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101 Jubilee street parties planned
MORE than 100 streets will be out celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next month, the Oxford Mail can reveal.
The number of street parties planned across the county has shot up in recent weeks, with all five councils now suspending deadlines on applications to close roads to allow more people to pay tribute to the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
Last night Oxfordshire Lord Lieutenant Tim Stevenson said he was delighted at the way the county was embracing the event next month.
The number of street parties in Oxford itself has jumped from six to 37 in just over a month. There were similar jumps in other districts, with 29 in Cherwell, 18 in West Oxfordshire and 17 in South Oxfordshire and the Vale of the White Horse.
This brings the total to 101, moren Continued from than double the 48 applications which had been submitted in early April.
It is also in addition to events which do not require street closures, like parties in parks and community centres.
The councils all had deadlines for street closure applications ending over the past few weeks, but all have said they will continue to try to process new cases.
Waiting to hear if their application has been successful are members of the Rose Hill Community Association in Oxford.
Chairman Carol Davis said: “We have applied to close part of Desborough Crescent behind the community centre.
“We haven’t heard back yet but we are planning lots of activities for outdoors, things like a tug o’ war, a judo demonstration and a disco for the children.
“You don’t get street parties very often but they are wonderful.
“The last one we had was for the Golden Jubilee in 2002 and it was brilliant. It was so hot it was melting the food, so fingers crossed that happens again.”
The Oxford Streets for People organisation, part of Oxford’s Civic Society, has been offering advice to any streets wanting to hold a party.
Spokesman Richard Bradley said: “There is a lot of interest in Jubilee street parties in Oxford and I’m aware of lots taking place.
“That equates to maybe 3,000 people.
“It is very good news. Not only are street parties great fun, but they definitely help build a sense of community.”
Neighbours in Henley Street, East Oxford, will come together for the fourth year running on June 3, after the success of previous years.
Resident Heather Hull said: “We’ve always been a friendly street, but since our first street party, a lot of close friendships have been formed.
“We now have a ukulele group, a street sewing group, a book group and others. We have become a close community.”
Mr Stevenson said: “I am absolutely thrilled. I think it is right that so many people will celebrate such a remarkable anniversary. I firmly believe the Jubilee weekend will turn out to be a great celebration for everyone in Oxfordshire, and the chance for a wonderful party.”
The Oxford Mail can today reveal where the street parties are planned after winning a battle with the councils who insisted the events being held in public had to be kept secret.
A spokesman for Oxford City Council said providing specific street names would make the parties public events and mean they had to apply for the relevant insurance.
We finally had to submit requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) to all five district councils.
Last night, a spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent authority set up to uphold the public’s right to information, said it seemed “bizarre” to have been forced to submit an FoI request.
He said: “This is a good example of the FoI Act at work.
“But we feel that organisations would make life a bit easier if they proactively released this kind of information.”