Communities looking to organise street parties as part of next year’s Queens Jubilee celebrations or London Olympics should consider the insurance implications of their event, according to a local authority expert.
Andy Grove, who is the chair of the Local Authority Event Organisers Group (LAEOG), spoke to Event Industry News during this year’s Showman’s Show to provide a statement clarifying the advice offered by LAEOG.
“LAEOG is keen to see local authorities follow the sentiments of the guidance issued by Communities and Local Government and ensure that people are encouraged to hold street parties without being obstructed by red tape and bureaucracy.
It does, however, believe that events can and should be organised safely and that there is nothing about health and safety that is bureaucratic. It is only if it is applied incorrectly or over-zealously by people who do not understand it that problems start to occur and this can and should be avoided. Surely nobody is suggesting that street parties take place where people get hurt or injured? Of course not! They are about having fun and community cohesion and nobody should lose focus on this.
While the Health and Safety at Work Act may not apply to volunteer party organisers they still have a duty under common law to keep people from harm. Therefore, I would suggest the only way of doing this is with a simple risk assessment. Local Authorities can advise on this and should ensure that they are relevant to what is taking place. People should not be afraid of undertaking these assessments as they are not difficult and with sound advice we can all work together to ensure everybody has a great time. Many people have felt supported and guided by local authorities helping them with what they need to do and I am sure it is only a minority of cases where unnecessary problems are arising.
On the issue of insurance, it is not a legal requirement but it is certainly a good idea to have it to ensure that you are protected should anything unthinkable happen at your party. House insurance and holiday insurance are not legal requirements but most people take it out for the peace of mind that they have some support when they most need it. Public Liability Insurance does the same job here but in addition you are insuring that people who do not choose to be part of the event but could be affected by it are also covered. It is for this reason that LAEOG believes Public Liability Insurance should be compulsory but as it is aware that every Local Authority has the right to make its own decisions based on the wishes of its elected members and senior officers it respects their right to do this. It is however hoped that the views of the events experts are taken into account before doing so.”
Local authority event organisers seeking more information or advice can visit www.laeog.org
Category: General Event Industry News