Source: School students give the chance to challenge local councillors at Let’s Talk event
Launched today, Westminster City Council are seeking the views of residents, businesses, and street performers to improve busking and street entertainment around the city.
The council’s current scheme is focused on striking a balance between celebrating the unique cultural charm that street entertainers bring to some of Westminster’s most recognisable locations as well as addressing concerns from residents and businesses. These related to excessive noise and blocking pavements and roads, as well as provide increased protection for businesses, residents, and visitors.
Everyone can now share their views on current pitch locations and their size, terms, and conditions of use as well as accessibility for disabled buskers and street entertainers. The council also want to understand whether any of the existing standard conditions could be interpreted in a way that is seen to be a barrier to buskers and street entertainers obtaining a licence or restricting certain elements of a performance.
The consultation, open for 10 weeks, allows everyone to share their views on changes to the current scheme and some of the proposed changes include the introduction of new policies to safeguard child and vulnerable performers as well as new terms and conditions for street performers.
Additionally, the council is looking into amendments on the terms and conditions of pitches in Leicester Square, designed to address local noise impacts by in that location.
The consolation reflects the council’s commitment to maintaining a vibrant street entertainment scene while addressing the evolving needs and concerns of the community. People are being encouraged to submit their views via the consultation until it closes on the 14th of April.
Westminster City Council remains clear, it has no intention or desire to ban busking in the capital as they recognise the history behind street entertainment in London as well as the huge cultural contribution it brings to the city.
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Children and Public Protection, Cllr Aicha Less said:
Street entertainers and buskers will continue to be part our city’s brilliant culture and a popular attraction for visitors throughout the city. However, it is only right we review the scheme from time to time to respond to issues where necessary.”
“The proposed changes can improve our current process and look to address issues in areas such as Leicester Square. This does not mean we are banning busking or street entertainment and will never ban it, instead we want to hear from everyone to strike a balance between residents, businesses and performers.”
“I’m excited to hear from everyone about how best to continue this wonderful tradition in the safest and fairest way possible.”
More information and links to the consultation can be found on the council’s website