Holding a party – what to consider
Safety Advisory Groups are made up of representatives from each local authority, emergency services and other relevant bodies. Members meet at regular intervals, or when necessary to review event applications and advise on public safety. The role of the SAG is to provide advice to individuals and organisations planning a public event.
We ask event organisers to make contact in the initial stages of planning for an event so that the Safety Advisory Group can assist and guide you in your planning. You can notify us of your event by completing our event notification form.
We advise this should be done as soon as possible, as a suitable time period needs to be encompassed to enable SAG to assess and support your needs accordingly, to ensure compliance with the appropriate legislation.
For Safety Advisory Groups to support any event, there is a process of which an event organiser is required to follow, this is as follows:
For notification of an event, the general rule is for events with:
- up to 1,000 people you need to give 3 months’ notice
- 1,000 – 5,000 people you need to give 6 months’ notice
- over 5,000 people, you need to give 12 months’ notice
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply for a temporary road closure
If you are planning a street party or any other event on the public highway you will need to apply for a temporary road closure. A temporary closure means that all vehicles are kept out, but the road is still open to pedestrians.
We have waived the road closure fee for when a temporary road closure is requested for a Jubilee Street Party. Go to our Traffic Regulation Orders web page for information on how to make an application.
The deadline for applications is 6 May 2022.
Once you have submitted your application, we aim to respond within 2 to 3 weeks. Please do not leave it until the last minute as we may need to discuss other options available to you if there is a conflict with other events.
Requests for temporary road closures on main roads will not be accepted. We encourage closures on smaller roads and cul-de-sacs.
What you need to do to hold a street party on a public highway
In addition to applying for a temporary road closure, you will also need to:
- check if there are any other events in your area: you will need to check that your street event doesn't clash with another event in your area. Two or more events held at the same time in a local area can cause traffic problems. If this is the case, it is likely that the road closure request would be rejected. You can check for conflicting road closures or road works on one network.
- organise signage: signage is a legal requirement to ensure the safety of guests and road users. Signs giving advanced notice of the road closure should be displayed a week before the event to advise users of the road closure. Our Street Works Team can advise organisers about what signs will be required and where they will need to be placed
- carry out a Risk Assessment: when a road closure is required, we recommend that event organisers complete a risk assessment. This will help you identify any accidents that could occur and action you could take to reduce the risk. Public safety is the most important consideration in planning your community party. This should be submitted along with your road closure application along with details of who is installing the traffic management to close the road (Please see Risk Assessment section below)
- ensure access for emergency services: if we accept the application for a road closure, we will get in touch with the emergency services on your behalf. However, you will still need to ensure that emergency service vehicles have access to the site with a minimum of 3.5m width available for them to get through
- speak to your neighbours: not everyone will wish to be part of your celebrations so please ensure that everyone is advised of what is happening, when and where. A road closure may affect other people living in your street. Therefore, event organisers are required to consult with the owners/occupiers of properties prior to submitting an application to close the road. We recommend that you speak with your neighbours to let them know about the planned road closure and obtain their agreement that they are happy for the road to be closed and for the street party to go ahead. This is also a good opportunity to speak with people and invite them to get involved with the organisation of the community party. You must keep a record of who you have contacted and send a copy to the council with your application. For neighbours that you have been unable to contact, you must undertake a letter drop providing details and contact numbers to enable them to make comments and representations should they wish. Events held on the highway impact significantly on the existing road network and can cause upset to those not taking part. Therefore, we recommend that alternative venues such as public open spaces, parks, driveways, parking areas and gardens are considered for staging the event where possible, rather than using the public highway
You could also consider holding your celebrations in:
- a nearby park
- a village green
- a public open space
- a field
- a village hall
- your garden
- a local sports field
- a public house
If you decide on one of the above locations, this will save you from needing to apply for a road closure. You will, however, have to ask for permission from the landowner and may require a license from the council if your event will include entertainment, the sale of alcohol or loud music.
Contact our licensing team for more information.
You are advised to carry out a full risk assessment for your event to ensure that you are prepared for any issues that may arise.
You must have a contingency plan in place in case of accidents, medical emergencies, or fire.
Please ensure you have a record of risks and how you are planning to control them. The Health and Safety Executive risk assessment examples have some useful information and example templates you can use.
