New council busking rules to ‘ensure the performers have a clear set of principles’

on January 16, 2017

Birmingham City Council has announced that it has finalised plans to ‘encourage responsible busking and street entertainment’, following a consultation period that began in May 2016.

The new scheme, which was described as a ‘collaborative approach to the subject’ included input from the Birmingham Equity Variety Branch, Keep Streets Live and The Musicians’ Union.

Cllr Waseem Zaffar (Lab) Cabinet Member for Transparency, Openness and Equality at Birmingham City Council, said:

“Buskers and street entertainers are a fantastic part of the creative fabric of our public spaces in the city centre.”

“Through these guidelines, we are ensuring the performers have a clear set of principles that enable them to entertain people who come into the city centre, whilst respecting the needs of others such as traders and residents.”

The new guidelines include recommendations on a new culture of swapping and sharing pitches, practical safety advice and advice on how to formally complain to the council if you have an issue.

Jonny Walker, Founding Director of Keep Streets Live Campaign, who worked with the council on formulating the new policy spoke out about the positive groundwork that the new plans establish:

“By abandoning a PSPO which would have criminalised many forms of busking in the city and working on a new busking framework in close collaboration with professional bodies, Birmingham has established a hugely constructive new benchmark for grassroots cultural policy around the use of the public spaces in the UK.”

The full document can be read here.

Award-winning journalist based in Birmingham UK. Data Editor @ Birmingham Eastside and owner of @UKbynumbers. Contact me: @Loftysandro or data@birminghameastside.com

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