In order to cope with an emergency situation the Council creates plans, and provides training staff to minimise disruption to the borough's functions.
Along with partner agencies, the Contingency Planning Unit's tasks include:
- assessing local risks
- writing, testing and validating plans
- training and exercising
- sharing information and working together with partner agencies
- warning and informing residents and businesses of risks
- business continuity planning
- promoting business continuity to the local community
We also work with the Crisis Support Team (CST) which is staffed by Council officers, on a voluntary basis, to support residents who have suffered a bereavement as a result of a major incident.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004
Under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 as a local authority we have a statutory duty to have contingency plans in place to ensure the borough’s resources and staff are equipped to deal with a crisis situation effectively, while continuing to provide the usual day-to-day services of the Council. The Act classes local authorities in the same category as the police services, fire brigade, health authorities, environment agency, ambulance services, coastguards and port authorities.
In an emergency situation the Council will:
- support the emergency services
- support people affected by the incident
- provide mutual aid to other responders
- maintain normal council services
- plan for medium and long term consequences and recovery from the incident
The type of assistance that can be offered is the provision of:
- rest centres
- examination of building structures
- highway closures and diversion routes
- site clearance
- specialist equipment
- environmental health services
Once the immediate life-threatening period has passed, the Council will play a major role in restoring normality to the area as quickly as possible.