Mike Calls for Tax Breaks for Live Music Venues

Mike Weatherley, Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has written to his colleague the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, requesting the introduction of tax breaks for small and medium sized live music venues.

In his letter to the Chancellor, Mike said: “As you know, our music industry is an enormous asset to Britain both culturally and financially. At the heart of this success story are the incredibly valuable live music venues. I do not think that we can overestimate the value that live music brings to the lives of millions of people.

“Unfortunately, for many reasons it is becoming harder for smaller live music venues to be financially viable and, as a result, alarmingly the number of venues is going down. Quite simply, the support of government and local authorities is key to the success of live music venues.

“There is precedence of successful tax breaks for bands playing overseas and in other areas of entertainment (theatre/opera, for example, who also enjoy tax breaks and financial incentives), but not for the small and medium sized live music venues, which are the bedrock of all creative music talent.

Given the importance of live music venues in the career development of musicians and to our economy, I hope that you will seriously consider the introduction of tax breaks or other financial incentives in order to help stem the national challenges faced by live music venues.”

Commenting, Mike said: “Supporting live music venues is essential if we want to protect our musical heritage. Britain produces some of the best music in the world and it contributes hugely to our economy. I will continue to push for support for live music venue and hope that the Chancellor will seriously consider tax breaks or other financial incentives in order to support this important industry.”

Mike Backs Gatwick Expansion

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has added his support to the growing momentum behind Gatwick Airport’s case for a second runway.

As the Airports Commission consultation on whether Gatwick or Heathrow should expand continues, Mike has encouraged interested parties to respond. Interested parties need to make their voice heard before 3rd February. This can be done by emailing the Airports Commission at airports.consultation@systra.com, filling in its online survey or writing to:

Airports Commission Consultation
PO Box 1492

Woking GU22 2QR

Commenting, Mike said: “Gatwick’s plan is best for the UK, the region and the local community – it will deliver the economic growth and benefits we need while affecting far fewer people. The aviation industry has benefitted from more competition since the break-up of BAA and expanding Gatwick will only serve to deliver more for the passenger.

Mike added: “The key is that Gatwick can actually happen – Heathrow has put up plan after plan for expansion but none have got off the ground. Gatwick is doable so let us get on and do it.”

Cllr Graham Cox, Conservative Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade said: “Gatwick provides a cheaper, faster and simpler option for expansion that will meet our capacity needs now and into the future. After years of political stalemate and inaction, there is real potential for a solution that can actually be delivered.”

Mike Backs Legalisation to Protect Music Fans

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Secondary Ticketing, is supporting the Lords amendments tabled in the Consumer Rights Bill that would provide greater transparency for those purchasing tickets through resellers and help protect the live music industry.

Live music and other live events are a vital contributors to the economy and the cultural well-being of society. Mike, former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, will be supporting the fans, performers and promoters that believe that the current ticketing arrangements for major events is not delivering value for money for those involved and that the  free market falls down when it comes to secondary ticketing, given the restriction of supply.

The Lords amendments to the Consumer Rights Bill, which Mike supports (and the government has indicated it will not support) will be considered in the House of Commons on Monday 12th January, would require resellers to state the name of the seller, employment details (if related to the entertainment industry), any reference numbers, as well as a seat number, if applicable.

Commenting, Mike said: “The secondary ticketing market is a cash cow for a select few and, by and large, bad for music fans. The procurement of tickets by resellers takes place on an industrial scale as soon as an event opens its box office, denying fans the opportunity to buy tickets at their face value.”

Mike added: “Those arguing against greater transparency are trying to shield from fans the source of the tickets or circumvent individual venues restrictions on reselling tickets. There is a large amount of criminal activity around fake tickets, which is fuelled by extortionate prices, that can leave fans massively disappointed and out of pocket. This has to stop.”

Mike Joins Parliamentary ‘English Votes for English Laws’ Campaign

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has signed up to become a Parliamentary Patron of the English Votes for English Laws campaign that aims to introduce the change.

