|Thursday 15 May 1997|
Inaccurate claims and a need to look at safety and pedestrian movement issues is prompting the Christchurch City Council to have another look at the issue of busking in the central City.
Terry Moody, Principal Environmental Health Officer says that claims that buskers have been banned from Worcester Boulevard because of the content of their routines is misleading and needs to be put into context.
It is true that we received a complaint from a member of the public about busking in Worcester Boulevard, and the immediate response from staff was to tell buskers that they could not perform in Worcester Boulevard next to the Arts Centre, said Terry Moody. However, in looking more carefully at the relevant bylaws, Council staff have concluded the legal position is not as clear as was initially thought.
We are concerned by problems associated with busking on the Boulevard, particularly where the acts are forcing pedestrians on to the street where there are vehicles and trams. There is also concern from some stall owners that it may affect the viability of their trading. However, it is also accepted that busking adds entertainment and a colourful element to the inner city.
Given these conflicting concerns, we have decided to take no further action until we have reviewed the issue, in consultation with affected groups, and find a workable solution to Worcester Boulevard that allows entertainment, and free pedestrian movement, but does not endanger public safety, said Terry Moody. In the meantime Council are asking all buskers to respect the impact their activities have on traffic movement, pedestrian safety and market stalls.
To clarify the picture once and for all, a report will be brought to the Councils Central City Committee. This report will review the Councils policy and ensure that the bylaw is made completely clear.
For further information contact:
Terry Moody 941 8834
Principal Environmental Health Officer