A BAN on “begging” buskers in Basildon could be introduced to combat “very loud noise”.

Basildon Council is considering banning buskers from performing amplified music in the borough’s public spaces, including the town centre.

The authority is set to launch a public consultation regarding the issue after councillors debated the proposed measures at a meeting last week as part of an annual review of a public spaces protection order (PSPO).

The order was introduced in 2022 to combat antisocial behaviour in public spaces across the whole borough, including town centres and parks.

The new measures, which could see buskers fined up to £100 for performing in Basildon, have been suggested because of a rise in the number of musicians “who do not have the council’s permission to carry out that activity in the town centre”.

A council officer told councillors: “This is about trying to have another tool in our toolkit to enable the community safety wardens and or the community policing team to be able to issue on the spot fixed penalty notices when they witness that activity.”

She added that busking is “normally a form of begging in that you’re wanting to get some money” and that it “can have a massive impact” on nearby residents and businesses.

But the council has insisted it does not want to stop people being able to listen to music in public “because that’s a really important thing the borough is encouraging”, with planned events still allowed.

'Large bill'

Paul Brace, the council’s community and environment director, told councillors “busking attracts a large bill for performing rights”.

“We don’t technically allow busking and we’re specifically stopping and will fine people for playing amplified music,” he said.

“Music in the town centre can happen but that would usually be as part of an event.”

Patricia Reid, the Labour councillor for Pitsea North West, said: “This is how a lot of famous people became famous. Sam Ryder – he was a busker and look at him now.

Echo: Sam Ryder from Essex represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022Sam Ryder from Essex represented the United Kingdom at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2022

“I think not allowing any busking in the town centres is sad quite honestly.”

Conservative councillor Yetunde Adeshile, however, said the amount of buskers she saw on the London Underground when she lived in the capital was “ridiculous”.

“Where some of us will enjoy and appreciate it, there are people out there that don’t,” the Vange councillor added.