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Organising an event - Safety Advisory Group

What does the Safety Advisory Group do?

The Guildford Borough Safety Advisory Group (SAG) provides help and advice to event organisers. They help make sure that an event is safe for all those who attend. The group meets on the last Thursday of the month.

The SAG may look at many events, from large festivals to much smaller local events.

The group will decide if an event organiser should attend the SAG.

A large event can take 12 months to plan. This is to ensure that all the necessary permissions, such as road closures, are in place if needed.

Members will consider some criteria including:

  • the number of people attending the event
  • the impact on the local community for example noise or significant traffic disruption
  • level of risk associated with the event. This could be due to previous history of the event or the nature of the event
  • events of an unusual nature

What is the Safety Advisory Group?

The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) includes representatives from:

  • Surrey Police
  • Surrey Fire and Rescue Service
  • South East Coast Ambulance Service
  • NHS
  • Guildford Borough Council
  • Surrey County Council

The SAG will consider plans and offer guidance and advice. They will consider all event applications. When the event is on council land, if you fail to follow that advice, it may invalidate your booking.

It is not the role of the SAG to take on any liabilities for the event.

The event organiser is in charge of the health, safety and welfare of:

  • people attending the event
  • employees, volunteers, traders and contractors working at the event

Your event plan should name the person in charge of health and safety at your event. Depending on the nature of the event, you may want to seek specialist advice.

How to refer your event to the Safety Advisory Group

Before submitting your application we would recommend you consider the following:

  • is there an event management plan and risk assessment? This will evolve and can be draft.
  • is there a team of people to help organise and run the event and are their responsibilities clear?
  • do you have contingency plans?
  • do you have a realistic budget?
  • do you have adequate insurance?

If you wish to continue with referring your event to the Safety Advisory Group you need to:

Give as much notice of your event as possible. A large complex event can take 12 months to plan. All the necessary permissions, such as road closures, must be in place if needed.

Safety advisory group application

What happens next?

The SAG will look at the information you have provided. They may have more questions. You may be invited to present your event proposal to the group in person or remotely.

If you have any questions, email the SAG at