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Tuesday, 29 January, 2002, 11:48 GMT
Councils to bypass Queen's Jubilee
The Queen visits Londonderry in November 2001
An extended Bank Holiday will commemorate the event
A BBC Wales survey has found that only five of the 22 local authorities in Wales are so far planning events to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

The findings come as Buckingham Palace has released details of the Queen's visit to Wales for three days in June as part of nationwide official celebrations.

!977 Silver Jubilee celebrations
Organisers hope street parties will rival 1977

They results are set to back claims of public apathy at the prospect of celebrating the monarch's 50th anniversary on the throne in comparison to her Silver Jubilee 25 years ago.

Only five local authorities are planning to stage events specfically for the anniversary.

They are: Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport, Torfaen and Powys.

Neath Port Talbot has yet to respond to the survey questions while the remaining councils, from Blaenau Gwent and Bridgend to Wrexham and Anglesey, have no such plans.

The Queen's Welsh tour will begin at Llanfairpwll PG railway station on 11 June and finish at the Welsh Assembly on 13 June.

Other Golden Jubilee tours will take in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland between May and August.

Jubilee weekend celebrations
June 1- classical concert, Buckingham Palace garden
2 June - church services and bell-ringing
3 June - Palace pop concert, beacon lighting, firework display
June 4 - Procession to St Paul's Cathedral for thanksgiving service, Lord Mayor of London hosts royal lunch at Guildhall, carnival Pageant in The Mall

She will also visit Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia next month, and Canada in October.

Downing Street has already rebutted media reports of public apathy towards the celebrations.

Last week the chairman of the Queen's Golden Jubilee committee, Lord Sterling, insisted the plans for public events were on track.

Mr Blair said celebrations will climax with local street parties as well as pop and classical music concerts in the Queen's garden at Buckingham Palace during the Bank Holiday weekend of 1-4 June.

Free tickets for the concerts, produced and televised by the BBC, will be allocated by ballot.

Classical concert tickets for 1 June will be allocated from 12 February.

Line-up details for the 3 June pop concert are yet to be revealed.

But Sir Paul McCartney, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin, Sir Elton John, Robbie Williams, Eric Clapton, Bryan Adams and Stevie Wonder could be among the artists performing.

Details will be given next month of how to apply for tickets by phone or internet.

At Windsor Horse Show in May, there will be an equestrian event featuring 1,000 horses between 16-18 May.

The grand finale will recreate the Coronation procession, featuring the Gold State Coach pulled by eight grey horses on a track with tickets for evening shows ranging from 30 to 75.

Party invite

Meanwhile any Briton born on 6 February 1952 will be invited to join the Queen for special Golden Jubilee garden parties.

More than 3000 people born on that day will be invited to parties either at Buckingham Palace on 9 July or Holyroodhouse Palace, Edinburgh, on 25 May.

But must send copies of their birth certificates to local Lord Lieutenants' offices to qualify for two tickets to include a guest aged 18 and over.

People born overseas on this date who are now living in the UK as British citizens will qualify.

Unallocated tickets will be distributed to those who have benefited the community.

The Sunday Times said Mr Blair was poised to intervene because the government would be embarrassed if the public events it organises prove inferior to free pop and classical concerts to be held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in June.

The Queen's nationwide tour will start in Cornwall, take in the Commonwealth Games in Manchester and finish in Lancashire.

The Palace is getting 140 inquiries a day for the street party "toolkit", and 100 daily general inquiries are being made to the Jubilee office lines.

BBC Wales's Colette Hume
"Jubilee organisers say they are determined to make the celebrations a success."
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