Search

Comedian to stand up to Camden busking laws as Green Party council candidate

16:45 19 February 2014

Ben Van der Velde.

Ben Van der Velde.

Edward Moore (c)

A stand-up comedian opposed to Camden Council’s new busking licensing laws is hoping to be elected as a Green Party councillor in May’s elections.

Ben Van der Velde, 30, has been selected to stand for the Greens in Camden Town with Primrose Hill.

The Oxford University graduate, who has lived in Camden Town for four years, performs stand-up routines in clubs across the UK and appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe festival in 2012.

He felt compelled to stand as a councillor following Camden Council’s decision in November to introduce rules requiring buskers to purchase annual licences if they want to perform on the streets.

He said: “The first time I ever visited London on my own I headed straight for Camden Town - it’s a Mecca for music-lovers and young people the world over.

“I had an hour to kill before friends turned up so I got out my guitar and started playing – an innocent, creative and friendly act by a new kid in town.

“Thanks to the ludicrous new legislation put in place, if I did that now I’d be committing a criminal offence punishable by a £1,000 fine and the seizure of my guitar – unless I’d first bought a licence and waited 20 working days for a council panel to decide whether I was a ‘fit and proper person’ to busk!”

On February 27 and 28, busking campaigners will bring a judicial review of Camden Council’s licensing laws to the High Court.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

08:00
James Nelson celebrated his 100th birthday at the Henderson Court Resource Centre. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An award-winning scientist who invented scientific instruments at his Belsize Park firm has died aged 101.

Yesterday, 12:30
Tessa Walker with her award. Picture: Paul Starr

A Whittington Hospital nurse has been recognised at the Young Epilepsy Champions Awards.

Yesterday, 08:00
Peter Barber, Head of Map Collections, British Library

Historian Peter Barber OBE is head of maps at the British Library and has lived in or near Highgate nearly all his life. The 66-year-old, now of Crouch End, sits on the council at Lauderdale House and has documented its history in 1993 tome, Lauderdale Revealed

Fri, 17:46
Mike Freer. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

With just under three weeks left until the general election, Conservative Mike Freer is locked in a fierce battle with Labour’s Sarah Sackman for re-election as Finchley and Golders Green MP. Tim Lamden caught up with Mr Freer ahead of the May 7 election.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Seasons 1-4 on Blu-ray, as well as a shiny new Sony Blu-ray player could be coming your way!

To celebrate the fifth series of George RR Martin and HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones, Ladbrokes is giving away a series one to four Blu-ray box set along with a Sony Blu-ray player to one lucky winner!

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder