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I am the father of a 14 year old girl. She is trying to find work as a professional child actor. She has been offered a role, but is currently not able to accept as Hampshire County Council initially issued her with a performance license, but subsequently revoked it.

I understand that I am entitled to appeal against Hampshire County Council’s revocation of my daughter's performance license, under sec 39(6) of the Children and Young Person’s Act, 1963:

(6) Where a local authority refuse an application for a licence under section 37 of this Act or revoke or, otherwise than on the application of the holder, vary such a licence they shall state their grounds for doing so in writing to the applicant or, as the case may be, the holder of the licence ; and the applicant or holder may appeal to a magistrates' court or, in Scotland, the sheriff, against the refusal, revocation or variation, and against any condition subject to which the licence is granted or any approval is given, not being a condition which the local authority are required to impose.

My daughter’s application was granted, then revoked, based on a council employee’s view on the appropriateness of the project’s subject matter, even though Hampshire County Council admit that the conditions required for the license to be issued are complied with. I believe this represents a form of censorship, and that the council are exceeding their authority. I would like to request the magistrate’s court to consider overturning this revocation, as it is entitled to do.

Here is the email I received from the council:

Thank you for your email. I have no cause for concern regarding the safeguarding procedures the production company have put in place. However, owing to the recent, very tragic events Hampshire County Council does not feel that it is appropriate to support the content of the production. Therefore a decision has been made by my line manager to revoke the licence and Tilly will no longer be able to take part in the filming. I am going to inform the production company, the agency and the authority where the filming is taking place. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause you or Tilly but I hope you will appreciate this was not a decision that was taken lightly but we felt there was no alternative under the current circumstances Regards

I don't see why the plot should be relevant to the license application, but for completeness here is a summary of the plot:

... plot removed as I realised it's copyright. The plot features some violence, but not glorified, trivialised or comedic, or even 'stylised'. It's about the dangers of social media and how we are unconsciously manipulated by what we see on youtube. It's even more important to do this stuff post-Manchester than pre.

The license is required for Thursday 1st June. Can you please tell me how I can bring this case in front of a magistrate on Tuesday 30th or Wednesday 31st? Can I just turn up at the court with my papers and wait for a slot?

  • I don’t live in the UK, so I freely admit that I may not know how things are done, but it seems rather unethical to me to make performance licenses (for performers of any age) dependent on whether the government approves of the production. – Obie 2.0 May 30 '17 at 3:44
  • I couldn't agree with you more. – FatalFlaw May 30 '17 at 7:12
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I understand from elsewhere that it's necessary to

  1. lodge a complaint with the council
  2. the papers work their way from there to the Magistrate's court
  3. the Magistrate's court hear the case in 4 weeks, plus

So the magistrate's court route won't work.

What would work potentially is a judicial review in the hight court, plus an injunction to temporarily quash the revocation pending the outcome of the judicial review. Hell's bells.

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