08 Feb NOT A FAN OF THE CORONATION? THERE ARE SOME COMMUNITY BENEFITS AT LEAST…
By David Gledhill, Marketing & Communications Lead
The Coronation of King Charles III later this year might not be everyone’s cup of tea, though the extra Bank Holiday that comes with it sweetens it for all.
It is also as good an excuse as any to get together with your friends and neighbours and organize a street party in the heart of your community. But if that is what you have in mind, then it would be as well to start planning now.
Inevitably, there are a few rules that you will need to adhere to, and you do need permission before you close off your road, but it is not nearly as complicated as you might think and authorities have been working hard to cut through the red tape.
The Government, in the form of the levelling up and housing ministries, who are not generally known for their brevity, have even drawn up a guide to organising your own street party which includes some very useful facts and a series of myth busters which, alongside advice from Torbay Council, makes it very straightforward.
Our Community Builders are also poised to provide help and support as they did for events organised last year to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee when communities across the Bay came together to mark the occasion.
The key date is Saturday, May 6th, but most Royalists may choose to avoid that date, opting instead for a grandstand seat in front of the television to watch the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey when the King will be crowned alongside the Queen Consort, Camilla.
Instead, people are being encouraged to share food and have fun together on Sunday (May 7th) by taking part in what has been dubbed The Coronation Big Lunch and hundreds of thousands are expected to take part in a series of events up and down the country.
But if you live on an ‘A’ road, you are going to have to look sharpish if you want to close it off, as the council will need three months’ notice (deadline, this Saturday, February 11th) to allow for the rerouting of buses and emergency services.
However, if like most people you live on a residential road then you have until Saturday, April 8th to consult with your neighbours, come up with a sure-fire plan for a memorable event and make your submission. And the good news is, there is no charge.
So Myth number one, according to the Government website is that organising a street party or big lunch is too difficult and confusing. But it isn’t; everyone can bring something and you can ask your neighbours for help with organisation.
Myth number two is that you need a licence, but unless you want to sell alcohol, which most won’t, then you don’t. If you do, then you will need a Temporary Events Notice, which costs £21.
Myths three, four and five cover the road closures (see above) but you may want to have a Street Meet instead on someone’s driveway or front garden or at the end of a cul-de-sac, on the pavement or on a grass verge.
Myth six is that you will need expensive signage, to cover the closure and the diversion, but again that is not true; in Torbay, you can hire the signage from SWISCo for a fee.
Myth seven is you will need expensive insurance, but public liability insurance is not needed. However, if you choose to do so, street party insurance starts at just £28 which you could split among those attending or ask for donations to cover costs.
Myth eight is that you need a food licence, but you don’t. One-off events are not covered by the rules and regs, but it goes without saying you should ensure all food is cooked properly and safe to eat.
Finally, if you choose to cover some of the costs with a raffle, then that is OK as long as you only sell the tickets at the event and it cannot be rolled over to any other event.
So there you go. In an age of red tape and bureaucracy organising your own event has been made as simple as possible. Start planning now for a weekend to remember. Good memories are made in the heart of your community.
And remember, if you need any support, contact your Community Builder; they will be pleased to help. A list of them can be found https://www.torbaycommunities.com/about-us/#community-builders–timebank
Bunting photo courtesy of Freepik.com