Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Local Authorities, Contingency Planning, Resilience

The Council in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been criticised for its response to the Grenfell Tower fire of 14th June - The Independent 18th June "Emergency taskforce takes over Grenfell Tower relief operation ...." and BBC News 18th June.   The Council's response will eventually have to be assessed against the planning that a Council is required to undertake in preparedness for emergency situations.  The principal legislation is now the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 Part 1 (Arrangements for civil protection).

The Civil Contingencies Act established a new legislative framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom. It imposes duties on those organisations with a role to play in preparing for and responding to emergencies. Local authorities are a Category 1 responder under the Act, and have a key part to play in respect in discharging their duties under the legislation.

The Act is separated into two parts: local arrangements for civil protection (Part 1) and emergency powers (Part 2).

Part 1 of the Act, the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) Regulations 2005 (as amended in 2012) and statutory guidance Emergency Preparedness, establish a clear set of roles and responsibilities for those involved in emergency preparation and response at the local level.  Local responders are divided into two categories, with a different set of duties applying to each.

Category 1 responders are those organisations at the core of emergency response (e.g. emergency services, local authorities, NHS bodies).  Category 1 responders are subject to the full set of civil protection duties. These include:
  • assessing the risk of emergencies occurring and use this to inform contingency planning in the form of a Community Risk Register;
  • Put in place emergency plans;
  • Create business continuity plans to ensure that they can continue to exercise critical functions in the event of an emergency;
  • Make information available to the public about civil protection matters, and maintain arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public in the event of an emergency;
  • Share information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination;
  • Co-operate with other local responders to enhance coordination and efficiency;
  • Provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management (Local Authorities only).
Category 2 responders are required to co-operate and share information with other Category 1 and 2 responders to ensure that they are well integrated within wider emergency planning frameworks, and contribute their expertise on risks and essential services in the form of the Local Resilience Forums.

Further information on the Civil Contingencies Act 2004


London has an additional body - London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) and a new London Safety Plan was adopted on 30th March.

See also London Prepared.

Your Council?

An internet search along the lines of Council Name + Resilience should reveal links to local arrangements.

For example,  my search for Greater Manchester resilience provided a link to Greater Manchester Prepared

Review of Regulations:

The Contingency Planning Regulations 2005 have been recently reviewed - see Post implementation review report 11th April 2017

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