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Beckenham community cancels street party due to council costs
A Beckenham group has had to cancel a street party due to charges enforced by Bromley Council.
Residents of Clock House Road have held celebrations over the past three years for free, but have been told this time they face a £543 bill for the legal road closure required.
One man has questioned the move on a community forum.
Jon Clarke, who lives on the street and works in advertising, wrote: “For the past three years we've had a fantastic street party in a small stretch of Clock House Road, and each year the council has not charged us for the closure of the 100 yards of road.
“We are having to cancel what was becoming a great annual get together of neighbours, where kids played on the street, new residents were welcomed, a locally put together band played, a real sense of community from the youngest to the oldest took place.”
A spokesman for the council explained charges were wavered in 2011 and 2012 due to the Royal Wedding and the Queen’s Jubilee, which he said saw widespread celebrations and so parties were in the national interest.
In 2013 meanwhile the application to hold the event in Clock House Road was lost, and as a gesture of goodwill was allowed to go ahead at no fee.
Executive councillor for the environment Colin Smith added this time costs are “unavoidable for legal reasons”.
He said: “The council has been and remains in the vanguard of local councils determined to support local residents in every form of voluntary community engagement, very much including residents wishing to hold a street parties.
“I must emphasise that there has been absolutely no change in council policy notwithstanding that there have been a number of national events in recent years where the council has waived the road closure fee due to multiple applications diluting the costs of doing so for the wider public interest.”
On Sunday Cllr Smith attended a street party in Bickley, where no charges were put in place as it was part of the nation-wide project ‘The Big Lunch’.
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