IT MIGHT be the social event of the decade, but in Yorkshire it seems apathy rules when it comes to the forthcoming Royal Wedding.
Even the prospect of a party and a day off work has failed to spur the county’s residents into action.
In South Yorkshire not a single application has been made to stage an official street party. And in Yorkshire as a whole only 25 people out of a population of several million have applied to local councils to stage street parties.
It was all very different in the 1980s when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer – the country came to a standstill, shops ran out of bunting, while trestle tables for holding street parties were at a premium.
But several decades on the national mood this time around seems very different.
Exhortations from Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, that people should be allowed to celebrate the wedding with the minimum of red tape seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
Inquiries by the Yorkshire Post reveal that in Leeds not a single resident has requested permission from the council to host a street party.
In Kirklees and Wakefield no-one has applied for permission while in Calderdale a solitary individual has spared the borough’s blushes.
Bradford is the West Yorkshire city which comfortably boasts the most applications – a massive three, one from Baildon, Cullingworth and one from Ilkley Parish Council.
In South Yorkshire the indifference is even more marked with Sheffield, Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley all registering zero applications making the huge area a wedding-free zone .
Royalist York bucks the trend, however, weighing in with six applications – not surprisingly given the nature of its history – while in North Yorkshire the picture is slightly more promising with the county council receiving five applications, four from the Scarborough area and one from Pickering.
At the top of the league is the East Riding with an astonishing 11 applications.
Scarborough Council has certainly done its bit to popularise the event on April 29 by offering residents and community groups free advice on how to celebrate the wedding this month.
The council’s community and development officer Matthew Joseph said: ‘’In 21st century life people are very busy and often don’t have time to interact with those who live on their street. Everyone harks back to those good old-fashioned days of community and we are hoping this will provide a bit of that spirit.
‘’What we want to do is get back to the feeling in the 1950s with the Coronation and Charles’ and Diana’s wedding the early 1980s where everyone came together.’’
Calderdale’s director for safer and stronger communities, Robin Tuddenham, said: “We have received one application for street parties for the Royal wedding. The application process can take up to eight weeks so we recommend any residents interested in holding a street party should do so as soon as possible.”
In Hull there were no applications either. Coun John Robinson, Portfolio Holder for Image and Culture, said: “We have not received any formal applications for Royal Wedding street parties.
“However we have received a number of inquiries from a variety of organisations who are looking to organise an event. If residents would like to hold a street party they need to complete an application form that is available on our website.
The Event Safety Advisory Group which includes Hull City Council, Humberside Police, Humberside Fire and Rescue and Yorkshire Ambulance Service will consider all applications and will do as much as possible to help local communities wishing to hold a street party by offering support and advice.
“Hull City Council supports street parties and this is an ideal time for communities to come together and celebrate the royal wedding. The safety of local residents is paramount, though, and we will support organisers to ensure events can be held safely for all concerned.”
Applicants faced with red tape
Anyone interested in holding a street party needs to get on with it as councils claim they need at least eight weeks’ notice.
If a road needs closing the council will need a traffic plan with an alternative route.
On insurance cover, Calderdale Council, for example, says it will look at each application individually. Insurance starts from £50.
If residents wish to fizz up the occasion a temporary events notice from the council is needed, cost around £21. No licence is required if alcohol is served free.
So long as the party is private a music licence is not needed. PRS for Music, the organisation which licenses the public use of music, is waiving its right to charge for a licence the use of music for street parties between April 22 and May 6.