SAGs were set up in many areas of the country to help local authorities exercise their enforcement powers and to advise organisers of events as a result of a number of incidents that occurred.
Often a Safety Advisory Group will be called to examine the proposals for a particular event but their remit is actually much wider than this and some guidance that has been published suggests that there should be a regular meeting, with members of the group visiting local venues and events.
The group has no statutory basis even though it may be formed of various enforcement officers such as police, licensing, fire and health and safety. Each group forms its own constitution or terms of reference. Work is currently in progress to review the current guidance and to consider the merit of some legislative basis for the constitution and operation.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that SAGs are used to direct actions rather than advise and in such circumstances it may be helpful to have legal representation if you are invited to attend. We have experience in attending SAG meetings, backed with detailed knowledge of the legislation for which the various officers have enforcement responsibility and also participated in the preparation and drafting of the national Safety Advisory Group Guidance that was produced through the Emergency Planning College on behalf of the Cabinet Office. Having additionally been involved in providing training on SAGs to local authorities, we believe that no other law firm has the span of knowledge and experience in this area that we do.