Wiltshire Publications

Better communication needed in Wiltshire emergencies

INDEPENDENT Councillors, Terry Chivers and Jeff Osborn, are calling on Wiltshire Council to look at ways they can improve communications between council officers, members, and town and parish councils after the recent flooding.

They have put down a notice of motion to the next full council meeting on 4th February, requesting that the council’s scrutiny committee investigate possible ways of improving  communication during emergencies within Wiltshire.

Cllr Chivers said, “I would like it put on record that all the council’s staff have done a great job dealing with the flooding over the holidays, along with all the other emergency services within the county, but we must always look at ways we can improve.

“In many cases the staff had little support, and we must look at ways of finding ways to involve local parish and town councils, and in many cases, community groups. I feel sure we could have drafted in more help if people just knew who to contact.”

Cllr Osborn said, “I too can’t praise the staff and all the emergency services enough. As far as I know here in Trowbridge we haven’t had too many problems, but I do know that in most rural areas they have had a rough time.

“I’m sure if we all pull together we can find ways of improving the way we provide this service in times of emergencies.  For example we should be encouraging all town and parish councils to have a emergency plan in place, and we could be working with them to help them get one in place. Anything that can take the strain off our staff, and improve the service we give to the public must be encouraged.”

Notice of Motion

“This council being aware of the personal and community suffering  caused by the recent flooding:  first, wishes to publicly record its appreciation for the hard work carried out by council staff, contractors and other agencies.

However, in talking to residents it is apparent that the overall emergency response services can and should be improved.  Also it is likely that such incidents will continue in the future.   Consequently it requires that an urgent scrutiny exercise be undertaken to examine the adequacy, and improvement, of emergency responses to such incidents.

This exercise should involve all relevant Wiltshire Council services, plus agencies in the Wiltshire and Swindon  Resilience Forum and other responsible bodies.

As well as examining the emergency response services, it should consider future mitigating actions.”

Proposed:  Councillor Jeff Osborn

Seconded: Councillor Terry Chivers