Memorandum submitted by Philip Pover

Under the old regime, churches were exempt from the need for entertainment licences and obtained alcohol licences from their local magistrates court for eg up to 10 events for a 10 submission. This is required to enable small amounts of wine refreshments during concert intervals etc. and seems a reasonable incurrence of cost and bureaucracy.

Under the new act, paperwork has increased to a 6-pages form per event - what can you possibly need to know that takes 6 pages! Plus a hugely increased charge of 21 per event - making some cheaper events sadly non-runnable! So, eg for a small church group putting on 10 events per year, the burden has risen from 10 A4s for 10 to 60 sheets for 210.
Also, one person can have only up to 5 which makes it even more messy for a small group, requiring now two administrators to do all the paperwork!

This is a ridiculous increase in bureaucracy! No wonder New Labour has such a bad reputation for enormous increases in bureaucracy with corresponding decreases in efficiency (cf. the Police!).

Can you please let common sense prevail for a change and revert to the previous more sensible system - at least, for small groups putting on infrequent events (eg monthly or less) ?

Following the specific questions from the webpage ...

- Whether there has been any change in levels of public nuisance, numbers of night-time offences or perceptions of public safety since the Act came into force;

I would say there is an increase in public nuisance caused by the excessive increase in costs and paperwork! I doubt very much if other nuisance, night-time offences or the perception of public safety have improved at all.

- The impact of the Act on the performance of live music;

Live Music, I feel, has been damaged by this unnecessary interference, increased bureaucracy and cost.

- The financial impact of the Act on sporting and social clubs;

Clubs have been greatly disadvantaged by the huge increase in costs (eg from 10pa to 210pa!) plus the unnecessary bureaucratic overload (eg from 10 to 60pages pa) and the need to involve more people in admin!

- Whether the Act has led, or looks likely to lead, to a reduction in bureaucracy for those applying for licences under the new regime and for those administering it;

Reduction!? How could it possibly reduce bureaucracy ?? The changes incur nothing but extra cost and trouble!

- Whether the anticipated financial savings for relevant industries will be realised.

Savings!? How can there be any savings ?? The changes have hugely bloated costs and admin workload!


September 2008