CONCERNS OVER THE COUNCIL’S PREPAREDNESS FOR EMERGENCIES

I have expressed concern at a report that says a number of council departments do not have arrangements in place to be able to continue to deliver critical aspects of their day to day functions in the event of an emergency.

An update report to the Council’s Corporate Governance and Audit Committee regarding the development of ‘Business Continuity Plans’ for the Council’s ‘most critical services’ stated that of the 67 Business Continuity Plans required, just 43 plans are currently in place, progress is ongoing with the development of a further 24 plans.

I am alarmed by the implications of this report. If the Council has identified 67 areas delivering what it says are its ‘most critical services’, then it seems absolutely essential that there should be plans in place to maintain these services in the event of an emergency. Yet it appears over a third of these services still do not have completed plans in place.

I am concerned at the potential impact this could have on people in the city, if a disruptive event were to damage the Council’s normal day to day operations. It’s vital that the Council provides assurances to the public that its departments are in the proper state of readiness to respond to emergencies, and that it has plans in place to maintain critical services in those circumstances. It’s the least that people expect of their local council.

I am urging the Council’s administration to move quickly to ensure that the required plans are in place as soon as possible. Anything less than swift and decisive action on this risks damaging the basic level of confidence people have in the council’s competence to respond effectively in an emergency.