The purpose of the Civil Contingencies Act is to deliver a single statutory framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom in order to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.
The Civil Contingencies Act defines an emergency as:
“An 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.” This definition of emergency is concerned with consequences rather than cause. Therefore, an emergency outside or inside the UK is covered by the definition provided it has consequences inside the UK.
Category 1 Responders are the core organisations that are likely to be involved in dealing with most emergency incidents e.g.
Category 2 Responders are key co-operating bodies in the public and private sector that play a supporting role in emergencies e.g.
- Maritime & Coastguard Agency
- Local Authorities
- Environment Agency
The Civil Contingencies Act places a broad range of civil protection duties on Category 1 Responders to ensure that they carry out the full spectrum of civil protection activities.
- Utilities like. gas, water, electricity, telecommunications
- Transport Operators e.g. railways, airports, highways authorities
- Strategic Health Authority
- Health & Safety Executive
Blackpool Council maintains plans for preventing emergencies, reducing, controlling or mitigating the effects of emergencies and for taking other action in connection with emergencies. Our plans must have regard to the assessment of hazards (see Community Risk Register) and must contain a procedure for determining whether an emergency has occurred. Provisions for training staff and exercising the plan to test its effectiveness must also be included.
Warning & Informing
The provision of information to the public regarding hazards, risk, self help and arrangements for dealing with emergencies is carried out in many different ways. Blackpool Council has a statutory duty to provide information both prior to ad during an emergency to assist the public with dealing with and recovering from the effects of an incident. Responders have a duty to plan their communications and test their effectiveness.
Information Sharing & Co-operation
Co-operation and information sharing between local responders is a legal duty. The principal mechanism for multi-agency co-operation is the Local Resilience Forum (LRF). The LRF membership is all Category 1 and 2 responders within each Police force area. Business Continuity Management (BCM) Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a planned process that helps manage the risks that affect the smooth running of an organisation or delivery of a service, ensuring it can continue to operate in the event of an unplanned disruption to normal working. The Act requires Category 1 responders to maintain plans to ensure they can continue to exercise their functions (as far as reasonably practicable) in the event of an emergency.
Promotion of BCM to the Local Community
Blackpool Council provides generic business continuity management advice and assistance to those undertaking commercial activities and to voluntary organisations in Blackpool.