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Lord Redesdale: On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness Buscombe moved Amendment No. 14:



"( ) a performance of comedy which is not a play,"

The noble Baroness said: In moving Amendment No. 14, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 15. This is a small point—a probing amendment. Both comedy—the obvious example being stand-up comedy—and hypnotism shows, such as those staged by Paul McKenna, are forms of performance put on for the purposes of entertainment and take place in the presence of an audience. Therefore, as with the amendment that we sought to include in relation to martial arts, we see no reason why they should not be included within the definition of entertainment in paragraph 2(1) of Schedule 1. I beg to move.

Baroness Blackstone: The amendments seek to bring within regulated entertainment as defined in Schedule 1 comedy routines—I assume mainly stand-up comedy—and stage hypnotism. I shall deal with hypnotism first—not a subject on which I have a great deal of expertise. The Hypnotism Act 1952 apparently already controls and regulates performances of hypnotism at places licensed for public entertainment

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and at other places. Therefore, it would duplicate those provisions to regulate it under this Bill. I should perhaps point out that hypnotism and, I assume, hypnotism shows, give rise to issues which go beyond the licensing objectives of the Bill, but there are obviously health matters at issue. It remains the case that many people are concerned about the effects of hypnotism on certain vulnerable groups. It is right that it is addressed separately by its own legislation and we would not want to change that.

I am rather puzzled why the noble Baroness wants to add stand-up comedians to the list in Schedule 1. Laughter is not normally excessively noisy. Therefore I believe that the proposal would be unnecessarily bureaucratic. In addition, there are problems with defining, in practical terms, what constitutes stand-up comedy. How does one define whether someone is funny or not? We might say that there is a good deal of stand-up comedy in this House, but people would probably disagree about the extent to which some noble Lords are being comic and some are being serious. Therefore, it probably would not be appropriate or make much sense to extend the coverage of the regime in this way, and certainly not as far as hypnotism is concerned.

In the light of my comments, I hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment, which I recognise was a probing amendment.

Baroness Buscombe: I thank the Minister for her reply, especially in relation to hypnotism. I am grateful to her for informing us of the 1952 Act. It was a probing amendment. It sought to give clarity to the Bill and send signals to those in the business of hypnotism that while they are exempt from the Bill, they are not exempt in every which-way. In relation to stand-up comedy—for example, a performance of comedy which is not a play—the purpose of a probing amendment is to highlight the fact that there is an opportunity perhaps for individuals or groups to circumvent the Bill by saying that whatever performance they provide, it will be stand-up comedy as opposed to the performance of a play.

I hear what the Minister has said and I do not want to detain the Committee on this point. But it is important to show that many areas are not covered in the Bill and that there are questions beyond your Lordships' House as to what is included in the term "entertainment". On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 15 and 16 not moved.]

Baroness Buscombe moved Amendment No. 17:


    Page 109, line 17, at end insert—


"(i) a playing of a programme included in a programme service within the meaning of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (c. 42),"

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The noble Baroness said: Schedule 1 contains a number of definitions relating to entertainment. The various descriptions of entertainment are to be found in paragraph 2 which include,


    "an exhibition of a film",

and,


    "any playing of recorded music".

Curiously, entertainment, for the purposes of the Bill, does not include television. We doubt that the reason is that television is no longer entertaining, but we cannot think of any good reason why television should not be included. The televising of live sporting events on large-screen televisions on licensed premises is a frequent occurrence. Quite often a considerable amount of alcohol is consumed at those events. They attract large crowds and are frequently the source of disorder. Indeed, the potential for disorder from such an event could be greater than the potential for disorder from the exhibition of a film.

Similarly, we find it curious that any playing of recorded music is within the definition of entertainment, but not the playing of a radio programme even if that radio programme consists only of recorded music. We believe that it would be appropriate for television and radio to be included within the definition of entertainment in paragraph 2 of the schedule. We are not saying for a moment that events involving television or radio should be banned or be subject to onerous conditions. What we are saying is that there should be a licence for such events so that if there is likely to be an adverse effect on the promotion of the licensing objectives or such an event would undermine the crime prevention objective, appropriate steps can be taken by the licensing authority. Those steps may be minimal but at the very least it should be open to the licensing authority to take those steps. I beg to move.

Lord Redesdale: I support the amendment, especially as it could involve the showing of football matches close to grounds where football is being played. I understand that there are other provisions under which the police can control such activities. However, this seems to be an easy measure. One of the major problems of crowd control at many sporting events is not within grounds but outside them.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: This is a deregulatory Bill and Amendment No. 17 would increase regulation. We have listed several types of entertainment and are providing regulation for those. But these entertainments in themselves are noisy or could constitute public nuisance. Everyone has television in their own home. It cannot be turned up beyond a certain level without it becoming impossible to hear. We are regulating where we have to; namely, for noisy entertainments, late-night refreshment, fire safety grounds, and so forth. But the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, and the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale, are saying that the very showing of television—especially the showing of football matches—could give rise to disorder, particularly where alcohol is being sold. I do not deny that. But the solution is not

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licensing the showing of television. Televisions are on in the background in pubs all the time, I am sorry to say—with the admirable and notable exception of JD Wetherspoon, which is not the brewery of the noble Lord, Lord Hodgson—and we would not want to license them merely because on occasion football is shown and may give rise to disorder.

The solution to disorder arising from the showing of television is by imposing conditions on alcohol licences, not by increasing the regulation of the showing of television itself.

5 p.m.

Baroness Buscombe: I am looking at a comment sent to us by ACPO, the Association of Chief Police Officers, which is deeply concerned by the exemption. It states, quite rightly, that very often these events are accompanied by drinks promotions, which attract large crowds and are frequently the source of disorder. We entirely agree with the Government's stated aim of being deregulatory, but they seem to be deregulatory as it suits. On the one hand, we find that carol singing in a supermarket will need a licence, but, on the other, enormous pubs, with huge screens, drinks promotions and hundreds of people in a crowd near a sports stadium, can make as much noise as they like without the need for a licence. This seems to be entirely inconsistent.

We urge the Government to consider what we have said and the concerns raised by noble Lords. The Musicians Union, as well as ACPO and others, has raised concerns in this regard. We are at the Committee stage and we can ask the Government to think again on this issue. We are not seeking to regulate where it is not necessary, but we are concerned about inconsistency.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: Before the noble Baroness decides what she is going to do, I have listened carefully to the point she made about ACPO. I repeat our strong belief that the correct way to deal with this issue is by placing conditions on a licence and ensuring that if a licensee permits disorder and noise nuisance on his premises he will face a review of his licence, and it will therefore be in his interests to maintain an orderly public house. However, in view of what ACPO has stated, we shall talk to it again about this matter. I believe that there is a misunderstanding here.

Baroness Buscombe: I am grateful to the Minister for his intervention. ACPO has a deep concern. As to the point the Minister made about conditions on the licence, that is a possibility. But the Explanatory Notes dealing with such conditions exist in a framework for guidance which will not be published until the spring, way beyond the time for scrutiny of the Bill in this House. It is a matter to which we shall return later in the Committee stage. I am grateful to the Minister for what he has said in this regard and welcome the fact that he will meet again with ACPO on this point. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 18 to 20 not moved.]

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