New code system could curb Newquay's 'loud' buskers
ANGRY residents and shoppers in Newquay have bombarded police with complaints about "unacceptable noise levels" from street buskers and orators using amplifiers.
PCSO Liz Whitehall confirmed the force had received "many" complaints in recent weeks, sparking calls to introduce tougher laws to tackle the town centre issue.
One woman told the Cornish Guardian that an alfresco lunch with pals at Bank Street Bar and Grill had been ruined on two consecutive Saturdays, firstly by a busker with an electric guitar and then by a preacher using a microphone.
Police are now working with Newquay Town Council and Cornwall Council to introduce a code system whereby buskers must agree to a busking code and gain a permit before performing.
FREE Home staging included with your 1% Commission!View details
1% Commission FREE Home staging advice http://www.kerbappealz.co.uk
Terms: Home staging advice given on instruction to sell your property
Contact: 01736 332076
Valid until: Saturday, December 14 2013
Newquay resident Sharon Whale said: "[Last Saturday] a busker set up outside Peacocks and connected a speaker, guitar with amplifier and proceeded to belt out songs," she said.
"[This Saturday] a gentleman and his friend set up an amplifier with a microphone opposite Costa Coffee and proceeded to deliver their version of a message from the Lord, which was so loud you could barely hear yourself think.
"While I fully support the right of the individual to express free speech, surely this should be with the consent of others in the immediate vicinity and should be delivered at an acceptable noise level?
"I appreciate this is extremely difficult to try to police, however, I believe some sort of enforcement action can be taken to ensure the 'entertainment' is appropriate for the location and to try to keep noise to an acceptable level."
Brett Damarell, a passionate busker for 25 years, said amplifiers were the "beginning of the end" for busking and agreed police needed to crack down on it.
He said: "Loud is not better.
"If you work in a shop for eight hours a day and someone is busking with an amp close by ... OK they might be playing well, but it is going to drive people mad.
"I am not having a go at buskers, but amps are destroying it and the police need to do something."
Current bylaws do not prevent busking in Newquay but they do make it an offence to cause annoyance or disturbance. If a busker is asked to stop by either the police or a member of the public who is being disturbed or annoyed by what the busker is doing, the busker should do so immediately, but this is not always the case.
Andrew Curtis, Newquay Town Council clerk, said it was working to update the bylaw to a code system, similar to Truro, meaning no one is able to busk in Newquay unless they agree to a 'busking code' and they have a permit issued by the town council.