The Civil Contingencies Act 2004
In our ever-changing world, emergency incidents can happen at any time and their cause can range from human or mechanical error, to extreme acts of nature. In Emergency Planning, our aim is to reduce the chances of these emergencies occurring.
If they do occur we, aim to reduce the impact of these to a minimum and help those affected to our fullest capability.
We are guided by the Civil Contingencies Act 2004: The purpose of which is to establish a statutory framework for civil protection and community resilience at a local level.
Local responders are the building block of resilience in the UK, and the Act aims to enhance existing civil protection arrangements by:
- Establishing a clear set of roles and responsibilities for local responders undertaking multi-agency emergency management
- Giving greater structure and consistency to local emergency management and resilience activities and ensures adequate business continuity management is undertaken
- Establishing a sound basis for critically assessing the effectiveness of emergency planning at a local level
- The Act splits responding agencies in to Cat 1 and Cat 2 responders. With a different set of responsibilities imposed on each group.
Cat 1 Responders include:
- Emergency Services (Essex Police Force, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service & East of England Ambulance Service)
- Local Authorities
- Health Bodies
- Environment Agency
This means that local authorities have the same duty in planning for a major incident as the emergency services. Therefore as a Category 1 responder, Brentwood Borough Council has a responsibility to:
- Assess the risk of emergencies occurring and using this to inform contingency planning
- Put in place emergency plans and test and exercise these plans
- Put in place Business Continuity Management arrangements
- Put in place arrangements to 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
- Provide Local Business with Business Continuity advice
Category 2 organisations are co-operating bodies who while less likely to be involved in the heart of planning work but will be heavily involved in incidents that affect their sector.
Cat 2 Responders including:
- Utilities Companies
- Voluntary Sector
- Health & Safety Executive
Cat 1 and 2 Responders come together to form Local Resilience Forums. Brentwood Borough Council is a member of the Essex Resilience Forum and attends all meetings relevant to our Emergency Planning activities.
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