'Killyjoy' councils 'ruining' Jubilee parties with bunting bans

It’s meant to be a PARTY! From booze ban in Glasgow to ‘unauthorised’ bunting in Portsmouth… the red tape-loving killjoy authorities that risk ruining Britain’s Jubilee bashes

  • Ministers urging local authorities to be ‘flexible’ about Jubilee street parties ahead of a momentus weekend
  • Estimated 16,000 applications for street parties have been approved with 15million expected to attend events
  • Tory MPs today warned ‘killjoy’ councils should not block people marking Queen’s 70th year on the throne
  • Portsmouth City Council has advised those attending street parties not to hang bunting by telephone poles
  • Glasgow City Council says it will not lift local bylaws banning the consumption of alcohol in the city’s streets
  • Latest Platinum Jubilee news as the Queen celebrates 70 years of service

Killjoy councils have been accused of ‘ruining’ plans for Platinum Jubilee street parties by issuing warnings about ‘unauthorised’ bunting and refusing to lift public boozing bans.

While Britons have been hanging Union Jack flags in preparation for the momentous Royal occasion this week, council spoilsports have been busy throwing up their red tape.

In some areas, jobsworth local officials are urging residents not to hang up Jubilee bunting from telephone poles, saying they could create a ‘hazard’. 

In other areas, council officials have been accused of being party-poopers by failing to lift bylaws banning drinking in the streets – while fire chiefs are urging revellers to stick to the side of the roads rather than the middle.

But in what is perhaps the most egregious example of ‘health and safety gone mad’ ahead of the Jubilee, local authority leaders have told residents not to attach flags to metal lamp posts because they fear they could snap. 

It comes as ministers have today urged local authorities to be ‘flexible’ about late applications for Platinum Jubilee street parties.

Culture minister Chris Philp appealed for town halls to ‘accommodate people’ amid fears millions could see their celebrations thwarted.

An estimated 16,000 events celebrating the Queen’s 70th year on the throne have been given the green light with up to 15million people are expected to attend celebrations across the four-day bank holiday weekend. 

The Local Government Association (LGA) – which represents local authorities – said councils were ‘pulling out all the stops to help their communities celebrate a historic day for our country’ and urged Britons to get their street party applications in ‘as soon as possible’.

While Britons have been hanging Union Jack flags and bunting (pictured: Library image) in preparation for the momentous Royal occasion this week, council spoilsports have been busy throwing up their red tape

In others, council officials have been accused of being party-poopers by failing to lift by-laws banning drinking in the streets (pictured: Library image), while fire chiefs are urging revellers to stick to the side of the roads rather than the middle

An estimated 16,000 events celebrating the Queen’s 70th year on the throne have been given the green light with up to 15million people are expected to attend celebrations across the four-day bank holiday weekend. Pictured: Library image of a party with Union Jack bunting

Tory MPs have hit out at council ‘killjoys’ amid warnings that residents should not go ahead with unauthorised bashes to mark the Queen’s (pictured earlier this month) 70 years on the throne

Portsmouth City Council are among the authorities risking the wrath of Jubilee Party planners by banning bunting on lampposts.

Ministers urge ‘killjoy’ councils not to shut down Jubilee street parties: Fears millions of Britons could see celebrations spoiled after just 16,000 applications were approved 

Ministers today urged local authorities to be ‘flexible’ about late applications for Platinum Jubilee street parties.

Culture minister Chris Philp appealed for town halls to ‘accommodate people’ amid fears millions could see their celebrations thwarted.

Tory MPs have hit out at council ‘killjoys’ amid warnings that residents should not go ahead with unauthorised bashes to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

An estimated 16,000 events have been given the green light – but up to 15million people are expected to attend celebrations.

In a round of interviews this morning, Mr Philp pleaded for local authorities to take a lenient approach.

Mr Philp said: ‘I think it is fantastic we are celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee, and I would just say to local councils around the country, including mine in Croydon, if you do get a late application, and maybe the deadline has technically passed, I would just say to the councils to show a little bit of flexibility, show a little bit of willingness to accommodate people.

‘And if you are at all able to, you know, please do grant these requests, even if they are maybe technically after the deadline.’

 

Last week the jobsworth officials wrote to those organising street parties warning that hanging the lightweight string of flags on lampposts could be a ‘safety hazard’.

One resident, Albie Somerset, who is planning a street party in the southern port city, branded the warning ‘ludicrous’.

She told the Daily Star: ‘We filled out all the forms and jumped through all the hoops to get the road closure.

