Planning an event in the Stroud District
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic
If you are planning an event please be aware that current government guidance is that mass gatherings should not take place during the current lockdown. The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. As restrictions are eased the Council and Public Health England may still prohibit events from taking place if there is a significant risk of transmission of infection. The government has issued guidance on the steps organisers should take to manage Covid-19 when events can be held.
What you should do:
- Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment, taking into account emergency situations and any security risks. Share it with all your staff. You can find guidance in the section on how to do a Covid-19 risk assessment and in guidance from the Events Industry Forum. Keep it up-to-date as guidance and public health risks may change.
- Consult with Stroud District Council as early as possible. The earlier you do this, the more time you are providing to secure agreement for your event to proceed and any relevant licenses to be issued. We will review your risk assessment and can give you advice on how to manage your event whilst reducing risks to the local area. We may decide to convene a Safety Advisory Group (SAG) to discuss the event and whether any additional assurances are needed. Even when all necessary permissions are granted, we can consider prohibiting, restricting or imposing requirements if we consider an event a serious and imminent threat to public health - so a good two-way channel of communication is essential.
- Engage with neighbouring businesses, transport operators and local transport authorities to assess any risks to the local area of increased visitors from other locations and potentially apply additional mitigations.
- Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently.
- Ask your customers to wear face coverings in any indoor space or where required to do so by law. That is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. Some exemptions apply. Check when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own. You can find more information in the section on face coverings and PPE (link).
- Make sure everyone is social distancing. Make it easy for everyone to do so by putting up signs or introducing a one way system that your customers can follow and considering whether extra marshals are required to enforce this. You can find more information in the section on minimising transmission through contact (link).
- Ensure that customers adhere to social distancing guidance and legal gathering limits. Put up signs to remind customers to maintain social distancing. You can find out more information in the sections on working with the public and minimising transmission through contact.
- Increase ventilation in enclosed structures such as marquees, for example by lifting or removing side walls or using fans to circulate fresh air.
- Support NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of all your customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and displaying an official NHS QR code poster. You can find out more information in the section on NHS Test and Trace (link), and the guidance on maintaining records to support NHS Test and Trace for details.
- Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should be isolating.
- You should also read the full version of the relevant guidance depending on the type of event. This could include outdoor events, funfairs or elite sport events.
- Remember: irrespective of any government intervention visitor numbers may well be impacted by the pandemic. People are more likely to attend if you can demonstrate that you are playing your part to control the risk of infection.
The Stroud District Safety Advisory Group (SAG)
The Stroud SAG acts as a single point of contact for organisers of large events in the district to notify the relevant regulatory bodies and obtain safety advice and information on a wide range of topics.
The Stroud District SAG includes representatives from the emergency services (Police, Fire and Ambulance Service); Gloucestershire County Council (Highways) and Stroud District Council (Building Control, Environmental Health, Legal, Licensing and Civil Contingencies). Other organisation can be involved as necessary (such as the Coastguard and the County Council's Civil Protection Team). The Group is chaired by Stroud District Council's Head of Health and Wellbeing. A summary of the roles of its members can be found in the SAG protocol.
What sort of events does the Stroud SAG consider?
The SAG exists to help ensure the safe running of large, open air events (i.e. for more than 500 people) but smaller events may be considered if they involve significant risks (such as those taking place on water, or large firework displays). In exceptional circumstances the SAG may consider an event with unusual hazards or risks held inside a building.
What can the SAG do?
The main objectives of the SAG are to promote good levels of safety and welfare at events by giving advice and guidance and to minimise adverse impacts on the local community. The SAG cannot give permission for events to go ahead nor can it prohibit the running of an event but individual members of the SAG may intervene to deal with significant safety issues. The Group meets at least once a year and communicates regularly to coordinate advice to organisers.
The SAG does not have any operational function. In the case of an incident or emergency occurring during the course of an event, the appropriate emergency services should be contacted immediately in the normal way. The SAG will, however, consider feedback from events to see if there any lessons to be learned.
Note: the SAG is not responsible for giving permission to use Stroud District Council land or granting licenses for events. If any organisation or community group wishes to use any park or open space that is owned or managed by the Council they should seek permission from the Asset Management team. Where a licence is required an application must be submitted separately to the licensing team. Email: email@example.com.
Notifying the SAG of your event
Most events are planned months in advance and, to be effective, the SAG needs to be involved in the early stages. Organisers should, therefore, aim to give 3 months notice (or 6 months notice in the case of events involving more than 10,000 people) by completing the event notification form below and sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please enter “SAG” in the subject line.
On receipt of an event notification form, the members of the SAG will consider whether or not further information is required. It is possible that you will be asked to submit various documents such as an event management plan; risk assessments; traffic management plan and evidence of public liability insurance, which will be circulated to the relevant agencies. Thereafter, agencies may contact you directly to provide advice or to request more information or clarification. In the case of very large or complex events you may be invited to attend a meeting to discuss your proposals with members of the SAG.
- HSE event safety - For the latest advice on health and safety at events visit HSE's event safety web-page
- Stroud district SAG protocol - PDF
- SAG event notification form - WORD DOC
- CIEH - National guidance for outdoor and mobile catering.
- Gloucestershire County Council - Transport Management
- Stroud District Council - Licensing
Event banner application
We control the use of the railings at London Road Car Park for the purpose of promoting local events using banners. You can apply for permission here.