Memorandum submitted by Jane Bradshaw

 

 

For some years now Music in the Church at Aust has organised small-scale concerts mainly of folk, renaissance and medieval music in (as the name suggests) the church at Aust, a small village at the east end of the old Severn bridge. These concerts, held in aid of restoration and improvement of the church, have attracted many people, some like my husband and myself from nearby villages, some from Bristol and others from much further away. We have had the pleasure of listening to such artists as Martin Carthy, Anne-Marie Summers, the York Waits and Opus Anglicanum without having to drive very far. Our village, like many others, has no public transport.

Under the 2003 Act in order for these concerts to be put on the amount of paperwork went up from one page per event to six pages (in triplicate). The cost of the licence went up from 10 for a batch of up to twelve licences to 21 per event, and if temporary licences are used as at present, the organiser can only apply for five licences a year. The cost of a permanent licence would be even greater, and in addition the church or other venue would have to have its own licence.

My brother, who is a magistrate in Yorkshire, tells me that the 2003 Act is badly affecting the provision of small-scale events there as well, so I presume the problem is nation-wide. I hope the Committee will consider making some provision that would be both easier to administer and also cheaper for these small-scale events. Otherwise I fear many of them will disappear, including, to the great regret of many of us, Music in the Church at Aust.

 

August 2008