Your guide to organising a street party
Foreword by Eric Pickles
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Street parties are a traditional part of community life; they are a simple way for us to get to know our neighbours and meet members of our community. 2012 will be an historic year with a long weekend of celebrations to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in early June, including The Big Jubilee Lunch rdon Sunday 3 June, quickly followed by the Olympics and Paralympics. The demand for street parties will be high so we want to make it easier for you to hold one, without having to plough through mountains of forms or face disproportionate charges.
This step by step guide tells you how to hold a street party, and sets out the sort of information your local authority will need to know. Most local authorities have produced a simple form which you can find via the DirectGov website at: Find out how to hold a street party.
Good luck and enjoy your party!
What sort of events does this apply to?
This is about the sort of street parties that groups of residents get together to arrange for their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and other public events are listed below:
STREET PARTIES OTHER PUBLIC EVENTS
For residents/neighbours only Anyone can attend
Publicity only to residents External publicity (such as in newspapers)
In a quiet residential road or street In buildings, parks etc.
Self-organised Professional/skilled organisers
Normally no insurance Insurance needed
No formal risk assessment needed Risk assessment common
No licences normally necessary if Licence usually needed
music incidental and no selling is involved
Organising small, private street parties is very simple and generally does not include activities that
need a licence, such as selling alcohol or providing certain types of entertainment. If you want to have a pay bar or sell alcohol in another way or intend to provide entertainment to the wider public, or charge to raise money for your event, you will need a Temporary Event Notice. This is a type of
temporary licence which currently costs ?21 and covers events of less than 500 people. Under
current rules, a Temporary Event Notice must be given to the licensing authority no later than ten working days before the day of the event and the police may object if there are crime and disorder concerns. It is possible that changes to the law relaxing the timescales but including public nuisance as grounds for objection may come into force in April 2012. However, you can, in any event, apply
for a Temporary Event Notice well in advance of the event. Larger public events attracting more people will require a different process. If you need a Temporary Events Notice or would like to hold a larger public event, please contact your council for further information and advice.
It’s that simple
The model form at the end of this guide shows the sort of information your council will need. Check whether your council has its own form via Find out how to hold a street party or ask them to adopt
this one. The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, share jobs out amongst residents
and get in touch with your council at least 4-6 weeks in advance. A good first point of contact will be
your council’s highways, events or communities team.
More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets
Alive website www.streetparty.org.uk and The Big Lunch website www.thebiglunch.com. Do check
them out, they’re great.
Street parties - the myths and the facts
Myth 1 : It's too difficult and confusing
Streets Alive and The Big Lunch have great websites to help you plan (www.streetparty.org.uk and
www.thebiglunch.com). You can also use DirectGov to access local information and contact details for more advice (enter your postcode at: Find out how to hold a street party).
You should not need a risk assessment – just the common sense precautions you take in your own
Myth 2: You need an entertainment licence
It is sometimes claimed that playing live or recorded music and even dancing at a street party
requires a licence – but that’s usually not the case. The Licensing Act 2003 does not require a
licence for entertainment at a private event, provided that no charge is being made, other than to cover the costs of performers etc. You only need a licence if you plan to sell alcohol, charge for music and dancing in order to make money, or hold an event open to the public.
Myth 3: The law requires complex forms for a road closure and councils need to
sign off every detail
For most small parties in quiet streets, all your council needs to know is where and when the closure will take place so they can plan around it (for example, so emergency services know). They will need a few weeks' advance notice as they will need to put in place a traffic regulation order. If councils really need more information, they will contact organisers, but they are expected to take a
‘light touch’ approach. If councils ask for excessive information, they should be challenged.
And you can organise a gathering or 'Street Meet' in another space such as a local park or driveway without any requirement to fill in council forms. Residents should speak to their council about plans -
Streets Alive has some excellent guidance on how to go about it.
Myth 4: The law requires a fee to be charged for a road closure
The Department for Transport has scrapped guidance that led some councils to over-complicate the
process and to charge people wanting to close their road. Many councils will not be charging for Diamond Jubilee or Big Jubilee Lunch street parties. If your council is making a charge, you have every right to question what those charges are for.
Myth 5: It's too late to ask for a road closure
Some councils have set deadlines to help them manage their work. But there are no deadlines in law, so if they look unreasonable ask your council to be flexible. If you can’t or don’t want to close
your road you could plan a simpler StreetMeet (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/residents/street-
Myth 6: You need to buy expensive road signs
Some local councils will lend you signs and cones. Alternatively, Streets Alive gives advice about this (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/road-closed-signs.aspx).
Myth 7: You need expensive insurance
There is no requirement from central government to have public liability insurance. Many councils do not insist on it so you can challenge those who do.
But where you think insurance would be a good idea you might find it helpful to go on the Streets
Alive and Big Lunch sites for tips. Quotes for insurance start from as little as ?50 – and the costs
can always be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the
Myth 8: You need a food licence
Again, there is no legal requirement for this for an ordinary street party where food or drink is not being sold.
Celebrating your community Model form for a street party. Check whether your council has its own form at
Find out how to hold a street party
Road closure for residential street parties
Name of person:
Organisation (if applicable):
Contact address (including postcode):
Telephone number (daytime):
Telephone number (evening):
Name of road(s) to be closed:
Date and time of road closure
If you plan to close only a section of the road(s), where will the closure begin and end? From:
Give a brief list of properties affected. This means any property, residential or commercial, which is located on or accessed only by the road(s) you wish to close – e.g. Cedar Close
numbers 1-20 and numbers 21-98
Are any of the roads to be closed used by through traffic?
If yes, you may need to send a traffic plan showing the extent of the closure and an alternative route for traffic.
Are you planning on closing a road that is part of a bus route?
If yes, the bus company will need to be consulted.
Will access for emergency vehicles (if required) be readily available at all times? YES/NO?
If not you will need to change your plans to accommodate them.
How will people know the road has been closed off - have you thought about barriers/diversion signs needed?
If yes, can you say what you will be doing?
If no, you can speak to your council or Streets Alive (www.streetparty.org.uk) who will be able to help you with street signs.
Have most residents agreed to this event?
The council will want to ensure most people are happy with this event, so if there are any objections you should let them know. They may be able to help you resolve any objections. Not everyone will be able to participate so let everyone know what time the party will start and end (you may want to finish by 9pm to minimise noise).
If you are planning a road closure you will also need to consult businesses in the wider area that may be affected. Have you already consulted all premises about the road closure? YES/NO?
If yes, please attach a copy of your consultation invitation/notice and confirm the date it was sent:
What happens next?
Once you’ve completed a form and sent it to your local
council, they will look at what you are proposing, will process
your application for road closure and will let you know if there
is anything else you need to consider.
We hope this guidance has made
things easier for you. Good luck with your event.