Running an event safely

What is the role of a Safety Advisory Group (SAG)?

Safety Advisory Groups are usually, but not exclusively, co-ordinated by a local authority and made up of representatives from the local authority, emergency services and other relevant bodies, click HERE to see the typical membership of a SAG. They meet at regular intervals, or when necessary, to review event applications and most advise on public safety. They tend to be based on local authority boundaries but may be event or location specific, for example, Ipswich Town Football Club or Latitiude festival.

Holding a public event leaflet.(pdf, 4 MB)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have published a guide on the role of a local authority Safety Advisory Group (SAG), click HERE to go to the guide (external website).  This page also links to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health guidance.

SAGs do not have legal powers or responsibilities and are not empowered to approve or prohibit events from taking place. They provide advice to event organisers, who retain the legal responsibility for ensuring a safe event. (Individual representatives of organisations forming the SAG may have powers to require event organisers to comply with their legal obligations.)

 Local Authority SAGs exist to:

  • promote high levels of safety and welfare at events by giving advice and guidance;
  • promote good practice in safety and welfare planning for events;
  • ensure events have a minimal adverse impact on the community.

All Suffolk Local Authorities host a Safety Advisory Group (SAG), these are centred on Suffolk Coastal District Council, Waveney District Council, West Suffolk (Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury), Central and South Suffolk (Babergh and Mid Suffolk) and Ipswich.   If an event will affect more than one district or borough then a Suffolk wide SAG is convened. 

All the Safety Advisory Groups use the same protocols and procedures, click HERE to go to the protocols.  The protocols help to develop a consistent approach throughout Suffolk to reviewing the safety of events.   They also provides a platform for the sharing of good practices in relation to public safety at events.