Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

EMERGENCY PAPER AIMS TO EASE PANIC

  • Comment
The government is to publish an emergency planning white paper outlining statutory requirements for councils....
The government is to publish an emergency planning white paper outlining statutory requirements for councils.

It is hoped the consultation, expected early next year, will pave the way for a

civil contingencies bill which will update the existing legislation which dates back more than half a century.

The bill intends to clarify the roles and responsibilities of both central and local government following criticism from some council emergency planners that there is a lack of co-ordination between central and local government.

Hertfordshire CC's head of safety, emergency and risk management David Moses said: 'There is some unease in emergency planning about a lack of clarity and communication over what would happen in the event of an emergency.'

A conference, organised by the Local Authorities Radiation Network, was held this week to discuss the impact on councils of legislative changes in emergency planning.

Local Government Association disaster management consultant Paul Read said: 'Before the attacks of 11 September 2001 the Home Office sent out some guidance to local authorities about how a terrorist attack using chemical, biological radiological or nuclear weapons would be dealt with. That is now being reviewed and updated.'

The concern expressed by Mr Moses was echoed in a recent House of Commons select committee report, which said there had been a good deal of effort expended without clear strategic direction.

There has also been criticism from Conservative shadow home secretary Oliver Letwin, who said the government's plans for dealing with a major terrorist incident were 'amateurish and disorganised'.

A statement from the civil contingencies secretariat of the Cabinet Office said:

'A possible framework for local arrangements is emerging, based on identifying and categorising key local organisations with a clear leadership role.'

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.