Lib Dem Lord to Propose Live Music Bill

An encouraging sign for followers of the Keep Digbeth Vibrant / Noisy / Spotted Dog / Rainbow campaigns. Today a Lib Dem Lord is proposing a live music bill to clear up the bureaucratic minefield that is licensing law. In a letter printed in the Guardian, Lord Clement-Jones wrote:

Back in 2003, ministers called the new Licensing Act "a licensing regime for the 21st century", yet where live music is concerned, they actually turned the licensing clock back more than 100 years. A case in 1899 (Brearley v Morley) established that a pub landlord could let customers use a piano on his premises without an entertainment licence. Today, such a landlord could face criminal prosecution where the maximum penalty is a £20,000 fine and six months in prison.

It is as a result of absurdities like this that today, in the House of Lords, I am announcing my intention to bring forward a live music bill which will clear up the bureaucratic minefield of the Licensing Act and breathe new life into the live music scene.

Tim Clement-Jones
Lib Dem, House of Lords

In the meantime closer to home, I am talking to as many Liberal Democrat colleagues of mine as possible about the situation in Digbeth with the hope that we do not lose the Rainbow.

The issue of planning and licensing for venues in the city centre is a very delicate one, as emphasised by a number of cases in the Jewellery Quarter recently, namely TRMNL and Bluu & Mechu on Summer Row. But I firmly believe there is a balance that can and must be found. Residents, Councillors, Council Officers, Venue Owners and Gig-Goers must all work together to find that balance. Let’s get on with it.