Thinking of planning an event in Colchester?

Take a look at the following pages that provide guidance and information for a safe event



Tell the Event Safety Advisory Group

What is the Safety Advisory Group?

Following the Hillsborough Disaster Lord Justice Taylor recommended that “to assist the local authorities in exercising its functions, it should set up an advisory group consisting of appropriate members of its own staff, representatives of the police, fire and ambulance service and the building authority”.

The Safety Advisory Group (SAG) has been organised for authorities and agencies to liaise in relation to public events which are proposed to be held within the Colchester Borough. The SAG will help ensure events operate in a safe manner and in consideration for those affected by the event. The SAG will therefore provide assistance in ensuring event organisers are aware of and meet their responsibilities.

The Membership of the Safety Advisory Group (SAG) will include but is not limited to;

  • Appropriate local authority representatives
  • Essex Police
  • Essex County Fire and Rescue
  • East of England Ambulance Service
  • Essex County Council Highways
  • Other Official Bodies as appropriate including but not limited to Health Boards, British Transport Police, Highways Agency or the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

SAG’s main objectives are:

  • To promote high levels of safety and welfare at events by giving advice and guidance
  • To promote good practice in safety and welfare planning for events
  • To ensure events cause minimal adverse impact to the community
  • Encourage cooperation and coordination between all relevant agencies so that events are safe and successful

At least 6 weeks prior to your event, we ask that you complete the Event Notification Form and forward to the Safety Advisory Group at along with any questions you may have.

You can find a list of the planned events for Colchester here

Apply for a Road Closure

How to Apply for a Road Closure:

Thinking of holding your own march, procession or parade? Applying for a road closure is easy, here’s how:

1. Check with the Police whether the area you have chosen for your event is suitable. We will do this anyway through our consultation process but it would be best for you to discuss your plans with the Police first.

Contact Colchester’s Community Policing team

2. Print and complete both these forms:

Road Closure Application Form and Guidance Notes

Event Risk Assessment Guidance Notes

Contacting us online is the quickest and easiest way of getting in touch, but you can still call us if you prefer.

3. Email them to:

Do you need to write to us? Here is our postal address:

Contact and Support team
Colchester Borough Council
Rowan House
33 Sheepen Road

If you have any questions you can call us on 01206 282700

4. We will consider your application, consult Essex County Council and Essex Police and then tell you the outcome.

5. If your application is approved, you will then have to inform all residents and businesses that may be affected by your event.

6. There may be charges for a road closure, ranging from £50 to £2000.

7. As well as applying to us, you may also be required to hold Public Liability Insurance and a Performing Rights Society Music Licence.

Thinking of having a party in your street?
Lots of people in Colchester make their summers extra special by sharing food, playing games and enjoying music with their neighbours. If this sounds like something you would like to do please check out the information below:

Type of Road

Bigger streets or thoroughfare events. We may have to charge a fee to close roads for bigger events.

No Through Roads or traffic-free areas. If you’re planning to hold a street party in this sort of area, we might not charge at all.

Noise levels – Please be considerate! Make sure everyone who might be affected knows in advance when the party is taking place. A high level of noise going on for a long time or late into the evening could lead to us not approving further applications you might want to make.

How to apply to organise a street party Please print and complete the two forms below and send them to: Operational Services PSU, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, CO3 3WG

Or email them to:

Street Party Road Closure Application Form and Guidance Notes

Guidance to Consider

Event Safety Guidance

Much of the guidance here is from the Health and Safety Executive website. However, please note that the Purple Guide is the industry standard for events management, and you should consult this wherever possible.

General Event Management

Aircraft and Use of the Skies

Unmanned Aircraft and Drones

Flying Displays

Lasers, Directed Lights, Toy Balloons and Sky Lanterns

Alcohol, Live Entertainment and Noise Management

Alcohol & Entertainment

Temporary Event Licenses

Noise Management

Noise Control Requirements and Checklist

Animals and Events

Working with Animals in Entertainment

Minimising Risk of Infection from Animal Bacteria


Food Hygiene Ratings

Food Safety and Guidance

Fireworks and Special Effects

Special effects, fireworks and Explosives

Guidance on organising Fireworks Displays

Incidents and Emergencies

First Aid

Severe Weather Guidance

Evacuation and Fire

Risk Assessments and Fire Safety

Risk Assessments

Event Risk Assessment Guidance Notes

Fire Safety

Temporary Structures

Temporary Structures Construction Regulations 2015

Temporary Demountable Structures – Stages, Seating, Marquees etc.

Bouncy Castles and Inflatables


Essex Police seek early liaison with event organisers of events that may present a higher level risk, namely; Public Military Events, Political or High Security Conferences, High Profile Ceremonial and Civic events and events involving Protected Persons.

Crowded Spaces Guidance

NACTSO Crowded Place Guidance

Post incident NACTSO Stay Safe Film

Transport and Highways

Transport Regulation Orders (Road Closures)

Transport Management

Temporary Toilets and Sanitation Provision

Public toilets and hand washing stations must be provided by the event organisers based on anticipated peak attendances at any one time. If you enter ‘festival toilet calculator’ into your internet search engine there are many companies that provide a free calculator based on number of attendees at your event.

As a general guide for events with a gate opening time of 6 hours or more:

  • 1 female toilet per 100 people
  • 1 male toilet per 500 + 1 urinal per 150

For events with a gate opening time of less than 6 hours duration:

  • 1 female toilet per 120 people
  • 1 male toilet per 600 + 1 urinal per 175
  • disabled: 1 toilet with hand washing facilities per 75 disabled people

Waste Management

Handling Waste

Waste and Recycling


Create an Event Management Plan & Risk Assessments

Good planning and organisation is essential to putting on an event that is both safe and enjoyable. For many events all that is required is to follow a basic series of steps.

An event organiser has a duty to plan, manage and monitor the event to make sure that workers and the visiting public are not exposed to health and safety risks. 

Whatever the scale of the event, make sure there is a clear understanding within the organising team of who will be responsible for safety matters.

Health and safety doesn’t have to be complicated.

Information on Event Safety web pages will make it easier for you to comply with the law and manage health and safety for your event.

Risk Assessments

The HSE have produced the following templates to help with Risk Assessments.

This is not the only way to record your assessment. You can record the assessment in any convenient way so long as it is retrievable.