Warrington Borough Council works with partner agencies such as the emergency services, health services, utility companies and voluntary agencies as part of the Cheshire Resilience Forum to plan for and respond to Emergencies.

Our aim is to minimise the impact of any emergency on the community and the local environment and manage the return to normality. We have a dedicated team of staff which carries out a number of functions in the planning, response and recovery phases of an incident.

We have a legal duty to make sure we have plans in place to respond to emergencies. These include:

Planning
  • Liaison – we work closely with partner agencies within the Cheshire Local Resilience Forum (LRF) as well as stakeholders and the voluntary sector.  This ensures our plans are aligned and that we are prepared to respond to emergencies in a coordinated way.
  • Information sharing and co-operation – we have to co-operate and share information with each other both in planning for and responding to incidents. 
  • Emergency planning – we constantly assess the risks posed in Warrington and develop and maintain emergency plans for each.
  • Training and exercising (with other agencies) -  we plan and participate in exercises with partner agencies including health, emergency services, the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and industrial companies as necessary.
  • Training and exercising (our own staff) -  We have a team of volunteers within the council to assist us in the response to a major incident. We ensure that our staff are up to date with the latest procedures and response arrangements. 
  • Warning and informing the public – we must provide the public with information during and after an incident. We also provide advice to the public on self-help arrangements to prepare for an emergency.
Our statutory obligations

In addition to the Civil Contingencies Act, to ensure that the UK is prepared for the impact of an emergency, the government places specific statutory obligations on all Local Authorities, these include:

  • COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazard) - All top tier COMAH sites have a duty to prepare an emergency plan for the site. The Council has a duty to prepare a plan to reduce or mitigate the effects on the community off site.
  • Whether a site is a Top Tier site is determined by the Health & Safety Executive and considers whether the company produces or stores chemicals of certain types and quantities
  • There is one top tier COMAH site in Warrington, Solvay Interox Ltd. If your home or business is located near to the site you may be within what is known as the Public Information Zone (PIZ), if so, you will already be very well informed by the company about what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency occurring at the site.
  • PSR (Pipeline Safety Regulations) - there are a network of underground pipelines running throughout the UK delivering essential fuel and gas supplies. In the same way that companies operating top tier COMAH sites are governed by legislation, the companies operating these pipelines are required to have safety measures in place. The Council also has to develop plans to respond to Major Accident Hazard Pipeline incidents.

REPPIR (Radiation, Emergency Preparedness and Public Information regulations

Response
  • Notification - we are informed of Major Incidents or Major Incident Standbys by responding emergency services. For out of hours notifications, the Council operates a on-call rota system to ensure we are able to provide an appropriate emergency response at all times.
  • Co-ordination - following the declaration of an incident, the Council will work with partner agencies to ensure the response is co-ordinated and ensure appropriate departments are kept informed.
  • Volunteers – The Council’s response relies on a team of volunteers, made up of internal staff and partners from the voluntary agencies who will work together to ensure practical and emotional support is provided to those affected by the incident. This may include:
    • Arranging transport and temporary accommodation for evacuees if they are not able to stay with Friends and Family and where there is no assistance from Landlords or Insurance Companies
    • Supporting the emergency response by arranging and implementing traffic diversions and road closures in conjunction with the police
    • Assisting other partners to warn and inform the public about the emergency, this may include establishing local helplines or information and enquiry points
    • Providing technical expertise in areas such as building control, bridges, roads and highway drainage
Recovery

The Council takes the lead on recovery, aiming to restore normality back to the local community.

A multi-agency Recovery Working Group would be established, under the direction of a Senior Council Manager, to consider and set a strategy for the following:

  • Human Aspects, Welfare and Health considerations; including any health surveillance, follow up visits, access to emotional / practical support.
  • Community Recovery
  • Environmental Recovery
  • Business and Economic Recovery
  • Finance including any Disaster Relief Fund
  • Communications
  • COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazard) - where a company produces or stores chemicals of certain types and quantities they are defined as a ‘top tier’ COMAH site. All top tier COMAH sites have a duty to prepare an emergency plan for the site. We also have a duty to prepare a plan to reduce or mitigate the effects on the community. There is one top tier COMAH site in Warrington, Solvay Interox Ltd. If your home or business is located near to either of these sites, in what is known as the Public Information Zone (PIZ), you will already be very well informed by the company about what to do in the unlikely event of an emergency occurring at the site.

  • PSR (Pipeline Safety Regulations) - there are underground pipelines running throughout the UK delivering essential fuel and gas supplies. Like the top tier COMAH sites, the companies operating these pipelines have safety measures in place. We also have a plan to respond to any pipeline incidents.

  • REPPIR (Radiation, Emergency Preparedness and Public Information regulations)
  • The Civil Contingencies Act (CCA) 2004