About face for street party rules

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CHARGES for Jubilee street parties have been dropped by Suffolk County Council after a battle by one Bury resident to hold a party in her street.

The planned street party for Westbury Avenue initially looked to cost Amanda Burroughs and residents a wopping £396 for a diversion route but after intervention from MP David Ruffley who took the case to the House of Commons the council has said it will no longer charge.

During the House of Commons question time Eric Pickles, local government minister, said there was no need for expensive signs and that the celebrations should be undertaken with the minimum of disruption.

Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s leader, announced the council’s about turn last Thursday and said: “After listening to the people of Suffolk and considering all the issues, we have made the decision not to charge residents for a Special Events Order or for the production and installation of traffic management signs directly related to Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

“This is a huge national celebration and it is right that the county council plays its part in making it as easy as possible for people to organise street parties and other activities to commemorate this historic event.

Mr Ruffley said: “ I am delighted that Suffolk County Council have seen sense and embraced the spirit of the Jubilee by not charging for road closures for street parties.

“Not only will the organisers of Westbury Avenue not be charged but all street parties across Suffolk will be free as well.

“I hope that this decision sets an example to councils right across the East of England. I am pleased that bureaucratic killjoys have been sent packing this time.”

Street party organisers in Suffolk can obtain a Special Events Order through the county council’s website www.suffolk.gov.uk/streetclosures or call Customer Service Direct on 0845 606 6171. The council is urging party organisers to consider celebrating in community areas such as recreation grounds, cul-de-sacs and ‘no through roads’.