Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee

Agenda Item 41[Insert]


Subject:                    Madeira Drive Closures 2023


Date of meeting:    3rd November 2022


Report of:                 Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Ian Baird

                                    Tel: 01273 292711



Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         To seek approval from Councillors for landlord’s consent for each of the proposed events on Madeira Drive in 2023/24 and the associated road closures. Councillors are reminded that they can grant consent for each event request individually and not only the whole programme.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee grants landlord’s consent (subject to the execution of a formal agreement) for each of the proposed events on Madeira Drive and the associated road closures as listed in Appendix 1.


2.2         That the committee authorises officers to enter into formal agreements with event organisers to determine conditions, fees and levels of support as appropriate.


2.3         That the committee agrees to move the approval process for the programme to a 6-monthly process for 2023/24 allowing additional time for due diligence in event planning.


2.4         That the committee authorises the Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture, after consultation with the Chair of the committee and opposition spokespersons, to make any alterations to the events programme as necessary including approving new applications in accordance with the Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024 and cancelling events if required.


3.            Context and background information


3.1      Madeira Drive continues to be a very important venue for events in the city. The long heritage of events on Madeira Drive is reflected by most of the events listed in Appendix 1 having taken place at this location previously. The events programme draws residents and visitors to Madeira Drive.  This  extends the Seafront offer both geographically away from the main tourism area between the piers and seasonally, by holding events throughout the year.


3.2      In line with the current City Council Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024, none of the new proposals listed in Appendix 1 are events that involve vehicles with combustion engines. All other events have taken place previously on Madeira Drive and add to the financial and cultural contribution that outdoor events bring to the city.


3.3      In 2022 there was a significant return of outdoor events to the city following the negative impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the impact of regulations that had been in place. This was the first full programme where events on Madeira Drive had to take into consideration a new road design, including the newly widened cycle lane between the Pier and Black Rock. The organisation of almost all events in Appendix 1 requires the temporary closure of this cycle lane. An increased programme of advanced warning signs for cycle lane suspensions will be implemented in 2023 ensuring cyclists on national cycle route 2 are diverted at Marine Drive onto Marine Parade before descending onto Madeira Drive.


3.4      The continued decline of the Madeira Terraces has not resulted in a reduction in proposals for events on Madeira Drive. However, the safety fence adjacent to the Terraces has impacted upon the operational requirements of some events. Additional consideration will be made in 2023 to prepare events for possible further disruption when the Madeira Terrace renovation works begin and examine how best the site can operate when the renovations are in progress, taking into account changes in available space.


3.5      A new crossing point has been installed across the Volks Railway, as part of the Sea Lanes Development. This has assisted event organisers to move infrastructure onto the beach and made up for the loss of space from the closure of Madeira Terraces. Operation of this crossing has functioned well and we will increase collaboration with Volks Railway staff to further improve this access in the future.


3.6      The events industry has been badly impacted by the effects of the pandemic. Entry numbers are still much lower than normal for mass participation sports events. However, 2022 did see the return of the Brighton & Hove Half Marathon and Brighton Marathon. As a response to dramatically reduced participation numbers, use of the beach adjacent to Madeira Drive in 2023 is likely to be reduced for sporting events.


3.7      The city’s Safety Advisory Group including representation from Public Health will review on an on-going basis the potential implications of the covid pandemic on the operation of outdoor events. This group will also continue to scrutinise event management plans in line with its Terms of Reference.


3.8      Officers will ensure that event organisers requiring the use of Madeira Drive are kept informed of development works relating to Madeira Terraces, Sea Lanes and Black Rock, allowing event organisers to adapt their plans accordingly and work alongside the three developments. Officers will work together to ensure that no event is cancelled as a result of any of the developments along Madeira Drive, as far as is reasonably practicable.


3.9      Whilst many of the events listed in Appendix 1 have taken place before and retain their traditional place in the annual calendar, officers have received requests for one new event in 2023 and the return of two events that failed to activate in 2022. A summary of these events is outlined in paragraphs 3.10 to 3.12 of this report.


New and Amended Events


3.10    Brighton Carnival (previously Kemptown Carnival) Saturday 10th June 2023:   Consent was previously granted for Kemptown Carnival to move to Madeira Drive in 2021, allowing the event to be more easily managed in a larger space. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the event didn’t take place in 2021 or 2022. In 2023 it is the centenary of the 1923 Brighton Carnival and with the new location, the event is being rebranded to acknowledge its history. Brighton Carnival will bring local communities together, encourage local artists to perform and remain a free, open access event.


3.11    The Rainbow Mile Friday 4th August (TBC) 2023: Rainbow Mile is a 1-Mile celebration that combines the LGBTQIA+ and sporting communities. Held during Pride month in cities around the world this is a high profile event celebrating diversity and sporting excellence.


3.12    Brighton Velocity Sunday 17th September 2023:  A new seafront cycling festival for Brighton & Hove, combining the Tour of Sussex with an inclusive festival of cycling and cycle sport.  The Brighton Velocity event is focused on promoting cycling as a green way to travel, a great way to get fit and a fantastic and exciting sport. The event will work with partners and stakeholders to promote general sustainable transport and to include electric and alternate modes of transport. This event failed to run in 2022 but returns in 2023.


