The Executive Director, Economic Development and Communites submitted a report that provided an update on proposed changes to the Council's independent Safety Advisory Group process following a review and sought endorsement from the Executive Member for the recommended actions, to ensure that the Council maintained robust event safety management procedures.
In August 2012 the Executive approved the formation of an independent Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to examine plans for public events staged by the Authority or held on Council land. Such groups had been established as a precautionary measure by local authorities following the court ruling in the Chester-le-Street 'Dreamspace' case. The SAG was in addition to the Council's existing event safety planning processes, which had a good track record of delivering safe events in Middlesbrough. Should an accident occur at an event, potential liability would lie with Middlesbrough Council, and or, the officer who approved the event, either wholly, in the case of Council organised events, or joint, where it was hosted by an external organiser on its land.
The operation of the SAG for the 2013 event season identified at a fairly early stage that there was some difficulty in how the processes were operated, with events often being just hours away from commencing without formal sign off. A review of the 2013 events programme had been undertaken and the issues and recommended actions were set out in the report.
The introduction of SAG and the need to have got timely information and formal event sign off meant that it was essential that the Council had robust systems and adequate controls and co-ordination in place to ensure that SAG recommendations were properly addressed in a timely manner. The new working arrangements introduced by SAG had highlighted that there was a need for improved corporate co-ordination of the processes for robust events management.
that the principle of creating a single unit for Events as part of the marketing review be endorsed and the development of a detailed business plan be approved;
that an increase in Events Team capacity to ensure robust event management safety systems are in place be agreed, pending the implementation of the marketing review; and
that the proposals relating to revised procedures and thresholds for the operation of the Safety Advisory Group as outlined in paragraphs 10-33 of the report be endorsed.
The decisions was supported by the following reason:
The corporate and personal liability for officers involved in events means that the Council has to ensure that safety processes are adequately managed. The proposals in this report will ensure that Middlesbrough Council has robust events management and approval processes, which are in line with industry best practice, and that appropriate staffing is in place to manage them.