Toggle menu

Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) Terms of Reference


  1. Wiltshire Council and partner agencies recognise that public events positively promote tourism, community engagement and social cohesion and civic and cultural identity.
  2. An Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) is established to ensure that public events can take place safely and successfully without causing undue public nuisance.
  3. The ESAG's main aim is to welcome and encourage public events* to the county of Wiltshire, adopting a common, pro-active approach to events staged in a public place, on a public highway or on private land open to the public.
  4. The ESAG will create a consistent multi-agency approach that will positively influence the public safety outcome at public events.
  5. The ESAG is a proactive process an opportunity for event organisers to work with regulators, statutory agencies and the emergency services within an agreed framework in the interests of public safety.
  6. The ESAG is an advisory group and does not have a statutory function. The group has no legislative powers and does not replace, defer or remove the statutory obligations of event organisers or statutory agencies in event planning or staging.
  7. Wiltshire Council is the Licensing Authority under the Licensing Act 2003. It will exercise its powers under the Act, taking into account the Council's statement of Licensing Policy, and any representations received.
  8. Wiltshire Council is also an enforcing authority as defined in the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998 at premises where the main activities includes cultural, entertainment or sporting activities. It will enforce the statutory provisions to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, members of the public and any other person affected by a work activity.
  9. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the enforcing authority for those premises where the Local Authority has no enforcement responsibility and includes those activities undertaken by the Council and at Council premises.
  10. Wiltshire Council is an enforcing Authority under the Highways Act 1980 with a statutory duty of care to all road users.

*public event - these will generally be treated as being an event to which the public have access, either free or on payment of an entrance fee, where there is likely to be a potentially significant impact on an area and/or where there are more than 500 people expected to attend. Smaller events however may require the involvement of an Event Safety Advisory Group (ESAG) depending on the nature of the event. A risk based approach will be adopted in instances where an ESAG is considered for such smaller events.


  1. For most events (licensed or unlicensed) there will be a need to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and relevant regulations made there under.
  2. In all cases, the responsibility to comply with all relevant legislation and regulations and to ensure public safety at an event rests with the event organisers.
  3. Organisers, where relevant, will be asked to produce the following documents and submit copies for consideration at least 7 days before any planned ESAG meeting:
  • An Event Management Plan (EMP) (incorporating safety management and site plan).
  • An Emergency Plan (which could be incorporated into the EMP).
  • A Traffic Management Plan, if appropriate (which could be incorporated into the EMP.

Terms of Reference

The ESAG will consider all matters and operate within its terms of reference as specified in this document.

  • To provide a forum within which the Local Authority and other statutory agencies may develop a co-ordinated approach to spectator/visitor safety.
  • To promote reasonable standards of safety at public events*.
  • To act as a point of contact on safety matters for all those who are intending to organise a public event*.
  • To provide advice and guidance regarding the specific responsibilities of the organisers and the other agencies involved.
  • To provide advice, where necessary, on the exercise of the powers under the Licensing Act 2003 for events and venues.
  • To advise the Local Authority in circumstances where they are the enforcing authority as defined in the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998, on enforcement of the relevant statutory provisions.
  • To ensure plans are in place for emergency situations including contingency arrangements.
  • To ensure any detrimental effects on the environment and road network within Wiltshire are minimised.
  • To ensure damage to parks and open spaces are minimised and to insist on arrangements for clearing litter and refuse after events.
  • To consider the advice published in available guidance documents.
  • To provide a forum for the raising of concerns regarding safety matters.
  • To receive any relevant reports in relation to matters found during inspections by ESAG members or other competent persons where appropriate.
  • To review any matters raised by the group that have been reported to the Local Authority, other relevant statutory authorities, or event licence holders and thereafter to report back to the group.
  • To organise a de-brief process, as required, and make recommendations where appropriate for improving safety at future events.

Membership of the Event Safety Advisory Group

  1. The following responsible authorities and organisations are the core members of the ESAG:
  • Wiltshire Council Public Health & Protection (Chair)
  • Wiltshire Council Public Protection - Licensing
  • Wiltshire Council Public Protection - Emergency Planning
  • Wiltshire Council Public Protection - Food & Safety
  • Wiltshire Council Public Protection - Environmental Control & Protection
  • Wiltshire Council Highways
  • Wiltshire Council Environment Services (Council land)
  • Wiltshire Police - Events Team
  • Wiltshire Police - Traffic
  • Wiltshire Police - Licensing
  • Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • South West Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust (SWAS)
  1. Invited representation may be drawn from anybody who the ESAG considers appropriate. These may include:
  • Event Organiser or Licence Holder
  • Other relevant Local Authority service representatives - e.g. corporate health and safety, economic development and passenger transport.
  • Health and Safety Executive
  • Highways Agency
  • Civil Aviation Authority
  • Neighboring Local Authorities / Police Authorities
  1. This list is not exhaustive and the Chair may invite such other specialists as the Chair feels appropriate in assisting the Group to fully consider any issues.
  2. It will be within the remit of the ESAG to convene smaller Event Safety Advisory Groups (subgroups) to address specific issues relating to events and venues, the outcomes of which will be reported back to the ESAG.

Meetings and Governance

  1. Meetings will be convened by Wiltshire Council following completion of a trigger form (see Appendix 1) by a core member of the ESAG group and usually a minimum of 10 working days' notice shall be given.
  2. Special or emergency meetings may be called by the Chair if a request is made by any of the core member organisation.
  3. The ESAG may request site visits or inspections of the site of a public event (whether before, during, or after an event). A record of the inspection/visit will be circulated to all relevant parties.
  4. Member organisations should ensure that they are represented at the ESAG meetings.
  5. Wiltshire Council will normally provide an agenda and papers for meetings.
  6. Persons attending meetings other than the members of the ESAG may, at the discretion of the Chair, be excluded from the meeting.
  7. Meetings will not usually be open to the public.
  8. The ESAG recommendations and/or action points will be made in accordance with its role and terms of reference .The minutes of the meetings will be circulated to all group members and to such other parties as may be determined by the Chair.
  9. The number of ESAG meetings in any year can be flexible and responsive to particular circumstances and will be event specific.

Status of Event Safety Advisory Group

  1. The Event Safety Advisory Group cannot take any decisions on behalf of Wiltshire Council, or any other statutory agency, its role is advisory.
  2. The ultimate responsibility for the event safety lies with the event organisers and management team.

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email