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News Archive > General > Council targets rogue buskers

Council targets rogue buskers

By Warren Wilkins 15th May 2015

THE authorities are set to get tougher on buskers in Newquay town centre after a minority of entertainers have ignored warnings to keep their volume and performance times to an acceptable level.

Street performers who continue to play too loudly, or move on after being issued informal and formal warnings, face a fine, a court appearance and their equipment being confiscated.
Buskers signed up to a code of practice last year promising to abide by an agreed set of rules, but a small number are continuing to cause problems for businesses, primarily in Bank Street.

Inspector Dave Meredith, Eve Wooldridge, the manager at Newquay BID, Miranda Flannigan from Environmental Health at Cornwall Council and business owner Colin Paull met to discuss a way forward at Newquay Police Station last week.

The representatives agreed that either council officers or the police will now issue offending buskers a Community Protection Notice, a £100 on-the-spot fine or even seize their equipment.

Kate Cortez, from Newquay BID, said: “The meeting was held to get everyone on the same page. We are trying to join everyone together to support busking and maybe reduce the impact of the few who spoil it for the many. It is not about stopping busking at all. There are a few buskers who are upsetting some businesses by being really loud and are playing for ages. Having to surrender property will hopefully be a last resort. After working with regular buskers, they get frustrated as much as businesses because they give them a bad name.

The majority of buskers check with the town council and businesses to make sure they are happy for them to play and they turn levels down if asked.

“It is just a few buskers that are approached by businesses and are asked to turn it down who are rude and play for hours on end. It’s a Bank Street situation pretty much as 95% of businesses have an issue with it.”

Cornwall Council says the approach is to find a balance between the needs of businesses in the town centre and the performers who contribute to Newquay’s vibrant town centre.

A spokesman said: “Earlier this year buskers and street performers were asked to perform in line with Newquay BID’s code of practice for busking. The code of practice is a partnership project with Newquay BID, Newquay Town Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council and asks performers to play at a reasonable level of volume and to limit performance time to provide a balance between the buskers/street performers and the needs of other businesses in the town centre.

“The code of practice has been largely successful with the exception of a few performers who have refused to follow the guidance. In order to protect the businesses affected by unreasonable busking, those performers operating outside of the code will be issued with an informal warning, followed by a formal warning, and then a Community Protection Notice if they continue to ignore the code of conduct.

“A Community Protection Notice is an enforcement notice set out in the Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Police Act 2014 and failure to adhere to the requirements of the notice can result in a £100 fixed penalty or prosecution. Notices can be issued by the police or council officers.”

By Warren Wilkins 15th May 2015

Chester 18th May 2015 21:55
So what is the code of practice and how long/loud is reasonable? Don´t forget we are talking about an area where bars pump music out into the early hours and their clientele roam the streets in a less-than-hushed fashion.
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