Sports stadiums with a spectator capacity of more than 10,000 people (5,000 in the case of Football League grounds) are designated by the government and must be certified under the Safety at Sports Grounds Act 1975.
A safety certificate will set the permitted capacity for the sports ground together with the detailed terms and conditions with which the ground management must comply in order to operate the sports ground at its permitted capacity.
Although the safety certificate is issued by the local authority, responsibility for the safety of spectators at the sports ground rests at all time with the sports ground management.
Any non-designated sports ground which contains a permanent covered stand with a spectator capacity of more than 500 is deemed a regulated stand and must be certified under the Fire Safety and Safety at Places of Sport Act 1987.
The certificate holder is under a legal obligation to comply with all terms and conditions contained within the certificate. Certificates are usually issued to last indefinitely.
Under the legislation the local authority has ongoing control and powers of enforcement so as to ensure reasonable standards of safety are maintained.
The legislation allows for the issue of prohibition notices to prevent spectator access to any sports ground or part when it is considered a safety risk is immediate.
Current safety certificates
Barnet Football Club is the only sports ground currently holding a general safety certificate issued by the London Borough of Barnet.
Safety advisory group
Safety Advisory Groups (SAGs), chaired by the council, provide the local authority with specialist advice on how it may effectively discharge its responsibilities in relation to spectator safety at sports grounds.
SAGs are attended by a number of partners including the club itself, the Metropolitan Police, the London Fire Brigade, the London Ambulance Service, and St John Ambulance. They are also attended by a number ofdepartments from the London Borough of Barnet including health and safety and building control.
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