Noisy buskers in Melton town centre are being told to pipe down after complaints from fed-up businesses.
Melton Council has received complaints about the volume of music played by buskers over a number of days.
Jim Worley, head of regulatory services at Melton Council, said: “Our environmental health staff have attended the town centre area and discussed the issue with the affected businesses.
“Buskers do not require a licence and the only applicable law is if they cause a ‘statutory nuisance’ which is defined in law and includes how often they are present and how long they play for, as well as how loudly.
“Our visits haven’t always coincided with when the buskers are present and on one occasion they were playing they were not unduly loud or unpleasant.
“We will continue to make observations and respond to complaints in order to establish the position under the legal provisions. In the meantime, the town centre managers will approach buskers when there’s a problem or complaint and ask them to reduce the volume, relocate or limit the item they’re playing.”
Meltonian John Haywood (76), an acoustic clarinet player, has been busking in Melton for well over 20 years.
There’s no suggestion any of the complaints have been about his playing but he gave his reflections on the issue.
He said: “As far as I’m concerned there are a few ground rules buskers should follow.
“They should never stand and play in front of a shop window or entry where it’s likely to cause offence or interfere with the running of nearby businesses.
“Sometimes you get someone using a massive amplifier blasting the town out with music. Occasionally the level of sound is diabolical. It’s absolutely unacceptable and I can understand why businesses would complain about it. It must be very irritating.
“Personally I don’t like amplification in the street full stop. But having said that there are some top notch musicians who use amplification considerately and more quietly, perhaps to amplify their chords so they can be heard. It’s probably okay if they only use very soft amplification which isn’t intrusive and they and aren’t creating a noise nuisance.
“What does concern me is that inconsiderate buskers can bring a bad reflection on busking as a whole, not just in Melton but anywhere.
“If people are just going to blast the place out with music and keeping annoying businesses then the next thing we’ll get is the council issuing licenses and stopping people playing because of the noise. That would impinge on my efforts to play and entertain people as well as impinging on other buskers.”
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