The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Tuesday 25th September 2007 - Licensing Act: Brown admits problems and hints at changes

Gordon Brown yesterday admitted to problems with the Licensing Act, and hinted that changes will be made to the legislation: 'I will not hesitate to change policy if I think that we have to make these changes in the interests of the country', he said, quoted in a report by the online 'Publican' magazine:

The Publican also reports that a government review of the Act is due to be completed by the end of this year.

It is not clear whether the problems refered to by Brown include the regulation of entertainment, and specifically live music. However, his tone would seem to be more conciliatory than the defiant licensing rhetoric of the Blair administration. It must give some hope to the music industry, and musicians' organisations, that some of their recommended changes, such as the small gigs exemption, will be seriously considered. The Musicians' Union position of 11 June - that 'an opportunity to comprehensively revise the Act is not likely to occur for a number of years' - would seem now to be out of date. See MU press release:

The prime minister's comments on the Licensing Act were apparently made during a BBC Radio 4 Today interview yesterday, Monday 24 September. For some reason the interview is not available using the website's 'Listen Again' feature:

Hamish Birchall