An outbreak of common sense..

An outbreak of common sense..

“…it was a handful of businesses trying to unfairly make things harder for buskers. They (Trafford Council Executive Committee) were of the view that if there is a problem busker, it should be dealt with reasonably and proportionately on a case by case basis and that in the main, the buskers are a welcome addition to the town who make it an enjoyable place to shop and socialise.”-Helen Grant. Strategic Manager:Crime and Antisocial Behaviour.

In March, thanks to local media, we became aware of a consultation on busking in Altrincham, to the south of Manchester. At first we were not aware of the exact nature of the proposals but they certainly included measures that would make busking in the town problematic and considerably reduce its viability as a destination for street performers. In particular a suggested ban on amplification and a time limit of an hour on any pitch stood out as pernicious, unworkable and unnecessary.

A public online consultation did take place, closing on 6th April, which a number of our supporters completed. However, as we know from experience, these are often loaded in favour of a particular outcome or simply ignored if the desired outcome is not produced.Keep Streets Live also made a submission as an organisation outlining the work we had done in York, Carlisle, Chester and others and suggesting we try and work out something similar as an alternative.

Fortunately we found a sympathetic ear in Helen Grant, who had been charged with overseeing the project. I was able to arrange a meeting on 18th May. It was a warm day and town was busy, so it was perfect for a bit of a busk and a wander round to get an idea of footfall, potential pitches, issues etc. We looked at various parts of the proposals and I was able to show how firstly they would deter decent buskers in the first place and secondly how they were not practical solutions to the ‘problems’ that the town was apparently experiencing.In many cases they would have forced buskers to use locations which were actually less suitable and more likely to cause disruption.

We were able to make some profound changes to the proposed code over the next couple of weeks to the point that KSL was happy to give our approval. Job well done so we thought..

However today I’ve received an email that the whole thing is to be scrapped as the Executive Committee feels the only ‘problem’ is the businesses that have been complaining and all that is needed is some common sense applied on a case by case basis.

#BeLikeTrafford

 

 

 

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3 Comments on "An outbreak of common sense.."

  • Good work!

    And a great site – thank you.

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