Way cleared for Jubilee celebrations
ROYALISTS hoping to stage street parties in Suffolk were today given some good news.Local Authorities are planning to reduce the fees they normally charge to close roads to make it easier for communities to organise street parties over the Jubilee bank holiday.
By Paul Geater
ROYALISTS hoping to stage street parties in Suffolk were today given some good news.
Local Authorities are planning to reduce the fees they normally charge to close roads to make it easier for communities to organise street parties over the Jubilee bank holiday.
Ipswich council will be making no charge to close streets for parties - but there will be a small charge for street furniture like signs and bollards.
A spokesman for the borough said the cost of obtaining a street closure would come down from £200-£250 to about £80.
A spokesman for Suffolk Coastal Council said the authority would make no charge for street parties to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee this summer.
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"We make no charge at all for any street closure, though the county council would expect any organisers of an event to take out public liability insurance, though that is not a charge by ourselves or the county council," he said.
And Babergh Council, too, will not charge for road closures for jubilee street parties.
The local councils are following the advice of Richard Caborn, the minister at the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport responsible for the celebrations.
He rejected reports the event was set to be a flop, with little of the public enthusiasm which marked the Silver Jubilee in 1977.
"We are now well on course for an extremely good Jubilee," he said.
However he did urge councils to consider waiving some of the charges for closing roads and taking out public liability insurance, amid claims that the high costs were deterring people from organising street parties.
"I am hoping the local authorities will be able to help with those types of costs,' he said.
Shadow culture secretary and South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo warned the whole event was now in danger of becoming bogged down in costly bureaucracy, and that the Government was in danger of squandering a valuable opportunity to promote Britain.
"What we have at the moment is evidence that this is being entangled in red tape,' he said.
"The tourist trade, which is one of our most important industries, is in terrible, dire straits. The Jubilee should have been the centrepiece of a national promotion of Britain as a tourist destination, particularly in North America.
"The Government has completely failed to do that.'