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BETTER CARE NEEDED FOR BOMB SURVIVORS

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Report criticises lack of planning ...
Report criticises lack of planning

By Mark Smulian

London councils should find hundreds of premises to serve as shelters for survivors of any terrorist attack on the capital's transport network.

That is among recommendations from a London Assembly report into the response to the bombs on 7 July last year, in which 52 people were killed and more than 700 injured.

Councils, transport firms and the emergency services should identify 'at least two potential survivor reception centres close to tube stations, overground rail stations and major bus stations in central London', the report says.

'They should then liaise with the owners/occupiers of those sites and involve them in emergency planning.'

The report warns 'the most striking failing' in the response was a lack of planning for survivors who might have been traumatised but who were left to their own devices and mostly remain unknown to social service or health bodies.

Croydon LBC chief executive David Wechsler, who held the rotating 'gold command' post for London boroughs on 7 July, said: 'What I learned most was that the assumption we made after 9/11 that inter-agency cooperation would be critically important proved to be correct. Personal contact between senior managers was vital.

'The survivor centres are an interesting idea and the concept of providing support in accessible locations must be right.'

London mayor Ken Livingstone (Lab) said the day of the bombs had seen 'some incredible acts of bravery and everybody on duty from the emergency services, transport staff, health, local authorities, voluntary agency staff and Londoners delivered their best'.

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