There are a number of key resilience structures operating in London which local authorities are represented in.
Civil Contingencies Act 2004
The Civil Contingencies Act provides the legislative framework for emergency preparedness in the United Kingdom. It imposes roles and responsibilities on local authorities, who are defined as Category 1 responders under the Act, alongside the emergency services. Their duties include:
- Assessing the risk of emergencies and putting in place emergency plans, business continuity plans and arrangements to warn, inform and advise the public.
- Sharing information with other local responders to enhance co-ordination.
- Co-operating with other local responders to enhance coordination and efficiency.
In London, there are a number of resilience structures and arrangements in place to ensure there are appropriate levels of preparedness and capacity to respond to incidents as they occur.
London Resilience Forum
The London Resilience Forum provides a means for agencies involved in emergency preparedness to collaborate at a pan-London level; it ensures London’s preparedness in the event of emergencies and major incidents and provides a link between resilience at local and national levels.
The LRF operates effectively as a collective body, managing a programme of work and exercising leadership to establish, test and review plans and strategies as necessary.
London is also required to maintain a network of Borough Resilience Forums, multi-agency groups which concentrate specifically on emergency planning issues at a borough level.
The Local Authorities’ Panel (LAP), which feeds into the London Resilience Forum, plays a key role in co-ordinating London local government input into resilience issues and oversees the work programme of the London Resilience Group in relation to its support for local authorities and the Gold arrangements. LAP is currently chaired by John Barradell, Chief Executive at the City of London.
Strategic Co-ordination Group
In the event of a disruptive incident (including an emergency as defined in the Civil Contingencies Act) where strategic multi-agency co-ordination is required, a Strategic Co-ordination Group is usually established.
The SCG is chaired by the Metropolitan Police (or appropriate lead agency) and includes the on-call London Local Authority Gold, along with other relevant agencies.
The SCG’s role is to co-ordinate the response to an emergency across a region including consequence management and recovery. The SCG will continue to meet throughout the response phase as long as there is a need, or until the Group hands over to a Recovery Coordinating Group led by local government, or stands down completely.
The London Resilience Group
The London Resilience Group (LRG), is the central team which supports the partner organisations who each have specific responsibilities for preparing for and responding to emergencies.
The LRG is jointly funded by the London Fire Brigade, London local authorities and the Greater London Authority. The Group is based within the London Fire Brigade.
It supports the development of the Capital's resilience by:
- Helping provide a secretariat to regional forums, coordinating the development of plans and capabilities.
- Supporting local authority emergency planning and response.
- Leading the planning process for agencies to respond to accidents at major industrial sites.
- Supporting pan-London arrangements if there is major incident in the capital.
London Local Authority Gold Resolution
To ensure that councils can play an effective part in the pan London response to emergencies, a Gold Resolution was passed by all 33 London local authorities. It empowers the nominated ‘Gold’ chief executive to discharge emergency response functions on behalf of the councils which are affected by an incident, when particular triggers are met.
A rota is in place to ensure that an on-duty London Local Authority Gold Chief Executive (LLAG) is always available to act as the first point of contact and to participate in a Strategic Co-ordination Group. Their role includes formulating a high-level strategy for a collective London Local Authority response and liaison between the Recovery Working Group (RWG) and the Strategic Co-ordination Group.
The support arrangements for LLAG are overseen by the Local Authorities Panel and are largely delivered through the London Resilience Group, with funding from all 33 authorities.
London Councils provides additional support for the London Local Authority Gold Chief Executive. This includes liaison with Leaders, as well as communications advice and a conduit to borough communication teams.