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'Killjoy' councils demand residents to submit applications to host Coronation picnics

News'Killjoy' councils demand residents to submit applications to host Coronation picnics

The King and Queen are hoping millions in Britain will come together during the Coronation weekend by holding street parties and sharing time with their neighbours. But several councils across the country face being branded “killjoys” as they risk dampening the enthusiasm of Britons planning to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles by requiring formal applications for picnics and community events. Many councils have also forbidden people from having barbeques in public spaces during the Coronation Weekend.

Among these local authorities is North Somerset Council, which told its residents they will need to apply for permission if they wish to sit in one of the local parks and eat with their neighbours during the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend.

Those desiring to soak up the spirit of the historic event by sharing food with their community will also need to complete a nine-page form and a risk assessment, the Daily Mail wrote.

Wiltshire, Ealing in London and Warwick Councils have also banned barbeques during the upcoming Coronation Weekend.

North Somerset Council noted only a “small number of Coronation picnics” will be allowed.

The decision to enforce restrictions aims to allow all residents to use the park, the council added.

The local authority said: “Picnic applications should be made on the council’s website. All applications will be reviewed. Each event can be for a maximum of 50 people. Permission will be granted where possible.

“Parks are for everyone’s enjoyment, so approved picnics will need to enable others can continue using the park. No barbecues will be allowed.”

Wiltshire Council also stressed the importance to apply for public gatherings and warned some roads aren’t deemed suitable for street parties.

It said: “Permission for road closures will not be granted on a main road, bus route or emergency vehicle route. We recommend open spaces and parks are considered for community events.

“Anyone planning an event will need to submit the relevant application to the council to enable it to take place. There can be a quick turnaround of two weeks for straightforward applications in parks.”

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s Coronation absence to ‘help’ Prince Harry mend bridges

Those living in Warwick District Council who want to have a picnic on a grass verge will need to seek the approval of their neighbours before submitting an application form to be approved by local officials.

The authority said: “If festivities take place on Warwick District Council greenspace land, the consultation process still needs to take place and all required forms need to be returned. We request there are no BBQs.”

And Ealing Council in west London said residents planning a community picnic need to “email the event service to avoid any clashes with anything already taking place at the park”.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh City Council have asked people planning to celebrate the Coronation not to hang bunting across public roads open to the traffic.

Those organising street parties in the area also need to take into account a risk assessment form, which asks to consider a number of dangers involved with such activity.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the culture board at the Local Government Association, said the goal of councils is for people to “enjoy parties safely”.

He continued: “It’s helpful to ensure applications allow sufficient time to deal with concerns from others, and help manage the volume of applications.”

Last year, as millions across the country gathered to celebrate the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, some councils who refused to relax rules about public drinking and bunting were branded “killjoys”.

In February, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities urged councils to use a “light touch” approach ahead of the historic Coronation, and told residents their local authorities don’t need to be informed of every detail regarding their plans.

Britons wanting to celebrate the Coronation with their communities are invited to host a “Big Lunch” between May 6 and 8, which can be anything from sharing tea with the neighbours to setting up a street lunch with the whole community.

The initiative is being overseen by the Big Lunch team at the Eden Project, of which Queen Camilla is the patron.

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