When planning an event there's plenty to consider, from advertising to health and safety issues.
Event organisers are required to advertise and promote their own events.
Event promoters should be aware that we will prosecute for all fly posting, including affixing notices to street furniture.
At any event attended by children, there is the potential for them to become separated from their parents or responsible adult. We encourage you to give full consideration to how children will be protected during your event and to the safe management of lost children. You should provide a staffed lost children's point throughout your event.
If you have any concerns about a child or young person please do not leave it to someone else to deal with. Should you have urgent concerns about the immediate safety of a child, ring the police or relevant emergency services on 999. If you think that a child or young person under the age of 18 years old, who lives in Medway, is being abused or neglected, you should report your concerns to Medway Council.
An emergency evacuation plan and an effective communication plan between all staff, volunteers, stewards and security personnel will need to be in place before the event to address issues such as bomb threats, fire or evacuation.
Contingency plans are produced following the organisers risk assessment. Every event organiser has a responsibility to develop contingency plans, which will guide safe actions and procedures at times of crisis. These will need to be discussed fully with emergency services well before the event.
Medway Council supports the emergency services in the event of a major incident through close working partnerships. Emergency planning can provide you with advice and guidance.
Fire safety legislation
Your fire risk assessment will help you identify risks under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 that can be removed or reduced and to decide the nature and extent of the general fire precautions you need to take to protect people against the fire risks that remain. Kent Fire and Rescue provides further information on your legal responsibilities on their website.
First aid or medical plan
An appropriate level of first aid, paramedical and medical facilities should be provided at your event after consultation with the Ambulance Service and relevant voluntary groups. This will be at your expense, so you will need to factor this into your budget. There are a number of organisations able to supply cover for events, including British Red Cross and St. John's Ambulance, alongside other private providers. You will need to contact these organisations as soon as possible in the planning stages, as they can be very busy during the events season. At least 6 weeks notice is recommended.
Anyone selling or preparing food (including drink) to the general public on a continuous basis, whether for profit or not, is subject to food safety law. The majority of food businesses will need to register with their local authority and will then be subject to food hygiene inspections.
Temporary catering operations, such as a one-off event of short duration, do not need to register with the Council (but are still subject to food safety law). Catering operations that take place on a regular basis will need to register.
Mobile food businesses trading at events do not need to register with every local authority in which they operate. However, they should be registered with their "home" authority. This is usually taken as the local authority in whose area the vehicle/stall etc. is kept overnight. Food businesses based in Medway should be registered with us, even if they only operate in other local authority areas.
The Food and Safety Team will check that caterers at events are registered with their home authority. Any issues identified will be raised with their home authority.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has produced guidance for outdoor and mobile catering at events.
Health and safety
Where members of the public are invited to participate in a staged and planned event, the responsibility, or duty of care, for public safety rests with the organiser and/or the owner of the property or land where such events are staged.
Health and Safety legislation applies to all events. The implications are very serious, from major fines to imprisonment.
We expect organisers to have a competent, named person who is responsible for safety at every event for larger events there maybe a need for a dedicated safety officer.
Risk Assessments are a careful examination of what is likely to cause harm followed by an explanation of the control measures in place to reduce or eliminate such risks. In other words, it is the natural process of weighing up the benefits of taking a particular action against the risks and possible consequences. Advice is provided on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Depending on the nature, size and scale of your event, you may also need to obtain your own Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice (TEN) and adequate time must be allowed to apply and be granted a licence/TEN. The Licensing Act 2003 makes it necessary to licence all events incorporating regulated entertainment, sale of alcohol or late night refreshment, including those on public open spaces, even if there is no admission charge. For further information on what activities require a licence please see what is defined as licensable activity.
Where an event has proposals for amplified music or other sound that will be audible to local residents, businesses, workers and attendees the event planner needs to consider how they will manage and limit the noise in preventing a disruption that could instigate complaints being reported to the Council which may result in formal action regarding the noise levels.
Performing Rights Society (PRS)
The Performing Right Society is a non-profit membership organisation which collects licence fees from music users. PRS then distributes the money to its members, the writers and publishers of music, and to affiliated societies worldwide.
Any music which is played outside the domestic or home life is regarded as a public performance. Wherever you want to stage a live event you will need to obtain the correct licence, which should be done before the event and recommend you contact the PRS for further information.
Kent Police does not have the authority to approve or ban public events and their powers to regulate traffic for such events are extremely limited. The police have no general duty to preserve public safety at public events, except where there are imminent or likely threats to life.
Concern for public safety as well as those who may in any way be affected, is a responsibility of the event organiser. This includes avoiding damage to property, fear or alarm to the public, disruption to the local community and ensuring that human rights are not infringed. Kent Police have provided a guidance to event organisers and other additional information on their website.
This is an important consideration when planning your event and it doesn't just apply to major events. Even a small event can have implications for traffic management, for example, if you are attracting people to an area that has no existing parking facilities, is located near any major roads, or poses any threat to people accessing your event on foot.
All events should consider the following:
- vehicle access
- pedestrian access
- road closures
- emergency access
- impact on public transport
Depending on the size and nature of your event, a written or illustrated traffic management plan may be required, detailing how you will manage each of the considerations listed above. Some things, like temporary road closures, need several weeks' planning time and so it is essential that your traffic management plan is completed.
You will need to provide suitable waste receptacles and ensure arrangements are in place to clear up any refuse blown or strewn around the site as a result of your event. Arrangements must also be made for the removal of waste from the event site immediately after the event. Please note that there maybe a charge for these collections and this be factored into your budget.