs.
At one time, a manager could not hold a licence of his own volition, but had to have his area manager’s name on the licence. Ie HE TOO WAS RESPONSIBLE.
5) By force of law, stop pub companies from retailing their goods to supermarkets and off-trade sales below that price applicable to their pubs. If they do have an “admirable working relationship” with their managers and tenants, which the directors of several have purported on BBC’s radio 4 on numerous occasions, then this would go a long way towards reducing the need for offers to attract custom because there would be a level playing field, and therefore no incentive to the licensee.

There is much more to be done, but the above would get to grips with the problem, and not condemn the average social drinker to the kicking in the teeth he keeps receiving from both government and the pub companies. I now have my own business doing accountancy for pubs, and if we are to keep the hub of our villages alive, then the owners must be far more realistic in the returns they expect from their pubs. Government guidance could come in here. When the average rates, council tax and utility charges for many pubs today approaches the region of £20,000 per year BEFORE rent at £18-30,000, how do the pub companies expect their pubs to survive ? That is BEFORE the licensee has bought his beer At the present time, the average licensee is a cash cow for the company who are only interested in their estate’s valuation. Why else are they forever selling their “unviable” pubs ?
It may be late in the day, but I do feel that my voice had to be aired in the current climate, and I know that many of my fellow licensees feel exactly the same way, but like farmers, we are a very competitive people, and have to be to survive, and yet more and more, the trade organizations who purport to represent the licensee, invariably are only representing the organizations that are killing the industry.
PRPMS

Don’t allow repeated license variation applications for the same bar or pub

At the moment pubs and bars can apply as often as they like for things like longer opening hours and permission to play music etc. This means that if local residents object and go to a licensing hearing and show there are real problems being caused by the activities of the pub/bar and prevent the changes requested, the licensee can just start the whole process again straight afterwards. It costs a lot of money for councils and licensing committees to repeat the proceedings again and again and also means any objectors have to take more time off work to go to more hearings etc.  It seems that the repeated applications are made so that eventually the amount of residents objecting reduces (as they can't keep taking time off work) and the likelihood of the application for extended hours etc. being granted increases. 

If applications for variations of licenses were only allowed once a year then a lot of money and invonvenience would be saved without removing the right for a licensee to try and extend their license at a later date.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment pubs and bars can apply as often as they like for things like longer opening hours and permission to play music etc. This means that if local residents object and go to a licensing hearing and show there are real problems being caused by the activities of the pub/bar and prevent the changes requested, the licensee can just start the whole process again straight afterwards. It costs a lot of money for councils and licensing committees to repeat the proceedings again and again and also means any objectors have to take more time off work to go to more hearings etc.  It seems that the repeated applications are made so that eventually the amount of residents objecting reduces (as they can't keep taking time off work) and the likelihood of the application for extended hours etc. being granted increases. 

If applications for variations of licenses were only allowed once a year then a lot of money and invonvenience would be saved without removing the right for a licensee to try and extend their license at a later date.

Revise the driving test to improve the motorway network

The road system in the country is struggling to meet the demands of the motorist due to an increase in vehicles being registered, foreign vehicles becoming more frequent and a severe lack of investment from the govornment.

Whilst the economic crisis continues with little money available and foreign truckers a common sight, there is only so much that can be done at present with regards to them issues at the moment to try and improve the road network, however, a dramatic improvement can be made to the standard of driving of British drivers that will not only improve safety but may be financially beneficial as well

 

Why is this idea important?

The road system in the country is struggling to meet the demands of the motorist due to an increase in vehicles being registered, foreign vehicles becoming more frequent and a severe lack of investment from the govornment.

Whilst the economic crisis continues with little money available and foreign truckers a common sight, there is only so much that can be done at present with regards to them issues at the moment to try and improve the road network, however, a dramatic improvement can be made to the standard of driving of British drivers that will not only improve safety but may be financially beneficial as well

 

Repeal the Late Licensing Laws

Repeal the late licensing laws.  Many towns and cities suffer from increased drink fuelled antisocial behaviour now.

 

Here, York city centre is mayhem on Friday and Saturday nights in particular now.  Come midnight you are stepping over pools of urine and vomit, drunks hurling abuse at passers by, fights in the street and police vans screaming about.  York used to be a pleasant relaxing atmosphere on an evening but now it is horrible.  There are loads of late bars selling cheap alcohol and clubs which open to early hours acting as a hub for rowdy behaviour.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the late licensing laws.  Many towns and cities suffer from increased drink fuelled antisocial behaviour now.

