Emergency Plan

West Bergholt Emergency Plan

This plan outlines the procedural arrangements for West Bergholt Parish Council to respond to a declared emergency affecting, or with the potential to affect the residents of the village.

Emergencies can occur with little or no warning and could be caused by many different factors including:

  • Natural disaster
  • Severe weather
  • Technological/industrial accidents
  • Power failures
  • Failure of communications (e.g. telephones or broadband)
  • Transport disruption and village cut off
  • Terrorism

The risk to the village from any of these events is small and difficult to assess.  This plan focuses on how it The Parish Council would assist in providing an emergency Reception Centre and how it could support vulnerable village residents.

The purpose of this Emergency Plan is to detail the role of the Parish Council in the event of a declared emergency.  The responsibility for any action needed as a result of an emergency lies with the Professional Emergency Services.  They will be supported by the Local Authority and in particular Colchester Borough Council who have an Emergency Planning Officer (see Annex 1) and a plan for the village.  The role of the Parish Council is to assist the Emergency Services and the Borough Council in implementing their plans.

This might include the following roles:

  • Disseminating useful information to the local population
  • Providing local knowledge and information to the Emergency Services
  • Assisting Colchester Borough Council (CBC) in the identification and preparation of premises suitable to be used as Rest/Reception Centres for victims of an incident (see Annex 2)
  • Organising volunteers who might be needed to assist at a Rest/Reception Centre (see Annex 3)
  • Assisting in the setting up and facilitation of public meetings
  • Being aware of vulnerable members of the community (disabled, elderly, ill, etc.) (see Annex 4)
  • Attending and contributing to the incident debriefing process
  • Distribute completed Plan to CBC and other parties who could be called upon to implement it and keeping them abreast of updates and reviews.

The local resources that would help facilitate involvement in any of the above roles are:

  • Readily available access to volunteers
  • A First Responders Group covering the village
  • Shops and a Pharmacy
  • Doctors Surgery

This plan will be reviewed and updated once a year.  Copies will be held by the Parish Clerk, all Parish Councillors and it will be published on the village website.


External Contacts

  • Emergency Services                                        999
  • CBC Emergency Planning Officer                01206 506579

Parish Contacts

  • Community Emergency Co-ordinator      01206 241026 or   07951563327
  • Chairman of Parish Council                           01206 242236
  • Parish Clerk                                                          01206 240149
  • Orpen Hall Administrator                              01206 619258


In the event of an emergency requiring such a centre the Orpen Hall would be the first choice of venue. The Hall Administrator would be contacted at an early stage.  If the Hall were not in use she would arrange for the Hall to be opened, alarms deactivated, heating provided, etc.  Lettings for the period needed would be cancelled.  If the Hall were in use those involved would be required to leave. Regular users such as Bluebells should have a plan which would be activated.

In the event of the Hall itself being involved in the emergency the second choice of venue would be the Church Hall in New Church Road.  Contact for opening would then be with this Administrator on 07989720256.


The Parish Council will organise volunteers who will be on standby for an emergency.   These could be drawn from existing groups of volunteers such as Snow Clearers.  A cascade model will be drawn up whereby the Community Emergency Co-ordinator contacts two names, each of whom then contacts two more etc.  The list and model which should have at least 20 names will be held by the Emergency Co-ordinator and the Parish Clerk.  A review of volunteers on the list will carried out once each year.  An area where volunteers are likely to be needed is to assist CBC in providing a Rest/Reception Centre.  Such a group could also be called on to assist with other whole village issues needing urgent support such as Police searches.


This register would be drawn up with a high regard for confidentiality and be held by the Parish Clerk.  It would only hold the names of those residents of the village who request that their names to be on it and this would be reviewed once a year.

The potential list could be drawn from village organisations such as the Care Network, Luncheon Club, Churches etc. Details of its creation could be advertised in the Village Bulletin and further nominations invited.  The register would be intended to cater for those who do not have frequent (daily) contact with a relative, friend or neighbour.

Once a register is established the names would be divided into area groups and a volunteer attached.  These would be drawn from Parish Councillors and other volunteers as identified in Annex  3.  Initially they would make themselves known to the potentially vulnerable and check their wish to be on the register.  In the event of an emergency (e.g. a prolonged power failure) the volunteer would then check regularly their welfare.

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