Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee

Agenda Item 86


Subject:                    The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations: Update


Date of meeting:    10 March 2022


Report of:                 Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Chloe Sands



Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1      On 6th January 2022 Brighton & Hove City Council received a letter (Appendix 1) from Rt Hon Michael Gove MP highlighting some of the opportunities that exist for councils and communities to engage with to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. They want celebrations this year to be larger than previous years of national celebrations and for as many people as possible to participate.


1.2      The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has created a Platinum Jubilee website which has useful resources and an interactive event map which people and organisations are being encouraged to contribute to.


1.3      This paper follows on from the introductory paper that went to TECC Committee on 25th November 2021. It looks in greater detail at the projects BHCC are leading on and involved in, more specifically, those that relate to the areas listing in the letter received on 6th January 2022.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee notes the progress to date on preparations for the Jubilee celebrations.


3.            Context and background information


3.1         February 6th 2022 marked the day that Her Majesty The Queen became the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, seventy years of service. There will be year-long celebrations throughout the United Kingdom and Commonwealth celebrating The Queen’s historic reign. 


3.2         The programme of events include Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family undertaking a variety of engagements around the country; an extended bank holiday, from 2nd to 5th June, to allow people to come together to celebrate; Trooping the Colour for the Queen’s Birthday; lighting of beacons; and other events throughout June. 


3.3         A Platinum Jubilee Project Group has been set up to coordinate the work taking place across the council and we now have a webpage dedicated to The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Information about local events and how people can get involved will be added soon.


3.4         Plan for local celebrations. The Outdoor Events team are working on the 2022/23 programme of events and the project steering group are collating a central calendar of Jubilee related events that are taking place. The Mayor will be involved in various Jubilee-related events across the city, including setting off and greeting cyclists taking part in the Platinum Jubilee Charity Cycle Ride, planting a Jubilee tree in honour of Her Majesty at Stanmer Park and hosting a Royal Picnic.


Street Parties.


3.5       The application process for Platinum Jubilee street parties is detailed on the council’s web site. This process allows the public to request road closures. A team in City Transport assess the implications of a closure and ensure that the process has been followed. Each closure is considered in terms of congestion and transport implications alongside ensuring that necessary insurances etc. are in place. For a street party, Public Liability Insurance is not required, it is only recommended.


3.6       The application form, petition form and important information for street party road closures have been updated and are now available on the website. The wording for the dedicated webpage is still under review, and it is anticipated this will be updated w/c 14th Feb. The deadline for applications for road closures is 3rd April. Signatures for the petition cannot be collected until the 13th March, as the signatures need to be within 12 weeks of the actual event.


3.7       There may be implications if there are a significant volume of requests received for The Queen’s Jubilee bank holiday weekend as there is finite resource available to deal with them. The notice period may have to be extended to accommodate the number of requests, but this will be managed in due course.


3.8       Council tenants and leaseholders wishing to put on a street party or event where they live may be able to access funding through the Estate Development Budget (an ongoing programme for council tenants and leaseholders to use to fund projects and activities where they live). Residents’ groups will be encouraged to apply for such activities through the Quick Bid element which provides awards of up to £1000 to residents’ groups. Information on how to access this will be included on the dedicated council webpage.


3.9       When permission is granted for a road closure, the organiser will also be asked if they are interested in the media attending, and if so, to contact the Communications/News Team direct. It was also suggested that there could be a section on the dedicated webpage about the media visiting street parties and asking organisers to give their consent with contact details by email.


The Big Jubilee Lunch – 2 to 5 June 2022.


3.10    The Big Jubilee Lunch encourages communities to come together, celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better and will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community.


3.11    There is already a dedicated resource providing information and support on this from ‘Eden Project Communities’ so BHCC’s website will sign-post to this.


Beacon Lighting.


3.12    Three beacons have been identified in the Brighton & Hove area: Hove Beacon; Norfolk Groyne, near the Peace Statue; and Beacon Hill, Rottingdean.


Hove Beacon Lighting Project.


