Cutting the cost of royal celebrations
More Norwich communities could be encouraged to celebrate this year's royal wedding after officials cut the cost of road closures by more than 90pc.
Groups across the county are planning street parties and special events to mark the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 29.
But officials at Norfolk County Council were wary that the cost of closing off a road for the celebrations could put off some communities.
Each application has to be handled by the authority, at a cost of �450, after Norfolk Police decided emergency road closure powers could no longer be used for planned events.
Graham Plant, county council cabinet member for travel and transport, said he did not want that expense to scupper the party spirit.
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He said: 'There is real enthusiasm for the royal wedding.
'These may be difficult times, but people seem determined to seize the opportunity to celebrate and we have received a number of inquiries about road closures for street parties.
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'At the moment the county council still has to process formal road closure notices to allow roads to be closed but we really can't expect local communities and event organisers to find the �450 which is the normal charge for an individual application.'
Instead, the authority plans to group events together on applications so the advertising and legal costs can be shared.
Given the level of interest so far, Mr Plant said he expected this to work out at about �30 per event.
The county council has decided to set the fee at �29.04 to reflect the date of the wedding.
At Christmas, officials batched together 21 light switch-ons taking place around Norfolk after fears were raised that some would be called off because of the extra cost.
Mr Plant added: 'In the longer term we are working on ways in which we can minimise the red tape and cost to communities of closing roads for street parties and other open air events.'
South Norfolk District Council is also hoping to make the royal wedding cheaper to celebrate.
The authority's pay and display car parks in Loddon, Wymondham and Diss will be free to use on April 29, which has been declared a national holiday.
Officers are also offering advice to groups hoping to stage events. For more information about road closures, contact Russ Blackshields on 01553 778025, call the county council's customer service centre on 0344 800 8020 or email email@example.com. All applications must be received by March 31. Are you doing something special to celebrate the royal wedding? Contact Evening News reporter Victoria Leggett on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01362 854703.