Event safety: planning an event in the Borough of Swindon

We have established an Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) to help event organisers ensure that public events take place safely and successfully.  

You can request a meeting to discuss your event by contacting us at: ESAG@swindon.gov.uk

Before contacting us however, you will need to have completed an event management plan (EMP). Information on Event Management Plans can be found below.

Please note: Before holding an event, you should also familiarise yourself with the event safety guide

What does ESAG do and who is involved?

ESAG provides independent advice to individuals and organisations planning a public event, from small fun runs through to major public gatherings. This advice is in addition to any legal requirements and government guidance.

The recommendations given by ESAG are advisory only and it is for the event organiser to take such steps that are necessary to ensure an event is undertaken safely. However individual ESAG members have their own legislative powers that may relate to parts of the events such as noise and traffic. 

ESAG comprises of officers from emergency services (Police, Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance NHS Trust) and Council Services (Highways, Traffic Management, Emergency Planning, Environmental Health and Licensing) and other relevant bodies.

Members meet at regular intervals, or when necessary, to review event applications and advise on public safety.

ESAG is responsible for ensuring all legal elements of events are addressed including the Licensing Act objectives as set out below:

  • The prevention of crime and disorder
  • The promotion of public safety
  • The prevention of public nuisance
  • The protection of children from harm 

The nature and potential impact on the objectives will determine the manner in which the event is regulated and or advice is given by ESAG. This could range from general advice to appropriate conditions being attached to the premises licence through the statutory process.

As an event organiser, you should note that the legal responsibility for securing public safety rests with the organisers and land owner upon which the event takes place. The organiser will have prime responsibility for protecting the health, safety and welfare of everyone working at or attending the event.

Key aspects for consideration during development of your plan may include, but are not limited to:

  • drawing up an event management plan and associated risk assessments
  • staffing and stewarding – provision of PPE
  • fire safety – developing your fire risk assessment and associated plans
  • incident planning – steps to take in the event of an emergency
  • transport management – consider safe entrance and exit of vehicles and pedestrians, green travel plans, safe travel routes, parking management
  • crowd management – access and egress, one way systems, emergency evacuation
  • electrical installations – safe infrastructure, designed and installed by a competent person
  • food, drink and water – confirm your suppliers are registered and meet appropriate standards
  • sanitary facilities – provision of hygiene and hand wash stations
  • waste management – consider recycling opportunities
  • sound – limit noise levels to prevent disturbance to the neighbourhood
  • medical and first aid management
  • communications

If you are planning to hold an event, complete and send an event notification form. If you require an event management plan (EMP), you should also complete and email it to us at the address below:

E-mail: ESAG@swindon.gov.uk.

Your event management plan must include:

  •  a site specific event risk assessment
  • a public liability insurance certificate
  • a site plan or route map

You must make sure your documentation includes all relevant information about your event. Your documentation must clearly show, with evidence, that the safety measures stated can be delivered, maintained and enforced throughout the event. 

You may be asked to attend an ESAG meeting if we think your event would benefit from advice and guidance.

Further information that may assist you

The key to a good event is a strong event management plan (EMP) informed through thorough risk assessment.

This should be a detailed, accurate and comprehensive document which sets out exactly what will happen at the event, roles and responsibilities, the procedures in place to manage it safely, and what will be done to deal with expected or unexpected situations and emergencies.

A Temporary Event Notice (TEN) is given to an individual and authorises them to conduct one or more licensable activities for no more than 96 hours. TENs can be used to authorise small-scale events, held at any one time, subject to certain restrictions. 

If you want to hold a public event that involves the retail sale of alcohol, the provision of regulated entertainment or the provision of hot food or hot drink served between 11.00pm and 5.00am, you can do so using a Temporary Event Notice (TEN).

For further information, including how to apply, visit the temporary event licence application page.

If you are hosting an event that is more than 499 people and you are providing alcohol or entertainment (this can be anything from live or recorded music to the exhibition of a film) or serving hot food or drink (between the hours of 11.00pm and 5.00am) then you will need to hold a premises licence.

A premises licence will allow for the provision of the above activities (and more) for an event capacity less than 4999. 

If your event is planning on hosting more than 4999, you can apply for an increased capacity licence, however this does come with additional costs.

For further information, including how to apply, visit the alcohol and entertainment premises licence application page.

It is a good idea to have public liability insurance to cover your event.

If you are engaging contractors whether to put up a marquee, provide a bouncy castle, or run a food stall you should check that they have public liability insurance in place. We require that all hirers of our land have cover, but for community run very small events it may not be necessary.

Whether you are attending a community party or hosting one of your own, it is important to be aware of food safety and hygiene as food hygiene legislation may still apply.  

See how to safely host a street party for some practical tips and advice on best practices, so that everyone can trust the food they’re eating.

You should also note that some stalls and markets may require a street trading consent.

If you are preparing food at home the Food Standards Agency can offer advice.

Whatever the size of your event you will have to think about what hazards are associated with your event, who might be harmed and what you can reasonably do to eliminate the hazard or reduce the likelihood of harm to a reasonable level.

The risk assessment should help you plan for your event and to produce an Event Management Plan.

Your event risk assessment should help you decide whether you need to have first aid cover and what that needs to be.

For small community based events like fetes and street parties you do not have to provide first aid for the public, but it is a good idea to have a first aid kit to hand and someone prepared to take charge in the event of an emergency.

You should follow the Health and Safety Executive - firework displays  guidance when running your own or organising a display for the public.

If your event involves a road closure for a parade, community event or street party you will need permission. You will need to apply for permission at least one month before the event.

Your application will be reviewed to advise you of any fee to close the road. See permission to hold a street party or event.

Helpful online resources to support you during your event planning:

For any further information or guidance, email: ESAG@swindon.gov.uk.

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