Are Bath’s buskers sometimes too loud? Have your say!

Bath & North East Somerset Council is asking for people to give their views about the amplification of on-street entertainment.

A busker in Abbey Courtyard.
A busker in Abbey Courtyard.

On-street entertainers and performers – buskers – are an important part of the culture of Bath, bringing vibrancy and character to the city. Some use amplifiers to enhance the volume of their performance.

Currently, Bath & North East Somerset Council does not have a formal policy on busking as there is a voluntary code of practice used by the busking community.

Following concerns raised by local businesses and residents, the Council is considering a ban on the use of amplifiers in the following locations: Abbey Church Yard, Kingston Parade and Abbey Green.

This would be done by putting in place a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). The criteria for issuing a PSPO are:

· That the activities have had a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality
· The activities are persistent or continuing
· The activities are unreasonable
Before making any decision, the Council wants to hear the views of local people, whether residents, businesses, shoppers, visitors or buskers.

Cllr David Dixon (Lib-Dem, Oldfield), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Buskers are part of the vibrancy of Bath. However, the aim of the order would be to stop unwanted disturbance in specific areas of the city centre.

Brass playing buskers in Stall Street.
Brass playing buskers in Stall Street.

“Bath & North East Somerset Council wants to ensure that activities don’t have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality and to prevent activities that are persistent, continuing or unreasonable. I would encourage local people to fill out the consultation and make their views known to us.”

Cllr Manda Rigby (Lib-Dem, Abbey), Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Thanks to the ongoing work of the Council’s Public Protection Team, we are able to consider how officers can best respond to any issues raised by the public about the amplification of on-street entertainment. The outcome of this consultation will help us to achieve a fair balance for everyone.”

The questionnaire is now available on the ‘Consultations’ page of our website and will close on Sunday 29th March, at 11.45pm.

If you would prefer to respond on paper you can contact the Council via 01225 396803 or caroline_ranscombe@bathnes.gov.uk for a paper copy of the survey.