The Agent of Change will get a second reading on 19 January and you can help!
Since 2015, Music Venue Trust has been campaigning for the UK government to introduce the Agent Of Change into UK Law. On 10 January, John Spellar MP introduced a Private Members Bill which would make Agent Of Change a reality.
The bill received its first reading in Westminster yesterday with a whole bunch of music industry representatives outside the Houses of Parliament showing their support. Spearheading the campaign are the Music Venue Trust and UK music, as well as list of musicians including Frank Turner who has been leading in the fight to stop venue closures.
UK Music recently revealed a report that confirmed the British music industry contributes over £4 billion to the UK economy with over 30 million people attending live events in 2016.
Pretenders singer and musician Chrissie Hyndes also joined the cause as patron last year, says “It isn’t talent shows on television or theatre schools that propagate great music, it’s small venues. They’re the setting of everything great that’s come out of the music scene in this country, from The Beatles to Oasis and beyond.”
She continues “If small venues shut down, so will England’s unique creative output. It will be like locking up playgrounds at schools. The whole world will suffer, not just England.”
What is Agent of Change?
Agent of Change says that the person or business responsible for the change is responsible for managing the impact of the change.
This means that an apartment block to be built near an established live music venue would have to pay for soundproofing, while a live music venue opening in a residential area would be responsible for the costs. A resident who moves next door to a music venue would, in law, be assessed as having made that decision understanding that there’s going to be some music noise, and a music venue that buys a new PA would be expected to carry out tests to make sure its noise emissions don’t increase.
At the moment, UK law says that whoever is making a nuisance is always responsible for that nuisance. If a noise exists, you can deliberately move next to it and demand it be turned off and UK law will support you. You can build balsawood huts next door to a music venue and simply wait for your residents to complain and the venue will have to pay all the costs to reduce their noise. This is unfair and unreasonable. John Spellar’s Bill will stop it.
Here’s how you can help!
Find your MP here and write to them, asking them to support John Spellar’s Bill. Click Send a Message and copy and paste this text or type your own similar message:
As a local voter in your constituency, I’m asking you to please support John Spellar’s Private Member’s Bill to introduce AGENT OF CHANGE into UK Law. Our local Grassroots Music Venues deserve common sense protections to ensure we don’t let bad development kill live music. Please speak up for this bill on behalf of your constituents.