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You are here:  Home | Business | Public Events and the Safety Advisory Group
Public Events and the Safety Advisory Group


There are many types of public events that take place in the New Forest area every year.  These can range from sporting events to musical concerts; some take place indoors, some outdoors; some are large and some small. These public events can enhance community life in the New Forest area, but if poorly planned, the potential for risks to public safety and adverse environmental effects is increased. Proper planning and management by the event organiser is essential to reduce those risks.

When groups of people gather together, dangerous situations can occur and many different factors can influence crowd behaviour. The event organiser is responsible for the health, safety and welfare of the people attending their event, as well as that of the employees, contractors and sub-contractors working there.

Some public events take place without the organiser contacting the local authority or emergency services - in such circumstances public safety can be compromised and the organiser could be vulnerable to legal action. To help organisers, a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) has been established to co-ordinate the efforts of relevant agencies to provide advice to anyone who wishes to organise an event within the New Forest area. The group encourages event organisers to take advantage of the safety advice available and to make sure that public safety at the event is always a major priority.

SAG Objectives

The aims and objectives of the SAG are to provide safety information and advice to event organisers and to foster good working relationships with them. The SAG will promote best practice and encourage co-operation between its members to ensure that public safety is always paramount in the minds of event organisers

The group will produce an annual list of known events taking place within the area which could be of interest to event organisers to check that their event will not conflict with events already taking place. 

Often the necessary advice and guidance will be given on a one to one basis from a SAG member to the organiser. In more complex cases or where considered appropriate the SAG can meet as a group or sub-group to discuss those public events that are considered to have the potential to present a significant risk to public safety.  If the membership of the SAG identifies an event that is likely to compromise the safety of the people attending, then the appropriate SAG member organisation may need to consider action to prevent such events from taking place unless the necessary safety improvements are implemented.

Types of Events

The SAG will assist and guide organisers with all public events,typical examples including:

  • Fetes & fairs
  • Open air concerts and music festivals.
  • Trade shows.
  • Horse shows, agricultural shows, dog shows car, caravan shows and similar.
  • Open air entertainment including theatre, opera and historic re-enactments.
  • Firework displays.
  • Processions, marches, parades and carnivals.
  • Street parties - see additional simplified national advice but please use the NFDC form for a road closure - Road Closures for Special Events.
  • Sporting and cycling events - additional information for cycling type events:

    New Forest Cycling Code Link     

Notifications received for cycle events in 2014 PDF Document

Register of current events in the New Forest District Area 

 SAG Membership

The SAG will consist of a group of core members and invited representatives from other agencies when appropriate.

The core members will comprise officers from:-

  • New Forest District Council:-
    • Environmental Health
    • Licensing
    • Building Control
    • Transportation
  • HCC Highways
  • Hampshire Constabulary
  • Hampshire Fire and Rescue Services
  • South Central Ambulance Service

The Chair of the SAG may also invite persons who can contribute to the discussion e.g. event organiser, licence holder, public transport providers, town centre managers, Primary Care Trust, etc

What does the event organiser need to do?

The advice given by the SAG is not a replacement for arrangements and documents which may exist to guide persons through the processes and procedures of organising events. It is the responsibility of the event organiser to understand, plan and organise a structure for safely managing the event and reference should be made to the following information:

Guidance produced by the Health&Safety Executive

The New Forest SAG has also produced the following documents to assist event organisers but they are not substitutes for existing technical guidance or documents otherwise available.

The Event Plan PDF Document

Traffic Management Guidance PDF Document

The use of Stewards & Marshals PDF Document

Fire Safety at public events PDF Document

Road Closures for Special Events

To assess the risk presented by your event and thereby determine the level of assistance that can be offered, it is important that you provide certain details to the SAG: 

A form PDF Document

 is available to assist you in submitting this information.

Proposals for an event should be notified at the earliest opportunity. When planning a large event a minimum of 6 months notice should be sought. All statutory timescales for the licensing of the sale of alcohol, regulated entertainment and late night refreshment must be met under the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003, and a relevant application must be submitted separately to the licensing authority.

Events can be brought to the attention of the SAG members via the following Single Point of Contact:

E mail:

Post: Public Health & Community Safety
         New Forest District Council
         Appletree Court
         SO43 7PA

Tel:  023 8028 5505

Please mark all correspondence for the attention of the Civil Contingencies Manager

Other useful links:

SAG Cycling Statement PDF Document 

Event Safety Guide PDF Document

Event Notification Procedures and the Safety Advisory Group PDF Document       

Verderers drift list 2015 PDF Document