Organising your own event

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

5. Event Toolkit - Notifications

We require you to notify us of any events taking place within the borough by sending in a completed Event Notification Form. When we get this form we'll acknowledge the form and contact you to discuss the event in more detail

Who owns the land?

Examples of land owned or controlled by us are Gravesend Promenade, Gordon Gardens and the Fort Gardens, car parks and parks and open spaces. Kent County Council is responsible for roads in the borough, including most pedestrian areas and country parks.


Applications for events have to be made to our Licensing department. Depending on the size of the event, an application can take up to three months to determine. This includes the statutory 28-day consultation period and extra time for a licensing sub-committee, should representation be made.

Charitable Collections

Application must be made to our Licensing department, at least one month in advance. We are restricted to the number of collections on any particular date. It is advised that you contact us as soon as you have agreed your 'Collection Dates' to provisionally book/reserve those dates.

Damage to Land and Buildings

Any possible damage to the land and buildings joined together must be considered. If the event is staged on our property you must restore any damage. Specific damage may be repaired through our contractors and you'll be expected to repay the total cost. You'll be told if a deposit is needed at the time of the booking.

Disabled Access

You'll need to consider disabled people when planning your event. This includes access to and exit from the event, toilet facilities and rest areas.

Electricity Supplies

Electrical connections must only be undertaken by a competent person for example one who has the technical knowledge and experience to carry out the work safely. Injury to the public through incorrect installation may result in legal action, fine and even prison.

It is also likely to put you in breach of your Public Liability Insurance contract.

Emergency Services

The Emergency Services will be told about your event via our Safety Advisory Group.

Environmental Issues

As an event organiser you must, at all times, be aware of environmental concerns. This will include ensuring that the venue is suitable for your event. You'll need to respect local residents, so ample provision for traffic control, litter and noise reduction must be considered. Think about if you need extra toilet facilities, catering, lighting, temporary structures such as tents and PA systems.

We are aware of the potential threat sky lanterns (also known as Chinese lanterns) can pose to the natural environment. We therefore do not condone their use on any Gravesham Borough Council land.

Sky lanterns and balloon releases are becoming an ever more popular way of marking a special event or fundraising. However, both can cause serious harm and death to wildlife through ingestion, entanglement and entrapment. If you are thinking of releasing balloons or sky lanterns for a special occasion, please consider one of the alternative suggestions below:

  • planting a tree
  • stationary candles, nightlights
  • static lanterns or outdoor lights
  • bunting
  • flags, banners, streamers and ribbons.


If you would like to film any part of the Gravesham you will need to contact the Kent Film Office to see if permission is needed.

First Aid

There must be an agreed and sufficient level of first aid, paramedic and medical facilities at your event. This must be provided at your expense. You must speak with the Ambulance Services and The St. John Ambulance Kent or The Red Cross voluntary groups. As a courtesy gesture organisers should also let the local hospitals know of any events being organised that may have implications for them.


On the grounds of public safety, bonfire and firework displays should be restricted to professional operators and recognised firework societies.

Food and Beverages Hygiene

You'll need to make sure all food preparation is undertaken in hygienic conditions and in compliance with the appropriate legislation. This includes any outside caterers you may hire.

Funfairs and Circuses

When an event on our land involves either a funfair or a circus, you must tell us at least four months before the scheduled event.

Health and Safety

Where the public will be participating in a staged and organised event, responsibility for public safety rests with you the organisers and/or the owner of the property or land where the event will take place.

The Risk Assessment documentation you complete must be incorporated within the Operational Brief and should include all safety aspects required for the event. This includes things like crowd control, evacuation procedures, car parking, toilets, safety barriers. Any structure which is temporary and load bearing must be erected in strict compliance with Health and Safety regulations.

Inflatable Units

Understandably these prove very popular at fund-raising events. However, if not properly controlled and tethered down they can cause extreme danger. Inflatable units must be operated in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive Guidance Note PM76 "Safe Operation of Passenger Carrying Amusement Devices - Inflatable Bouncing Devices" - ISBN 0118856049 and available from HSE bookshops.


Event organisers will need to take out public liability insurance to cover their event. It is recommended that this is not less than £5 million for any single occurrence.


Licences are required for any event if alcohol is being sold or that include regulated entertainment as part of the programme. Small events that involve less than 500 people (including staff and organisers present) will require a Temporary Event Notice and must be submitted at least 10 working days before the event is due to take place.

