Before the council meeting held on 9 March certain small organised events might have been required to pay a licence fee, but these have been waived, at least until 20 April.

The council has announced that small, free to enter public events in Edinburgh will not have to pay a fee under new licensing rules.

The decision was taken on Friday 9 March 2012 at a meeting of the Regulatory Committee where a report outlining legislative changes under The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 was discussed.

Committee Convenor, Councillor Rob Munn, put forward a motion (see full text below) which also asked for changes to be made to the Council’s Public Entertainment Resolution to clear up which events need a licence.

He said:- “There have been a lot of views expressed by individuals and organisations across Edinburgh over the past few weeks regarding the new licensing regulations. I and my fellow councillors have listened intently to what has been said and taken on board public opinion. Edinburgh is one of the most culturally-vibrant cities in the world and we want that to continue.

“So today we have decided to consult on changes to the Public Entertainment Resolution which will ensure certain small, free to enter public events do not require a licence. This will mean that some events – such as art exhibitions, charitable functions and poetry readings – can go ahead as they do now without a licence.

“We will now be consulting publicly on the issue and I would urge anyone with a view to respond to the Council with their opinions.

“A final decision would be made next month once all the feedback has come in. In the meantime we will be waiving any fee due for a licence for a free to enter event scheduled to be held before the next Regulatory Committee meeting on April 20.

“All free to enter public entertainment events still require to be licensed from April 1 but we are doing everything in our power to minimise the impact this will have.

“The Council’s licensing team are here to help and offer advice to anyone who may be thinking of holding an event. I would recommend any organiser who needs guidance to contact them for assistance.”

People who need advice can phone the Licensing Team on 0131 529 4208 or see the licensing pages on our website.

The changes to The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 were intended to deal with large scale free events.

The full motion put forward by Councillor Rob Munn is detailed below.

That the Committee :-

1.   Adopt option a) as set out in paragraphs 2.6 to 2.8 of the report with the proviso that the minimum fee detailed in paragraph 2.7 is to be nil.

2.    Determine subject to statutory consultation to vary The City of Edinburgh Public Entertainment Resolution 1994 to exclude from the scope of the Resolution, the following 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.

3.   Direct that the statutory procedure for making a variation to the City of Edinburgh Public Entertainment Resolution 1994 be commenced immediately with a view to the Committee considering any representations made about the proposed variation at its meeting on  20 April 2012.

4.   Note that in the interim period the Council will prioritise licensing of those free to enter events which are large scale.

5.   Discharge the outstanding remit relating to the impact of changes to legislation governing public entertainment licensing following the meeting on 27 January 2012

This is a copy of the report produced to Friday’s meeting:-