"BUREAUCRACY for the sake of it" has been blamed for scuppering a Queen's Jubilee street party.

Karen Whitehead volunteered to organise a party for her street — The Mall in Binstead — which as a residential cul-de-sac lends itself nicely to community events.

But the idea of closing the road was scrapped after Karen discovered the amount of red tape involved.

She had to:

  • navigate her way through a 13-page document supplied by Island Roads (including three pages to sign)
  • pay for Public Liability Insurance
  • hire and pay for a traffic management company to draw up traffic plans and supply all signage
  • Not only that, but people who don't live on the street, aren't allowed to be invited.

Karen said: "I'm not sure many people will hold a street party when you find out the hoops you have to jump through.

"It has so many terms and conditions, guarantees and waivers that have to be signed.

"I think this will put a lot of people off from even applying and great events won’t go ahead.

"This is meant to be something that brings communities and neighbours together but certainly not if Island Roads have their way. Maybe the Queen will have to celebrate alone!"

The Mall residents held a community event on VE Day during lockdown, with everyone celebrating in their own gardens.

A survey of all the residents revealed everyone was keen for a proper street party for the Queen's Jubilee and Karen said she would organise it.

She said: "One thing that really annoyed me was that you aren't allowed to invite people from another street, or have your relatives over. It's just for people who live in the street.

"I'm sure people didn't have these problems for the silver jubilee in 1977. It is bureaucracy for the sake of it."

Karen's road hasn't signed up and the residents are trying to come up with alternative plans.

What did Island Roads say about the Queen's Jubilee street party rules?

An Island Roads spokesperson said: “Island Roads has been working closely with the Isle of Wight Council to support residents wishing to hold a Jubilee street party and ensure they have the information they need to hold a safe and successful event.

"Along with the council, we have waived our fees in support of these celebrations.

“The process, which has been developed by the council and is being administered by Island Roads, contains an information document with useful links and a short three-page form which needs completing to ensure the necessary licences can be issued.

“No licence is required if the event is held on private land with the owner’s permission, however the highway area is an area of public use and cannot be closed without a licence and without the relevant safeguards and signage in place to divert any vehicles.

“The Isle of Wight Council has also asked us to make those holding street parties aware of the liabilities they face in the event of any incident and the recommendation that public liability insurance is taken out.

"The council is offering some funding towards those insurances to help organisers meet those costs."

How many Isle of Wight streets are having a Jubilee street party?

Island Roads has received 24 applications — all of which have been agreed.

Although the deadline for applying for a street licence has passed, Island Roads is happy to receive further applications provided they can be processed in time.

They can also assist with queries from organisers.

UPDATE: Brian Cullum of Paddock Road in Shanklin has been in touch to say: "I was arranging a street party for our residents and read the requirements and decided it was too onerous so we are having it in our garden. Terrible situation for such a wonderful celebration." 

If you are having a street party or other jubilee celebration the County Press would love to cover it! Email us the details at editor@iwcp.co.uk