The Events Officer introduced the report.
The Cabinet member and opposition spokespersons were fully supportive of this proposal. One of the opposition spokespersons suggested that a 'Best Dressed Streets' award, similar to that which took place for the Platinum Jubilee, would help bring civic pride and bring those communities together that could not hold a street party. This was supported by the cabinet member and officers said this could be explored.
Another opposition spokesperson said that the council needed to ensure that all communities were aware of the process and cut off date for organising a street party for the coronation as some had missed out for the Jubilee. Officers explained that the cut off dates were firm due to the road closure process, but they would ensure that they work with corporate communications to get the message out to communities on how to apply for a street party.
The cabinet member said that more details on the coronation were awaited including the theme of the event. He was keen to find extra funding to have a 'Big Lunch' event for people who were unable to access street parties. He also hoped to be able to provide a grant, similar to the Jubilee neighbourhood grant, towards legacy projects across the city and to give people as many opportunities to get involved as possible. He also advised that there would be a civic service on Sunday 7 May.
The Cabinet Member agreed to allocate £10,000 to enable communities to come together to host a series of street parties across the city building on those which took place as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022 to mark this specific and unique occasion.
Update on Twinning/Sister City links
Although not an agenda item, the cabinet member advised that the opposition spokespersons had asked for an update which he had asked officers to provide. The Events Officer read out an update provided by the Commissioning and Partnerships Manager on key activities that had taken place in 2022/23.
Following the update on the link with Cape Town, one of the opposition spokespersons said that on 21 February 2023 there is the commemoration of the sinking of SS Mendi and he felt this would be a good date to work towards for completing the link with Cape Town. The South African High Commissioner will be in Portsmouth on that date and the University of Portsmouth will be involved in the event so it would be good to have this in place by then if possible.
It was also advised that as part of the Haifa 60th anniversary celebrations a lighting of candles ceremony will take place on the Guildhall steps on 26 January at 6pm to start the Holocaust memorial celebrations. Members were also informed of the Chinese New Year ceremony on Sunday 29 January at the Kings Theatre.
Members agreed that details of the twinned and sister cities should be included in the Council's Flagship magazine and the cabinet member said this would be a good idea. One of the opposition spokespersons suggested that meetings with the equivalent portfolio holders in the twinned and sister cities might be of value. The Finance Manager however advised that there is no specific budget for twinning therefore any visits to the cities would need to be self-funded.
Officers were thanked for this update.