Stop punishing considerate amplified musical performances in St. Helens, Merseyside

This petition made change with 223 supporters!

Video of encounter with officials -

My name is Christopher Schofield. For the past few months, I have enjoyed busking on the streets of St. Helens, Merseyside.

On the afternoon of June 4th, two officials from the environmental health issued me with a noise abatement order for the use of an amplifier. These two individuals did not witness my performance, instead deciding to serve me a notice based solely on the presence of an amplifier. I now stand to face a £5000 fine if I continue to perform music in public.

I argue that the use of this order is unjust based on the following:

1) Amplified performances are lawful, one needs only to look at the high streets of Liverpool, Manchester etc to see them in use. Considerate use of these devices helps to promote a vibrant street culture, allowing musicians to be heard above ambient street noise whilst simultaneously not having to put strain on one's voice/instrument to be heard. In regard to consideration, my amplifier is used on the lowest output setting (see video) and for a limited duration (see below).

2) The serving of this order is irrational and unnecessary. The order specifies amplified music only, does this mean someone with bagpipes or a drum kit is free to busk all day long and is free from the legislation? Personally, at the time of this notice I had not performed in St. Helens for a week, and when I do perform I make myself aware to local businesses and inform them of my willingness to adjust volume, and move my location every 2 hours. A noise abatement order is to be served where there is a statutory noise nuisance which is prolonged and sustained. I do not fall into these categories.  

May I also direct you to a document drawn up by St. Helens council themselves clearly stating that amplifiers are allowed -

I petition for a healthy relationship between musicians, businesses and councils regarding street musicians performing in St. Helens, and also advise the council to look at the Liverpool guide for busking and to learn from these rules and implement similar guidelines. These can be viewed here - 

Video of encounter with officials -

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