Search

Camden busking laws to be enforced after judge rejects High Court challenge

PUBLISHED: 11:59 11 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:32 12 March 2014

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.

Archant

Controversial laws to licence busking in Camden will be enforced by the council after a legal challenge to halt the new rules was rejected by a High Court judge.

Following a two-day judicial review at the Royal Courts of Justice last month, judge Mrs Justice Patterson today ruled that Camden Council had adopted a lawful policy that was “both necessary and a proportionate response to the issue of busking”.

In October, comedian Bill Bailey and musician Billy Bragg joined campaigners in Camden High Street to protest against the new rules.

The change will mean 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.

It follows an increase in complaints from residents about noise generated by street entertainers.

The licensing system was due to be introduced last month but was put on ice by the council until the conclusion of the High Court proceedings. Buskers will now be able to apply for a licence from March 24.

The ruling is a defeat for busking campaign group Keep Streets Live! which was ordered to pay £7,500 in legal costs.

David Wolfe QC, representing the campaign group, asked for permission to appeal, arguing that the ruling raised important legal issues and would have an impact on street entertainment across London.

But the judge refused permission and campaigners will now have to consider asking the Court of Appeal to hear the case.

Cllr Abdul Hai, Camden Council’s cabinet member for community safety, said: “By introducing this policy, we’re able to strike a balance between the rights of performers to use public spaces and the rights of our residents to a quality of life free from noise nuisance, often late at night.

“We have purposely set the costs of licences at a level that is affordable, clearly showing we do not wish to discourage music or street performances, but to find a way that works for all.”

Jonny Walker, founding director of Keep Streets Live!, said: “We are disappointed with Mrs Justice Patterson’s decision and will now seek to have this case heard by the Court of Appeal.”

A “standard” busking licence costs £19 and permits performances in public areas between the hours of 10am and 9pm. Licences are valid for a 12-month period in most circumstances.

Buskers can apply for a licence at www.camden.gov.uk/licensing or by calling 020 7974 4444.

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

The cost of evacuating and rehousing Chalcots residents will run into several millions, but it will come out of the council’s reserves and will not impact on frontline services, Camden has promised.

17:18

The Highgate School summer fair is kicking into gear on Saturday and the organisers reckon it is going to be the best one yet.

15:05

Providing youngsters with the summer of a lifetime is the motivation for a St John’s Wood school which has been putting on camps for more than a quarter of a century.

14:46

A serial burglar has been jailed for breaking into homes and attacking a man with a chair.

10:12

Swiss Cottage School has become one of a handful of schools to be given an “outstanding” Ofsted rating for the sixth time in a row.

Yesterday, 11:55

More than 1,000 fire doors were missing from the Camden tower blocks evacuated on Friday, the goverment has revealed.

Mon, 17:10

Jerry Springer argued Donald Trump is destroying the American dream – as he spoke movingly about how his parents were saved from the Nazis and brought over to England from Germany.

Mon, 12:32

Hundreds came out with the sun for the South End Green Festival on Sunday, with music, food, drinks, a craft stall, a children’s fair, and a highly competitive dog’s show.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Often one of the most daunting parts of going through a divorce or separation is knowing what steps to take first and how to deal with financial issues which arise. Here, Jessica Palmer of Streathers Solicitors in Hampstead, offers answers to commonly asked questions

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now