Emergency Plan "should be tested"

THE town needs a mock emergency to test out its emergency plan, according to a prominent local councillor.

Coun Eager was one of a number of town councillors who sprang into action when Ledbury was cut off by floods in July 2007 and upwards of 600 people were stranded overnight.

These people found shelter, food and blankets in various locations such as the Community Hall and the John Masefield High School.

Since then, several town councillors have undergone retraining with Herefordshire Council in 2013, in how to cope with emergencies.

And in January this year the authority suggested a joint exercise, to synchronise plans and responses.

Sharon Amery, Herefordshire Council communications officer said at the time: "Ledbury Town Council has written its own emergency plan. Herefordshire Council’s emergency planning team has liaised with the town council and offered to provide a table top exercise which will allow them to validate their plan."

But nothing has happened since then.

Coun Eager said: "It's frustrating that we still don't have a proper plan in place. It's a situation that needs to be resolved.

"I think we need a mock-up demonstration, otherwise we don't know if our plan is fit for purpose.

"Otherwise, it is all hypothetical, and theory."

A mock exercise would also involve the emergency services.

The issue is likely to be discussed at next month's Full Council meeting, on June 19, at 7.30pm, in the Market House.

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