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OPINION: Preparing for a major incident - just in case

PUBLISHED: 08:00 16 June 2018

Archant

Over the spring and summer of 2017, terrorist incidents in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge, and then the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington, rightly put emergency response at the forefront of all our minds.

While the terrorist incidents in London were managed by individual local authorities and emergency services with minimal need for support from their neighbours, the scale of the Grenfell Tower disaster required a pan-London response, and we should be proud that more than 100 Brent Council staff answered the call for mutual aid.

In light of the number and scale of incidents in 2017, Brent Council agreed there would be benefit in reviewing Brent’s own emergency preparedness.

During this work we looked at best practice and benchmarking from other London boroughs, heard from experts in the field, reviewed documents and plans, took part in a scenario exercise, and visited the facilities that would be used as our own borough Emergency Command Centre in the face of a major incident.

The resulting report, which we discussed at full council a few weeks ago, outlined a number of Brent’s strengths, and made nine recommendations, many of which were already under way or completed by the time the report was published.

While we all hope that the people of Brent are spared any major incident, they can feel reassured that a strong foundations are in place should the council be called upon to respond.

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