 

Here, York city centre is mayhem on Friday and Saturday nights in particular now.  Come midnight you are stepping over pools of urine and vomit, drunks hurling abuse at passers by, fights in the street and police vans screaming about.  York used to be a pleasant relaxing atmosphere on an evening but now it is horrible.  There are loads of late bars selling cheap alcohol and clubs which open to early hours acting as a hub for rowdy behaviour.

Bring back the Licensing Laws

Allow Public Houses to open and close at proper hours and let them decide if they want to serve food.  Also, Pubs should be allowed to refuse to allow children under 17 years of age to enter. Many of us 'old uns' learned how to take our drink in the Pubs when there were proper opening hours and young children were not allowed in!  There was no awful musac in those days and pubs were a place to meet socially and enjoy a drink with friends. There was very little trouble and practically no drunkeness in most parts of the country and beer was reasonably priced.

Clamp down heavily on the parents of young drinkers who binge drink and make a nuisance of themselves and control the Supermarkets on what they sell. The Drinks Industry has been targetting kids and children for years and they must be stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

Allow Public Houses to open and close at proper hours and let them decide if they want to serve food.  Also, Pubs should be allowed to refuse to allow children under 17 years of age to enter. Many of us 'old uns' learned how to take our drink in the Pubs when there were proper opening hours and young children were not allowed in!  There was no awful musac in those days and pubs were a place to meet socially and enjoy a drink with friends. There was very little trouble and practically no drunkeness in most parts of the country and beer was reasonably priced.

Clamp down heavily on the parents of young drinkers who binge drink and make a nuisance of themselves and control the Supermarkets on what they sell. The Drinks Industry has been targetting kids and children for years and they must be stopped.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring Electricity Re Suppliers/Re Sellers Into Electricity Supply Act

Under the Electricity Supply Act 1989, Re-Sellers/Re-suppliers of Electricity do not come under the control of some sections of The Act. This means that a Re-Seller/Re-supplier can, at any time and without giving a reason disconnect any of it's consumers because they are outside of the restraints of The Act, it also means that a Re-Seller/Re-Supplier does NOT have to keep a register of VULNERABLE PERSONS which allows them to disconnect supplies during the WINTER MONTHS.

Under the Electricity Supply Act 1989 a Registered Supplier of Electricity MUST apply to a Magistrate for permission to disconnect a consumer and MUST keep a register of VULNERABLE PERSONS who must be kept supplied with electricity throuout the winter months.

I think it is a matter of urgency that ALL suppliers of electricity be brought within The Electricity Supply Act 1989.

Why is this idea important?

Under the Electricity Supply Act 1989, Re-Sellers/Re-suppliers of Electricity do not come under the control of some sections of The Act. This means that a Re-Seller/Re-supplier can, at any time and without giving a reason disconnect any of it's consumers because they are outside of the restraints of The Act, it also means that a Re-Seller/Re-Supplier does NOT have to keep a register of VULNERABLE PERSONS which allows them to disconnect supplies during the WINTER MONTHS.

Under the Electricity Supply Act 1989 a Registered Supplier of Electricity MUST apply to a Magistrate for permission to disconnect a consumer and MUST keep a register of VULNERABLE PERSONS who must be kept supplied with electricity throuout the winter months.

I think it is a matter of urgency that ALL suppliers of electricity be brought within The Electricity Supply Act 1989.

Reduce Oppressive Licensing Act 2003

The Licensing Act 2003 requires all events involving music or sale of alcohol to have a licence – the requirements are oppressive for small fundraising events organised by Charities or other non-commercial organisations.  As most do not have a Personal Licence holder or the premises (such as village halls, churches) do not have Premises Licences the organisers are required to complete in triplicate a 10 page form, most of which is irrelevant.  This form must be submitted to the local authority & police for vetting on each occasion at a cost of £21 a time.  

This requirement costs my charity a significant proportion of the funds raised by such events and, as a licence has never been refused to me, is a pointless bureacratic exercise.  Obtaining a Personal Licence requires attendance at a course typically costing £300 covering far more than the requirements for the small events I organise and as the premises we use (WI Hall, church) do not Have Premises Licences would still require the £21 redundant form to be completed and submitted for approval prior to the event.

The requirement could be simplified and made less onerous by allowing an individual organising such non-commercial events to be vetted once and subsequently allowed to hold, say, 5 events per annum simply by sending the local authority a one page form (or even simpler, holding a log record of events).  This would almost be reverting to the practice prior to John Prescott's oppresive law when individual licence holders could apply for a one year licence allowing a number of events per annum. 

