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Campaigners take fight against new Camden busking laws to High Court

Jonny Walker (centre) leads a protest outside Camden Town Hall. Picture: Polly Hancock. Jonny Walker (centre) leads a protest outside Camden Town Hall. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Thursday, February 27, 2014
1:16 PM

Buskers have taken their fight against new laws to licence busking in Camden to the High Court.

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Campaign group Keep Streets Live! arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice today for a two-day judicial review of Camden Council’s decision in November to licence busking.

Lawyers representing the group claim the council’s decision was unlawful for a number of reasons and should be overturned in the High Court.

Rosa Curling, a lawyer in the human rights team at law firm Leigh Day, representing Keep Streets Live!, said: “These measures are unlawful.

“There is very little evidence of disturbance and the definition of busking in the proposals put forward by the council is not clear. Under this new policy, whistling in the street could now face a fine of £1000, which is clearly ludicrous.”

Under the new rules, anyone caught busking without a licence could be fined up to £1,000 and have their instruments confiscated. The use of amplifiers and wind instruments will be banned.

Jonny Walker, founding director of Keep Streets Live!, said: “Camden Council risk doing permanent damage to the cultural life of this important part of London by an attack on the grassroots performers who are such an important part of its social and cultural fabric.”

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