Today is the day of the Big Lunch where street parties are being encouraged around the country to promote neighbourliness.
Wandsworth Council have got the right idea as shown by this exchange between Jane Ellison, the Conservative MP for Battersea and Cabinet Officer Minister Oliver Letwin in the Commons on Thursday:
Jane Ellison: "All over the country this Sunday there will be "big lunch" street parties, and Battersea is no exception. In my area it has been greatly facilitated by the council issuing a flat-rate charge for street closures with an easily completed form, and generally being accommodating and encouraging. Does my right hon. Friend agree that we should encourage all councils to do that?"
Mr Letwin: "I congratulate my hon. Friend on her part in getting that to happen, and her council on taking that admirable attitude. One reason why we are so keen to decentralise and to give councils much more responsibility and power is precisely that they can then take sensible local initiatives of that kind to encourage local and community groups to flourish, which of course is part of our big society agenda."