Guidance for Street Parties

Street parties and fetes are traditional community events that are a part of our way of life.  They involve groups of residents getting together to arrange a social gathering in celebration of special events or just to enjoy each others company.  The main differences between small street parties and larger public events are listed below:

Street parties and fetes:

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  • For residents/neighbours only
  • Publicity only to residents
  • No licences normally necessary if music incidental and no selling is involved.
  • No formal risk assessment usually needed.
  • Self-organised.

Larger public events:

  • Anyone can attend
  • External publicity (such as in newspapers).
  • Licence usually needed.
  • Insurance needed.
  • Risk assessment common.
  • Professional/skilled organisers.

Organising small, private street parties and fetes is very simple and generally does not include activities that need a licence, such as selling alcohol or providing certain types of entertainment.  If you want to have a pay bar or intend to provide entertainment to the wider public, or charge to raise money for your event, you will need a Temporary Event Notice which is a type of temporary licence and costs £21. If you think you need a Temporary Events Notice please see the licensing information  for further information and advice.

If you would like to hold a street party or fete you will need to let the council know by completing an application form.  There is a choice of two forms, one applies to everyday simple straight forward parties while the other to those with an assessed greater risk. 
To help you select the correct form please see the easy to use flowchart.

The number one tip for holding a party is to plan early, think about what you want to achieve and get in touch with the Council ideally at least 4-6 weeks in advance.

The council makes no charge for street party applications.

Send your completed form to Cornwall Council (Streetworks Section, Highways Dept., Radnor Road, Scorrier, TR16 5EH), or email to: streetworks@cornwall.gov.uk

We will look at your proposals, will process your application for a road closure and will let you know once everything is OK.

We hope this guidance has made things easier for you. Good luck with your event.

If you require further help or guidance please contact:

The Streetworks Events Co-ordinator
Tel: 0300 1234 222
Email: streetworks@cornwall.gov.uk
Write to: Streetworks Section, Highways Dept., Radnor Road, Scorrier, TR16 5EH

Q. Do we need insurance cover?

A. Generally, Cornwall Council will not require public liability insurance cover for a small residential street party.  But where you or your council think insurance would be a good idea you might find it helpful to go on Streets Alive (http://www.streetparty.org.uk/) and The Big Lunch website (http://www.thebiglunch.com/) for further advice.  Insurance quotes start from as little as £50.  The costs can always be split between residents, or you could hold a raffle or ask for donations to cover the costs.

Q. Do I need to do a risk assessment?

A. Cornwall Council does not usually ask for a risk plan for small street parties, but you should think about how you can minimise things going wrong and have a back up plan, for example - what would you do if there was bad weather?  Can you use plastic plates and cups rather than glass?  We recommend that you do not place barbeques on the Highway as they may need to be moved for emergency vehicle access and could damage the road.

Q. We're serving alcoholic drinks - do we need an alcohol licence?

A. No, licences are only required if alcohol is sold. At a private party, sharing drinks with your neighbours does not require a licence. If you did want to sell alcohol, you will need to contact the Council for a Temporary Events Notice form. The cost of the this application is £21.

Q. We're playing music - do we need an entertainment licence?

A. No - if your street party is a private party for residents and the music is not advertised in advance to attract people, and you’re not making money then there is no need for a licence for your music, whether it’s live or recorded.

Q. Do we need a permit to serve food?

A. No - as a private party, you do not need a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 to sell food (unless you wanted to only sell hot food and drink after 11pm). Remember you can always ask your neighbours to bake a cake, make a sandwich or bring food to share with one another. This is also a good way to bring different groups of people together.

Q. We’re having a tombola/raffle - do we need permission?

A. Probably not. If the tombola/raffle tickets are sold on the day and the prizes are not worth more than £500 in total then it will be exempt from gambling regulations (however, if tickets are sold in advance of the event, you will  need a lottery registration but do speak to the Council first). Any proceeds from the tombola/raffle must go to a good cause such as charity or even covering the cost of your party. Alternatively, if you did want to raise some money for your local church or charity, you can always ask people for donations.

Q. Do we need to clean up afterwards?

A. Yes, you will need to clean up after your street party. It’s your street, your party, so keep your local area clean and tidy. Let people know in advance what time the party will finish and have a section set aside for bin bags and recycling.  Please ensure you have cleaned the street before you open it to traffic.