Council cuts red tape to help residents join in the Big Lunch on the 5th June

Tim Smit has style and is a very able man. He, single handedly, took from concept to reality, the famous Eden Project in the West Country where my wife and  I spent a full and enjoyable day a few years ago. I say style as everything was to the fullest specification and it all looked stylishm which in turn made it a joy to be there. Even in the cafeteria the tables and chairs had style and were well made.

Tim has now started on a new project which is expanding each year. This is to hold a street party all over the United Kingdom once a year. The following has been taken directly from their website:

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. This year it’s happening on Sunday 5th June and a record number of people are expected to take part – why not be one of them?

A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decoration that quite literally stops the traffic.

Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities across the UK and the best part of a million people get involved each year.

The West Finchley Residents Association held one last year but there was so much red tape from the Council that we decided to hold it in the park by Dollis Brook (the right hand side in Fursby Avenue) and about eighty people turned up for a most enjoyable picnic. It seems, for this year, the Council may be having a change of heart with red tape as the following press release arrived in my email box:

Hot on the heels of the success of the Royal Wedding celebrations, Barnet Council is inviting its residents to get together again – this time courtesy of the Big Lunch.

The Big Lunch is a one day get-together for neighbours and communities across the UK. The idea is to encourage as many of the 61 million people in the UK as possible to join their neighbours for a few hours of friendship and fun on 5 June.

The Big Lunch has been running for two years, with at least one million people taking part last year. The event can be as big or as small as you want it to be – from inviting a few friends over, to throwing a street party or large picnic.

Barnet Council used its new community initiative PledgeBank to successfully arrange 54 Royal Wedding street parties in the borough on 29 April. In return for three or more households signing up to its PledgeBank site, the council arranged public liability insurance and street closure notices free of charge.

The council will once again be using the PledgeBank site to play its part in supporting residents wishing to host another bash by cutting through the red tape involved. Anyone wishing to host a small-scale event can contact the council for an information pack via barnet.pledgebank@barnet.gov.uk or call 020 8359 7293. Those wanting to put together a bigger bash are invited to visit the PledgeBank pages of the council’s website http://www.barnet.gov.uk/biglunch.

Residents wanting to close their road for an event will then need to complete a straightforward application form letting the council know what they are planning.

Councillor Kate Salinger, Barnet Council’s Big Lunch champion, said: “I am hoping that the wonderful community spirit we saw on the day of the Royal Wedding can be matched in Barnet by the Big Lunch.

“This event is another perfect excuse for friends and neighbours to enjoy spending an afternoon together and provides a wonderful opportunity for those who missed out on the fun the first time round to join in.”

Those wanting to know more about The Big Lunch should visit: www.thebiglunch.com where they will learn that a million people have already attended a “big lunch” in 2009 and 2010.

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Posted in Barnet Council, Community, Festivities, People. Comments Off on Council cuts red tape to help residents join in the Big Lunch on the 5th June
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