On Monday Eryl and myself attended a Keep Streets Live meeting with other activists in Leeds. It was great to meet new faces and see old friends alike. We talked about some of the challenges we face as buskers and came up with ideas on how we can campaign against some of these problems.
We feel that more than ever we need to campaign as some Councils across England such as Nottingham have introduced Public Space protection orders (PSPO’s) that include busking. Councils such as Kensington & Chelsea (where Chester from Keeps Streets Live has just returned from a meeting with) and many others are proposing PSPO’s to include busking. A PSPO can be given by a council official and will not only give the accused a fine but also a criminal record. Our recent work with Carlisle City Council has meant that they will not be using their current PSPO against buskers. We hope to use this as an example to other Councils who are introducing PSPO’s to include busking. Home Office guidance clearly states that anti social behaviour law is not be used against buskers. Another problem is that the home office does not keep any records of PSPO’s. The fight continues!
We also chatted about how we can work together to help boost the Keep Streets Live campaign. There were some good ideas being batted about and I look forward to the next meeting.
” The Keep Streets Live Campaign exists to protect public spaces for informal offerings of music and the art.”
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Clare Dowling #keepstreetslive