Police called in over “nuisance” Hebden Bridge buskers

Don't ban them: buskers performing live like these are welcome - it's the ones with noisy backing tracks who are causing the problem, traders and shoppers say
Don't ban them: buskers performing live like these are welcome - it's the ones with noisy backing tracks who are causing the problem, traders and shoppers say
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NOISY buskers have been causing such a nuisance in Hebden Bridge the police have been called in.

Traders and shoppers in St George’s Square are complaining of performers playing music too loud and for hours on end

Some buskers arrive at 8.30am and play non-stop until 4.30pm.

Police have handed out anti-social behaviour warning to three performers and say they are working with Calderdale Council on a long-term solution to the problem.

Sandra Gillson, co-owner of Feathergills Emporium, said: “We’re not talking one busker with a violin or flute.

“It’s the ones who bring electriconic backing tracks and stay all day.”

She said she did not want busking banned but believed some restrictions should be in place. “Busking is part of the culture of Hebden Bridge and, since it’s been pedestrianised, the square is ideal.

“But I have had customers complaining.

“I’ve had some men waiting while their wives are looking round and they say they’re going to the car because they can’t take any more.”

She said one Sunday, one of the people living above the shops in St George’s Square was trying to match the volume of the busker by playing music from their window.

Eventually the noise of both drove shoppers away

Jason Boon, clerk to Hebden Royd Town Council, said they had been receiving complaints from traders and shoppers for more than a year about the volume of some of the street entertainers.

The culprits have been politely asked to turn the volume down but the town council had no power to remove them.

He said they wanted to encourage most buskers because they enhanced the street scene of the town.

Some areas, such as Kirklees and York, require buskers to apply for licences before they can perform but in Calderdale anyone can play on the streets without a permit.

Mayor of Calderdale Nader Fekri said: “It’s a shame is has come to this.

“It’s great to see buskers in town, especially the youngsters.

“But I do understand people’s concerns.”