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Lord Redesdale: My Lords, we on these Benches welcome the moves that the Government have made to remove these provisions from such events. We have only one question, which we hope the Minister will answer. How much time and effort will be required by teaching staff at schools to meet their obligations, and will that be reviewed at some time? The Minister says that the approach is not intended to be overly burdensome in financial terms and with regard to teachers' time. Health and safety must be of paramount importance. It would be helpful if the Minister said whether the Secretary of State will review any burden in relation to agreeing to the licences. Many teachers may find that to be such a burden that they do not undertake school plays, which are so important to educational life.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I can say without any hesitation to the noble Lord, Lord Redesdale, that the burden on teachers will be minimal. A premises licence involves a one-off process and once it has been granted, it will stay in force unless there are any relevant changes to the circumstances in the school. I suppose that if the school burnt down and was rebuilt differently, there would need to be a new premises licence. However, apart from that, a one-off occasion is involved. If there were any problems, I am sure that the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport would put their heads together and see whether there were any burdens that could be removed. There need be no problem in that regard.

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The noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, appears to think that this is a new burden on schools. In Greater London, licensing is obligatory and in outer London it is required by local authorities unless they waive it. Of course I understand what she says about schools and sixth-form colleges, which is why we waived the fees. However, her amendment simply disagreeing with the Commons amendment would not answer any of the problems that I raised with regard to, for example, universities, higher education institutions and students' unions.

Baroness Buscombe: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his response. I was suggesting not that this would be a new burden but that it was a grand opportunity for the Government to be seen to be deregulatory by removing the burden from schools, which are already highly regulated. They can barely breathe without coming across bureaucracy. I am sorry that the Minister will not accept that I am concentrating on the provision of entertainment facilities alone. I very much wanted to have the opportunity to put the record straight. This is not Her Majesty's Opposition asking for raves, major rock festivals, dances and the students' union bar to be regarded as activities that are not licensable; quite the opposite. The purpose of our amendment throughout our scrutiny of the Bill has always been to concentrate on simple school activities where alcohol is not consumed.

I am grateful to the Minister for his undertaking to ensure that local authorities will not be able to apply too burdensome conditions beyond those that are absolutely necessary to ensure safety. As I said when I moved the amendment, we are grateful that the Government have seen fit, thanks to pressure in your Lordships' House, to ensure that the licence condition will be "nil fee" based.

Finally, notwithstanding the fact that I remain delighted that churches have been exempted from the need to have a licence, I continue to question the Bill's consistency; it is questionable why educational establishments and other similar bodies should not also be exempt. I know that the Government expressed the argument that it brings churches in Greater London into line with the situation outside London in that churches outside London were originally exempted from licences. In a sense, that still remains an inconsistency in the Bill. The Select Committee on Human Rights recently referred to that inconsistency and the fact that one type of secular activity is treated in a different way to a religious activity. I am grateful to the Minister for his undertaking. Our concern is to keep burdens to a minimum for our schools. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment No. 63A, by leave, withdrawn.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

64Schedule 4, page 118, line 2, at end insert— " An offence under section 1 of the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 (c. 29) (false trade description of goods) in circumstances where the goods in question are or include alcohol."


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65Page 119, line 7, at end insert—
"( ) section 107(3) (infringement of copyright by public performance of work etc.);"
66Page 119, line 19, at end insert— " An offence under either of the following provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990 (c. 16) in circumstances where the food in question is or includes alcohol—


(a) section 14 (selling food or drink not of the nature, substance or quality demanded);
(b) section 15 (falsely describing or presenting food or drink)."
67Page 119, line 19, at end insert— " An offence under section 92(1) or (2) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 (c. 26) (unauthorised use of trade mark, etc. in relation to goods) in circumstances where the goods in question are or include alcohol."

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: My Lords, I beg to move that this House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 64 to 67. Under the Bill, applicants for personal licences will be required to reveal whether they have been convicted of any relevant offences. Relevant offences are those listed in Schedule 4 to the Bill and include offences under the Bill itself. I have a list of the offences, but I shall spare the House the list, since it is in the Bill.

Under Clause 118, if an applicant has been convicted of one of these relevant offences then the licensing authority will be required to notify the chief officer of police and, if he is satisfied that the granting of the licence would undermine the crime prevention objective, he must issue an objection notice. This would lead to a hearing, unless all parties agreed that a hearing was unnecessary, at which the licensing authority could decide to grant the application, or reject it if it believed that this was necessary to promote the crime prevention objective. Applicants for personal licences will only be required to reveal unspent convictions. When any personal licence holder is convicted of a relevant offence by a court in England and Wales, it will be open to the court to order the forfeiture of the licence or its suspension for up to six months. In deciding whether to order such a forfeiture or suspension, the court will be able to take account of any previous conviction of the licence holder for a relevant offence.

Amendments Nos. 64, 66 and 67 would make the substitution of alternative brands of alcohol, including spirits, one of the relevant offences listed in Schedule 4 to the Bill. "Spirits substitution" as it is commonly known in the industry covers such acts as "tipping" by licensees of alternative cheaper, sometimes bootlegged spirits into branded spirits bottles for resale to the consumer in on-licensed premises. The arguments in support of adding these offences include the fact that it probably costs consumers 20 million a year; that it costs the Exchequer 1 million to 5 million a year; and public health because counterfeit spirits could give rise to serious risks to health. Substitution and counterfeit legislation is enforced by trading standards and environmental health authorities and is prosecuted without apparent consistency under the Food Safety Act 1990, the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 and the Trade Marks Act 1994.

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The penalty imposed on successful conviction is usually a fine of between 50 and 1,000. Currently a conviction has no impact on the justices' licence to sell alcohol that is held by the offender. There is no official communication between the prosecuting court and the licensing justices. By including these offences as relevant offences the court will now be able to order the forfeiture or suspension for up to six months of the personal licence and will be required to notify the licensing authority.

Amendment No. 65 would make the public performance of a work, knowing that it will infringe copyright, a relevant offence in the list of offences in Schedule 4. During Report stage in this House and in response to concerns, the Government tabled amendments to the Bill which were accepted, and now make certain offences under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 relevant offences for the purpose of the Bill. The offences that were included were chosen to deal with the particular concerns which industry had expressed. However, following further representations from the music industry, the Government believe that the list of copyright offences omits one important provision; namely, Section 107(3) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which provides that:


    "Where copyright is infringed (otherwise than by reception of a broadcast or cable programme)—(a) by the public performance of a literary, dramatic or musical work, or (b) by the playing or showing in public of a sound recording or a film, any person who caused the work to be so performed, played or shown is guilty of an offence if he knew or had reason to believe that copyright would be infringed".

This is sometimes considered as a possible cause of action by trading standards officers and the Performing Rights Society—for example, against a pub operator who is knowingly using a juke box supplied and filled with counterfeit CDs. It would help the film industry in actions against pub operators showing pirate films. This would make it clear to the offenders that premises licensed for the provision of regulated entertainment or the supply of alcohol are not easy targets for activities that infringe copyright or performer's rights.

The Government have listened to the industry. Amendment No. 65 underlines how seriously we take the issue of copyright infringement. It will ensure that those who wish to be personal licence holders under the new regime will be subject to scrutiny as a result of committing these offences and should ensure that they are deterred from doing so.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 64 to 67.—(Lord McIntosh of Haringey.)


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