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Lord Colwyn: My Lords, I support what has been said. I have been a band leader for 30 years or so and done thousands of small functions. It was a regular occurrence for us to have meetings with the people holding the function to discuss the line-up of the band and the sort of music that was wanted. That happens regularly, and I am worried that the amendment does not cover it.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I am grateful for the reception of the amendments, as far as they go. I think that I can give the assurances that are sought.

This morning, I received in the post a splendid black poster from the Association of British Jazz Musicians. I suspect that it must have come from the noble Lord, Lord Colwyn; I see that he has one. On the front, it has a picture of Tony Blair playing the guitar and saying that performers will be subject to £20,000 fines or six months in gaol. The description of gaol may be a little more demotic than that.

The amendments are designed precisely to avoid the situation that the Association of British Jazz Musicians describes. It is not intended that performers should have to take responsibility for any failure by the organisers of a venue to obtain the appropriate licence. That never was our intention, and the amendment makes that clear.

The noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, and the noble Lord, Lord Colwyn, referred to certain types of function. A private wedding would have to be a rather peculiar wedding to be licensable, anyway. It would have to be open to the general public, and there would have to be an entry charge. I am not aware of any private weddings that do that. So, that would be exempted to start with.

The noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, asked me about band leaders who negotiate with the organisers. They would not be responsible, and the amendments cover that point.

Lord Campbell-Savours: My Lords, my noble friend has seen the poster that was referred to. Has there been consultation with British jazz musicians? Have they accepted the position set out by my noble friend in dealing with issues that they have raised with all of us?

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Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I received the poster only this morning. I have no idea when it was produced, and I do not know whether it was produced before or after the announcements that we made on 18th February. Certainly, we have been open to debate with various musicians' organisations for years, since the preparation of the White Paper, let alone the preparation of the Bill. I can give the assurances sought.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey moved Amendment No. 3:

    Page 108, line 37, at end insert—

"( ) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (4)(a), where the entertainment consists of the performance of live music or the playing of recorded music, a person performing or playing the music is not concerned in the organisation or management of the entertainment by reason only that he does one or more of the following—
(a) chooses the music to be performed or played,
(b) determines the manner in which he performs or plays it,
(c) provides any facilities for the purposes of his performance or playing of the music."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

3.15 p.m.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury moved Amendment No. 3A:

    Page 109, line 4, leave out "raising money" and insert "making a surplus"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendment No. 3A is a technical amendment, designed to clarify the provisions in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1. I have been assisted in thinking about the amendment by the Minister's officials, who have been helpful.

I shall endeavour to explain this thorny little issue. Paragraph 1 of the schedule is, at best, a highly dense and complex central provision. In defining "regulated entertainment", it says that the situations in which entertainment will be classed as "regulated entertainment" include an event to which the public are not admitted and an event which is not exclusively for members of a club but which is,

    "for consideration and with a view to profit".

That might seem clear enough—I shall not use the word "simple", as nothing in this part of the Bill is simple—were it not for the fact that paragraph 6 mentions that, as regards a charity, an event carried on,

    "with a view to profit",

shall include an event that is carried on,

    "with a view to raising money for the benefit of a charity".

This further elaboration in paragraph 6 confuses rather than clarifies the picture.

The Bill should not catch and is not, I think, intended to catch—hence the amendment—a situation such as a fifth-form dance at a school. There might be a three-piece band playing at the dance, and the young

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people might be charged admission. Such a situation would not be caught by any other provision, but it might be caught by this one, if the words,

    "with a view to profit",

literally mean "with a view to raising money for the benefit of the school". However small the amount charged—there might be refreshments as well—it might allow one to say that the event was being held with a view to raising money for the benefit of the school.

If the position were left so that an event would be caught only if there were a charge for entry and it was being carried on with a view to profit, meaning profit overall, that would be fair enough. As it stands, some sharp-eyed or, perhaps, less than sharp-eyed lawyer might, out of an excess of caution—in these days of suing, we lawyers are invariably driven by caution rather than boldness—interpret the provision in a way that it is not, I think, intended to be taken.

If noble Lords are still with me, I congratulate them. I have done my best to explain that nasty little point. If the Minister does not understand what I am trying to say, she should say so, and I will have another crack. Otherwise, I shall leave it at that. I beg to move.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, I understand the point that the noble Lord makes. He has discussed it with my officials. It is a thorny little issue.

It is not the intention of the Bill to define entertainment provided by a charity as provided for,

    "consideration and with a view to profit",

even if the charity concerned is trying only to cover costs and may even make a loss on the event. I hope that I can avoid keeping the House too long on the point, and I can tell the noble Lord, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, that I—or some other sharp-eyed lawyers—will examine the drafting of the Bill again. We will take action at a later stage of the Bill's progress, if necessary. I shall write to the noble Lord to explain the outcome of the re-examination and place copies of the letter in the Library. On that basis, I hope that the noble Lord will feel able to withdraw the amendment.

Lord Phillips of Sudbury: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister. I happily withdraw the amendment and await receipt of her letter.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 4 and 5 not moved.]

Baroness Buscombe moved Amendment No. 6:

    Page 109, line 17, at end insert—

"( ) a playing of a programme included in a programme service within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42),"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 6, I speak also to Amendment No. 9, which relates to broadcast music, particularly in pubs and clubs. As this Bill presently stands, a businessman can hire a room, erect a large television screen and invite members of the public to watch football and boxing matches on a regular basis. The businessman could do that without a licence or without even serving

24 Feb 2003 : Column 15

a temporary event notice. Such an event could attract hundreds of football or boxing fans, all armed with cans of lager, for what euphemistically could be termed "a good night out". In contrast, a licence would be required, or a temporary event notice should be given to the licensing authority, if a vicar supplied mulled wine after a carol service.

There is no doubt that serious health and safety issues, and those of public nuisance, arise as regards televised football and boxing. I am told by the Association of Chief Police Offices that events involving televised football attract large crowds and are frequently the source of disorder. If Amendment No. 6 is not accepted, it will be open to every public house, in however peaceful a location, to erect a large television screen and show football and boxing matches to supporters.

The health and safety and public nuisance issues will be in a different league from those that arise in a quiet pub. The promotion of televised events would transform the unobjectionable activities of a small public house into something quite unacceptable for those living in the neighbourhood. While many nearby residents might agree to a public house, few would agree if it promoted football and boxing matches on television, attracting an entirely different clientele which could be inappropriate to the locality. Indeed, the greater mischief is the promoting of football and boxing matches on television. In comparison, there is less need for a licence for a small public house. It cannot make sense that the former requires no licence but the latter does.

I find the Government's stance difficult to understand. Amendment No. 6 is supported by ACPO which has considerable experience of such events. I therefore challenge the Minister to provide the evidence on which the Government rely in opposing the amendment and the views of ACPO. The stance undermines the approach taken by the Government in relation to unamplified music. I beg to move.

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