Southend-on-Sea Safety Advisory Group (SAG)

Now that the Government roadmap has been announced, applications for events on council land can be considered. Events will need to be planned in accordance with the national guidelines and it should be noted that they are subject to change with limited notice.  

The current roadmap out of lockdown be found online.

The Organiser must provide a Covid-secure risk assessment and comply with all Government laws and guidance.

Any events planned need to consider the restrictions in place in each of the relevant steps.

Coronavirus Recent and upcoming changes

Hosting an Event

The group brings together:

  • local organisations
  • local authorities
  • businesses

All of whom have an interest in public safety.

The group helps to ensure the safety of all events held in the Borough, both large and small.

It is the aim of the group to work with event organisers to make a safe and welcoming place for all who attend their public events.


The group was founded in 2014 to make sure all public events held in the borough are run safely. This includes events both held on either council or private land.

The group is made up of people from the following areas:

  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Traffic Management and Highways Network
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Emergency Planning
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Parks Management
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Regulatory Services
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council - Town Centre Management
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council – Waste & Environmental Care
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council - Pier and Foreshore
  • Southend-on-Sea Borough Council - Culture
  • Essex Police
  • Essex Fire and Rescue Service
  • Maritime & Coastguard Agency
  • East of England Ambulance Service

What does the group do?

The group’s role is to review event applications and offer independent advice on public safety. To make sure as far is possible, that any risk to public safety is reduced.

  • provides advice to individuals and organisations that are planning a public event from street parties to festivals
  • work together to give consistent safety advice and share learning from previously held events
  • provide a forum for discussion between the Council, Emergency Services and other relevant groups to develop best practice for the safe management of events
  • advise event organisers on any licensing and permit requirements for their events and check that these are in place
  • make suggestions for future safety improvements following an event

What the group doesn't do

  • organise events
  • approve or refuse events – the group’s role is to advise event organisers during the event-planning process and provide responses to consultations, detailing any recommendations, advice, comments and to confirm any specific conditions that may need to be attached to an approval during the event permit application process
  • SAG does not have legal powers or responsibilities: it exists to provide independent advice to event organisers, who retain the legal responsibility for ensuring a safe event. However, individual members of the SAG may have powers to require event organisers comply with legal obligations


The group hold regular meetings to discuss the safety arrangements for events that they are made aware of.

The meeting is Chaired by the council.

Event organisers may be invited to attend to discuss their plans with the group.

As the meeting deals with large amounts of sensitive information, the minutes are not published.

However, the council shares the group’s feedback with event organisers.

Working with event organisers

Whilst the group are pleased to offer advice on any event, we are especially interested in events that are likely to have safety issues.

The group ask for between six weeks and six months’ notice for events that are to be held on council land. Timescales may vary depending on risk and scale.

Community Event Support and Equipment Hire

  • if you need any help with event planning (fees apply)
  • wish to hire any equipment including the vehicle mitigation barriers

Further information

If you are planning an event held on council land, please view the following:

To contact us email the team.

Safety Advisory Group Meetings – 2021 Schedule

Please note due to public health concerns relating to Coronavirus, our meetings are currently taking place online. Event organisers may be required to attend a virtual meeting.

These meetings are not open to the public. They are by invitation only.

Event organisers will be invited to attend a meeting if it is felt that their proposed event requires further health and safety considerations. They will be given a pre-arranged timeslot. 

The event management plan for all events needs to have been submitted a minimum of a week prior to the meeting.

If you have any queries then please email the team.

Meeting Dates

Wednesday 23 June 2021 - 10am to 1pm

Thursday 1 July 2021 - 9am to 11.30am

Wednesday 18 August 2021 - 10am to 1pm

Wednesday 22 September 2021 - 10am to 1pm

Wednesday 20 October 2021 - 10am to 1pm

Wednesday 17 November 2021 - 10am to 1pm

Please note there will not be a December 2021 SAG Meeting

Further Information

If you are invited to attend a meeting please refer to our guidance document.

Event Debrief Form

Please make sure you fill out and return your event debrief form within a month of your event having taken place.

Public Events - Making your event Covid Secure  

The risk of Coronavirus spreading remains a threat to our community’s health and wellbeing. That’s why if you are considering holding an event we would advise you to take steps to make sure the event is safe.  We have a shared responsibility to protect people from harm. This includes taking the right steps to protect staff and people who are attending your event from Coronavirus (COVID-19) and making sure all health and safety laws are followed. This quick guide has been developed to promote an approach we all can follow. It provides advice as to what you need to think about to make sure you are keeping the risk of spreading Coronavirus as low as possible.

Further information and guidance can be found using the following links: 

The visitor economy - Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Guidance - GOV.UK ( 

Covid-19 organised events guidance (  

EIF-DCMS-COVID-19-Working-Safely-11-March-2021.pdf (

You should read all the documents that are relevant to your event carefully and put in place the required measures to make your event safe.   

Key Considerations and Actions: 

  • carry out a risk assessment. This must be completed for every event and needs to be specific to the type of event you are hosting.  Further information on how to conduct a risk assessment can be found here:  Risk assessment - Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ( and Managing risks and risk assessment at work – Overview -HSE 
  • put in place strong systems and procedures for infection prevention and control
  • make sure you register and provide QR codes for the event. Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue - GOV.UK ( Either make sure people who are attending your event scan in or keep manual records of people who attend (this is likely to be required for children attending)  
  • make sure there are enough informative signs in your event advising people of their responsibilities to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.  If possible, provide information about this before the event. Some useful templates can be found here:  Southend BID | Business Templates 
  • think about capacity. Make sure there is enough space for everyone to follow any social distancing rules that apply at  the time across the event space  
  • think about group sizes. Think about whether or not it is possible to limit numbers and separate groups. This should not limit what you’re planning but should be proactive and practical 
  • make sure queues are managed effectively in all areas (bars, catering provisions, toilets, activities etc.) and upon entry   
  • think about handwashing facilities,  liquid hand soap and paper towels for hand drying.  If any new handwashing stations are being installed, non-hand operable taps are preferred 
  • avoid relying too much on only using hand sanitising gel.  Handwashing is better to prevent spread of the virus.  Dirt, soil and grime prevents gel from working and hands must be clean before it is used    
  • you should think about whether or not face coverings are necessary. Think about who should wear them and where they should be worn when carrying out your risk assessment
  • promote and engage in testing for staff and visitors, even if they don’t have any Covid-19 symptoms.  Testing kits are readily available:  Find where to get rapid lateral flow tests - NHS ( 
  • promote COVID marshals to encourage everyone to follow the rules. They should oversee crowd management. This may need specialist security. This should be included in  your risk assessment
  • outdoor options: Think about whether or not you can run the event safely outside instead as the risk of the virus spreading is lower outdoors. Make sure you have a back-up plan and do an appropriate risk assessment in case you run into difficult weather
  • indoors: Maximise fresh air ventilation. Keep doors and windows open wherever possible. Keep all occupied spaces well ventilated
  • keep the mixing between participants for indoor and outdoor activities as low as possible
  • events with multiple groups: Make sure you factor in enough time to clean and prepare between groups. This would help prevent people from waiting in large groups for this to happen, especially inside.  Have waiting areas outdoors where possible   
  • think about the hazards of shared equipment.  Make sure there are enough effective cleaning and rotation measures in place 
  • if your event has particularly high risks, think about whether or not it needs to be assessed at the Safety Advisory Group
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