2 Jun 2010

Bread Street Bap Big Lunch

On the 18th July communities across the UK will be celebrating neighbourliness by eating lunch together, in the middle of their streets, around tower blocks and on patches of common ground.

Photo: Pic of Bread Street and Beer Street - ironically Bread Street was known for its riotous behavor in the past - so much so that others got money together for a church - see history of Bread Street here

In Bread Street Ruscombe we had our first meeting this year in The Vine Tree pub last week to plan our event - The Bread Street Bap - a friendly rival to Randwick's Wap! We are having it the same weekend as The Big Lunch event and have live music and ore planned - I have already submitted the road closure plans - the idea is for residents of the 34 houses to get to know each other better - click "Street party' label below for previous discussions re street parties and scroll down to see photos of 2008 party,

In the Big Lunch last year, over 700,000 people in every kind of community across the UK took part in more than 8,000 lunches. It was the biggest set of street parties since the Golden Jubilee and 80% said they felt closer to their neighbours as a result - how many others are planning events in Stroud area? I would be very happy to help if folk have questions about road closures or whatever - or follow the advice in the street party or Big Lunch links in this blog. I have also written to the local press to see if they will promote teh Big Lunch and get parties across Stroud!

The ‘Big lunch’ aims to help strengthen neighbourhoods and promote social cohesion through meaningful interaction - I think it is a great idea to promote as it fits with my views 'that the world can get better through communities working together, with nature, optimism and common sense, to tackle local issues'.

There is no fixed procedure for temporary road closure orders. The former transport secretary has previously confirmed that local authorities can use their discretion to avoid charges and notices in papers for most small roads, and can use a single order to approve multiple parties on a given day. Locally the District Council charge £40 and the County more for the same job? This seems bizarre but many local Parish Councils are happy to help with the cost of road closures.

The Local Government Association reports that this year "Many local authorities are encouraging community and youth groups, green champions and newly elected officials to organise and support local ‘Big lunch’ parties. Some, including Croydon council, Bristol city council, the Royal borough of Kingston upon Thames and Swansea city council, are already getting behind the initiative by offering to cover the costs of shutting the roads for residents’ events. Southend borough council is supporting the ‘Big lunch’ as part of its community cohesion agenda. The council’s cohesion and events team is offering help and support, providing guidance on how to get organised, as well as ideas for activities. The council is also allocating a small amount of its cohesion budget to cover the cost of road closures and to reimburse event insurance."

For help see www.streetparty.org.uk

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