3.13    The Hove Beacon Lighting project is an exciting initiative for the city and its residents, which will see the creation of an aesthetically pleasing lighting scheme for the Hove Beacon that will help to provide a welcoming atmosphere for evening strollers, improve views towards Hove from afar, and enhance the night-time image of Hove and the seafront. 


3.14    The Hove Beacon formed part of a national network of beacons used to alert the public against the Spanish Armada. These historic signal beacons are visible across the Sussex coastline, but the towering beacon in Hove is a distinctive landmark. A replica of the original now stands on the esplanade, with a distinctive fire basket at the top. It was symbolically lit, along with the other beacons in the chain, in 1988 for the 400th anniversary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada. Plans are in place for it to be permanently relit and for it to be celebrated as part of the Queens Jubilee celebrations in June 2022. 


3.15    A brief, inviting lighting designers to submit an application, was circulated in September via the Culture in our City website and other arts listings; and a lighting designer will be recruited in November to complete and install a workable lighting scheme so that the beacon can be relit for the Queen’s Jubilee in June 2022. The aimed completion for the new lighting installation is the end of March 2022.


3.16    The Beacon structure has been assessed to ensure it is in the right condition to house the new lighting installation and the report concluded that the basket will need to be replaced. The Arts Development Team are working to appoint a blacksmith to create a replica of the current basket.


3.17    A budget of £15,000 has been allocated for restoring and lighting the Hove Beacon.

            Norfolk Groyne.

3.18    The lighting of a Beacon at Norfolk Groyne is being explored by the Outdoor Events Team.

            Beacon Hill.

3.19    City Parks is working with the Beacon Hill Management Group and Rottingdean Parish Council to facilitate a beacon on Beacon Hill for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee following a request from the British Legion.

3.20    Permission is given subject to the beacon being constructed on corrugated iron, as requested by the county archaeologist, and in the location agreed with Natural England (identified as What3Words ‘rent.springing.duet’). The permission is also subject to clean wood being used (no metal work).

3.21    City Parks will mow the location from the beginning of the growing season to reduce the fire risk and to discourage skylarks from nesting in the area (to avoid them being disturbed at the time of the beacon lighting).


            Local Authority Owned Civic Amenities Organised Platinum Jubilee Events.


3.22    The Library service will be receiving a grant of £1000 from Arts Council England to mark the occasion and will be using this grant in several ways. The library service would like to ensure that families who may be disadvantaged don’t miss out on the Jubilee Celebrations, so we are planning to put on free events with food for disadvantaged families during the May half term holiday. We are working with a performing arts duo and partner organisations to put on two performances in Jubilee Library children’s area for targeted groups. We will run bunting-making workshops to decorate the library and commission some of the adult participants to contribute to providing multicultural dishes for lunch for all participants.


            Council-Led Large-Scale Platinum Jubilee Events


3.23    The incoming Mayor will be hosting a Royal Picnic, to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, on the 3rd June. The details of this event are currently being explored by the Mayoral Office.


            The Platinum Jubilee Emblem.


3.24    The official emblem features on BHCC’s dedicated webpage and will be used, where necessary, as information is added. It is available to download, along with usage guidelines, here.


            The Queen’s Green Canopy.


3.25    The Queen’s Green Canopy is an initiative created to mark the Platinum Jubilee which encourages people across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.


3.26    Brighton and Hove City Parks team are planning a Queen’s Green Canopy planting event at The Bristol Estate on 24th February 2022, in conjunction with Plant Your Postcode (CPRE Sussex) and Trees For Cities, our Urban Tree Challenge Fund partners.


3.27    The planting plans at Bristol Estate arose from the Bristol Estate Leaseholders & Tenants Association (BELTA) wanting to develop their estate.  BELTA and CPRE Sussex have been working on the plans for some time, with a planting plan, colourful poster and ‘artist’s impression’ designed with support from CPRE Sussex.  BELTA had raised funds for phase 1 of the planting before the Forgotten Places funding was applied for.  The Forgotten Places project allowed for rolling together the second phase of planting at the same time by funding an additional 10 trees.  The plans have remained largely unchanged except for some species amendments to better thrive in the challenging conditions.


