SOUTHEND Council wants people to hold street parties and will be allowing them to close roads this summer as part of an initiative to bring back community spirit.

It wants people to get involved with the Eden Project’s Big Lunch which takes place across the country on June 1.

The initiative, which last year involved more than 3.65 million people, aims to help build stronger, safer and more sustainable communities.

The council is offering specific help to residents who want to organise local street parties, including making it easier to apply for road closures to help their event go with a swing - as safely as possible.

And as long as they fulfill the correct criteria, there are no charges for road closures or need for street party organisers to take out public liability insurance.

Previous Southend Big Lunches have seen neighbours decorating their roads, hosting face painting, egg and spoon races and all sorts of other fun and games.

Southend Council’s deputy leader, John Lamb said: “Local street parties are a terrific way to help neighbours get to know each other in a new way and strengthen community spirit.”

The Big Lunch aims to get as many people as possible across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours annually on the first Sunday in June in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.

For more information about organising a Big Lunch event in Southend call: 01702 215000 or visit

To register your Big Lunch and for more ideas, visit