A spokesperson for Southend Borough Council has confirmed that anyone wishing to act as a clown in a professional or amateur capacity within the boundaries of Southend On Sea will need to sign onto an official REGISTER from November 1st 2016. It is hoped that the move will help to solve the ‘KILLER CLOWN’ epidemic that is currently plaguing the town.
Gus Fiddleton is the council’s Head of Public Safety, and he said that he expects other local administrations to replicate the upcoming Southend Clowning Register for their own needs.
He told our Chief Reporter: ‘From November 1st, anyone wishing to act as a clown within our unitary borough will need to add their details to the Southend Clowning Register. This can only be done in person at Civic Centre with three forms of government-approved ID.’
‘After the £125 annual fee is paid in cleared funds, a full enhanced DBS check will be carried out, and an official Clowning Licence will be issued within six weeks – the credit-card sized badge will come with the necessary attachments for connection to an existing water pistol or similar accessory.’
‘Once the grace period expires in mid-December, anyone caught in clown clothing locally without the appropriate licence will receive a £2000 spot fine, with repeat offenders referred to the Crown Prosecution Service for a custodial sentence.’
‘All licence holders will be required to return to Civic Centre on a monthly basis in costume to ‘sign on’ to the register – this is the only way that we can ensure compliance with national guidelines on circus performer regulation.’
‘If necessary, clowning individuals will be able to ask for their personal details to be imported from other similar registers in order to speed up the application process.’
A representative of The UK Circus Guild confirmed that their members will continue to hold circuses just outside of the town’s boundary in a field in Rochford to avoid the new rules.
He added: ‘Southend already has the UK’s lowest number of school leavers entering the clowning profession annually, and this latest piece of legislation could reduce this even further. The town’s bosses have seriously dropped the ball on this one. Many local clowns are only part-time as they are juggling a number of other commitments.’