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The Civil Contingencies team

The Civil Contingencies team ensures that the Council will be able to respond speedily and effectively in a major emergency.

North, South and East Ayrshire teams are a shared service team known as the Ayrshire Civil Contingencies team.

If disaster strikes, or if emergencies develop in Ayrshire, communities will look to the Council for support and advice. The Ayrshire Civil Contingencies Team ensures that the Council will be able to respond speedily and effectively in a major emergency in accordance with the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (Contingency Planning) (Scotland) Regulations 2005.

Our responsibilities include preparing comprehensive and robust contingency plans and procedures irrespective of the nature of the emergency. The main aim is to preserve life and property. Every emergency plan also sets out to:

  • mitigate the harmful effects of the emergency on the environment
  • bring about a swift return to normal life in the communities and environment affected
  • encourage all agencies and organisations to prepare for their role

How do we prepare for emergencies?

Specific emergency plans have been drawn up for a number of industrial sites in the area. In addition the team have prepared plans for emergencies such as foot and mouth, pandemic flu and pollution disasters.

What kind of events do we plan for?

Examples of emergencies we must plan for are:

  • Severe weather and flooding: storms or blizzards and freezing conditions resulting in major disruption and damage to the area as a whole or individual communities within it.
  • Transportation accidents: such as major rail incidents, spillages of dangerous goods from road tankers, marine transport incidents and aircraft incidents.
  • Oil pollution: having a large coastline the threat of oil pollution and other toxic releases from marine incidents remains a serious threat.
  • Nuclear incidents: includes both civilian and military threats from Hunterston Nuclear Power Station (redacted version) and the Royal Navy submarines en-route to Faslane.
  • Crowd related incidents: specific threats that occur when large numbers of the public meet in one place such as sporting events or at specialist events.
  • Industrial related incidents: such as an incident occurring at one of the many industrial sites within Ayrshire or effects of incidents happening at an industrial site outwith Ayrshire.
  • Utility facilities: including gas, water and electricity (Scottish Power and SSE).
  • Outbreak of infection: Ayrshire has plans in place for pandemic flu, Foot and Mouth and Rabies.
  • Acts of terrorism: Events indicate an increasing awareness of the possibility of terrorist attacks on the UK. The threat to Ayrshire is hard to assess and we have no specific information on the likelihood of such an attack but our procedures have been reviewed.

How do we respond to emergencies?

Our ability to respond appropriately and swiftly in an emergency is of paramount importance and requires an integrated and co-ordinated approach.

The Civil Contingencies Plan outlines the special management and operational arrangements which will direct our response. The Plan follows guidance offered by the Cabinet Office, known as Integrated Emergency Management which focuses on the consequences rather than the cause.

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