Terms of reference for the Ricoh Arena and Butts Stadium Safety Advisory Group

Introduction

This document sets out the arrangements that Coventry City Council has put in place for ensuring compliance with the relevant safety at sports grounds legislation. It explains how the Council manages its sports ground Safety Advisory Groups to ensure that the Safety Advisory Group creates a consistent and well-tried safety oversight process that can be used to enhance public safety at sports grounds.

This document should be read in conjunction with the following policies so as to provide a full understanding of the safety at sports ground role carried out by Coventry City Council:

  • Monitoring and Inspection Policy
  • Policy for the Issue and Review of the General Safety Certificate
  • Enforcement Policy.

Delegated powers

Responsibility for the issue or amendment of certificates and carrying out all associated functions including the authorisation of emergency action in connection with sports grounds and places of sports primarily sits with Licensing and Regulatory Committee. The Council within its scheme of delegation has delegated these powers to:

Director of Streetscene and Regulatory Services, Place Directorate.

Local Authority policy for the Safety Advisory Group

It is the policy of Coventry City Council to uphold reasonable standards of safety at all sports grounds listed herein in Coventry and to encourage the well-being of all those present at those sports grounds.

To aid this, the Local Authority maintains a Safety Advisory Group for sports grounds and has developed partnerships with selected agencies to offer specialist advice to the Local Authority. The Local Authority will exercise its powers under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 in respect of the safety certification of the following sports grounds or regulated stands:

  • The Ricoh Arena
  • The Butts Park Arena

Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 (as amended)

The Local Authority has a statutory duty under the above legislation to:

  • issue General and Special Safety Certificates for designated sports grounds in Coventry, containing such terms and conditions as the Local Authority consider necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety at sports grounds. And,
  • if necessary, serve a prohibition notice in respect of a sports ground if the Authority are of the opinion that the admission of people to a sports ground involves or will involve a risk to them so serious that, until steps have been taken to reduce it to a reasonable level, admission of people to the ground or to that part of the ground ought to be prohibited or restricted.

Fire Safety and Places of Sport Act 1987 Part III

The Local Authority has a statutory duty under the above legislation to:

  • issue a Safety Certificate for Regulated Stands in Coventry, containing “such terms and conditions as the Local Authority consider necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety in the stand when it is in use for viewing the specified activity or activities at the ground”. And,
  • The Local Authority will exercise its duty of care in relation to other sports grounds and non-regulated stands located within the district.

Health and Safety legislation

The Local Authority will enforce the relevant statutory provisions to ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees, members of the public and any other person affected by a work activity. This includes all outdoor public events including the erection and dismantling of any structures or equipment used in the event.

Terms of Reference for the Safety Advisory Group

The main role of the Safety Advisory Group is to provide specialist advice to the Local Authority to help it discharge its functions under sports grounds legislation.

The Group should also provide an overarching role in considering enhancing safety at sports grounds by providing advice and assistance to Certificate Holders.

The Group should consider all matters within its remit and make recommendations to the Director of Streetscene and Regulatory Services, Place Directorate.

In particular, the Safety Advisory Group will:

  • Advise the Local Authority in the exercise of its powers under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987 in respect of the safety certification.
  • Advise the Local Authority as the enforcing authority as defined in the Health and Safety (Enforcing Authority) Regulations 1998 for enforcement of the relevant statutory provisions.
  • Provide advice and assistance to sports grounds certificate holders and event planners on safety related issues.
  • Provide a forum within which the Local Authority and other agencies may develop a coordinated approach to the safety of those present during an event.
  • Consider aspects of and possible changes to the terms and conditions in the General / Special Safety Certificate.
  • Receive and discuss all proposals for new sports grounds and alterations to existing designated sports grounds.
  • Receive any relevant reports in relation to matters found during inspections by Group members.
  • To ensure open communication between the Local Authority, other relevant authorities or certificate holders as necessary to ensure safety.
  • Discuss any significant incidents with potential safety implications or ‘near misses at a sports ground.
  • Receive notification of the issue of any prohibition notice and any prosecutions under sports grounds legislation.
  • Consider the advice published in all available guidance documents.

In terms of decision making,

  • The Safety Advisory Group cannot take any decisions on behalf of the Local Authority. The Local Authority’s decision making power is delegated to the Director of Streetscene and Regulatory Services, Place Directorate who will consider any recommendations made by the Group when making their decision.
  • The Local Authority core members of the Advisory Group must declare any material conflict of interest in relation to any item put before the Group, prior to any discussion on that matter. If the interest could be considered prejudicial, then that person should consider if they should withdraw and be replaced by an appropriate party agreed by the Group.

Composition of the Safety Advisory Group

Core members

The core members are those authorities whom the certifying authority is required to consult under sports ground legislation and as recommended by the final report into the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster.

Membership:

  • Chair – from the Local Authority
  • Lead Service – Building Control.
  • Police Service.
  • Fire Service
  • Ambulance Service

Invited representation

The following are considered as persons / services / bodies that should be invited to all Safety Advisory Group meetings (where applicable) –

  • Sports ground representation – the Safety Certificate holder and / or Safety Officer.
  • Event organiser – this may be the event organiser and / or Safety Officer.
  • Sports Ground Safety Authority.
  • Counter Terrorism Unit.

The following may be invited either to all Safety Advisory Group meetings, or to a particular meeting as appropriate –

  • First aid representative.
  • Emergency Planning Unit
  • Administrative Service.
  • Relevant Local Authority services e.g. Environmental Health, Licensing, Highways, Community Safety etc.
  • Local supporters’ associations / groups representation. The above list is not exhaustive. The Chair may invite other such specialists as the Chair feels is appropriate to assist the Group to fully consider any issue.

Administration of the Safety Advisory Group

  • Chair: The Chair is appointed by the Local Authority.
  • Lead Service: The Building Control Team will act as the Lead Service to the Safety Advisory Group.
  • Consultation: The Safety Advisory Group will consult all core members of the Group, invited representation, other Council Services and national bodies as considered appropriate.
  • Confidentiality: Where a meeting will discuss confidential counter terrorism information and / or intelligence, only the following people / representatives shall be present for those discussions:
    • Sports ground representation – the Safety Certificate holder and / or Safety Officer.
    • Counter Terrorism Unit.
    • Chair – from the Local Authority.
    • Lead Service – from the Local Authority Building Control team.

Frequency of meetings of the Safety Advisory Group

The Safety Advisory Group shall meet a minimum of three times a year, unless any core members request an additional special meeting or series of meetings.

The Safety Advisory Group may request an inspection of a sports ground for a sporting event as determined by the Chair of the Group in consultation with the sports ground. Such members as the Group considered appropriate can attend the inspection. Formal minutes or a record of the inspection will be circulated to all relevant parties.

Form of minutes of the Group

Each meeting of the Safety Advisory Group will be pre-arranged to an agenda published in advance of the meeting with minutes recorded.

The minutes of the meetings will be circulated to all group members and to other such parties as may be determined by the Chair. Any written papers relating to confidential counter terrorism information and/or intelligence shall be marked in according to the Government Security Classification Policy (GSCP). The minutes will be adapted to ensure that, in relation to counter terrorism information and/or intelligence, the aims of the GSCP are not compromised.

Roles and Responsibilities of the Core Members of the Safety Advisory Group

Role of the Chair of the Safety Advisory Group

  • To ensure the Safety Advisory Group properly discharges the responsibilities delegated to it by the Local Authority.
  • To ensure that the conditions of the safety certificate issued by the Local Authority are properly monitored, enforced, reviewed and where necessary amended on a regular basis.
  • To ensure the membership of the Safety Advisory Group reflects the recommendations following the Hillsborough Stadium disaster.
  • To ensure that all meetings of the Safety Advisory Group are reported to the Cabinet Member Policing and Equalities.
  • To ensure that the decisions /recommendations made by the Safety Advisory Group accord with the overall strategic policies of the Local Authority.
  • To ensure that due account is taken of the views of all members of the Safety Advisory Group, including those attending by invitation.

Role of the lead service on the Safety Advisory Group

  • The Service will be represented by a senior officer and / or appointed deputy who will attend all meetings of the Safety Advisory Group.
  • To act in a coordinating role to the Safety Advisory Group on all matters relating to the safety of those present at an event and liaise with Group members in the production of any items or reports to be placed on the agenda for the meetings.
  • To provide any technical advice and appraisal of published documents relating to safety of sports grounds and inform on any implications arising.
  • To provide technical support to the Safety Advisory Group in relation to all matters concerning sports grounds and allied legislation.
  • To prepare, monitor, enforce, review and amend as necessary the general / special safety certificate on a regular basis following consultation with members of the Safety Advisory Group.
  • To conduct or arrange such additional inspections as may be necessary during a sporting event to monitor compliance with the conditions of any general / special safety certificate.
  • To identify and take appropriate action in respect of any breach of the general / special safety certificate.
  • To issue, suspend or withdraw Prohibition Notices in accordance with the Council’s scheme of delegation.
  • To advise on matters relating to applications for new sports grounds / stands / alterations to sports grounds received by the Local Authority.
  • To contribute any local information that may have a bearing on public safety.

Role of the emergency services on the Safety Advisory Group

The Police, Ambulance and Fire Services will be represented by a person of appropriate experience and competency who has the full authority of the relevant service to give advice and guidance and make recommendations on safety issues and advise on:

  • All technical and legal aspects of legislation within the remit of the service as they relate to sports grounds. In particular, the Police will advise the Local Authority on matters relating to counter terrorism, crowd disorder and anti-social behaviour.
  • Public safety and crowd management matters referred to in the ‘Green Guide’ and other relevant publications.
  • Matters relating to the issue, monitoring, enforcement, review or amendment of a general / special safety certificate.
  • Any breaches of the general / special safety certificate.
  • To contribute any local information that may have a bearing on safety.

Revisions to this Document and Review

This policy and procedures will be reviewed at intervals not exceeding 12 months and amended at any stage to reflect any changes that may occur in operation procedure or to current legislation. Following any amendment a complete replacement will be distributed.

Date of issue: July 2018

Date of last review:

Reviewed by Nicola Castledine

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