Arun Safety Advisory Group (SAG)

Purpose and Aim

Arun SAG provides a forum for discussing and advising on public safety at events within the Arun District. The group aims to help organisers with the planning, and management of events and encourage cooperation and coordination between all relevant agencies.

The group is a non-statutory body and so do not have legal powers or responsibilities, and are not empowered to approve or prohibit events from taking place. Decisions regarding giving formal consent for events will always remain with Arun District Council as the Land owner. Event organisers and others involved in the running of an event retain the principal legal duties for ensuring the public safety of all those taking part and attending an event, the responsibility to ensure all requirements are in place and that all documents and payments have been submitted and approved. 


The Safety Advisory Group’s core membership consists of representatives from the following agencies: ·     

  • Chair (from the Local Authority Licensing Team)     
  • Arun District Council Licensing
  • Arun District Council Environmental Health 
  • Sussex Police     
  • West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service     
  • West Sussex NHS PCT 
  • West Sussex Ambulance Service    
  • Environmental Health Department      
  • Arun District Council Building Control     
  • Arun District Council Emergency Planning
  • Arun District Council Legal     
  • West Sussex Highways
  • Maritime Coastguard Agency

Representatives from other services or bodies may be invited to meetings where required.

Roles of Members

The SAG is there:

  • To ensure that each member of the group is aware of their individual role within the group and at the event and are suitably qualified and authorised to represent their organisation.
  • To ensure, as far as possible that the risk to public safety is minimised for all those working at or attending the event.
  • To support the event organiser in the production of a written event plan setting out all the public safety plans relating to the event. A draft event plan must be made available prior to the initial SAG meeting.
  • To support the event organiser in keeping a written record of all SAG meetings. To clearly note recommendations agreed by the advisory group and note actions arising from those meetings. The Chair of the SAG is responsible for distributing the written record of the meetings to all of the members of the SAG.
  • To ensure that there are in existence agreed contingency plans for dealing with emergency situations at events.
  • To ensure that the event organiser appoints an Event Safety Officer who can demonstrate competency throughout the planning of the event and who will be responsible for all safety aspects of the event.
  • To ensure there is a thorough debrief and make recommendations as necessary.

If the group agree that all the safety and management issues have been addressed by the event organiser and an acceptable written event plan has been circulated to the group, then the SAG can agree that the event organiser has addressed all necessary public safety requirements. Unless unforeseen circumstances arise, no further meetings need to take place.

If the SAG does not think that all the public safety issues have been fully addressed, the event organiser will be required to attend additional SAG meetings in order to resolve the outstanding issues. 


Safety Advisory Group (SAG) meetings are held at regular intervals, or when necessary, to review major events that have 5,000 or more attendees, or events that have possible road closures, structures being erected and high risk activities such as fireworks or unusual activities. The events officer is able to consult with the chairman of the SAG to confirm whether a SAG meeting needs to be held.

The SAG is chaired by the Licensing Manager. The Group will not be chaired by any person employed by the council that is connected with events team or involved with use of council land. The terms of reference for the Group and a summary of the individual roles of its members is published in the Arun SAG Protocol.

The guiding principle is that events presenting a significant public safety risk (whether in terms of numbers and profile of people attending, or the nature of the event activity and/or the challenge of the environment) should be considered. However, lower risk events like community village fetes and funfairs are unlikely to require a SAG meeting.

If a meeting is required the event organisers should submit their event proposal for discussion and advice to include the impact on the local transport network and civil contingencies in the event of an emergency if necessary. The advice provided by the SAG and any decisions taken should be proportionate to the risk profile of the event.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors can be asked by the SAG and/or event organiser to provide advice and guidance on occupational health and safety matters, particularly where HSE is the enforcing authority for the activity concerned e.g. fairgrounds, broadcasting and construction activities. In these circumstances HSE is normally able to provide such advice to regulators, duty holders and others without having to attend the SAG although a local decision may be made that attendance would be appropriate.

On the rare occasion where there is disagreement between a SAG and the event organiser, and there remains a genuine risk to the public, individual organisations on the SAG such as Sussex Police, may decide to act to resolve the issue. Decisions on the use of these powers are matters for the relevant authorities to consider, not the SAG and should be discharged separately.

A minimum of 6 months notice to SAG should be provided. If the event is large then more notice may be required.


Typical examples of events would include:

  • Fetes, fairs etc.
  • Open air concerts and music festivals.
  • Trade shows.
  • Sporting events.
  • Horse shows, agricultural shows, dog shows car, caravan shows and similar.
  • Open air entertainment including theatre, opera and historic re-enactments.
  • Firework displays.
  • Large scale company parties.
  • Processions, marches and carnivals.
  • Street parties.
  • Religious events.

Event Planning

To enable all relevant agencies to assist you in your compliance with legislation we will need to see the following documentation a minimum of 12 weeks prior to the event taking place:

Event Safety Plan/Timetable: A comprehensive overview to all planning aspects of the event from the commencement of the build to conclusion. It is a working document and will need to be reviewed and updated as new information is received either before or during the event.

The plan requirements listed should be used when arranging any type of event. However, it must be remembered that events can be extremely diverse, ranging from a simple fun run, to a large carnival or festival and therefore this list cannot be considered exhaustive.  It is likely that additional guidance will be required for specialist events and larger scale activities:

  • contact details of organiser
  • The name of the competent event safety officer you are specifying for the proposed event
  • location of event and permission obtained
  • type of event
  • event days and times
  • event outline
  • event management structure
  • contingency planning
  • crowd management
  • evacuation and emergency procedures
  • communications
  • traffic management
  • licensing
  • fire precautions
  • first aid
  • welfare (toilets and water)
  • catering
  • contractors
  • temporary structures (stage/marquee)
  • security
  • waste management
  • lighting
  • noise management
  • lost children and vulnerable adults.

Further information is available by contacting the events officer who can provide you with links to relevant websites to assist you in your planning and creation of the event safety plan.

Site Layout Plan: This scaled site plan should detail emergency evacuation access routes (this should include wet weather contingency plan for emergency service vehicle access), location of event control, lost children's point, all attractions (stages, caterers etc), location of generators / power / water / firefighting equipment etc, all key distances/measurements, fencing, barriers and ground protection if required.

Risk Assessments: Please remember that organisers of events have a legal responsibility to ensure the Health, Safety and Welfare of any employees, volunteer helpers or contractors involved in arranging the event and to the public and participants attending. This should be ensured by carrying out a detailed risk assessment. All hazards associated with the event should be identified, the level of risk assessed and appropriate action taken to reduce these risks to an acceptable level. All events must comply with recognised safety standards and you must take all reasonable precautions to ensure the event takes place safely.

Traffic Management Plan: Traffic management plans simply explain how you intend to deal with the traffic issues caused by your event or the road closures you have requested. The plan will also detail what diversion routes will be put in place if necessary.

We recommend that all events have a written Traffic Management (TM) plan as part of the overall event management plan. The TM plan is a very useful document for everyone involved in managing an event because it identifies traffic risks and actions taken by the promoter to minimise them and provides invaluable information in case of an accident or incident.


Please see: SAG Guidance with local contacts.pdf [pdf] 2MB

Further information

Where a licence, notification or authorisation is required an application must be submitted separately to the licensing authority Please note that statutory consultation periods may apply.

If you have any questions about holding an event please contact:  or call 01903 737920.

Further links: