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The basic legal requirements for disabled musicians to busk & perform in London

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To date no public authority in the whole of greater London has offered disabled performers even the basic requirements to establish equality when performing in public. All disabled street performers in London have faced illegal abuse (a criminal offence) and harassment from private security firms employed by local authorities because the security personnel have not been fully trained in that street performance policy by local authorities does not apply to disabled performers unless that authority has offered equality  via a ''disability policy'' linked to any disabled street performers policy. None Have.

This means that current licensing or street performing restrictions do not apply to disabled performers as most have a disability that prevents them from abiding by the rules placed upon them by public authorities.

The easiest least costly and least likely solution to pitch authorities into ''duty of care'' litigation is for public authorities to allow disabled performers to work under Parliamentary law and let us get on with just going to work as performers. That is:

Busk anywhere on the public highway without causing a noise nuisance, as defined here (Permitted noise levels - 

  • 10 dBA above the underlying level of noise if this is more than 24 dBA).

This is in fact night time levels but would be perfectly reasonable for the daytime. You should not be blocking the highway path or pavement.

We have established the basic requirements for disabled public performance by disabled performers that in law would meet the requirements as stipulated under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 for public authorities. They are:

1) If, under any licensing or restrictions a disabled performer must perform on designated performance spots, for safety and equality reasons, Blue Badge parking style busking spots reserved for disabled performers, must be available and maintained, OR, disabled performers hold the freedom to perform anywhere, under Parliamentary law (This supersedes public authority policy or by-laws) is therefore deemed in place. (See below)


2) Disabled street performers must be given what ever extra time they need to set up and brake down.

This is entirely dependant on the disability of the disabled performer so cannot be imposed, it must be given.

This must be policed to avoid abuse and harassment from other performers.

3) Each disabled performer must be able to Pre-book a disabled performance spot in advance for a full half day, If fully booked or the designated spot is unsuitable due to their disability, the disabled performer is again given the freedom to perform where they feel it is safe to do so under Parliamentary law.

Everything takes so much longer for a disabled performer, therefore to achieve equality disabled musicians must be given the extra time they need. This may require people to assist them, so knowing that a disabled performance spot is able to be pre-booked allows them to achieve equality.


4) Rules such as ''No Amplification'' do not apply to disabled performers as their disability may compel them to use amplification. UK Parliamentary law has a remedy for this and is explained in section 5. Parliamentary law is supreme in the UK and no public authority has the power to deny any disabled person their enjoyment of Parliamentary law.

5) Parliamentary law states that if a performer keeps within 10db above background noise, at the place of complaint, such as shop office or home, then this is not considered a nuisance in law. There are lots of exceptions such as hospitals Churches clinics Libraries care homes etc. As electric cars make the streets quieter more care should be given to noise levels when performing. If a disabled performer keeps within the law, public authorities private security firms street wardens or the Police hold no power to intervene unless the public authority has a disability policy in place and can assist the disabled performer in how this policy relates to the disabled performer. It must state clearly on-line in any street performer policy the section that relates to disabled street performers. If it does not have this section, the policy is unlawful and cannot be enforced upon a disabled performer.

6) Disabled performers take up more space so should be a major consideration when sighting disabled performance spots.

Disabled performers are vulnerable and so public authorities must take advice as to the safe location of performance spots to avoid harming disabled performers and incurring litigation.

As experts in this field, Beyond Disability are insured consultants. We can offer advice to public authorities to mitigate against ''Duty of Care litigation''.

Beyond Disability has offered to manage all disabled street performing on behalf of Westminster City Council, Covent Garden, TFL allowing these organisations to outsource their legal obligations reliving them of the managerial problems of booking disabled performance spots, whilst mitigating cost responsibilities as this is an important factor with cash strapped authorities, so I dont see any excuse.

Due to a recent court ruling public authorities may be able to use cost as a factor in not allowing disabled street performers their rights. It therefore must be pointed out that the same authorities hold a legal obligation with respect to disabled street performers where cost cannot be used in mitigation. This is to ensure that at no time does policy restrict the rights of disabled performers under Parliamentary law or, insist that their street performance policy is enforced when a disabled persons disability prevents them complying with said policy. If a local authority uses untrained private security staff to harass abuse intimidate or otherwise to try to impose performance restrictions on disabled performers that cause any kind of harm, then this could be considered a criminal offence.

DB levels
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