To submit a report by the Chief Executive.
Submitted – a report by the Chief Executive in relation to the above.
The Chief Executive reported that the Council has duties for emergency planning and response under the Civil Contingencies Acts 2004, the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations 2001, and the Pipeline Safety Regulations 1996. The Council meets its obligations by collaborating with the North Wales Local Authorities through the North Wales Councils Regional Emergency Planning Service for which Flintshire County Council is the host authority. Within the Council, responsibilities for emergency planning and response are shared across services and nominated service representatives are identified within the Emergency Management Response Team structure. The Chief Executive highlighted the role of the North Wales Councils Regional Emergency as is noted within the report. He noted that there will be a need to review the lessons learnt following the pandemic together with the need to review the business continuity plans of the Authority to assure that in any emergency that the Council may respond in an efficient manner.
Mr Jon Zalot from the North Wales Council’s Regional Emergency Planning Service reported on the main activities of the Emergency Planning Service on Anglesey as is highlighted within the report. He specifically referred that in March 2022, with a suspected influx of refugees incoming from Ireland due to the war in Ukraine, a bespoke plan was created in collaboration with the emergency services. Holyhead Leisure Centre was made available to ensure that if an influx of people arrived in the port that suitable accommodation was available if required.
The Committee considered the report and raised the following main points:-
· Reference was made to the increase pressures on resources in local government and supporting regional partnerships. Questions were raised as to whether funding regional partnerships and emergency services will add pressure on the Council resources. The Chief Executive responded that supporting regional partnerships will be under consideration due to resources issues in local government and to ensure that it adds value to the Authority. He noted that the regional collaboration with the Regional Emergency Planning Services is strong as the justification of six individual team in each local authority would not be sustainable.
· Questions were raised as to whether there would be added benefits for the Authority to have its own Emergency Planning Service due to the Port in Holyhead, two bridges and Wylfa Power Station. The Chief Executive responded that working within a regional capacity in Emergency Planning has immense advantages. He said that having the expertise of staff within one regional Emergency Planning Service gives added value to the six local authorities. The level of contribution towards the service by each local authority is measures by population levels and this Council receives the same support and capacity from the Regional Emergency Planning Services as the other five local authority.
· Questions were raised as to the role of the Regional Emergency Planning Services in respect of flooding incidents and serious accidents. The Chief Executive that the first responder to flooding and serious accidents is the staff of the local authority. He further said that it is dependent on the seriousness of the incident with multi-agency emergency services being called to attend to the incident. Further questions were raised whether lessons learnt in specific incidents is dealt with regionally to assure effectiveness of future responses to incidents. Ms Carol Dove, Regional Emergency Planning Team responded that the Manager of the Team attends regional and pan-Wales meetings together with Welsh Government meetings to afford horizon scanning information.
· Reference was made to the energy crisis and people facing high energy bills to heat their homes. Questions were raised as to how the Council was addressing this matter. The Chief Executive responded that the matter is being addressed with Medrwn Môn leading on supporting and collaborating with Community Groups, Menter Môn leading and collaborating with businesses and public houses, Charitable Association concentrating on village hall hubs and the Housing Services working on warm space facilities within community lounges. He further said that the Older Peoples’ Team are supporting vulnerable individuals. A grant of £21,580 has been received to fund the response to the high energy crisis and further core funding will be needed to enable schemes to progress. He further noted that the elected members will receive details of the progression of the scheme in due course.
It was RESOLVED to note the progress of the North Wales Council’s Regional Emergency Planning Service work 2021/2022.
ACTION : As noted above.