‘Now we’ve got a letter saying not to put bunting on telegraph poles. Are they not stable enough to hold some lightweight flags?’

The authority said in its letter that ‘no bunting is to be strung from telegraph poles’ during the Jubilee celebrations. It also said bunting must be at least 18ft (5.5metres) from the ground and of an ‘easily breakable nature’.

Similarly, in Bournemouth, bunting on lampposts is also banned for ‘safety reasons’.  Meanwhile, West Berkshire Council has gone one step further, by saying even its metal lamp posts are off limits. 

The authority – based in the Berkshire, the home of Windsor Castle – says flags, signs, banners and bunting must not be displayed from lampposts as they could be broken by the weight of a person on a stepladder resting against them to tie on items.

Jobsworth council staff have told the area’s 150,000 residents that authority bigwigs fear being sued if a person attaching decorations topples a post and causes an accident.

A local resident said: ‘It’s health and safety gone mad. And – despite the road being closed for our Jubilee celebration – we’ve even been told we’re not allowed to tie bunting across the road.’

West Berkshire Council issued street party guidelines to organisers which state: ‘No street party is allowed to attach any decorations to street lighting. Signs, banners and bunting must not be attached to lampposts.

‘This is as has been stated in our Jubilee pack on how to hold a street party from the start.’

The authority specifically urged people not to try and attach bunting to its metal street lights, saying they could snap if residents lean ladders against them.

A spokesperson said: ‘Our aluminium lighting columns are not designed to have the weight of a ladder and a human propped against them. We have no control over the type, size and material of decorations, nor method of erection.

‘We’ve waived the need for indemnity insurance, so any liability for a bunting-related incident, including its erection and taking down, would fall on the council.’

Meanwhile, Rochford District Council in Essex took its own firm stance, warning that recklessly arranged bunting could stop residents having their bins collected. 

Portsmouth (pictured) City Council are among the authorities risking the wrath of Jubilee Party planners by banning bunting on lampposts

While residents in Berkshire face a bunting ban, those in Glasgow (pictured) face a street booze ban. The city’s authority said it was not lifting its usual ban on alcohol consumption in the streets

While residents in Berkshire face a bunting ban, those in Glasgow (pictured) face a street booze ban. The city’s authority said it was not lifting its usual ban on alcohol consumption in the streets

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, 66, will miss Queen’s Platinum Jubilee service at St Paul’s Cathedral after being diagnosed with Covid and mild pneumonia 

The Archbishop of Canterbury has been diagnosed with Covid and ‘mild’ pneumonia which will force him to miss the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

Justin Welby was due to preach at a Thanksgiving service in St Paul’s Cathedral this Friday, but the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, will now take his place.

Mr Welby, 66, was diagnosed with pneumonia on Thursday last week but was still well enough to continue working on a reduced schedule. 

But after testing positive for Covid this morning, he is now self-isolating at home and has cancelled all his engagements for the rest of the week. 

A colleague will now light a Jubilee beacon at Lambeth Palace this Thursday on his behalf. 

Mr Welby previously had to miss Christmas 2014 due to pneumonia. 

He said today: ‘I am deeply saddened to be missing the historic celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

‘However, I will be praying for The Queen and giving thanks for her extraordinary seventy years of service to us all. I will also be praying for our nation at this time of celebration and thanksgiving. May The Queen’s example bring us together in unity and care for one another.

‘For those attending Friday’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral, and the millions watching on television, I hope this joyful occasion will inspire us with The Queen’s profound commitment to fostering unity and peace among all people – and to promoting care for the natural world that God has given us. 

‘Led by the love of Jesus Christ, The Queen has lived her life for the benefit of others: l pray we find inspiration from Her Majesty over the Jubilee weekend and long into the future.

‘Meanwhile as we continue to live with coronavirus, I pray too for all those who are still suffering and everyone who continues to mourn loved ones they have lost during the pandemic. May you each know the love and comfort of God.’

‘As we prepare to celebrate the first Platinum Jubilee in our nation’s history, may God save The Queen, and bless her with the knowledge of our profound love and gratitude for her service to us all.’ 

A spokesman told the Telegraph: ‘Putting up bunting across some roads and attached to electric poles has the potential to cause damage to our dustcarts as well as other large vehicles, as it could get wrapped around parts of the vehicle and cause damage to the light poles and/or vehicles.’

While residents in Rochdale face a bunting ban, those in Glasgow face a street booze ban. The city’s authority said it was not lifting its usual ban on alcohol consumption in the streets.

