THE multi-agency response to last year’s severe weather emergency was handled ‘well, quickly and effectively’ according to a House of Commons report released this week.
The Scottish Affairs Committee carried out a review of the power outages and severe weather conditions which hit Kintyre in March 2013 and published its conclusions on Wednesday 14th May.
In its report, the committee states that Argyll and Bute Council, along with the other agencies involved, responded swiftly and effectively to the emergency – despite the extremely difficult and challenging conditions which everyone faced.
The committee cited the ‘robust contingency planning for emergencies’ which the council has in place, as well as paying tribute to the council staff who worked extremely hard in high winds and heavy drifting snow to clear roads and make sure vulnerable people were safe. The close working relationships between the council and other agencies involved were also highlighted as a contributing factor.
A key element of the council’s strong response to severe weather emergencies in the last year in particular is its focus on supporting communities to increase their resilience.
Argyll and Bute Council’s Community Resilience Project is nationally recognised as an example of best practice and took silver at this year’s COSLA Excellence Awards. The project sees the council working closely with people across the area to develop their own dedicated emergency response plans, tailored to suit the unique characteristics and needs of Argyll and Bute’s diverse rural and urban communities.
These community-focused plans, combined with the council’s own effective and proven emergency response procedures, mean that by working together everyone is giving Argyll and Bute the best possible head start when it comes to dealing with the unexpected and the unpredictable.
Over 70 per cent of communities have either completed their emergency response plan or have one in preparation – but any community which has not yet done so is encouraged to find out more. Argyll and Bute Council can offer support and guidance and, once a community plan is complete, will provide a specially equipped kit bag for use in emergency situations.
There is lots of information about how to get started at www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/community-emergency-plans/community-resilience - alternatively you can speak to our dedicated team on 01436 658728 or email firstname.lastname@example.org