3.28    Much community engagement has taken place around this project. BELTA have advertised plans on their website and through activity days and posters in community spaces.  We are now discussing a door-to-door letter for those residents most directly affected by the plans. CPRE Sussex have provided planting plans, design work and funding and have attended public events to discuss the plans and gathered some anecdotal feedback (all positive).  Local Councillors have been kept up to date by email.


3.29    Council officers in the City Parks projects team are evaluating further ideas of how we could be involved in this initiative. One idea is looking to mobilise the Green Spaces Forum members to work in unison with the Woodland Trust to deliver a planting project similar to the Queen Victoria Jubilee planting at Westmeston. A suitable hillside site, with a prominent view, that isn’t Downland species rich grassland, is required. A site at Hollingbury is currently being considered.


3.30    As part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, the National Association of Civic Officers has invited Civic Heads to plant a tree as a tribute to Her Majesty on 11th March. The Cityparks Team have identified Stanmer Park (exact location to be confirmed) as a suitable venue for planting a Jubilee tree in honour of Her Majesty and this will take place on 11th March, with the Mayor being in attendance.


            Events Funding


3.31    A link to available funding has been added to our Platinum Jubilee web page.


3.32    £5,000 has been allocated to run a community grant programme to mark the occasion, offering funding for community events and activities. The fund will be available through the council's annual grant programme called the Communities Fund. Details will be published early in the new financial year.


3.33    There is a funding pot available through the Arts Council. The Arts Development Team have been in discussions with Brilliant Brighton and Videoclub, who are programming the Third Thursdaysevents as part of the ABCD Cultural Recovery Plan, to submit a bid to support a Jubilee Third Thursdays event in June as part of the celebrations.



4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1      It is evident from the Full Council approval of the 15 July 2021 Notice of Motion that members do want the Jubilee to be appropriately celebrated, so doing nothing to commemorate the Jubilee is not an option.


4.2      Members could choose not to pursue one or more of the ways of celebrating the Jubilee outlined above (i.e. the Hove beacon; encouraging/facilitating community street parties; tree-planting). However, it should be noted that Full Council explicitly agreed to pursue the option of featuring the Hove beacon in celebrations.


4.3      Members could also choose to explore means of celebrating the Jubilee additional to those outlined above.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1       There has been considerable community engagement around the Queen’s Green Canopy, Bristol Estate, planting event (see 3.14.4). As planning for the Jubilee celebrations progresses, it is anticipated that there will be extensive engagement with communities and with community sector groups across the city.


6.            Conclusion


6.1      Members are asked to note the information included in the report.


6.2      The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is an important moment for the whole country and there are a variety of ways that communities across the city can and will celebrate this important occasion. Many initiatives are being promoted for both the council and local communities to get involved in, including street parties, tree planting and various other local events.


7.            Financial implications


7.1      The cost of any events or activities planned will need to be identified and funding will need to be identified and approved. This could either be through one-off funding in year or it could be considered as part of the 2022/23 budget setting process. If any of the projects lead to ongoing maintenance costs funding for these would need to be identified too.


Name of finance officer consulted: Jeff Coates  Date consulted 15/02/22


8.            Legal implications


8.1      The closure of roads for street parties will require orders to be made under s21 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847. It is not considered that there are any other legal implications directly arising from the report.


Name of lawyer consulted: Alice Rowland    Date consulted 11/02/22


9.            Equalities implications


9.1       Plans for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are still progressing and, as planning develops, a key element will be to ensure that celebrations are inclusive and are accessible to every community in the city.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1    Planning for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations is still progressing. Plans will be developed with environmental sustainability and carbon reduction at their core. The new LED lights on Hove Beacon will require minimal carbon usage and carbon positive commemorative actions and being seen through tree planting for the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative.


11.         Other Implications


Crime & disorder implications:


11.1      The potential for crime & disorder associated with public celebrations will be considered and mitigated as part of detailed planning for Jubilee events.


Public health implications:


11.2      Officers planning Jubilee events will work closely with colleagues in Public Health to identify opportunities to reinforce positive behaviours and to mitigate negative behaviours.



Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


1.            Platinum Jubilee Letter