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Govt establishes new group for safety at public events

Pic: John Bugeja

A new Safety Advisory Group that draws together experts from key emergency and government agencies into one body was launched yesterday in order to ensure the safety of all events that take place on the Rock.
Alongside the launch of the group, the Gibraltar Government announced the launch of its ‘Gibraltar Events Safety Guide’.
This document provides guidance and information to individuals and organisations planning a public event, from a small charity event to a major public gathering.
The Safety Advisory Group is designed to support, guide and advise all event organisers, whilst ensuring that they maintain a high standard of safety when considering or planning a specific event.
The SAG will also be responsible for liaising with the relevant organisations to assist them in adhering to the new guide.
The key agencies represented in the group include the Department of Environment, Heritage and Climate Change, Ministry of Culture and Gibraltar Cultural Services, the Royal Gibraltar Police, Gibraltar Fire & Rescue Service, Gibraltar Health Authority and the Gibraltar Ambulance Service, with the Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority represented in the case of sporting events.
Other Government agencies or organisations will also offer specialist advice.
The group and safety guide were launched by the Minister for Culture, Dr John Cortes, alongside Seamus Byrne, CEO of Gibraltar Cultural Services, Ivan Lopez and Brian Brooks, Events Safety Co-ordinator, at a press conference at No.6 Convent Place yesterday.
Dr Cortes said the guidance document would be a “useful” tool for event organisers because it reminds people that for certain events they require an entertainment license and the guide includes the application form.
“It goes through the details of the organiser, it provides the timings, rules on the use of public spaces, details on the venue, the expected queuing times, these are things that perhaps the less experienced event organisers may not even think about but this actually brings it out and makes sure that they think these things through and makes it easier for them in the end.”
He added: “The Ministry of Culture recognises the value of events and encourages them. At this stage this is an administrative process, with event organisers required to complete the event notification form, which will allow the different authorities to assess the events and advise accordingly.”
“It is possible that we will in the near future legislate to make these procedures a legal requirement.”

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