Rasen Mayor reeling at town busker complaint

Traders at Market Rasen Market Place last Tuesday
Traders at Market Rasen Market Place last Tuesday

Market Rasen’s mayor is reeling after a ‘totally unnecessary’ complaint about a musician in the town centre led to the act being asked to leave.

The town council had organised a saxophonist to play around the Co-op and Market Place Walk in a bid to create a nice atmosphere and boost trade at last Tuesday’s market.

Traders gathered on the Market Place on Tuesday, April 17. EMN-180417-095436001

Traders gathered on the Market Place on Tuesday, April 17. EMN-180417-095436001

But things turned sour when a resident complained about the busker to West Lindsey District 
Council.

Mayor John Matthews said: “He wasn’t playing loud, he’s a quality musician and my office, the council office, received a call from WLDC to ask him to move 
on.

“As far as I’m aware you don’t need a licence to busk in Market Rasen.

“I thought it was unnecessary.

“ I was there trying to support the Market Place with the catering van and I thought he enhanced it.

“There was a nice atmosphere out there.

“I thought the call to the district council was totally inappropriate and unnecessary.

“Who was he disturbing?

“When we’re trying so hard for no personal reward to put a bit of energy back 
in.

“It was a shame and just a bit unnecessary.”

Coun Matthews said the musician has supported town council events in the past and had been invited to do some busking on 
Tuesday.

A West Lindsey District Council spokesman said its licencing manager had advised that buskers do not need a licence in order to perform on an ad-hoc basis.

The spokesman said: “I can confirm that WLDC did not force the town council to ask the act to leave – as this is not something we can enforce,

“Our licencing officer suggested that if the act was causing any nuisance then the town council could request the person to move 
on.”

Market Rasen’s market has faced some challenges over the past few months, but Coun Matthews said the atmosphere had been good on Tuesday.

He said: “We’ve got three new traders, there were 10 or 11 stalls out there on Tuesday and the atmosphere was good, it was nice.

“One of my colleagues visited the auction (at the market) and there were 70 to 75 people around there.

“Hopefully some of those visited the market.”

Last Tuesday’s market was the first week of trading for the new stallholders signed up to the town council’s latest initiative to boost footfall.

The new scheme, organised by Market Rasen Town Council bookings clerk Kerrie Nicholson, involves traders paying for their pitch for the first four weeks and then getting the following four weeks free.

The council had previously been running a ‘first week free’ scheme, but found traders were not returning regularly.

The market runs on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.