Planning a Major Event

Are you organising a public event?

Organisers of events need to be aware that a great deal of planning and organisation is required to run an event successfully and safely. General information to give organisers an idea of the issues they must take into account in planning a major event is contained in the Event Organisers Checklist published by the National Fire Chiefs Council (see Documents). The Checklist lists the different safety considerations for organisers when arranging any type of event. Specialist advice is always available from the local authorities and the emergency services via the public events Safety Advisory Group.


Safety Advisory Group

The core members of the public events Safety Advisory Group (SAG) comprises senior personnel from all of the emergency services (Police, Fire and Rescue Service and the Ambulance Service) and local authority services (Highways/Traffic management, Environmental Health, Building Control and Licensing) working in Test Valley. The Group is chaired by the Borough Council’s Licensing Manager.  When dealing with operational matters the Chair of the Group may also invite persons who can contribute to the discussion e.g. event organiser, licence holder and public transport providers.


The Group’s main objectives are: to promote high levels of safety and welfare at events by giving advice; to promote good practice in safety and welfare planning for events; and to ensure events cause minimal adverse impact. The Group meets as necessary to jointly consider forthcoming events and to give advice to organisers.  In this way, all the agencies can consider the implications and ensure that there are sufficient resources available should there be an incident for which they are required.


For many types of event there is a great deal of organising involved and the SAG asks for six months notice of events likely to attract more than 500 people.  Three months notice is required for events with attendances of less than 500 people.  Some types of event will require you to attend one of the SAG meetings to discuss your proposals.  Other smaller events may not require your attendance.  The easiest way to inform the SAG of an event is to complete the on-line Notification of Event form.  This will be received by the Council's Licensing Manager who will then forward the form to those SAG members that need to be made aware of the event.   Upon receipt, should any of the SAG members require more information or clarification concerning an event they can make contact with the event organiser.


Please note the SAG is not responsible for giving permission to use Council land or granting licences for events. Where a licence is required an application must be submitted separately to the licensing authority.  If any event organiser or group wishes to use any park or open space that is managed by the Borough Council they should request permission and obtain approval from the Green Spaces Officer, telephone 01264 368813, or email community&


For more information, contact the Licensing Section:

Legal and Democratic Service
Beech Hurst
Weyhill Road
SP10 3AJ

Tel: 01264 368000