Stewards are normally deployed as an integral part of the overall event management team to ensure a safe controlled environment for the event to take place. The number of stewards required and their roles is dependent on the size and complexity of an event. 

Stewarding guidelines for a road closure in Blackpool 

Stewards role 

When organising an event, the number of stewards required should be determined early in the planning process. As a general guide you will require a steward at each junction on the road that is to be closed, they should be positioned adjacent to the barrier.  
These will be in addition to those tasked with other duties during the event. Stewards are responsible for ensuring discipline  within the event, including providing a safe environment for its taking place. 
Organisers must retain control of their event. A chain of command should be set up with a head steward being appointed who will have overall responsibility for the stewards including their briefing to outline what is expected of each steward. It is vital that stewards and organisers have good communication at all times on the day of the event to pass on any information. This should be with the head steward / event organiser. A mobile telephone or two-way radio system would suffice. 

Provision of stewards 

  • Stewards must be a minimum age of 18. 
  • Stewards must be able to speak / understand English and follow any instruction given to them immediately, if required to do so.  
  • Stewards must be alert at all times and must not use mobile phones for text messages or personal phone calls. They also must not listen to any music using ear sets / headphones from MP3 players, iPods™ or CD players, etc, or read any books / magazines. 
  • They should be polite and helpful to members of the public at all times.   
  • Provision of spare stewards must be made in order for the others to have meal and comfort breaks.  
  • Stewards must assist with any emergencies that require essential traffic movements.  

Identification 

All stewards should be readily identifiable by wearing high visibility clothing/tabards. 

Powers 

Stewards have no powers to direct traffic, nor do they have authority to carry any article/equipment for deterring unlawful behaviour. Stewards may only act in accordance with the law as a private person.      

Duties 

Stewards should only act on instructions given by the event organiser, head steward, the Police or a member of the Council’s traffic management section.  The Police will only intervene in the event of: 
  • A breach of the peace or criminal activity 
  • Stewards failing to act as appropriate 
  • People ignoring stewards’ requests. 

On occasions, the Police may have to cancel an event at short notice due to incident that may impact on the safety of the event. If this situation or any emergency arises stewards must follow instructions from the Police and not the organisers. Failing to comply with instructions in these cases may amount to obstruction of Police – a criminal offence. 
Potentially difficult situations are often diffused by good humour and tact on the part of stewards. People tend to respond positively when stewards display the ability to control the event effectively.