23/04/2015 - Permalink

VE Day 70th Anniversary celebrations: guidance on celebrations

Related topics: Community / Leisure, culture and heritage

The 70th Anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8 May 2015 will be commemorated and celebrated up and down the country in memory of one of the defining moments in British and European history as the war in Europe ended in 1945.

To mark the historic occasion, communities are invited to put on street parties on over the weekend of Saturday 9 May and Sunday 10 May 2015, similar to those that occurred in celebration 70 years ago.

There are several myths surrounding what is needed to organise a street party or firework celebration, but the reality can be simpler, so here is a guide to hosting your own street party or street meet.

Organising a street party just for residents and neighbours is very simple and does not need a licence, unlike other public events.

The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, share jobs out amongst residents and get in touch with your council. A good first point of contact will be your council’s highways, events or communities team. If you encounter any difficulties, speak to your local councillor who will be happy to help.

More helpful tips, advice and support for organising a successful event can be found on the Streets Alive website: www.streetparty.org.uk.

Frequently-asked questions:

What is the difference between a street party and an event?

Street parties                                                   Other public events

For residents/neighbours only                           Anyone can attend

Publicity only to residents                                    External publicity (such as in newspapers)

In a quiet residential road or street                    In buildings, parks etc.

Self-organised                                                         Professional/skilled organisers

Normally no insurance                                          Insurance needed

No formal risk assessment needed                     Risk assessment common

No licences normally necessary unless the       Licence usually needed
sale of alcohol is involved

Do I need a formal risk assessment?

You should not need a risk assessment – as long as consideration is given to the needs of all those attending, common sense precautions should be enough.

Do I need a license for music?

The Licensing Act 2003 does not require a music licence at a street party unless amplified music is one of the main purposes of the event.

Do I need a license to sell alcohol?

If you plan to sell alcohol it’s best that you check whether you need a Temporary Events Notice. This is a temporary permission for licensable activities which currently costs £21 and covers events of less than 500 people. For more information or to make an application, please contact your local licensing authority by entering your postcode at Temporary Events Notice.

Do I need a food licence?

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that one-off events such as street parties aren’t usually considered food businesses, so there are no forms to fill in.

However you must ensure that any food provided is safe to eat.

The FSA provides more detail about street parties on its website at: http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/parties

Further advice for community groups on providing safe food can be found here: http://www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/caterers/food-hygiene/charity-community-groups

The NHS Choices website has practical tips on how to prepare and cook food safely at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/Foodhygiene.aspx

What do I need to tell the council?

For most small parties in quiet streets, all we need to know is where and when the closure will take place so we can plan around it (for example, so emergency services know). We will need at least a week’s advance notice as we would need to put in place a traffic regulation order. If we really need more information we’ll contact organisers.

What if I decide too late for a road closure?

Technically, there are no deadlines in law for road closure requests and we will try to be flexible. However, we might not be able to process requests close to the date so it’s best to submit requests as early as you can.

If you are too late or simply don’t want to have to close the road, don’t worry you can still celebrate with your neighbours by planning a simpler street meet. ‘Street meets’ on private land, such as a driveway or front garden, don’t require any forms or permissions. However, residents should speak and inform us about plans – Streets Alive has some excellent guidance on how to go about it (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/residents/street-meet.aspx)

Do I need to buy roadsigns and cones?

You will need signs and cones for a street party; however we might be able to lend you some, so it’s worth asking! Otherwise you can hire or buy signs.

But if your event is in the daytime you can print your own from downloadable templates. Streets Alive gives advice about this (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/road-closed-signs.aspx).

Will I need insurance?

There is no requirement from central government to have public liability insurance.

But if you think insurance would be a good idea, have a look at the advice on the Streets Alive and shop around. Quotes for insurance start from as little as £50, which can be split between people attending, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.