The Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure Services was welcomed to the meeting in order to answer Members’ questions in respect of the process and policy for third party events.
During this item the following information was provided to Members:
· There were three categories of events that the Councill might be involved in. They were as follows:
o Council Run Events this included fireworks displays or Christmas Lights switch on lights were the sole responsibility of the council.
o Civic or Community Lead Events where the Council provided some sort of support e.g. Remembrance Sunday Services
o Other Events – events that the Council were not involved in from a Leisure perspective
Further information was requested by Members regarding events where fireworks were featured and what procedures were in place so that residents could take precautions if necessary, prior to the event taking place. The Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure explained that Council run events were well-publicised in advance. It was further clarified to Members that for private events, such as a fireworks display in a resident’s back garden, no prior intervention could be made. The Board were advised if they wished to consider the types of events held on behalf of the Council, they should engage with the Portfolio Holder for Leisure Services.
There was concern from some Members that there seemed to be very little communication between Ward Members and Parish Councils prior to some particular events taking place. This included access to risk assessments that had been undertaken and potential road closures.
During the presentation, the following was highlighted for Members’ attention:
· Some regular events occurred at the same time every year and that residents, Members and Parish Councillors would be aware of those dates due to their regularity.
· Road closures were posted by the Council even in the case of third-party events.
· Risk assessments were carried out by the company or organisation who hosted the event. At the current time in addition to the usual risk assessments, Covid-19 risk assessments were also carried out for all events. The Council did have sight of the risk assessments for the Alvechurch Mop and in conjunction with partners including Police and Fire Authority ensured that any mitigations within the risk assessment were appropriate and implemented effectively. The timelines for receipt of any risk assessment were reported to Members.
· Some third-party event organisers were members of the Showmans’ Guild. Guild rules regulated access to land which had to be provided on a repeated and predictable basis. These rules were in place in order to protect the livelihoods of the Showmans’ Guild members.
· It was reported that firework events could be cancelled at very short notice as a result of an inclement weather forecast, and regular assessments were made in the run up to these types of events.
The Chairman invited Councillor P. Thomas, who was in attendance in his role as Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Cultural Services and Community Safety for comment. He thanked the officers for their detailed responses to Members’ questions.
RESOLVED that the presentation in respect of the process and policy for third party events be noted.