In conversation with Peter Vardy

Calderdale Council’s Events and Licensing Officer

Author: Kaitlyn Hogg

Image © VisitCalderdale Tourism Team


Year on year Calderdale plays host to hundreds of events, attracting hundreds of thousands of people including visitors from across the United Kingdom and overseas. The hugely popular Tour de Yorkshire paid many a visit to Calderdale, with the Tour de France visiting in 2014. Public events greatly enhance community life and we foster reasonable and proportionate event management and input from relevant stakeholders, so that events, large or small, can be successful and can take place safely.

Peter Vardy has over 40 years experience working for Calderdale Council . For the latter half of those years he has been involved in the ongoing development and management of the Councils process for managing event applications and more recently the process relating to filming.. Working closely with the Councils Health & Safety Officer, Peter Chairs the Council’s events Safety Advisory Group. He was instrumental in the creation of EventsMakr, our event permit system for events offices.

“We have around 150 event applications a year, I lose count of those for filming!”

What’s your favourite aspect of being an events officer?

“The opportunity to facilitate and make things happen however odd or short notice the request. I enjoy the daily challenge, the fast pace, the plate spinning, the variety, the problem solving, pulling never ending rabbits from a hat. Helping others and working with volunteer event organisers is also a favourable part in what I do, as well as cross department and partner working.”

How important is it to your local authority that events happen?

In addition to the wider economic benefits, events provide cultural and educational opportunities and foster a feeling of community pride.  Events have direct and indirect impact on communities. They provide opportunities for participation, skills development, volunteering, and social, cultural, economic, and environmental development. Community events and festivals attract tourists and visitors at a local and regional level.  Events provide opportunities for local vendors, craftspeople, all in all, festivals and events   have benefits that go well beyond what can be measured in economic terms. They contribute to the quality of life, strengthen communities, providing unique opportunities.

What system are you currently using and what will using EventsMakr mean for you?

Peter currently works with PDF fillable forms, and Outlook for filing and retrieving data, which can be both tiring and frustrating. Their retention period is 6 years and 4 months in line with the statute of limitations , so there is a bundle of data at all times. Due to the information that may be required, two to three forms are involved, to capture events which take place either on or off the highway, as well as medical provision. Unfortunately, this means the applicant is faced with duplicating some of the information they provide – there are also “accessibility issues associated with pdf forms and any reporting has to be manually compiled”

EventsMakr will mean a more accessible, streamlined forward-facing system for the applicant with no duplication in the information the applicant needs to supply, we will also be less likely to receive incomplete applications as the system brings together  a number of separate forms”. Whilst using EventsMakr, event organisers won’t be faced with the same unrelated questions. “The work involved manually filing and concerns, for example regarding the audit trail, will be significantly diminished”.

See what EventsMakr can do for your events planning here.

Thank you for your time, Peter! We can’t wait to see the events we can help you make happen, this year.