I spend a lot of time trawling freedom of information requests on whatdotheyknow.com – I’d like to say the activity is for worthy research purposes, but often it’s just plain old nosiness. Some requests are painstaking and fascinating, some utterly dull, others clearly quite, quite mad. Rarely are they outrageously funny. Until today.
Whilst dredging the newsfeed tonight, I noticed a request by one Derek Tickles. It read as follows:
19 November 2010
My Dear chums
In August our Eric made an exciting pronouncement on reducing the bureaucracy for street parties. He said:
“Fetes, street parties and fairs should be fun, and everyone’s energy needs to go into the fun part – not trawling through endless reams of guidance and dusty rules.
“I want to banish the myths around laws preventing people from putting on events.
“So there is still time for you to get together with your neighbours this summer. Your council may be able to help you close a road for a proper street party. If not, you can hold something in a garden or even the park. It’s your community, so celebrate it.”
I am very excited about this and I am sure there are thousands of others interested as well. I have great plans. I really do. I cannot wait for the day to hold a street party. It is going to be the biggest, bestest party in the whole wide world. There will be tables laden with the finest cakes (Victoria Sponge obviously), jelly and ice cream. There will lashings of lots of naughty but nice food and all washed down with gallons of pop. Children will dance, ladies will sing and men will cheer, even the dogs and cats will join in I am sure. And the reason for this majestic event? To celebrate the removal of Eric and his cronies from Eland House.
Ooooh that will a lovely day….
Anyway sorry I digress. On the assumption that there will thousands if not millions of simple folk wishing to hold and celebrate like me has CLG estimated the cost to the public sector for these events. Cost incurred will include local authority planning, policing, cleaning up as well as the more intangible costs connected with road closures?
Yours in festive fun,
The full request – including the sporting and humourous response from the respondent – can be viewed over on whatdotheyknow.com, which also hosts loads of other works of wonderfully wanton inquisition, mostly directed at the not overly liked government minister Eric Pickles.
Further research led me to Derek Tickles’ blog.
I have a feeling that this thing could have legs. One wonders what the minister in his resplendent girth makes of it all.
Mike Bird is fifty seven and three quarters.