23rd Sep, 2019

Council hopes new buskers code will get harmonious reception

Rob George 13th Jan, 2017

COUNCIL chiefs hope to strike the right note and ensure live music can be enjoyed by everyone in the city centre with a new code of conduct for buskers.

A new voluntary draft code of best practice for busking in Worcester city centre is being drawn up in consultation with local music organisations and businesses.

It will replace an old code which has been in place for over a decade and will aim to encourage live music and performance to help visitors and shoppers enjoy the city centre, while avoiding causing any problems for retailers, businesses and residents.

Worcester City Council hope to have the code in place for April 1 with a ‘bedding-in period’ so buskers, shoppers and businesses can all give feedback on how it is working.

Coun Geoff Williams, the council’s cabinet member for Economic Prosperity and Growth, said: “We’re trying to ensure the city centre meets the needs of everyone, so we want to strike a balance between shoppers enjoying live music and the needs of businesses and retailers to trade successfully.

“We’re aiming to make this code of best practice work for all without the need for formal enforcement. There are some powers available to the council, but we have no plans to use them.

“We want the city centre to be a lively attractive place that everyone can enjoy,” he added.

The code of best practice asks buskers to play music at a reasonable volume, to perform in a single spot for no longer than 45 minutes and to avoid playing close to cash machines.

It also sets out conditions for collecting money and ensuring public safety.

Musicians have had a say in drawing up the code, including representatives of Worcester Music Festival, Keep Streets Live and SLAP magazine.

Buskers operating in Worcester will be asked to provide feedback on the draft code over the next few weeks.

Many other cities have similar codes in place, including Birmingham, Cambridge and York.

Anyone wanting to give feedback on the draft code of best practice for busking should e-mail the council’s Local Centres Officer at helen.mole@worcester.gov.uk by January 31.

The draft code is due to be considered by the city council’s cabinet in March.

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