The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Thursday 15th March 2007 - Licensing Act 'a disappointment' - MU General Secretary


MU General Secretary John Smith says the Licensing Act 'is a disappointment', according to today's Stage (Thu 15/03/2007):

Smith added: '... Kim Howells, Richard Caborn and James Purnell all promised me, face to face, that it would be good for live music. If we're going through all this pain, it should be good. But the more we have researched it, the more we think it's neutral.'

The latest MU research, 'State of the Nation 2006', canvassed members' views about the effect of the Licensing Act, among other things (the 'anecdotal reports' refered to by licensing minister Shaun Woodward in the Commons on Monday 05 March). Anecdotal reports alone will not persuade the government, however. I understand the union is now re-contacting some survey respondents in order to assess whether or not the Act was responsible for venues alleged to have started or stopped live music.

The union had to do very similar follow-up research last year in the wake of its first State of the Nation survey. But in the London region at least, where more than a third of the 31,000 membership is registered, the follow-up sample sizes were too small to provide statistically robust data.

Hamish Birchall