"Street parties and fetes 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. We want to make it easier for you to hold these sorts of local events, without having to plough through mountains of forms and red tape. So we have produced this simple step by step guide to how to hold a community event in your local area. It includes one simple form for you to use to let your local authority know about your plans, so you can get on with the real work of organising a fun event." (Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government).
What sort of events does this apply to?
Street parties and fetes that groups of residents get together to arrange for themselves and their neighbours. The main differences between a small street party and fetes and larger public events are listed below:
Street parties and fetes:
- For residents/neighbours only
- Publicity only to residents
- No licences normally necessary if music is incidental and no sale of alcohol is involved
- No formal risk assessment needed
Larger public events:
- Anyone can attend
- External publicity (such as in newspapers)
- Licence usually needed
- Insurance needed
- Risk assessment advised
- Professional/skilled organisers
If you are planning a community event it would be preferable to hold it off the highway such as in a park, public open space or playing field (with the landowner's permission as necessary). When the only suitable location is the street it will usually be necessary to close the road to create a traffic free environment and it is necessary to apply for a Special Events Order.
In a private street or cul-de-sac, where there is no access to other roads there should be no cost involved but you still need to complete the Special Events Order application form which can take up to six weeks from the date the application is received.
A road closure for a through road is a more detailed process and will be more expensive. When you apply for the Special Events Order (which will cost £40) you will also need to provide a traffic plan, risk assessments, public liability insurance, and arrange for a contractor to put up signs on diversion routes. This requires a minimum of three months notice.
Road closures for public events are now dealt with by Suffolk County Council. More details and the application form can be found on Suffolk County Council's website Street parties and other events restricting the highway. Alternatively phone via Customer Services Direct on 0845 606 6171
Organising the street party
Organising small, private street parties and fetes 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 intend to provide entertainment to the wider public, or charge to raise money for your event, you will need a which is a type of temporary licence and costs £21. Similarly, larger public events attracting more people will require a Premises Licence, which is more complex, costs more money and takes at least one month. 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.
If you are planning to provide food at your street party or fete you should follow simple hygiene rules for example, food safety and barbecues or the NHS website. If you are organising a larger public event with caterers it is important to check the caterer is registered as a food business and they can show they are complying with food hygiene legislation.
Information on food business hygiene ratings can be found at www.food.gov.uk/ratings
Apply for a Special Events Order
More details and the application form can be found on Suffolk County Council's website Street parties and other events restricting the highway.
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