Argyll and Bute has won a national award, thanks to the joint efforts of local communities and organisations including the council and Police Scotland.
The council received the Silver Award, in the category of Strong and Sustainable Communities, in the 2014 COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) Excellence Awards scheme.
Councillor Dick Walsh, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said, “Following the extremely disruptive weather and power outages of 2012 and 2013, the council, police, voluntary sector, other organisations, and communities across Argyll and Bute have joined forces to develop new ways of working together to benefit anyone affected by emergency situations.
“Our focus has been on producing plans that will help people during an emergency and ensure a more speedy return to normality.
“Community councils across Argyll and Bute are working with us to produce emergency plans for their area. Each plan produced by the community for the community is as unique and diverse as our communities themselves.
“This award is a great achievement and recognises the efforts of everyone involved.”
Chief Superintendent, Barry McEwan Divisional Commander of Argyll and West Dunbartonshire, and Chair of the Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership said, “Our services respond more effectively to emergency situations, such as extreme weather, when we work in partnership with our local communities. The knowledge of local people helps us make the best possible use of our resources within the community and to reach those in most need.
“A great deal of partnership working with our communities has been happening across Argyll and Bute, bringing communities and responders together for the benefit of all, with the majority of communities now having a plan and I would encourage all community councils to continue to work with us on a plan for your area. These plans keep people safe and you never know when we might need it.”
In March 2013, snow, winds and freezing temperatures brought significant disruption to people in Kintyre. Margaret McDowall of Southend Community Council explained how Southend has put together their community resilience plan, “We got together with the council, police and other organisations to talk about what had gone well during the terrible weather and what could have been better. We looked at what other people put in their plans, included some of the same things in ours, and some different things. It was a really positive process; it strengthened relationships between the community and agencies.
“Having the plan means that we’re all geared up to get started if a disruptive situation happens again. I would recommend that any community without a plan looks into getting one. We know from our experience of the dreadful weather that emergencies can happen anywhere.”
Community councils who would like help in developing an emergency plan should contact email@example.com or call 01436 658988