Now is the time to get applications in for Portsmouth jubilee parties

PLANNING Cllr Lee Hunt
PLANNING Cllr Lee Hunt
Donna Jones and Roy Perry Pictures: The News

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PORTSMOUTH is set to be bursting with patriotic pride as the community is urged to hold street parties during the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

Cllr Lee Hunt, who is responsible for culture, leisure and sport at Portsmouth City Council, said people should start applying for licences to hold free street parties to mark the occasion in spectacular style.

The city is set to host a number of events to celebrate the jubilee this June, which marks the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession.

The News previously reported a lavish public party will be held in Guildhall Square to coincide with television coverage of the national event on the BBC big screen.

Beacons will be lit at Southsea Castle and Portsdown Hill as part of a celebratory nationwide chain.

A total of 2,012 beacons will be lit by communities and individuals from Land’s End to Buckingham Palace.

Cllr Hunt said a further meeting will be held with the Portsmouth Cultural Trust this week to finalise the itinerary of events at Guildhall Square.

He said: ‘It will be a very big project in Guildhall Square.

‘The whole idea of these events is pulling people together and creating a great atmosphere in the city.

‘We want as many free parties in Portsmouth as possible and people need to start applying for licences to hold them.

‘Everyone loves a good old knees-up and people need to get involved – the sooner the better.

‘The parties will be free but you will have to apply for a separate licence for bouncy castles.’

It is predicted the eagerly-awaited celebrations, which are planned for the city between June 2 and 5, will cost £15,000.

The jubilee events will be a part of a roster of planned events this year, including Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, the build-up to the London Olympic Games and the opening of the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Cllr Hunt added Portsmouth is on a high and said he was looking forward to what 2012 has to bring.

‘There is a great confidence in the city at the moment and we can see that in the shopping results at Christmas,’ he said.

‘This year will be an exciting one for Portsmouth.

‘We will get everyone on board – the council, the police and businesses all know it’s going to be a big year.

‘Portsmouth will come out of 2012, feel even better than it before and think how can we beat that for 2013.’

Anybody with further ideas to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee can email Cllr Hunt at cllr.lee.hunt@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

To find out how to apply for a street party licence for this year’s jubilee celebrations, contact Portsmouth City Council on (023) 9282 2251 or visit portsmouth.gov.uk.