Somerset residents invited to join UK celebrations for 70th anniversary of VE Day

People in Somerset are being invited to join in national commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

Friday 8 May will mark 70 years since the Second World War ended and peace was declared. Over 60 million people were killed in the near six-year conflict.

On 8 May, the Union Flag will be flown at County Hall and the County Council has also published practical online guidance to help communities and individuals planning to hold grassroots commemorative events – from lighting a bonfire to throwing a street party.

A Somerset County Council spokesperson said: “We are encouraging Somerset residents to join people all over the UK, to be part of a fantastic nation-wide chain of remembrance. Depending on what you have planned, the County Council and other authorities may be able to help.

“If you are planning to hold an event, you do need to have everything in place on the day and for once it’s done and dusted. You should also let the emergency services know of your plans if you are intending to construct a bonfire beacon. You may need to get in touch with Somerset County Council as the Highways Authority if you want to close a road to hold a street party, or to discuss how rights of way might be affected, for example.

“Chances are you won’t need planning permission for a bonfire beacon, but if you’re intending to construct one within or on a building or within the curtilage of a building, you ought to check with your district or borough council’s planning department.

“Then there’s making sure you have the correct licensing for public entertainment or selling alcohol, which you’ll also need to contact your district or borough council for. Appropriate insurance, and arranging litter disposal after the event, is also essential.”

To contact Somerset County Council telephone 0300 123 224 or email

A PDF of useful information for events is available to download online at For other key information specific to your area:

Mendip District Council’s events guidance is online at or phone 0300 303 8588
• For Sedgemoor District Council’s guide to organising community events, visit or phone 0845 408 2540/ 01278 435435
• Guidance from South Somerset District Council can be found online at,-permits,-registrations-and-notifications/ or phone 01935 462462
• Visit and click on ‘Hold an event on council land’ for Taunton Deane Borough Council’s planning and licensing information, phone 01823 356364 or email
West Somerset Council’s licensing and planning information is available online at or phone 01643 703704.