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29 February 2012

The Diamond Jubilee and much more...

The Diamond Jubilee and much more...

2012 is a year of opportunity for us to take celebration outside the church and share it with friends, neighbours, and others. Whether it's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (4 - 5 June), the Olympics (27 July - 12 Aug) and Paralympics (29 Aug - 9 Sep) or showing coverage of the Euro 2012 Championships (8 June - 1 July) there is lots of scope for holding events that will foster community spirit and celebration. Street parties, fetes, public viewings, school based events, creative arts initiatives, sports competitions, and tree planting are amongst the many things you could do. There's lots of help and guidance and some funding available that will enable you to make the most of the opportunities plus avoid the pitfalls, so see the end of this article for some useful websites.

Some practical hints

  • Start planning now, don't leave it until the last minute
  • Find out what others are doing in your locality to avoid duplication and instead establish partnerships
  • Talk to local shopkeepers, police, community & residents groups, and other churches about being involved
  • Be realistic about what is achievable, better a smaller and successful event

Some of the legal stuff

  • Having a party? There are several things to consider beforehand e.g. live or recorded music, dancing, hot food after 11pm, selling alcohol - all need to be covered by a licence from your local authority
  • Carrying out any of the above licensable activities without a licence is an offence under the Licensing Act 2003 and can result in a significant fine and/or a custodial sentence
  • A single one-off event where capacity will not exceed 499 persons can be catered for quite easily by way of a Temporary Event Notice (TEN). This requires notification to be given to your local Licensing Authority and Police
  • If you exceed the capacity limit or number of events permitted by a TEN you will require a Premises Licence from the local authority. A Premises Licence will, if required, last indefinitely and provides far greater flexibility to hold events at your premises throughout the year
  • If you are considering a street party, then in addition to the Licensing Act 2003 requirements, a permit will be required from the local authority. You may also need to obtain permission for a road closure
  • A tombola or raffle where tickets are sold in advance may require a licence from the local authority too. Exemptions do apply, for example where tickets are sold on the day only and where prizes do not exceed £500. Do seek advice before proceeding
  • If you are proposing any events for Euro 2012 and the Olympics you also need to consider whether you need a licence. The showing of live terrestrial television is perfectly legal as long as you have a valid television licence but if you want to sell alcohol or have a party afterwards then you'll need a licence

Some useful websites

Fran Beckett & Sarah Hayes
Consultants: Anthony Collins Solicitors