The Live Music Forum

Hamish Birchall Bulletin


Friday 18th July 2008 - New inquiry into effect of Licensing Act on live music

In a surprise move, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee today announced its own public inquiry into the effects of the Licensing Act 2003 (see full announcement below). Note that this is NOT the 'full public consultation' promised by the government on new exemptions within the Act for 'low risk music events'. That has yet to be launched by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Culture, Media and Sport Committee acts independently of the government and DCMS. Their announcement today suggests that there is serious doubt that the Act has delivered the many benefits claimed by the government. These of course included ministers' claims that it would be easier and cheaper to stage live music, and that there would be 'an explosion' of live music as a result.

The inquiry remit includes the impact on the performance of live music, and whether or not the Act has reduced costs and red tape.

The Committee's inquiry is suprising not least because in December last year the Department for Culture, Media and Sport published its own assessment of the impact of the Act on live music ('New plans to help live music thrive', press release 17 December 2007:  )

In that press release DCMS reported a 5% fall in live gigs since their 2004 survey of venues not specialising in live music, but claimed this was not due to the new licensing regime.

The deadline for responses to the inquiry is Tuesday 30 September.  See guidance below on submissions, which must be in writing. The Committee office advised me that they want concise, factual and clear feedback.

Committee website: The Licensing Act inquiry announcement will be put up on the website tomorrow as a press release.

~ ~ ~

Media and Sport committee - New Inquiry - Licensing Act 2003 Culture, Media and Sport Committee Select Committee Announcement - Committee Office, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

18 July 2008 - No. 51


The Committee is announcing today a new inquiry into the effects of the Licensing Act 2003. The Committee seeks views on:

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;

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

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

  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;

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

The Committee will also examine other areas of interest that are raised during the course of its inquiry.

Written submissions are invited from interested parties; these should be sent to Rowena Macdonald, Committee Secretary, at the address below by Tuesday 30 September 2008

Guidance on submissions

1. Our strong preference is for submissions to be in Word or rich text format ( not as a PDF document) and sent by e-mail to , although letters will also be accepted. Submissions sent by post should be sent to Rowena Macdonald , Secretary of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Please include a contact name, postal address and telephone number in the body of the e-mail or in the letter.

2. If the submission is from an organisation rather than an individual, it should briefly explain the nature and membership of the organisation. It is helpful to the Committee if paragraphs are numbered for ease of reference and if longer submissions include an executive summary, ideally no more than one page long. Submissions should be as short as is reasonably consistent with conveying the relevant information: for most submissions, six pages can be regarded as an appropriate maximum. Further guidance on preferred format can be found at:

3. Committees make public much of the evidence they receive during inquiries, for instance by publishing submissions on the internet. If you do not wish your submission to be published, you must clearly say so. If you wish to include private or confidential information in your submission to the Committee, please contact the Clerk of the Committee to discuss this.

4. Please bear in mind that Committees do not normally investigate individual cases of complaint or allegations of maladministration.

5. Once submitted, no public use should be made of any submission prepared specifically for the Committee unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.


Committee Membership is as follows:

Mr John Whittingdale (Chairman) (Con) ( Maldon and East Chelmsford )

Janet Anderson (Lab) ( Rossendale and Darwen )

 Alan Keen (Lab) ( Feltham and Heston )

Philip Davies (Con) ( Shipley )

Rosemary McKenna (Lab) ( Cumbernauld, Kilsyth & Kirkintilloch East )

Mr Nigel Evans (Con) ( Ribble Valley )

Adam Price (PC) ( Carmarthen East and Dinefwr )

Paul Farrelly (Lab) ( Newcastle-under-Lyme )

Mr Adrian Sanders (Lib Dem) ( Torbay )

Mr Mike Hall (Lab) ( Weaver Vale )

Helen Southworth (Lab) ( Warrington South )

Media Enquiries : Laura Humble, Tel 020 7219 2003 / 07917 488 489, e-mail:

Specific Committee Info rmation : Tel 020 7219 6188, e-mail:

Website :

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop ( 12 Bridge St , Westminster , 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on


Hamish Birchall