View the Event Safety Guide created by the Health and Safety Executive
Temporary event notice
If you wish to carry out any of the following licensable activities at your event you will need to apply for a Temporary Event Notice (TEN):
- sell alcohol by retail
- supply hot food or hot drink after 11pm or before 5am on any day. This includes takeaways, cafés, mobile hot food vans and any other venue providing hot food or hot drink
- provide regulated entertainment such as performance of a play, exhibition of a film, indoor sporting events, boxing, and wrestling, live or recorded music and performance of dance
Large scale events that are likely to attract over 500 people will require a Premises Licence instead of a TEN. Any individual of 18 years or over can apply for a TEN.
There are two types of TEN:
- a standard TEN
- a late TEN
These are subject to different processes:
- a standard notice is given no later than ten working days before the event to which it relates
- a late notice is given not before nine and not later than five working days before the event
Are there any events that are exempt from needing a TEN?
Yes, as a result of deregulatory changes that have amended the 2003 Act there are several activities that no longer require a licence. For an up to date list of all exemptions please refer to the legislation website.
For more information and to apply for a TEN online please see our Licensing page using the link.
Public liability insurance
There is no law that says you must buy insurance for a voluntary or community event - but you might want to make sure you are covered in case something goes wrong and someone makes a claim against you. Having public liability insurance may give you peace of mind, but it's good planning, not insurance that stops things going wrong.
Small community events are exempt from the requirement for public liability insurance only when:
- the event is not publicised for the general public and therefore will not draw in people from the wider area
- the event applies to the residents of one or two streets and attendance will generally involve less than 150 people
- there is no amplified entertainment which may cause a nuisance to the wider area
- there is no alcohol or food being sold
It is recommended that you take out adequate Public Liability Insurance (PLI) if you decide to put on an activity that could cause harm to someone such as operating a barbeque or hiring in devices such as a bouncy castle or children's amusement rides.
We recommend that organisers have Public Liability Insurance of no less than £10 million for a traditional street party.
Is your event likely to create lots of noise? It's courteous to let neighbours and businesses in the area know what your plans are in advance of the event. Leave a phone number with them so they can call if they have any questions or concern.
If at an outdoor location, we would ask you to put any bins in place at your party to keep the area tidy. Also, ask people to help clean up after and have bin bags available.
The organiser will ultimately be responsible for clearing all litter, waste, and equipment from the street at the end of the party. As the event is a community event, organised by residents and attended by residents, the waste on this occasion, will be treated as household waste. Please take the waste home, recycle where possible and it will be collected on the normal waste collection day.
If your street is scheduled to have a refuse or recycling collection on the same day as your street party please let Environmental Services know by emailing email@example.com. We will try to reschedule your collection or make an earlier collection that day.
Reduce the environmental impact of your street party and save money by minimising the amount of waste you produce:
- ask guests to bring their own crockery and cutlery rather than purchasing disposable single-use plastic and paper plates and cups; this will save money, reduce waste, and ensure no litter is left behind
- only buy the amount of food needed for the number of guests and encourage them to bring take-away containers to take leftovers home in; anything that cannot be eaten should be disposed of in your brown food waste caddy
- use second-hand decorations and tablecloths rather than buying new. Sheets or tablecloths from charity shops are often inexpensive and can be re-used; encourage guests to make decorations for the event
It is always useful and safe to have someone who is first aid trained with the right kit, to support anyone who might need it.
Health and safety
Expecting a lot of people at your party? Consider making someone responsible for health and safety aspects.
Inflatables, bouncy castles and face painters
If inflatables are to be hired, this should be from a reputable company and its equipment must have PIPA accreditation and risk assessments. The company should have its own public liability insurance, as should face painters. Please ask to see a copy of their documents and check their safety certificates have not expired. Reputable companies will provide copies on request.
Please be safe and respectful of animals and the vulnerable when having fireworks at your event. Visit our Fireworks page for any information you might need.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to virtually all premises, including most buildings, structures, and open spaces. This includes outdoor events. The 'Order' requires the organiser to make sure that a fire risk assessment is undertaken by a competent person. The risk assessment must identify the fire risks that can be removed or reduced, general fire precautions and people at special risk.
Any objections to the party
Record these and notify us of any objections at least 5 weeks prior to the event. Please log any objections that you have been unable to resolve with residents on your street and return this to ourselves along with the Road Closure Application Form.
If you do not want cars to be parked on the street during the event, we would like you to tell us when you apply for the road closure. If you cannot say at this stage, you'll need to let our Parking Services Team know at least two weeks before the event. Contact Parking Services
Useful contact details
If you belong to a community group and would like guidance on hosting an event, please see our Safety Advisory Group page.
If you have any questions about formulating a risk assessment or just general health and safety advice on organising a safe community party in Central Bedfordshire please speak with the Events Safety Advisory Group Officer on 0300 300 4256 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.