Huntingdon street party plans scrapped as police fear violence

A ROYAL wedding street party in Huntingdon’s town centre has been abandoned because of concerns that it could cause alcohol-fuelled disorder.

A ROYAL wedding street party in Huntingdon’s town centre has been abandoned because of concerns that it could cause alcohol-fuelled disorder.

Godfrey Kennedy, who runs Cromwell’s Bar Caf�, had successfully applied to Cambridgeshire County Council for a road closure order that would have allowed him to host a street party outside his bar in the High Street to celebrate the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

But he was asked to reconsider his plans following concerns about how the event on Friday, April 29, would be policed.

Mr Kennedy told The Hunts Post that had planned to hold a family-oriented fun day, with a bouncy castle for children and a buffet laid out on trestle tables, aimed at his older daytime clientele rather than the younger crowd the bar attracts in the evening.

“The [older customers] are the backbone of our business and are probably far more interested in the royal wedding,” said Mr Kennedy.

However, at a licensing meeting Inspector Ian Ford, a sector inspector with Cambridgeshire police, voiced concerns that the bar had a history of alcohol-related anti-social behaviour and asked Mr Kennedy to consider how the event, which had a licence from 4pm until 2am, would be policed.

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Mr Kennedy accepted there had been problems, but said he had been hoping to run a community event.

“This was never about making money for us. In fact, we worked out that we would probably lose money because nobody would be at the bar: they would all be outside enjoying themselves.

“We want to give something back to the community and thought a street party for the royal wedding would be a great way to do it. There isn’t a fair in town that weekend so we would be bringing people into the town centre at a time when the High Street really needs it.”

Mr Kennedy said without support from the police he would not attempt to run a street party.

“There have been a number of incidents in the town centre, and we can’t get away from that but we are one of the few pubs in the town centre so we will always be thought of as responsible for any trouble,” he said. “The police have asked me to err on the side of caution and that is exactly what I am doing.”

The celebrations will go on indoors and in the bar’s garden, Mr Kennedy added.

A police spokesman said: “Applications for road closures in relation to planned street parties are approved by the local authority. Police and Huntingdonshire District Council licensing representatives met with the landlord to discuss a range of issues regarding the premises.

“Mr Kennedy listened to the concerns and has taken the decision not to hold a street party.”

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