Please note that the day we get this form and the day of the event is not counted, although more notice is preferable.

Events with more than 500 people will be subject to a full 'Premises Licence' under the Licensing Act 2003. We advise that the application is submitted three months before the event is due to take place. This allows for representation or objections.


You must keep the event area litter free and arrange to have the site cleared. If you require any advice regarding disposal of your litter please contact us.


Noise including music from PA systems is covered by Environmental Protection legislation and it is in respect of noise that most complaints about an event are made. We recommend you advise local residents of your intentions as a gesture of goodwill.

Any event using amplification for music or speech must end at 11pm.

Promoting your event

Fly posting is illegal. All illegal promotional advertising will be removed and we will prosecute the event organiser. Event organisers should get permission of landowners before erecting any banner or promotional notice. We publish a list of events being held within the borough.

Public Toilets

Temporary public toilets must be considered and the organiser is expected to pay for them and arrange for them to be cleaned during and after the event.

The 'Purple' Book

You will also find The 'Purple Book' or as it is officially known 'The Event Safety Guide' very useful. It is published by the Health and Safety Executive and is considered the bible of event management. The book reference is: HSE (1999) The Event Safety Guide: A Guide to Health, Safety and Welfare at Music and Similar Events. Available from the HSE website - ISBN: 0717624536m RRP: £20 or downloadable for free. It is also available from all good bookshops/HSE stockists and from at: Amazon UK - The Event Safety Guide

Risk Assessments

A risk assessment is a written record of areas that may damage property or cause harm to the public and identifies actions that as far as is reasonably practicable will reduce or remove these risks.

Remember it is better to manage a risk rather than ignore it. Risk assessments are required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and are restricted to work activities and those affected by them, for example, employees and visitors.

If you have employees involved in the event then a risk assessment must be done. Risk assessments should be done for larger events, if you are using a professional company for the fireworks display they must produce evidence of their risk assessments, health and safety arrangements and their insurance. If your event is large get professional help to make sure you have all the necessary health and safety measures in place.

Road Closures

Closing a road is a complex legal matter. If you are considering closing a road, you are required to make an application in writing to us. We'll then assess the implications. Only the closures of minor roads or streets are generally considered. Any temporary road signing on the public highway is subject to control of the Traffic Signs Manual and the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991. The Highway Authority, Kent County Council, will need to approve your signs and closure.

Selling of Goods

You're not allowed to sell illegal goods, animals, birds and fish, replica or real guns, knives and other weapons on our land. Events held on recreation grounds that have trade stalls will need permission from us.


Provide as many easily identifiable stewards as you can to cater for the size and nature of your event. Clearly brief them as to their roles and responsibilities and provide any training they may need.

Please note that it is not the duty of the Police to provide stewards and their training. Fluorescent jackets or waistcoats are a suitable means of identification. Communication between stewards is vital and radios are very effective. Remember also that you will need to communicate with the public at all times and especially in the event of an emergency.

Tombola and Raffles

If you intend to hold a raffle or tombola, certain licensing conditions may apply. The simplest form of raffle/tombola is where a cloakroom ticket is used and permission is not required for these activities provided tickets are only sold on the day of the event to attendees. But, if you are selling printed tickets to the public, in advance of your event or where the prizes are not on display then a licence to hold a lottery is required.

Traffic Management

Once an event has started the organiser should ensure that traffic movements on site are limited to essential vehicles only. Temporary speed limits should be put in place and ideally vehicles should be escorted by stewards to help to clear a safe route through crowded areas. Organisers are reminded that they need to make provision for access for emergency vehicles in their traffic management plans. For events taking place on the highway Traffic Management Plans need to be agreed in advance with the Kent Highways and the Police.


This information is intended to reiterate the importance of arranging a safe event. The considerations listed are not thorough, and should be supplemented by other reading below. Careful and prolonged planning will help to ensure that your event is both safe and enjoyable for everyone.

If your event is to be held on our land or on a highway you will need to sign a form:

a) Indemnifying us against any action, claim, loss, costs or expenses resulting from or consequential upon any liability of the above nature

b) Agreeing to insure and provide evidence of such insurance with an insurance company approved by us to cover liability of this nature up to the value of £5 million in respect of each and every claim.


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