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16 March 2012, 07:38 | Updated: 16 March 2012, 07:48
It is going to be cheaper and easier to set up street parties and events in Suffolk for the Diamond Jubilee this summer.
Suffolk County has announced that it will not make any charges for those holding a Diamond Jubilee street party.
It has confirmed that there will be no costs for permission to close roads or being supplied with road closure and diversions signs. It is part of the council's efforts to help Suffolk join in the national celebrations.
Councillor Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council's leader, 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 instillation 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. I hope that this will encourage many more people to get involved and that the people of Suffolk have a fantastic time in whatever way they choose to celebrate.'
Previously, responsibility for approving street parties rested with district and borough councils, as well as the county council. Last month, the county council announced that it was the only council 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 obtain a Special Events Order through the county council's website or over the phone via Customer Service Direct. 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'.
Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for roads and transport, said: 'These celebrations are a traditional part of community life and a good way to meet neighbours and make new friends. "With the application process a lot simpler and with no costs for those organising a party, 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."
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.