Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Royal wedding street parties boost

Revellers in parts of the UK will be able to stage cut-price street parties to celebrate the royal wedding

Revellers in parts of the UK will be able to stage cut-price street parties to celebrate Prince William's marriage to Kate Middleton as some councils say they will slash or waive road closure charges.

Cambridgeshire County Council is the latest local authority to pledge it will not charge to close roads for royal wedding street parties on Friday April 29.

Gloucestershire made a similar promise earlier this month and Norfolk said it will cut the charge from £450 to a celebratory £29.04.

The moves follow a Government drive to cut red tape and make the organisation of street parties and fetes easier.

Cambridgeshire said party organisers would need to apply for permission to close roads but would not be charged.

"We will treat them as community events so there will be no charge," said a spokesman. "People simply need to get in touch and let us know what they plan."

Gloucestershire said permission would be needed but any charge would be waived as a "one-off gesture".

Last August, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said he wanted councils to take a "common sense" approach to public celebrations and did not want street party organisers faced with "reams of forms, high costs and red tape".

"For most small organised street parties that don't affect the wider road network there is no requirement in law for local authorities to advertise proposed closures or carry out consultations," said a spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government.

"Neither are specific signs or other traffic management equipment required. Local authorities should act proportionately, wisely, and in the public interest - and highways law does not present any barriers to that."

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