Civil contingencies

Civil Contingencies Act 2004

Following a period of consultation, the Civil Contingencies Act was first implemented in 2004. The primary purpose of the Act was to modernise both local civil protection activities and introduce a range of legislative measures to deal with incidents on a larger scale. The Act has therefore been formally divided into two substantive parts; Part 1 of the Act defines the local arrangements for civil protection and Part 2 refers to the emergency powers that can be enforced in the event of a large-scale emergency.

Part 1

Under Part 1 of the Act, generic sets of roles and responsibilities have been identified for the organisations involved with emergency preparation and response at the local level. The Act recognises the different level of involvement for local emergency response organisations and has therefore placed them into two separate categories known as Category 1 and Category 2 responders.

  • Category 1 responders are those organisations who are central to most emergencies, such as the emergency services, local authorities and NHS bodies.
  • Category 2 responders are the “co-operating bodies” who are heavily involved with incidents that affect their sector, such as the utility companies.

A full list of the Category 1 and 2 responders for Avon and Somerset can be found under partners and links along with an outline of their key civil protection duties.

Role of the LRF...

The Local Resilience Forum unites Category 1 and 2 Responders in Avon and Somerset by providing the foundations for engagement and administering co-ordination and co-operation amongst the various organisations.

Part 2

Part 2 of the Civil Contingencies Act builds upon the 1920 Emergency Powers Act, as it reflects the changes development has brought to the risk profile. This part of the act enables specific temporary legislation to be created to help deal with severe emergency situations. However, local level planners should not assume that ‘emergency powers’ would be implemented, as the vigorous set of safeguards mean they can only be deployed in exceptional circumstances.

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