UK

Royal wedding: Cameron urges street party celebrations

  • 11 April 2011
  • From the section UK
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Silver Jubilee street party
Millions celebrated the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977

The prime minister has called on the nation to "get on and have fun" on the day of the royal wedding, urging Britons to organise street parties.

David Cameron warns councils "not to interfere", after reports of "petty bureaucracy".

He says 29 April will be a "chance [to]... celebrate the great things about our country".

It comes after recent figures revealed 4,000 applications for street parties in England and Wales.

An estimated two million people will take part in street parties to celebrate the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

On Monday, Mr Cameron is in the north of England with his wife, Samantha, to promote street celebrations.

'Real opportunity'

The Department for Communities and Local Government has also given guidance for councils who have attempted to stop royal wedding festivities with unnecessary conditions.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the wedding was a "real opportunity for councils to help local residents from all backgrounds to come together".

"Of course we want people to be safe and sound but common sense has to prevail and people should use their rights as citizens and challenge councils if red tape rules are being used against them."

In February, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond wrote to all councils in England informing them that he was cutting Whitehall red tape by scrapping existing government road-closure guidance.

He said the move was designed to make it easier for councils to let street parties go ahead and allow local communities to celebrate without being inundated by paperwork.

The Health and Safety Executive has also said it is concerned "health and safety" is being used as an excuse not to hold celebrations.

It said health and safety was "often invoked to disguise someone's real motives - concerns over costs or complexity, compensation culture or an unwillingness to honestly defend an unpopular decision".

Mr Cameron said: "Samantha and I will be holding one in Downing Street and bringing together local people and charities.

"It's incredibly simple. All you need to do is to get in touch with your council if you need to close the road. They'll let you know if there are any issues.

"My message to everyone who wants to have a street party is: I'm having one and I want you to go ahead and have one too.

"The truth is that this is a great chance for communities to come together and celebrate.

"So go on - bring out the bunting and let's make this a day to remember. For everyone."

Minister for health and safety Chris Grayling said: "The royal wedding will be a great national occasion and I want to reassure everyone that they can have street parties with friends and family and bring out the bunting to celebrate in time-honoured British tradition.

"There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to ban these celebrations on the grounds of health and safety. We are restoring common sense to our health and safety system, ensuring it is there to protect people at work not penalise people at leisure."

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