John Mann (Bassetlaw, Labour)
(1) how many stadia evacuation procedures have been tested using people in sporting stadia in each of the last three years;
(2) what methodology is used for determining the safety of football and other sporting stadia under current UK disaster planning procedures.
Hugh Robertson (The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)
I have been asked to reply
on behalf of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
We do not hold records relating to the number of tests of stadia evacuation procedures in each of the last three years. While the Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for the Safety of Sports Grounds legislation, responsibility for the safety of spectators lies at all times with the ground's management. Responsibility for certifying and regulating those sports grounds is primarily a matter for individual local authorities.
The “Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds”, written by the Sports Grounds Safety Authority and published by the Department, includes guidance on the importance of regular and detailed inspections and tests, as a necessary and important function of safety management. It recommends that ground management should prepare contingency plans, which include provision for the evacuation of all people in the event of an emergency from all areas of the ground to a place of safety, and that exercises to test contingency plans should be staged at least once a year in consultation with the relevant authorities and emergency services.
Although the guide has no statutory force, many of its recommendations may be legal requirements at individual grounds through their inclusion in safety certificates issued by local authorities under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 or the Fire Safety and Safety of Places of Sport Act 1987. The guide can be found at the following link: