Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 19th June, 2013


Report of the Director of Development Services


Update on Emergency Planning within Vale of Glamorgan


Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide an update on emergency planning within the Vale of Glamorgan


1.             THAT the Committee notes the report

2.             THAT the an annual update report on emergency planning be submitted to the Committee

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             In order that the Committee are briefed on emergency planning

2.             In order that the Committee to be briefed on a regular basis.


2.             At Housing & Public Protection Scrutiny Committee on  the 6th March  2013 Councillor Anne Moore  requested that a report is made to the next appropriate meeting

3.             Emergency planning is a local authority service which ensures that when an emergency has occurred the resources of local authorities are used to respond affectively, and support the emergency services, the utilities, the voluntary agencies and other organisations in mitigating the effects on the public and the environment.  The emergency planning service cuts across all service areas of Vale of Glamorgan Council.

4.             The main two pieces of legislation that underpin the emergency planning service are the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (1999) (COMAH), and the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) (CCA)

5.             COMAH places a statutory duty on local authorities to prepare off-site Emergency Plans in case of incidents occurring on industrial sites which store particular types and quantities of hazardous materials. There are three COMAH sites in the Vale, all clustered together at what is known as the Barry Chemical complex.

6.             The Civil Contingencies Act places duties on Vale of Glamorgan Council, as a Category One responder.

7.             Each Category One responder has a statutory duty for

  • Risk Assessment,
  • Emergency Planning,
  • Training and Exercising,
  • Business Continuity Management,
  • Warning and Informing the Public,
  • Sharing Information and Cooperation.

8.             Local authorities also have an additional responsibility to promote business continuity management as good practice within the local business community, and to local voluntary agencies. 

9.        Emergency Planning is delivered through the Civil Protection Unit (CPU); this is part of the Public Protection Service within the Development Services Directorate. The CPU leads and coordinates the Council response to major emergencies/incidents and provides a duty officer system that ensures the Council is able to provide a response to an emergency/incident 24/7.

10.        As well as the statutory duties, other work areas include Chair of the Vale of Glamorgan Events Safety Advisory Group and lead for coordinating the Stray Horse arrangements.

11.        The CPU's work programme is compiled around the Emergency Plan Framework, this set's out the emergency plans, their review period and the review dates.

12.        The Barry Chemical Complex Offsite Plan is reviewed in line with the COMAH regulations 1999; this is on a 3 yearly basis. The Plan was reviewed and exercised in 2011; and in line with the Regulation the next scheduled review is 2014.

13.        The Council is a member of the South Wales Resilience Forum; this is a multi-agency forum that plans the resilience agenda across the geographical area of South Wales Police and enables the Council to cooperate and share information and work with multi-agency partners.

Relevant Issues and Options

14.             The CPU updated the emergency plans in line with the Emergency Plan Framework in 2012/13, whilst working on projects unique to 2012 - the Eisteddfod 2012 and Olympics 2012.

15.             The CPU was a member of the Corporate Eisteddfod group and established the Eisteddfod Safety Advisory Group (SAG) concurrently. The SAG was a multi-agency group that looked at the safety elements of the show in terms of traffic management, first aid cover etc. An Eisteddfod multi-agency site specific plan was compiled to ensure a seamless response if any kind of major emergency/incident happened.

16.             The CPU was greatly involved in the planning and operational work for the Olympic Torch. This involved some complex multi-agency work with partners, as this was treated with very high security arrangements. On the day of the event the CPU had duty officers at the local Police operational (Bronze) command and the Multi-agency tactical (Silver) command.

17.             The CPU coordinated the response, together with Highways and South Wales Police to a number of out of hour's stray horse incidents and dead foals/horses being dumped in the Vale of Glamorgan.

18.             The CPU has well established procedures for responding to severe weather emergencies. Planning for the forthcoming winter period begins in late summer, this involves reviewing arrangements,  updating and requesting information from relevant Service Areas

19.             The year ended on a very wet note, with the Vale experiencing flooding on a large scale; in the western Vale this is the worst flooding for 14 years. The CPU set-up the Flood Room from 22nd December to 24th December 2012 to coordinate the Council response across the Vale. The CPU worked very closely with Highways, Parks and C1V, as well as South West Area of the Environment Agency Wales.

20.             The Emergency Control Room (ECC) was activated again on 19th in January 2013 to coordinate the Council response to a snow emergency.  Working closely with Highways, Parks, Waste Management, Social Services, Registrars, Communications and C1V the Council was able to maintain its' critical services. The CPU supported contracted care providers to deliver critical support to Vale of Glamorgan vulnerable residents. The ECC was operational from 19th January to 25th January 2013 24/7 basis.

21.             The Severe weather continued to test the Council with heavy rain and snow melt resulting in the Flood Room being activated for a second time 26th January 2013.

22.        The CPU chair the Vale of Glamorgan Events Safety Advisory Group (ESAG), the ESAG has scheduled six weekly meeting and deal with a number of high profile events in the Vale in 2012, including the Vale of Glamorgan Show, the Strickly Roots 50 Jamaican festival, the Tall Ship event and Barry Firework Fiesta.

23.        The CPU is the lead for the Vale of Glamorgan Stray Horse Arrangements; this is a very complex issue that involves a number of Council Services including Trading Standards, Highways, Parks, Community Safety and C1V; together with partner organisation South Wales Police and private specialist contractors.

24.        The CPU also coordinated the response, together with Highways and South Wales Police to a number of out of hour's stray horse incidents and dead foals/horses being dumped in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

25.        None directly arising from this report

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

26.        None directly arising from this report

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

27.        The Council has statutory duties and obligations under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which include risk assessment, emergency planning, training and exercising, business continuity management, warning and informing the public, sharing information and cooperation.

28.        The Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulation 1999 (COMAH) places a statutory duty on local authorities to prepare off-site Emergency Plans in case of incidents occurring on industrial sites which store particular types and quantities of hazardous materials

Crime and Disorder Implications

29.        None directly arising from this report

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

30.        None directly arising from this report

Corporate/Service Objectives

31.        Increase the awareness of the Council’s emergency planning arrangements to ensure that staff are prepared and contingency arrangements are in place in the event of an emergency incident. (CPS1)

Policy Framework and Budget

32.        This report is for Information

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

33.        This report is not ward specific.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

34.        Housing and Public Protection

Background Papers



Contact Officer

Debbie Spargo Principal Civil Protection Officer 02920 673044


Officers Consulted

Alun Billinghurst, Head of Public Protection, Development Services


Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services