Big Jubilee Lunch on the street party menu
Suffolk residents are being encouraged to get together and share their Sunday lunch as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations
This is part of ‘The Big Jubilee Lunch’, a national campaign to bring communities closer together - which Suffolk County Council is backing.
To make it easier to organise street parties and celebrations, Suffolk County Council has simplified the application process for road closures so that the party atmosphere doesn’t have to be dampened by form filing and box ticking.
Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Roads and Transport said;
“I am thrilled that we are teaming up with The Eden Project to help bring this fantastic scheme to life this summer. Now that we are able to make organising a street party more of a stress free event this year, I hope communities will embrace the Jubilee celebrations whole-heartedly and with ease.
“These kinds of celebrations are a traditional part of community life and a good way to meet neighbours and make new friends. Suffolk communities are very special places, and we need to do everything we can to keep everybody communicating – I feel The Big Jubilee Lunch is the perfect way to do this. It is a big year for the country and for the town, these events are genuinely once in a lifetime and I hope everyone will make the most of the opportunity.”
"With the application process a lot simpler and with no cost for those who avoid affecting the traffic flow, we are confident this will be a recipe for success for many residents. Our aim is to ensure everyone is able to enjoy the Jubilee weekend and that organisers jobs a lot easier by cutting the amount of 'red tape' that can often surround these events."
The Big Jubilee Lunch, set up by the environmental and educational charity, The Eden Project, is a key event over the four-day Diamond Jubilee weekend from June 2 to June 5. Supported by Queen Elizabeth II herself, people across the country and the Commonwealth are encouraged to share Sunday lunch with their friends and neighbours on Sunday June 3.
Previously, the responsibility of approving street parties rested with district and borough councils, as well as the county council. Now, the county council is the only authority responsible for all street party applications, making the process smoother for organisers of events taking place on Suffolk highways.
Now, those considering organising a street party in Suffolk only have to follow a few simple steps to obtain a ‘Special Events Order’ through the county council’s website or over the phone via Customer Service Direct.
The change follows a call from Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, for councils to make it easier for residents to celebrate the Jubilee.
This year, people across all 54 Commonwealth countries are being encouraged to hold their own Big Jubilee Lunch events as part of the celebrations. The aim is to get as many of the 62 million UK residents as possible to share a meal together. A record number of people are expected to take part in street parties and community events right across the UK.
The original Big Lunch initiative was launched in 2009 to promote neighbourliness and greater social interaction within communities. Last year saw almost two million people get together to celebrate the initiative.
To ensure minimal impact on traffic flow, the county council is urging party organisers to consider celebrating in community areas such as recreation grounds, cul-de-sacs and ‘no through roads’. Residents will incur no fee if they are able to do this.
Suffolk County Council will feature on The Big Jubilee Lunch website as a "Star Council", pledging to support the initiative and spread the word far and wide, helping local people connect with their neighbours.
Tim Smit, Chief Executive and Co-Founder of The Eden Project said;
“We are delighted that the vast majority of councils have taken measures to simplify the procedures for road closures, enabling residents to enjoy street parties without mountains of paperwork, hassle and costs. The support of the councils had proven crucial to the success of the campaign to date.”
Celebrations will centre around an extended weekend on 2, 3, 4 and 5 June, and party organisers are urged to contact the county council as early as possible.