The Civil Contingencies Bill was introduced to Parliament on 7 January 2004. Its development was informed from the start by close consultation with key stakeholders in what was an open and inclusive policy-making process. The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 has defined an emergency as –
‘Any event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the UK, the environment of a place in the UK, or war or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security of the UK.’
The risk of a major disaster occurring in the Hyndburn is relatively low, however these events do occur, such incidents include major transport accidents, severe weather conditions, chemical incidents, explosions, fire, flooding, fuel or power supply failure, loss of or disruption to essential services/communications, terrorist activities.
The types of emergency that require a response from the council are those which need the implementation of special arrangements by one or more of the emergency services, or where there are large numbers of people involved.
Emergency Planning is concerned with facilitating the planning, preparation and coordination of the local authorities response to a disruptive influence or major incident. We use our resources to mitigate the effects of emergencies on people, property and infrastructure. In addition to dealing with the incident, normal support and care for the local and wider community must continue throughout any disruption.
Disasters demand a combined and coordinated response, this involves working with national and regional emergency planning bodies, the emergency services, utilities and voluntary agencies to ensure that all concerned will work together with the common goal of returning the community to normality as soon as is reasonably possible.
COMAH Sites within the Borough
To ensure that arrangements are in place to deal with the off-site consequences of an incident at the site however unlikely, Lancashire County Council produce an off-site emergency plan. This is a requirement under the Control of Major Accident Hazards 2015 (as amended) – known as COMAH.
The off-site plan is in addition to the company on-site plan and is developed by the County Council working with a number of organisations including the local authority, emergency services, health organisations and staff from the site. The plan is designed to protect the public and environment from any emergency which may have off-site consequences.
If you require further information please contact Lancashire County Council Emergency Planning Service.
Stay in the know about Lancashire
The following information has been produced by Stay in the know Lancashire to help prepare for emergencies: