John Spellar MP talks Agent of Change at MVT Venues Day

Mr Spellar presented to a packed room at Islington Assembly Hall on Wednesday

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18/10/18: John Spellar MP presented to a packed room at Music Venue Trust’s Venues Day at a session organised by UK Music to discuss the Agent of Change win to protect music venues and how this victory can taken further forward.

Mark Davyd from MVT (L) and John Spellar MP taking questions after the discussion

During his talk, held at Islington Assembly Hall on Wednesday, he congratulated UK Music and the MVT on their hard work having the principle implemented in the National Planning Policy Framework, but said there is ‘clearly still more to be done’.

He drew parallels with Network Rails selling off of railway arches, and how that impacted the small business ecosystem, but said Agent of Change ‘gives councils the teeth’ to tackle developers and maintain the diversity which makes people want to live in inner city areas.

Mr Spellar withdrew his Planning (Agent of Change) Bill after a determined campaign convinced the Government to introduce changes to the planning framework which incorporated the proposals in his Bill.

Tom Kiehl, Deputy CEO and Director of Public Affairs, and Megan White, Digital Communications Officer, attended the sold-out annual event.

The talk came a week after Tom gave evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Committee, chaired by Conservative MP Damian Collins, is conducting an in depth inquiry into the state of live music in the UK, and Tom appeared on a session focused on music venues where 35 per cent have closed across the UK over the past decade.

UK Music also attended a Help Musicians UK panel on health and wellbeing and a presentation from PRS for Music and PPL to explain their tariffs and answer questions from venues about how and why they collect money from live events.

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