Hertfordshire County Council has scored top marks for its performance in ensuring that sports grounds in the county are safe.

The Sports Grounds Safety Authority which advises and audits the work of licensing authorities recently endorsed the council's self-assessment. They confirmed that the team led by Hertfordshire Trading Standards had achieved an impressive score of 48 out of a possible 50 marks for their work.

Under the Safety at Sports Grounds Act, your local county council is responsible for issuing and enforcing safety certificates for sports grounds such as Watford and Stevenage Football Clubs.

As well as chairing and leading Safety Advisory Groups for grounds within the county, officers carry out regular inspections to ensure that the ground management are complying with the terms of the certificate. These are normally multi-agency inspections and include representatives from the Fire Protection team along with Building Control and the Police. The inspections are often carried out on match days to observe and understand the operation of the ground.

The very high score achieved in this year’s audit recognises the close attention which has been paid to the training of staff and the strong multi-agency partnership working.

Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “I congratulate all those involved in helping to achieve such an impressive score. Spectator safety is a primary concern at sporting events and the consequences of getting it wrong could be very serious.

"The eyes of the world were on us in 2012, when the Olympics came to Hertfordshire and I am delighted that the high standards we set ourselves in overseeing the management of safety at the Lee Valley White Water Centre has been recognised and replicated elsewhere in the county.”