Liverpool City Council is boosting community spirit with plans to waive the legal costs of staging street parties.
Currently, any individual/group who wants to host a street party needs to apply for a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) which can cost in excess of £2,000.
The recommendation, which will be presented at a Cabinet Meeting on Friday 21 July, looks to establish a Community Events Order which would allow residents to apply to hold community events in their neighbourhoods, with the council covering the cost of a TRO which would cover a 12 month period.
The order would allow the city council to close roads so that community events or street parties could take place. It also has the benefit of allowing children to play safely in traffic-free areas, creating safer zones and encouraging young people to get active outdoors, improving their health and wellbeing.
If approved, it would come in to force from April 2018 for 12 months, renewing each year. This means residents will have until 31 December 2017 to submit an application for a street party which will be assessed in the New Year, and if it’s successful they could hold their event from April.
Initially closures in the same area would only be permitted once a month to ensure minimum disruption to the road network.
The city council’s Highways team will provide a full guidance note for anyone thinking of applying, which includes:
Events are to be organised and funded by the applicant, not by the city council.
The applicant must consult with all residents in the area. If any objections are raised, the council will work with the person who has submitted the request to identify a solution. Ward members will make the ultimate decision.
Not all roads can be closed, so alternative options should be considered – major roads and bus routes are exempt from the scheme.
Road closures can’t exceed three hours.
Applicant must be able to demonstrate they have the appropriate Public Liability Insurance to cover the event.
All signs and barriers would need to be organised and paid for by the organiser. If it’s going to be a regular event it is recommended the applicant purchase the traffic management equipment.
If applications for events in 2018 are made after 31 December, residents will have to pay for the TRO which could be around £2,400.
The initiative forms part of Play Streets – a nationwide drive for local authorities to develop a scheme that will encourage young people to play safely on the streets.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and City Services, Councillor Steve Munby, said: “We often receive requests from residents who wish to close their road to host a street party, but the costs associated are prohibitive for both council and the individual.
“This Community Events Order would enable the city council to cover the costs of a one-off, annual Traffic Regulation Order which would then give communities the freedom to put on an event in their area.
“Not only is it a simple and effective way to encourage children to play out on traffic-free streets, but in turn, it gives neighbours the chance to socialise, growing the community spirit and engendering pride in where people live.
“I’m sure residents will be thrilled with the prospect and I look forward to seeing a whole host of events taking place in communities across the city next year.”