The campaign will feature the collection and co-ordinated presentation to Parliament of petitions expressing popular support for this proposal from constituencies across England.

The West Lothian question, also known as English Votes for English Laws, refers to whether MPs from other areas of the United Kingdom should vote on matters that only affect England. Following on from the promises of greater devolution if Scots rejected independence, the question of English Votes for English Laws has become a pressing national issue.

Commenting, Mike said: “I was delighted to become a parliamentary patron of this long-overdue campaign for English Votes for English Laws. It is only right that, following on from devolution on a number of issues for Scotland, laws which only effect England should only be voted on by Members representing English voters.”

Mike Encourages Local Budding Film Makers to Enter National Competition

Film the House

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, is encouraging budding film makers from both Hove and Portslade to enter his national Film the House competition.

Following the success of Mikes Rock the House parliamentary competition, Film the House helps to draw attention to the importance of the British film industry which supporting over 100,000 jobs in the UK and contributes more than 4.5 billion to our GDP.

Sponsors include Lionsgate, Fox and Odeon Cinemas. The 2015 competition also sees the expansion of the competition into the U.S. Congress, the Australian Parliament, and the European Parliament.

Categories include drama, thriller, action, comedy, music video and documentary, as well as a separate category for under-18s, which can be any genre. The closing date for nominations is 31st December and the finals will be held on 18th March 2015 a special reception and screening of the winning film. For more information on the competition, please visit www.filmthehouse.com.

Commenting, Mike said: Film the House have gone from strength to strength each year, with more participants from more constituencies involved last year than ever before. If you’re a film maker, make sure you take part in the 2015 competition!”

Mike Backs Autumn Statement and A27 Investment

Following the Chancellors Autumn Statement in the House of Commons, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has backed the Governments financial update which highlight that the UK is the fastest-growing major economy in the world.

In his Autumn Statement, the Rt Hon George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, outlined future Government spending which spans across the entire economy. Mike was particularly pleased with the 350m investment assigned to improving the A27 corridor.

Other highlights from the Autumn Statement include:

  • A cut in Stamp Duty for 98% of those who pay the tax.
  • The tax-free personal allowance to be increased by a further 100 in April 2015, to 10,600.
  • Children to be exempt from tax on economy flights.
  • Spouses to inherit their partners individual saving account (ISA) benefits after death.
  • An additional 2 billion funding for the NHS.
  • Business rates to be cut and capped, with extra Help for the High Street.
  • The government to clamp down on tax avoidance by multinational companies.

Commenting, Mike said: The autumn statement included a bounty of positive measures for the country and some excellent investment for the South East. I was particularly pleased with the long-overdue investment for the A27, which will bring welcome relief to anyone who uses the busy road. Improvements such as this are possible as a result of the Governments sound management of the economy.

Mike Encourages Budding Local Musicians to Enter Music Competition and PM Wishes Competitors Best of Luck

Rth 1

Following the launch of Rock the House 2015 earlier this year, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade and founder of Rock the House, is encouraging his constituents to take part in the competition.

Rock the House, backed by the Prime Minister and Parliaments largest competition, raises awareness of the importance of protecting intellectual property rights among legislators and the general public. Musicians enter their original material to their MP, who ultimately nominates one entrant per competition category.

This is an excellent opportunity for budding musicians. A panel of industry executives presides over choosing the finalists and winners, who go on to have their pieces played in Parliament and win an array of prizes, from equipment, festival slots, exposure, recording sessions, radio and TV airplay and more. For more information on how to take part, visit www.rockthehousehoc.com.

Patrons include: Alice Cooper, Brian May, Young Guns, Ian Gillan, Rick Wakeman, Mark Hoppus, Charlie Simpson, Matt Tuck, Don Broco, Yngwie Malmsteen, Steel Panther, Scott Gorham, All Time Low, Bernie Marsden, Adam Perry, Bob Daisley

Commenting, Mike said: “Every year the competition gets bigger and better and my thanks go to our Patrons, Sponsors, Judges, the entrants, the MPs who take part and the loyal team who have run the project since its inception in 2010. If you’re a keen musician and especially if youre from Hove and Portslade, make sure you take part in the 2014 competition.

