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Agenda item


To consider a progress report on individual risks identified in the Council’s Strategic Risk Register. 


The Committee considered the progress report on individual risks identified in the Council’s Strategic Risk Register.


Sub-Risk: Terrorism related act at major events and reduced capacity across the Council to respond in an emergency.


Mr Alan Cavill, Director of Communications and Regeneration explained that a vast amount of work had been undertaken in terms of planning and resources for major events in Blackpool. The 2018 Switch-on, Britney Spears concert and the air show were cited as events that had required a meticulous level of planning and material support. Close working arrangements with key partners that included the Police, counter terrorism units and other agencies had been evidenced and it was suggested that Blackpool was reasonably advanced in terms of its ability to respond to a major incident.


In terms of the Council’s capacity to deal with coordination of large events, detailed information was contained within the Major Emergency Plan which outlined roles and responsibilities. The Committee was informed that a gap analysis is being undertaken to assess any vulnerability in terms of planning. Mr Neil Williams, Emergency Planning Officer, explained that there were eight key risk areas identified in the community risk register ranging from weather events and flu epidemics to terrorism and that associated planning had been undertaken to respond to all current perceived threats and risks.


Following a question about material barriers, it was reported that temporary barriers had been employed at most recent large events and others were in the design phase but it was hoped they would be ready for deployment at the most vulnerable sites in time for the 2019 tourist season. In relation to the Nett Risk Score for the Sub-Risk, it was suggested that the current score reflected the level of mitigation measures discussed and enhanced partnership working that would help to offset the continuing threat of terrorism.


With regard to inability to respond to a major incident, Mr Steve Thompson, Director of Resources, explained that given the reduction in overall staff numbers in recent years, it remained a concern. However, he added that through greater clarification of roles and improved collaborative working arrangements with partners, the risk had been reduced somewhat and remained at a manageable level.  Members also noted that appropriate staff had attended county-wide to further enhance planning for major incidents. It was suggested that Elected Members could form part of any future incident response plan and that emergency planning training could be incorporated into the Members training programme if appropriate.


Sub-Risk: Death to members of the public or staff.


The Committee was informed that an exercise for Emergency Response Group volunteers had been held in April 2018 and that despite a shortfall in volunteer numbers, the level of risk remained within agreed tolerances.  Mr Neil Jack, Chief Executive, advised that it was important to ensure the right mix of volunteers in terms of their skills and the proximity of their home address to Blackpool.


Following a question about public safety and the possible enforcement of building maintenance in the private sector, it was reported that business continuity measures were in place and Council Officers pro-actively engaged with business owners to ensure buildings were not left in a dangerous condition. However, it was also acknowledged that whilst the Council could take action against premises where a risk to the public had been identified, most of the responsibility fell to the building owner/operator.

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