Friday, 9 March 2012

Changes to licensing of free events

The Scottish Government has changed the rules in relation to licensing of events - and the changes particularly affect events which are free.  The new legislation amending the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 has caused consternation amongst many, often small, groups which provide entertainment.  I have had contact from numerous constituents concerned that the requirement to obtain a licence, and at a cost will have a significant negative affect on small arts enterprises.

Today (9th March), the Regulatory Committee decided to zero rate 'free to enter' events (ie no charge for a licence) and to begin a consultation on a proposal to exempt the following from requiring a licence:

' . . . places where members of the public are admitted or may use any facilities for the purposes of entertainment or recreation without payment of money or moneys’ worth and the capacity does not exceed 200 persons:    premises used for functions held by charitable, religious, youth, sporting, community, political or similar organisations;    Premises used for exhibitions of art work;  Premises in which live music is being provided incidentally to the main purpose or use of the premises where that main purpose or use is not as a place of public entertainment; and   Premises used for oral recitals including poetry reading and story telling. " from the Resolution.
There will be other circumstances which should also be exempted and people affected are urged to respond to the consultation. It will be for 28 days and the results will be brought back to Committee for a decision on 20th April 2012.  More details here.

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