By Marcus Leach
Flag-waving revellers are set to fill the nation’s streets as councils receive thousands of road closure requests for royal wedding street parties.
With less than four weeks until Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot, town halls across the country have been inundated with applications as organisers stock up on bunting and fold-out tables.
London’s boroughs alone have dealt with about 500, and outside the English capital, Bristol has received 53, and Cardiff 35. The national anthem will resound across Hertfordshire where 132 requests have been submitted, while Kent has also proved a patriotic hotspot with 85.
About 4,000 road closure applications have been received across England and Wales so far. The vast majority of these have been approved or will soon be, and the deadline in some areas has yet to close. However, councils are also aware of many street parties at the end of cul-de-sacs, on pavements or in driveways which haven’t needed official permission.
Cllr Chris White, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Programme Board, said:
“Street parties are an established part of British culture, they’re a great way for people to meet their neighbours and strengthen community bonds, and a tradition councils do their best to support.
“In the run up to the royal wedding, councils across the country have been making organising celebrations as easy as possible and staff are busy explaining the requirements for different types of event. The occasion has really enthused residents in some areas and it’s been no easy task for these councils to manage all the differing requests.
“Straightforward guidance has been readily available from town halls and online, and many councils have links from their website to simple application forms which take just a couple of minutes to fill in. Many authorities have waived road closure and insurance fees and others have put money aside to support communities in other ways to mark the special occasion. Some have also put together party packs for organisers, including free bunting and flags.
“It’s great that we’re seeing such community spirit sweeping the nation, it’s exactly this spirit which will be so important in seeing us through the tough years ahead. And these applications are only for parties which require a road closure, there will be many more celebrations in cul-de-sacs, gardens, schools and homes across the country, and of course, many councils will be holding their own parties for residents.”