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Common sense for street parties

With only 2 weeks to go, there is a lot of talk about the royal wedding and the street parties that people are planning to hold. Recent news items have reported how local councils are tying party-organisers up with red tape, rather than assisting with the bunting. If you're thinking of throwing a party, here are a few possible issues to consider:-

The local council - If you need to close your road to passing cars then you will need the council's consent but if your numbers are not that large, try finding another space - a neighbour's large back garden or driveway or if you are lucky to live in a cul-de-sac, and have all the residents' agreement then you will not need to approach the council.

Insurance - this is not a legal requirement but is worth considering if you are holding a large party; you should obtain various quotes but consider also your own household insurance which should cover personal liability - to be sure, telephone your insurance enquiry line and you may be able to obtain temporary cover for a one off event, as an extension to your existing policy. That said, you only need insurance to protect against someone being injured because of someone's negligence. Why not carry out your own mini risk assessment to try to prevent against this happening:-

  1. Check that any cabling, from music players or lighting etc is securely tied if it is above ground level and if it has to lie on the ground, cover it up with matting - trailing and/or loose wires are an obvious tripping hazard - make sure yours don't. In turn, secure the matting with tape to ensure that in turn isn't a tripping hazard.
  2. Check the ground to ensure there are no holes for people to stumble in - these could be pot holes, holes left from clothes driers or made by animals, anything which causes an indentation in the ground should be filled in & levelled out.
  3. Make sure that all furniture you are going to use is not broken - check chairs will not collapse when someone sits on them, and that table legs are firm & secure; this is particularly important for garden furniture left outside during our cold wet winter - it will not have been used yet this year and therefore give it all a good check.
  4. Share the responsibility - make sure that parents know they are responsible for their own children and should keep an eye on them at all times; consider roping off the area where you are to hold the party in order to designate the area considered safe for children and ensure their parents know they shouldn't go outside of these areas.
  5. Keep a written record of your risk assessment, including comments made to people about how to take care of themselves; this will be invaluable in the event someone is injured and considers it to be your fault.
  6. Lastly - enjoy what promises to be a very British bank holiday!

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