If you’ve been following Liverpool City Council’s awkward, ridiculous clampdown on buskers over the past few weeks (we’re fine with most of them except the guy who plays ‘Champagne Supernova’ on Whitechapel), then you’ll know that most of the city is up in arms about it.
They’re right to be: busking makes our streets even more animated, and we’ve been exposed to some pretty amazing music from right across the globe when we’ve popped out to Boots for some wet wipes. Plus, our day isn’t complete if we’ve not heard some surf-y guitar riffs from the guitarist and his guide dog on Church Street.
Local legal bigwigs Kirwans, representing the city’s buskers, hunted out a judicial review over the ‘unreasonable, overbearing and unfair’ decision for buskers to pay fees and take insurance out before they hit the streets.
Today (28th August) it’s been announced that following the legal challenge, the Council have with immediate effect suspended this busking thing, which has been in play since July.
Talking to the Beeb, solicitor David Kirwan said this injunction, and the subsequent announcement that the council was to review its policy, was “the chance to put right a wrong by voluntarily overturning these new measures and, by doing so, [they will] save the city the cost of defending what is indefensible”.
“This is an important campaign for our city and other towns and cities across the UK whose council leaders may be tempted to follow Liverpool’s poor example. While arguably trying to make improvements Liverpool City Council has created a problem – but it is not too late to fix it. A common sense solution can be reached to satisfy the council and benefit performers, traders and the public” says David.
He also urged Liverpool’s mayor, Joe Anderson, to start afresh with the policy, this time with proper consultation with the street performers. Too right.
Musician and poet Tom George recently wrote a piece for SevenStreets giving his experiences of being a busker, and his opinion about the recent clampdown.
This is an updated news piece from earlier in the month, following the new suspension of the busking policy.