Since the beginning of 2013 the buskers have been stopped from playing in the flower market. This is due to a small number of people complaining about the buskers. The buskers are willing to liaise with the local residents and shop keepers to ensure that they are not a nuisance. A few of the buskers have been playing in the market for a number of years. They have written to Phillip Gospage to resolve the situation with dialogue and are still waiting for a response.
Columbia Road Flower Market attracts people from across the London, UK and the World because of the distinct atmosphere. The buskers help create that atmosphere and there is a economic argument for maintaining the status quo and allowing the buskers to play.
We want to ensure that the vocal complaints of a minority do not take priority over the voice of the majority. In a survey carried out by the buskers the majority of shop keeper and residents greatly appreciate the contribution made by the buskers to the market and are upset by the treatment of the buskers by Tower Hamlets Council. It is important to us that the THEOs put their energies into resolving crime within the market such as bicycle theft, pick pocketing, fake notes and shop lifting. Not criminalising people who make music.