Commenting, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister, said: I would like to offer my congratulations to Mike Weatherley and all who have participated in Rock the House…it is a great opportunity for us to celebrate up-and-coming unsigned British talent in a fantastic setting. I wish the 2015 competitors the best of luck.

Former IP Adviser to PM Reiterates Need for International Anti-Piracy Strategy

Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, who earlier in the year published a report examining the advertising revenue on pirate websites, has reiterated the need for a co-ordinated international approach to address piracy.

The recent cyber-attack on Sony and the theft of a number of films before their theatrical release has highlighted the on-going problem facing film makers. Mike has published three seminal reports on IP issues, namely search engines and advertising revenue on pirate sites, with his third report on Copyright Education and Awareness.

Mike also backed the recent arrest of two individuals by officers from the national Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) who are believed to be responsible for leaking the new The Expendables 3 movie online. For more information on the story, click here.

Commenting, Mike said: Piracy is a huge international problem. The recent cyber-attack on Sony and subsequent release of films to illegal websites is just one high-profile example of how criminals exploit others Intellectual Property. Unfortunately, the theft of these films and their subsequent downloads has been facilitated by web-hosting companies and, ultimately, ISPs who do have to step-up and take some responsibility.

Mike added: Following the money is a sensible strategy that time and again leads back to the advertising revenue that criminals receive as a result of hosting illegal material. This funding stream has to be tackled and will require a co-ordinated approach with international crime agencies. However, we must recognise that this is being driven by consumer demand, which I hope, with education and the proliferation of innovative new steaming services, will change over time in favour of legitimate sources.

Prime Minister Puts Weight of No 10 Behind Mike’s Education Report


Following the publication of his IP education report, Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has received full support and endorsement from his colleague, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, for his contribution on this important subject.

Mikes report, Copyright Education and Awareness was published in October and the Prime Minister has now responded having read the report. To read the report in full, click here.

Recommendations include: A step up in the coordination of IP awareness programmes, led by the IPO; Greater measurement of IP perceptions and behaviours; Incorporating IP education in the school curriculum; The BBC to create a copyright education programme; Emphasis on better, clearer information on IP education; Making better use of technology; Introduction of an IP/Education coordinator; Emphasis on reporting outcomes across Government; the IPO to coordinate an inclusive steering group to deliver a robust programme of IP respect throughout the country.

In his letter, commenting on Mikes report, the Prime Minister said: It is an excellent report, which highlights the key issues we must tackle to raise the understanding of copyright amongst future generations.

Commenting, Mike said: I am pleased that the Prime Minister was delighted and fully supportive of my report on copyright education and awareness. Changing attitudes is a slow process, but more and more people are considering the implications of intellectual property rights and boosting IP education across the board will help shift how people perceive this important issue.

Mike Signs Online Bowls Petition

Bowls Picture

Mike Weatherley, Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, has signed the online bowls petition which has been launched by Cllr Graham Cox, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Hove and Portslade.

The petition follows the release of the councils specification for a replacement leisure centre for Hove which specifies a three-rink bowls room rather than a six-rink bowls hall. Without six rinks, competition will not be possible. It will spell the demise of the King Alfred Indoor Bowls Club and the end of public competitive indoor bowling in the whole city.

Following overwhelming demand to sign the paper petition, Cllr Graham Cox has started an online petition calling on Brighton & Hove City Council to reverse plans to downgrade bowling facilities at the King Alfred in Hove. To sign the petition, click here.

Commenting, Mike said: I was very keen to sign the petition as I am 100% behind the provision of decent bowling facilities at a new King Alfred. We need a bowls hall that is better than what we have already got, not worse, and so I would urge any residents that want to see better facilities to sign the petition.

Cllr Graham Cox said: I am fully behind the club on this issue and I hope that as many residents as possible will show their support for a decent indoor bowls Indoor bowls facility. There is simply no reason to downgrade what we have in place already.