Southend-on-Sea Safety Advisory Group (SAG)

All event organisers need to consider any Government restrictions in regard to Coronavirus in place at the time of the application and plan for future amendments to them where possible.

We require the organiser to provide a Covid-secure risk assessment which demonstrates how the event will comply with relevant legislation and guidance.

Some events may need to require attendees are to show they vaccinated. Government guidance should be followed.

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 city, 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 city 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 City Council - Traffic Management and Highways Network
  • Southend-on-Sea City Council - Emergency Planning
  • Southend-on-Sea City Council - Parks Management
  • Southend-on-Sea City Council - Regulatory Services
  • Southend-on-Sea City Council - Town Centre Management
  • Southend-on-Sea City Council - Waste and Environmental Care
  • Southend-on-Sea City Council - Pier and Foreshore
  • Southend-on-Sea City Council - Culture
  • Essex Police
  • Essex Fire and Rescue Service
  • Maritime and 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

Balloon and lantern sky release

If you are planning a balloon or lantern sky release, please see our guidance document.

Further information

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

To contact us email the team.

In addition to the information that can be found on this website you may also find useful information, including guidance and e-learning courses, on safety and security for your event on the following websites:

Safety Advisory Group meetings

Please note our meetings are currently taking place online. Event organisers may be required to attend a virtual meeting.

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

  • Thursday 5 October 2023 at 10am
  • Thursday 2 November 2023 at 10am
  • Thursday 4 January 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 1 February 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 7 March 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 4 April 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 9 May 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 6 June 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 4 July 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 1 August 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 5 September 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 3 October 2024 at 10am
  • Thursday 7 November 2024 at 10am

Further information

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

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 (

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
  • 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. Find out who can get free 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


Public health principles to support planning for events and mass gatherings during the current monkeypox outbreak can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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.

Martyn's Law

In December 2022 the Home Secretary made an announcement regarding the foundational policy for Martyn's Law, formerly known as the Protect Duty, in Parliament.

Legislation will be brought forward as soon as parliamentary time allows. Martyn’s Law will extend to and apply across the whole of the United Kingdom.

Further information on Martyn's Law can be found on the:

Contact Environmental Health and Trading Standards

Telephone: 01702 215005

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