Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, has announced today (7 February 2011) that he is cutting Whitehall red tape in order to make it easier for local communities to hold street parties to celebrate the Royal Wedding.
The government was concerned that Department for Transport guidance - which was intended to cover all types of special event, not specifically street parties - was sometimes being misinterpreted by councils causing them to impose extra bureaucracy and costs on residents.
Philip Hammond will write to all local councils in England this week informing them that he is scrapping the guidance to avoid any confusion. The letter also reminds councils that providing information about closures need not mean unnecessary burdens on communities.
Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, said:
The Royal Wedding will be a day of celebration for communities up and down the country and street parties are a great way for people to get together and share this happy occasion.
In the past our guidance to councils on road closures has sometimes been misinterpreted and led to residents facing escalating costs and unnecessary bureaucracy.
I hope that withdrawing this guidance will make it easier for councils to let street parties go ahead and allow local communities to celebrate without being bogged down by paperwork.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
Whitehall has cut back the red tape which holds local community groups back.
Councils should now do their bit to support this national day of celebration.
This is as an opportunity for councils to help local residents from all backgrounds to come together, and reinforce our shared identity and sense of Britishness.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is also updating the government’s practical guide to organising street parties and fetes to help community groups organise these events in their local areas.
The responsibilities and powers for local authorities when temporarily restricting or prohibiting traffic in connection with the holding of sporting, social or entertainment events on a highway are set out in the ‘Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984’ as amended.