A STREET party held annually as part of a national event to celebrate the life of murdered MP Jo Cox almost had to be cancelled this year after Darlington Borough Council insisted organisers had to pay £350 towards a road closure on a cul-de-sac.

The street party, part of the Great Get Together which “celebrates kindness, respect and what we all have in common”, has been taking place for the last two years in Polam Road.

But the party came under threat after Darlington council insisted organisers needed to employ a traffic management company to close Polam Road and put in place road signs – despite the fact it is a dead-end – which would have cost £350.

The council had never asked organisers to do this before.

Organiser Tracey Hawthorn contacted Premier Traffic Management, which agreed to provide the service free-of-charge, meaning the street party could go ahead on Saturday.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman praised the company for stepping in to help save the popular community event.

She said: “This is really public spirited of Premier. As more councils go down the line of insisting all community events that have road closures must employ a traffic management company, there is a real risk that small parties like the one in Polam Road simply won’t be able to take place.

“For other organisers, it is good to know that companies like Premier can be there to help.”

Ms Hawthorn has decided to make a small donation to the charity supported by Premier Traffic Management.

A Darlington Borough Council spokesman said: “We are pleased to see events such as this being organised. We’ve helped by providing advice and the legal road closure free of charge.

"However, roads do have to be closed by legally authorised people to ensure public safety. The council is not in a position to fund external traffic management as there are lots of privately organised events across the borough each year. It is good to hear that this event was able to take place.”