Busking campaigners ‘won’t stop’ after losing final court battle with Camden Council

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. - Credit: Archant

Busking campaigners have vowed to continue the fight against Camden Council’s controversial licensing regime having been defeated in a last-ditch court battle with the local authority.

Yesterday, campaign group Keep Streets Live! lost their appeal against a High Court ruling in March that the council’s licensing policy was “both necessary and a proportionate response to the issue of busking”.

In February, the group brought a two-day judicial review of the council’s policy – meaning anyone caught busking without a licence can be fined up to £1,000 and have their instruments confiscated – insisting it was unlawful and should be overturned.

After the judge rejected his group’s appeal, Jonny Walker, founding director of Keep Streets Live!, said the group had exhausted the judicial route of opposition.

But he said they would continue to fight for an amendment to the Deregulation Bill, going through Parliament currently, to try and render the council’s policy unlawful.

“We are not giving up in Camden, we are going to continue to protest,” he said. “If they make any changes or make their policy more restrictive then we’ll look to challenge it.”

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

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