Community events – general FAQs and checklist
How do I tell people about the community event?
Inviting people face to face is a must to get people involved. You need to send round paper invitations - this will be needed to show us that you have 'consulted' everyone.
Most community events are for residents only and there is no outside "publicity" (that would make it a public event). Remember to include local businesses in your consultation if they would be affected by your road closure.
Who organises the community event?
There should be a lead person from the street who can apply for the road closure order on behalf of the residents. This person should also be the main contact for the council and the emergency services.
How do I close the road?
You must have a road closure order in place to close the road. The order will identify the times from when you can close the road. Remember that members of the public cannot stop traffic to close a road, wait until there is no traffic approaching and then put out your road closed signs. Please remember; you cannot legally stop vehicles from entering or driving down a road unless a road closure order has been granted.
Where can I get road closed signs?
Central Bedfordshire Council does not have a supply of road closed / diversion signs. Applicants should make arrangements with a local Traffic Management company to hire the appropriate signage. Do not forget to take down all signage after the event.
Do we need insurance cover?
The risks at most community events are usually very low and so the risk of liability to organisers is low. Planning a safe event is the best way of reducing risks, therefore make sure you have completed a suitable and sufficient risk assessment. However, the council do advise you to consider taking out public liability insurance cover if you are planning to have a bouncy castle/inflatable, BBQ or a children's entertainment ride.
If you are planning to have a bouncy castle/inflatable at your event please ensure you request the suppliers PLI, risk assessment and the Engineers Equipment Inspection Certificate (ADIPS or PIPA).
Do I need a Risk Assessment?
Yes. There may be risks that are only applicable to your party area, so you should produce a risk assessment to ensure it reflects your own location and event. This will need to be submitted as part of the road closure application process.
Do I need to have marshals?
Although there is no need to employ qualified people to marshal your event, it is good practice to nominate some of your residents to position themselves by the road closure signs to answer any questions from vehicle drivers and also to stop non-residents from 'gate-crashing' your event.
Do we need to clean up afterwards?
Yes, you will need to clean up after your community event. It's your road, your event, so keep your local area clean and tidy. Let people know in advance what time the event will finish and have a section set aside for bin bags and recycling. Remember that the clean-up time should be considered when applying for the road closure order so that the clean-up can be safely undertaken while the road is closed.
What do I need to do now?
Start by asking a couple of neighbours you know whether they are keen. Agree on a date early on.
Invite the whole street to the first meeting and look to hold two or three more meetings to chat and plan to ensure everyone is happy and kept informed. Keep meetings informal and share out the activities and jobs
Go to our Traffic Regulation Orders web page for information on how to make an application.
Advise the SAG of your event by completing the notification of event form online. This enables the Safety Advisory Group to keep a list of all events taking place in Central Bedfordshire.
If you require any further information or advice, contact the Events Safety Advisory Group Officer on 0300 300 4256 or email SAG@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk.
We’re serving alcoholic drinks – do we need an alcohol licence?
No, licences are only required if alcohol is sold. At a private community event, sharing drinks with neighbours does not require a license. If you do want to sell alcohol, you will need to contact the Central Bedfordshire Council Licensing to make an application for a Temporary Events Notice. The fee for this is £21. For more information and to apply for a TEN online please see our Licensing page using the link or email Licensing Enquiries at l Licensing.Section@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk
We’re playing music – do we need an entertainment licence?
No, if your community event is a private get together for residents and the music is not advertised in advance to attract people, and you're not making money, then there is no need for a license for your music, whether it is live or recorded.
Do we need a permit to serve food?
No, as a community event you do not need a licence under the Licensing Act 2003 to sell food (unless you want to only sell hot food and drink after 11pm). Remember you can always ask your neighbours to bake a cake, make a sandwich or bring food to share with one another. This is also a good way to bring different groups of people together.
We’re holding a tombola/raffle – do we need permission?
Probably not. If the tombola/raffle tickets are sold on the day and the prizes are not worth more than £500 in total then it will be exempt from gambling regulations (however, if tickets are sold in advance of the event, you will need a lottery registration, but do contact the Council first to check). Any proceeds from the tombola/raffle must go to a good cause such as charity or covering the cost of your party. Alternatively, if you did want to raise some money for your local church or charity, you can always ask people for donations
Safety Advisory Group
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.
Telephone: 0300 300 4256