WPA response to Westminster City Council busking consultation

25 Feb 2020

WPA submitted its response to Westminster City Council’s consultation on busking and street entertainment on behalf of members.

The Association supports the introduction of the proposed Code of Conduct as well as busking licences. We believe the proposals will improve the quality of existing street performances whilst striking the appropriate balance between promoting on-street entertainment and minimising negative impacts and nuisance for local residents, workers and visitors.

In the consultation response, we stated:

“Westminster Property Association welcomes the introduction of the Westminster Busking and Street Entertainment Policy that seeks to regulate busking and street entertainment across the busier shopping and commercial districts in Westminster.

The Association supports further regulation to minimise nuisance caused to local visitors, workers and residents in the West End. The regulation is also important in enabling the curation of a diverse range of content, as well as in avoiding conflict in these key areas.

WPA would like to see a similar approach taken to these key areas to that of Covent Garden, where dedicated time slots and areas largely separated from local businesses for performances has resulted in a healthy balance between business and entertainment – and maximising their appeal to all of those who work, visit and reside in the West End.

The new Code of Conduct and the introduction of licenses are a step in the right direction to achieving these goals, and that buskers requiring a license to perform will also result in a diverse range of content as well as a higher quality of street performance. Numbers 3&4 in the Code of Conduct is of particular importance as we strongly believe that visitors and pedestrians’ right of way must not be infringed upon, and that any location should be proposed with the aim in mind to minimise any adverse impact on local businesses.

WPA also broadly agree with the standard licence conditions outlined.”

WPA did not comment on any proposed relocations or specific pitches for the entertainers, citing that these should be for the local business improvement districts, residents and workers to decide.