Why is this idea important?

The Licensing Act 2003 requires all events involving music or sale of alcohol to have a licence – the requirements are oppressive for small fundraising events organised by Charities or other non-commercial organisations.  As most do not have a Personal Licence holder or the premises (such as village halls, churches) do not have Premises Licences the organisers are required to complete in triplicate a 10 page form, most of which is irrelevant.  This form must be submitted to the local authority & police for vetting on each occasion at a cost of £21 a time.  

This requirement costs my charity a significant proportion of the funds raised by such events and, as a licence has never been refused to me, is a pointless bureacratic exercise.  Obtaining a Personal Licence requires attendance at a course typically costing £300 covering far more than the requirements for the small events I organise and as the premises we use (WI Hall, church) do not Have Premises Licences would still require the £21 redundant form to be completed and submitted for approval prior to the event.

The requirement could be simplified and made less onerous by allowing an individual organising such non-commercial events to be vetted once and subsequently allowed to hold, say, 5 events per annum simply by sending the local authority a one page form (or even simpler, holding a log record of events).  This would almost be reverting to the practice prior to John Prescott's oppresive law when individual licence holders could apply for a one year licence allowing a number of events per annum. 

Restricting and /or banning private bailiffs

I am constantly hearing stories of  bailiffs1) entering homes (apparently if you leave a window  open you are deemed to have invited them in then2)taking the kids computer games etc then3)selling the items at auction for  a pittance and then4)leaving the debtor in even more debt because bailiffs and auction fees are more than the amount realised at auction.

We urgently need a complete overhaul of bailiffs powers and ,in my view,consider banning a lot of their activity and certainly banning the private sector bailiffs.It is 2010,we should not have  a society tolerating private bailiffs and car clampers etc.In so many instances they have been called licensed threateners and thugs.

I would gladly sit on any panel to champion such changes. 

Why is this idea important?

I am constantly hearing stories of  bailiffs1) entering homes (apparently if you leave a window  open you are deemed to have invited them in then2)taking the kids computer games etc then3)selling the items at auction for  a pittance and then4)leaving the debtor in even more debt because bailiffs and auction fees are more than the amount realised at auction.

We urgently need a complete overhaul of bailiffs powers and ,in my view,consider banning a lot of their activity and certainly banning the private sector bailiffs.It is 2010,we should not have  a society tolerating private bailiffs and car clampers etc.In so many instances they have been called licensed threateners and thugs.

I would gladly sit on any panel to champion such changes. 

Change Driver Licensing to reduce insurance premiums for all, especially small businesses

Changing licensing to place restrictions on new young drivers so that they can not drive in the highest risk situations – i.e. late at night or with passengers of a similar age would reduce crashes, risk of crash and insurance premiums for all.

This is Graduated Driver Licensing – my estimates are that it could save up to 236 lives in GB each year, save around 14,000 casualties and save the economy £889M.

Why is this idea important?

Changing licensing to place restrictions on new young drivers so that they can not drive in the highest risk situations – i.e. late at night or with passengers of a similar age would reduce crashes, risk of crash and insurance premiums for all.

This is Graduated Driver Licensing – my estimates are that it could save up to 236 lives in GB each year, save around 14,000 casualties and save the economy £889M.

FOR PUBS REPEAL LIVE MUSIC LICENCE LAW

I assume it was the last Labour government that made the law that pubs that stage live music have to buy a compulsory live music licence that can cost something like £2,000 a year.  Although I have a full time office job I am also a musician myself.  I play piano and organ, and if much more music work was available I am the type of potential professional musician that would use it to supplement my income rather than be solely dependent on music for a livelihood.    I blame that daft unnecessary law for the sharp decline in demand for musicians to play paid live music because it is expensive enough to pay musicians without having to have an expensive licence on top of it in order to have the privilege of hiring musicians.  I believe that this daft live music licence law most probably discourages many pub landlords from staging live music and therefore destroys many musicians' jobs.  In that way the music licence law stifles and frustrates musical enterprise, and in that way is contributory to keeping the economy weak.  Because of that I can see that law being equally unpopular with potential professional musicians like myself to how unpopular it probably is with pub landlords.  It is just like a very heavy tax on live music, and I am sure that is the main factor that is killing off live music.

Why is this idea important?

