Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Public Entertainment Licences in Glasgow

All over my twitter stream and Facebook feed Glaswegians are up in arms about the council's implementation of a change in the Public Entertainment Licence laws whereby the Scottish Parliament has devolved power down to local authorities to decide whether or not free events need to pay for an Public Entertainment Licence. Originally the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 had the text:-
In this section, “place of public entertainment” means any place where, on payment of money or money’s worth, members of the public are admitted or may use any facilities
for the purposes of entertainment or recreation...
But now the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 has removed the bit about payment of money. According to MSP Nicola Sturgeon, its up to local councils' discretion as to whether to charge free events and event modify which sorts of events are except, not the
Scottish parliament.

I think the idea behind it was to enable councils to clamp down on free 'raves', which is kind of twenty five years too late

Anyhoo, I'm a bit far away from the action, but with a a few spare minutes I went through the websites of all the unitary authorities in Scotland and put together this google docs spreadsheet indicating which only require events where the public has to pay to have entertainment licences and which ones require all events.

Its thrilling stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

Of the 32 unitary authorities, only three make reference to the change in legislation, 19 of them only require a licence for events where the public has to pay.

As a side note, quite a few of them use EUGO the European Union point of single contact to administer Public Entertainment Licences.

And also a great chunk of the councils have just cut and pasted the text from the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, as can be seen from the use of the phrase "on payment of money or money’s worth", but some change it to "monies" which is incorrect and a minor point of pedantry. A swath of the one's which use EUGO have copied and pasted the text from EU website "If your premises are used as..."

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