Whilst the Council recognises that busking and all forms of street entertainment can contribute to the vibrancy and character of the borough, a balance has to be found with the needs of the local community (residents, businesses and organisations). In 2018 we received 1,136 complaints of anti-social busking and complaints have been going up year on year. Therefore, we need to strike a balance between what works for both residents, businesses, organisations and street performers.
In the summer of 2018 we undertook a consultation exercise to better understand residents and other key stakeholders' views on how best to achieve this. Over 400 responses were received, with almost seven in ten supporting the introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) to help control busking and street entertainment and busking.
As part of the approach to creating a balance between the needs of the local communities and buskers and street entertainers, we have produced a draft Busking and Street Entertainment Policy.
The introduction of this policy aims to promote responsible busking and street entertainment but recognises the detrimental impact busking can have on the local community. Therefore, we would like to put in place controls to regulate busking practices which have a detrimental impact on the local community but still allow responsible busking and street entertainment opportunities throughout the borough.
The draft Busking and Street Entertainment Policy includes the following in order to promote responsible busking and help control anti-social behaviour:
- Introducing a busking code of conduct - Covering the whole borough and promoting responsible busking and street entertainment behaviour.
- Implement two PSPOs - Introducing busking and street restrictions in areas with the highest levels of complaints.
- Develop a Busking and Street Entertainment Guide – a guide containing useful advice and information for performers and the local community intended to help avoid potential problems and promotes responsible busking.
We are keen to hear the views of residents, businesses, street entertainers/buskers and everyone affected by this policy. The draft Busking and Street Entertainment Policy can be viewed below, this includes the draft PSPOs and the Busking Guide and Code of Conduct.
The closing date for responses is Friday 7 June 2019.