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Saturday 25 June 2011

Weston and Basford Parish Council playing its part in making Cheshire East safer


Weston and Basford residents are benefitting from a positive working partnership between their two local councils.

Cheshire East and Weston and Basford parish councils have developed a community resilience plan, which is designed to protect parishioners in major emergencies and serious incidents.

The emergency planning team at Cheshire East believes it is important for town and parish councils to assist the Borough so that it can help to identify which local resources can be best used to tackle potential problems like severe winter conditions, floods or flu pandemics.

The Weston and Basford Parish Council community resilience plan identifies local resources and hazards in the parish but, more importantly, will assist Cheshire East in identifying vulnerable people at the time of an emergency.

It is hoped that more town and parish councils will now come forward and work with the Borough and Cheshire police and offer assistance to help keep Cheshire East well prepared in case of emergency.

Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “Identifying vulnerable people in a crisis is not something Cheshire East can achieve on its own.

“The authority adopts a ‘top down’ approach by referring to internal records on vulnerable people and by seeking assistance from partner agencies. But it cannot always account for changes in circumstances and someone who may not be vulnerable today, could be tomorrow.

“This is where Weston and Basford Parish Council plays a vital ‘bottom up’ role in identifying vulnerable people, through local knowledge and community links.

“Cheshire East strives to be an excellent council and to work with others to deliver for its residents and I do hope that more councils will now look into how they can assist us.”

The Council does not have a set method for developing these plans and is inviting parish and town councils to devise their own way of operating or to adopt an existing plan.

Councillor John Hammond, ward member for Haslington, said: “Community involvement is key to the success of these initiatives. We must identify those who will need the most help, should an emergency situation develop.

“This is about thorough planning and preparation. I am confident the people of Weston and Basford will continue to lend their support to this important partnership.

“At the same time, may I take this opportunity to congratulate Weston and Basford Parish Council for once again displaying great initiative in being the first parish council in Cheshire East to develop such a plan, which hopefully others will now follow.”

A community resilience plan template is available at: which includes weblinks to potential grants.

For more information, call emergency planning officers Martin Grime on 01244 973866 or Jim Robinson on 01244 973789.

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