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         Not applicable


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1      Consultation is taking place with Ward Councillors, Sussex Police, East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, South East Coast Ambulance Service, NHS Trust, Environmental Health & Licensing, City Parks, Civil Contingencies, Sustainability and Highways. Detailed consultation will also follow as the events are developed between the respective event organiser and our partner agencies.


5.2      A verbal update on the consultation responses will be given at the committee meeting.


            Social Value Impact


5.3      Events can affect the way places are perceived and people’s relationships with their place of residence, making them feel connected to it. It may encourage people to contribute more towards local projects or take more care of the local environment. Events act as vehicles to bring people together, encouraging social contact leading to enhanced individual wellbeing and more resilient communities. People benefit from participating in events, but also by volunteering and getting involved in planning and organising them helping to build capacity of communities to organise events and other projects in the future.


5.4      Involvement in events can enhance people’s quality of life by providing enjoyable, sociable experiences to look forward to and reflect on as well as encouraging personal development to equip people with skills, confidence and knowledge to help them in their lives.


5.5      Events are not universally appreciated and there may be some associated negative effects that diminish their social value including disruption to everyday routines.


            Noise Management


5.6      All events involving the use of amplified music will be required to provide the council with a noise management plan which will be shared with colleagues in Environmental Protection for comment. Event organisers will need to adhere to specific restrictions on levels of noise at their event, as well as provide the council will evidence of mitigation measures in place to reduce the impact on nearby businesses and residents.


6.        CONCLUSION


6.1      Landlord’s consent is required for the staging of all major outdoor events on council land in Brighton and Hove.


6.2      Events form a significant part of the council’s overall tourism strategy. As well as bringing substantial economic benefits to the city, people experience civic pride when major recreational, sporting and entertainment events take place in their locality. These help to bring regional and national recognition to the city as well as bringing significant economic benefits.


6.3      Granting Landlord’s Consent for the 2023 events programme on Madeira Drive provides support for a sector that has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic over the course of 2020/21, with restrictions continuing into 2022. The support of the City Council for the events sector has never been more important.


6.4      Officers will ensure that all events meet the requirements of the Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024, including the need for all event organisers to sign up to the Outdoor Events Charter.

7.         Financial implications


7.1       In accordance with the existing Outdoor Events policy, fees are charged for commercial events and any costs incurred are the responsibility of the organiser. In addition, a reinstatement deposit is usually held, and evidence of adequate insurance cover is required. The fees charged are determined by negotiation based on a number of factors including capacity, whether a new or established event, whether an admission fee is to be charged and infrastructure required; all of these are subject to agreement by officers as per the recommendations of this report.


7.2      The income generated from fees charged for commercial events on Madeira Drive contribute to the costs of the Outdoor Events Team and has, in a normal financial year, enabled charitable and community events and free public entertainments to be supported at reduced rates across the city.


Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack    Date consulted 20/10/22


8.         Legal implications


8.1       With reference to the recommendations, the Council is empowered under Section 77 of the East Sussex Act 1981 to use Madeira Drive for up to 28         days a year to facilitate the staging of major outdoor events. In addition, the      proposals in this report are made in accordance with the Outdoor Events        Strategy 2019 – 2024 and the terms of the agreements with the event             organisers and the ongoing consultation process should ensure that the     events are safe and well managed, and that disruption is kept to a minimum.


Name of lawyer consulted: Joanne Dunyaglo    Date consulted 18/10/22


9.         Sustainability implications


9.1       All events are planned and staged in accordance with the statutory powers and planning obligations as set out in the Outdoor Events Strategy 2019-2024.


9.2       The nature of outdoor events means that they often involve a range of potential sustainability impacts (both positive and negative) from travel, energy and water use, food, local economic and social impacts, use of outdoor spaces and production of waste. Event organisers continue to be strongly encouraged to sign up to the Council’s Sustainable Event Commitment, helping them to improve sustainability at their events. The Sustainable Events Programme is certified to the international standard for environmental management ISO 14001.


9.3       The Sustainable Events Programme also meets the requirements of the British Standard for Sustainable Events that was developed for the London 2012 Games and helped them deliver a highly visible sustainability programme, particularly around event waste recycling and encouraging people to use public transport. The standard was superseded by the International Standard ISO 20121 and the council’s programme has been amended to meet the requirements of the new standard and help the council continually improve its engagement with event       organisers to improve sustainability.


9.4       Environmental Impact Assessment and Action plans will be required to be undertaken by organisers wishing to stage their events in the city.


10.       Crime & disorder implications:


10.1    Sussex Police are involved in both the consultation and planning of all major events.


11.       Public health implications:


11.1      Outdoor events have a positive impact on the health and well-being of participants and spectators. However, events will need to meet covid safe requirements if they are able to take place.


11.2      Initial landlord’s consent for outdoor events is determined by the council many months in advance, however, whether any event can go ahead is still very much dependent on all the safety and event permissions being in place at the time of the event.


11.3      Officers attend regular meetings held by the Sussex Resilience Forum, to ensure consistency as a region in relation to guidance, advice and information being given to event organisers with regards to Public Health concerns. It is recognised regionally that keeping visitors and residents safe is our priority.


12.       Equalities implications


12.1    The outdoor events programme caters for people from all sectors of the community as there are a diverse range of events that are staged in the city each year. Issues such as physical access to an event and designated viewing areas are developed and detailed in event plans where applicable. Equalities Impact Assessments will be required of major event organisers.


Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


1.            Proposed Madeira Drive closures 2023