I assume it was the last Labour government that made the law that pubs that stage live music have to buy a compulsory live music licence that can cost something like £2,000 a year.  Although I have a full time office job I am also a musician myself.  I play piano and organ, and if much more music work was available I am the type of potential professional musician that would use it to supplement my income rather than be solely dependent on music for a livelihood.    I blame that daft unnecessary law for the sharp decline in demand for musicians to play paid live music because it is expensive enough to pay musicians without having to have an expensive licence on top of it in order to have the privilege of hiring musicians.  I believe that this daft live music licence law most probably discourages many pub landlords from staging live music and therefore destroys many musicians' jobs.  In that way the music licence law stifles and frustrates musical enterprise, and in that way is contributory to keeping the economy weak.  Because of that I can see that law being equally unpopular with potential professional musicians like myself to how unpopular it probably is with pub landlords.  It is just like a very heavy tax on live music, and I am sure that is the main factor that is killing off live music.

Choice for Landlords

The choice of whether a pub or club would be 'nosmoking' should have been left to the landlord or manager of every establishment to decide for themselves, and not forced on us all in such a draconian manner.

Why is this idea important?

The choice of whether a pub or club would be 'nosmoking' should have been left to the landlord or manager of every establishment to decide for themselves, and not forced on us all in such a draconian manner.

Repeal the 24 hour Licensing Act

Restore hours of normal sleep to residents who live in city centres, or close to clubs and bars.  It is impossible to sleep  when alcohol-related disorder and anti-social behaviour continues into the early hours of the morning.  Let's return to pub, club and bar closing time at 11.30 p.m. or midnight.  It may cause disruption for an hour or so afterwards, but that has to be preferable to idiots wreaking havoc until 4.00 a.m. or later.  The cafe culture is never going to exist in the U.K. so let's admit that the Labour experiment was a failure.

Why is this idea important?

Restore hours of normal sleep to residents who live in city centres, or close to clubs and bars.  It is impossible to sleep  when alcohol-related disorder and anti-social behaviour continues into the early hours of the morning.  Let's return to pub, club and bar closing time at 11.30 p.m. or midnight.  It may cause disruption for an hour or so afterwards, but that has to be preferable to idiots wreaking havoc until 4.00 a.m. or later.  The cafe culture is never going to exist in the U.K. so let's admit that the Labour experiment was a failure.

PLH and licencing conditions

Being a publican I am constantly infuriated with the condition that a PLH must be on the premises after 8 o'clock. With most small businesses I cannot afford to send all staff on this ridiculously overpriced course and therefore cannot have a day off. Relax the licencing conditions and eliminate this condition as if I am to leave my business in capable responsible hands what does it matter if they hold a PLH or not?

Why is this idea important?

Being a publican I am constantly infuriated with the condition that a PLH must be on the premises after 8 o'clock. With most small businesses I cannot afford to send all staff on this ridiculously overpriced course and therefore cannot have a day off. Relax the licencing conditions and eliminate this condition as if I am to leave my business in capable responsible hands what does it matter if they hold a PLH or not?

Underage Drinking Responsibility

I think that it is unfair that as a shop employee I can be held personally accountable for selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 18. Also that trading standards have been known to send people into the shop where I work that look well over the age of 18.

Currently we can pay an on-the-spot fine or take the matter to court. If we take the matter to court you may be issued with a £1,000 fine and a Criminal Record.

I believe that it should always be the business that it held responsible, or that the appeals process should be made fairer on shop-workers. I am law abiding I have 3 jobs and I don't have the choice of what department to work on in my Supermarket. I am a checkout worker and think that this is one of the more un-fair laws that exist.

I challenge when I think an individual looks under the age of 25, however even that is sometimes hard to determine and when you ask someone there age and it turns out their 30 then the situation can turn intimidating.

So please think about the people that sell you your weekly shopping and are put under this additional appeals process pressure and change it.

Why is this idea important?

I think that it is unfair that as a shop employee I can be held personally accountable for selling alcohol to anyone under the age of 18. Also that trading standards have been known to send people into the shop where I work that look well over the age of 18.

Currently we can pay an on-the-spot fine or take the matter to court. If we take the matter to court you may be issued with a £1,000 fine and a Criminal Record.

I believe that it should always be the business that it held responsible, or that the appeals process should be made fairer on shop-workers. I am law abiding I have 3 jobs and I don't have the choice of what department to work on in my Supermarket. I am a checkout worker and think that this is one of the more un-fair laws that exist.

I challenge when I think an individual looks under the age of 25, however even that is sometimes hard to determine and when you ask someone there age and it turns out their 30 then the situation can turn intimidating.

So please think about the people that sell you your weekly shopping and are put under this additional appeals process pressure and change it.

Live music licensing

The previous government came to power promising to reform the old "two in a bar" live music licensing laws. At the time we all thought they'd make it easier for pubs and clubs to put on live music. What they did was to make all public performance licensable. So, strictly speaking if I invite my neighbour into my home to hear me sing I require a license.  Of course now we see this is exactly what we should have expected from an adminstration hell bent on regulating every sphere of our lives. Scrap these laws. There is provision enough to deal with public nuisance to deal with any problems caused by noise.

Why is this idea important?

The previous government came to power promising to reform the old "two in a bar" live music licensing laws. At the time we all thought they'd make it easier for pubs and clubs to put on live music. What they did was to make all public performance licensable. So, strictly speaking if I invite my neighbour into my home to hear me sing I require a license.  Of course now we see this is exactly what we should have expected from an adminstration hell bent on regulating every sphere of our lives. Scrap these laws. There is provision enough to deal with public nuisance to deal with any problems caused by noise.

Re-introduce Dog Licensing

Many people are haveing their freedoms restricted due to the LACK of regulation in this area.

As an `obese Nation` we are encouraged to exersise etc, to use the many walks, woods and open spaces, which volunteers have restored and in many cases maintain. However, these places are littered with dog-faeces; there are clearly insufficient, indeed minimal prosecutions for this mess. With the exception of miltary dogs, police, guide dogs, and search & rescue dogs; all other dogs should be licensed & electronically `chipped`. The only dicounted license fees, should be for persons of state pension age. All other licenses ought to be in the region of £30/dog/annum; this will make a realistic return for adequate policing and administration, thus creating some employment possibilities. With an adequate No of dog-wardens, sufficiently empowered, spot checks could be a requirement to ensure dogs are chipped, and therfore traceable. All license applications could require the dog's breed and parentage; just like `cattle passports` which are operated from BCMS @ Workington; thus helping to eliminate dangerous breeds of dog being on our streets. In turn, it will help to avoid the annual deaths of young children from dangerous dogs.

Why is this idea important?

Many people are haveing their freedoms restricted due to the LACK of regulation in this area.

As an `obese Nation` we are encouraged to exersise etc, to use the many walks, woods and open spaces, which volunteers have restored and in many cases maintain. However, these places are littered with dog-faeces; there are clearly insufficient, indeed minimal prosecutions for this mess. With the exception of miltary dogs, police, guide dogs, and search & rescue dogs; all other dogs should be licensed & electronically `chipped`. The only dicounted license fees, should be for persons of state pension age. All other licenses ought to be in the region of £30/dog/annum; this will make a realistic return for adequate policing and administration, thus creating some employment possibilities. With an adequate No of dog-wardens, sufficiently empowered, spot checks could be a requirement to ensure dogs are chipped, and therfore traceable. All license applications could require the dog's breed and parentage; just like `cattle passports` which are operated from BCMS @ Workington; thus helping to eliminate dangerous breeds of dog being on our streets. In turn, it will help to avoid the annual deaths of young children from dangerous dogs.

Freedom to Enjoy Music and a Little Alcohol

Repeal those parts of the Licensing Act which force charities, voluntary organisations, pubs and businesses to obtain a licence for small scale social events at which a relatively small number of people want to enjoy drink in moderation and/or music or other entertainment.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal those parts of the Licensing Act which force charities, voluntary organisations, pubs and businesses to obtain a licence for small scale social events at which a relatively small number of people want to enjoy drink in moderation and/or music or other entertainment.

Licensing Hours

Repeal the laws surrounding pub licensing hours. We do not have a southern european drinking cafe drinking culture so repeal the law that tried to create one but has legitimised a  binge drinking culture and resulted in our city centres being off limits on a friday and saturday night. Take the law back to what it used to be.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the laws surrounding pub licensing hours. We do not have a southern european drinking cafe drinking culture so repeal the law that tried to create one but has legitimised a  binge drinking culture and resulted in our city centres being off limits on a friday and saturday night. Take the law back to what it used to be.

Historic Vehicle Tax needs reviewing!

I have an old VW Campervan which was registered on the 1st March 1973. The van is in perfect condition and certainly better condition than some of the newer cars on the road. Yet the deadline for qualifying for historic vehicle tax is on the 1st January 1973, which my van doesn't qualify as it is two months out!

Why is this idea important?

I have an old VW Campervan which was registered on the 1st March 1973. The van is in perfect condition and certainly better condition than some of the newer cars on the road. Yet the deadline for qualifying for historic vehicle tax is on the 1st January 1973, which my van doesn't qualify as it is two months out!