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The Civil Contingencies Act and Nottingham City Council

This page will tell you more about the types of emergencies Nottingham City Council is planning for, the different agencies and organisations we are working with and what we have to do under the Civil Contingencies Act.

What is an Emergency

Terms like 'disaster', 'emergency' and 'major incident' are all used to describe the kind of event which the emergency services and local authorities may not be able to deal with as part of their normal every day work. They can happen anywhere at any time and can cause distress and disruption on a massive scale and throw communities into chaos.

For the first time, the Civil Contingencies Act gives a specific definition of an emergency as:

  • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the United Kingdom
  • An event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment of a place in the United Kingdom
  • War, or terrorism, which threatens serious damage to the security of the United Kingdom

Broadly speaking this will be an incident that requires the implementation of special arrangements by the responding agencies, often for the purpose of:

  • The rescue, transportation and care of a large number of casualties
  • The evacuation, transportation and shelter of a large number of people
  • Providing warning, advice and information to the public
  • Handling of a large number of enquiries likely to be generated both from the public and the media
  • Ensuring a joined up approach between all the different responding agencies
  • Safeguarding the environment
  • Maintaining everyday services at an appropriate level
  • Facilitating the physical, social, economic and psychosocial long term recovering

This is the type of incident we are preparing for.

What organisations have to be involved

The Civil Contingencies Act divides local responders into two categories depending on the extent of their involvement in civil protection work.

Category 1 responders are those organisations at the core of emergency response. this currently includes:

Local Authorities

• All principal local authorities

Government agencies

• Environment Agency

• Scottish Environment Protection Agency

• Maritime and

Coastguard Agency

Emergency Services

• Police Forces

• British Transport

Police

• Police Service of Northern Ireland

• Fire Authorities

• Ambulance Services

NHS Bodies

• Primary Care Trusts

• Health Protection Agency

• NHS Acute Trusts (Hospitals)

• Foundation Trusts

• Local Health Boards (in Wales)

• Welsh NHS Trusts

• Health Boards (in Scotland)

• Port Health Authorities

Category 2 organisations are "co-operating bodies" who while less likely to be involved in the heart of planning work, will be heavily involved in incidents that affect their sector. This currently includes:

Utilities

• Electricity

• Gas

• Water and Sewerage

• Public communications providers (land lines and mobiles)

Transport

• Network Rail

• Train Operating Companies

(Passenger and Freight)

• Transport for London

• London Underground

• Airports

• Harbours and Ports

• Highways Agency

Government

• Health and Safety Executive

Health

• The Common Services Agency (in Scotland)

• Strategic Health Authorities

What does Nottingham City Council have to do

Under the Civil Contingencies Act Nottingham City Council, as a Category 1 Responder, has the following duties placed upon it:

Category 2 organisations are placed under the lesser duties of co-operating with these organisations and sharing relevant information.

As a Category 1 responder we now have to think bigger, expect the unexpected, plan, prepare, train and exercise for it.

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