Neighbours Invited to Stage Big Lunch Street Parties

NEIGHBOURS are being invited to hold street parties as part of the national Big Lunch weekend without having to pay the usual road closure fees.

The Big Lunch is held every year to encourage as many people as possible to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

This year The Big Lunch will form part of The Great Get-Together weekend on 17th/18th June, in partnership with the Jo Cox Foundation, which aims to get communities to come together to celebrate connections and commonality.

Reading Borough Council will be waiving the usual fees for road closures on that weekend in June and on 1st/2nd July, for residents who want to celebrate outside of Ramadan.

Last year The Big Lunch coincided with the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and Reading was named as one of the friendliest towns in the country, with 25 street parties.

This year the event coincides with The Great Get-Together which has been launched nationally to honour Labour MP Jo Cox, who was murdered in June last year.

To organise a street party, residents need to apply to the Council between four to 12 weeks in advance. They can do so at www.reading.gov.uk/streetparties. Applications need to be with the Council by Monday 1st May.

The Council needs to know the date and time of the proposed party or event, the name of the road, or part of a road, that needs to be closed, and whether it is part of a bus route or used by through traffic. Permission will be granted subject to the road not being a main through route or a public transport route.

Councillor Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:

“People are normally so busy it can be difficult to find time to catch up with friends and neighbours.

“The annual Big Lunch is an ideal opportunity for communities to get-together and the Council is keen to promote that, as ever, by waiving the usual road closure fee. Again this year we will be extending that offer to a second weekend to ensure residents can take part outside of Ramadan.

“Reading was in the top three of Big Lunch destinations last year and I hope residents will once again come together and hold some great street parties this summer.”