The current city byelaw states: ‘Any person who consumes alcoholic liquor in a designated place or is found to be in possession of an open container containing alcohol in a designated place shall be guilty of an offence.’

Under the bylaw, anyone caught drinking in the street by the police faces a fixed penalty of £60. And the authority says it is unlikely to lift the rule. 

A Glasgow City Council spokesman told The Daily Record: ‘My understanding is that there has been no relaxation of the current by-laws in relation to outdoor drinking in public places.’

According to the paper, the authority is reportedly concerned following public disorder after 4,000 attended an unofficial party during the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Police and revellers clashed at the event, with a dozen police officer injured and 22 people being arrested. 

Meanwhile, fire chiefs have advised revellers not to hold impromptu parties in the middle of the street. In advice issued by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, and echoed by other fire departments, they said: ‘We suggest that you set up tables along one side of the road and not the middle.’

It comes as ministers today urged local authorities to be ‘flexible’ about late applications for Platinum Jubilee street parties.

Culture minister Chris Philp appealed for town halls to ‘accommodate people’ amid fears millions could see their celebrations thwarted.

In a round of interviews this morning, Mr Philp said: ‘I think it is fantastic we are celebrating the Queen’s Jubilee, and I would just say to local councils around the country, including mine in Croydon, if you do get a late application, and maybe the deadline has technically passed, I would just say to the councils to show a little bit of flexibility, show a little bit of willingness to accommodate people.

‘And if you are at all able to, you know, please do grant these requests, even if they are maybe technically after the deadline.’

Many councils have waived administration fees for road closures, of which there were 9,500 during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the LGA said.

A snap poll of a dozen councils by the LGA showed they have approved more than 1,000 street parties. Extrapolated nationally, it could mean more than 16,000 Platinum Jubilee bashes.

But six weeks’ notice is usually required for a road closure, and there are concerns that many neighbourhoods have not applied far enough in advance. 

Tory MPs have been urging town halls to ‘clear the way’ for more events. 

Ministerial aide Richard Holden told the Telegraph: ‘The Platinum Jubilee marks a unique moment in our nation’s history, that families in cities, towns and villages across Britain are looking forward to joining together in celebrating. The idea that bolshie bureaucrats are tying people up in red tape to prevent these celebrations is contemptible.

Preparations for the Platinum Jubilee at Buckingham Palace earlier this month. Pictured: Union Jacks line the Mall from Buckingham Palace down to Trafalgar Square

Culture minister Chris Philp appealed for town halls to ‘accommodate people’ amid fears millions could see their celebrations thwarted

‘Councils should clear the way to let these historic national celebrations go ahead so that friends and families can celebrate together this weekend.’

Fellow Conservative Johnny Mercer, a former Army captain, said: ‘These street parties should be allowed to go ahead. We shouldn’t let killjoys spoil the jubilee.’

Julian Knight, the Tory chairman of the culture select committee, said: ‘Councils have to be realistic about this and understand that this is a once-in-a lifetime celebration, something which will never be seen again and they need to be as flexible as possible.’

LGA chairman James Jamieson, said over the weekend: ‘Councils are pulling out all the stops to help their communities celebrate a historic day for our country.

‘Whether it be approving thousands of local road closures for free or putting on big community events, councils are doing what they do best and bringing people together in innovative ways to mark this important milestone.

A street part held to mark the Queen’s 60 years on the throne in June 2012

‘After two tough years at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, we hope that this time will allow people to raise a toast and celebrate with their loved ones and neighbours’.

Commemorative tree planting is under way in some areas as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, and libraries are gearing up for the Big Jubilee Read campaign celebrating books by authors from across the Commonwealth published during her seven decades as sovereign.

Councils including Wyre Forest, Gedling and Surrey Heath are hosting jubilee events such as beacon lighting, picnics and tea parties.

Hertfordshire County Council has received a record 475 street party applications while the London Borough of Waltham Forest has approved over 100 events and is putting on a mile-long street party.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities said: ‘If you can’t or don’t want to close your road, you could plan a simpler street meet at short notice.

‘This can keep the road open and be organised on private land, such as a driveway or front garden, without any requirement to fill in council forms. Residents should speak to their council about plans in any case.’

LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson, added: ‘Councils are pulling out all the stops to help their communities celebrate a historic day for our country, whether it be approving thousands of local road closures for free or putting on big community events of their own.

‘A huge number of applications for street parties have been received, and councils need to balance supporting as many residents as possible while ensuring events that do take place are set up and run safely.

‘With the day fast-approaching, anyone who has yet to submit their application should contact their council as soon as possible.’

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