West Sussex County Council Resilience Policy

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1 West Sussex County Council Resilience Policy

2 INDEX page 2 Policy Statement page 3 Vision Statement,Values and General Principles page 4 Introduction and purpose page 4 Scope of the Policy page 4 The Council s Resilience Commitment page 5 Communicating the Policy page 5 Responsibilities of County Council Officers and Elected Council Members Elected Members Chief Executive Executive Directors Directors Head of Emergency Management Heads of Service Managers and Supervisors Individual Employees page 8 Putting Policy into Practice page 8 Reviewing the Policy page 1

3 Dear Colleagues, Recent experiences have demonstrated that major and catastrophic events such as terrorism, industrial explosions, fires, severe weather and infrastructure breakdown can and do occur, and impact upon community resilience and sustainability. This policy lays out the County Council s commitment to ensure that the organisation is prepared to respond to rapid increases in demand for services caused by emergencies that impact on the communities of West Sussex; will respond in an efficient and effective manner to these events; to identify a resilience framework to enable vital services to be maintained in the face of a serious and / or widespread disruptive incident, including disruption to services during an emergency; and to ensure rapid recovery of lost or disrupted services as well as recovery of the affected communities. The Members of the County Council and the Chief Executive s Board believe preparedness and resilience to be of the utmost importance when we are planning and delivering our services to the community and each other. Preparedness and resilience have a vital role to play in the overall success of the County Council and in delivering our strategic targets. To achieve the Resilience Policy we need the cooperation of everyone who works in the County Council. Responsibilities for preparedness and resilience are spelt out in this Policy and all are expected to abide by it and the arrangements made on the Council s behalf by the County Council s Emergency Management Unit. The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 has set down standards and guidelines for achieving preparedness and resilience for responding agencies. However, the greatest test of our preparedness and resilience will be in how we respond, as an organisation, to disruptive events and how well we support the communities of West Sussex. Signed: Henry Smith Leader Mark hammond Chief Executive Peter Evans Cabinet Member for Public Protection page 2

4 Vision Statement We will provide a safer, stronger community and better quality of life in West Sussex through a professional and effective emergency management and business continuity process. Values Protecting health, safety, quality of life and economic vitality. Building and maintaining partnerships and collaboration across West Sussex, including community, industry and public sector, and voluntary sector in all aspects of emergency management. Protecting our natural and built environments. Respecting the diversity of West Sussex s communities. Ensuring accountability and transparency of the West Sussex County Council emergency management arrangements. General Principles of Emergency Management This Policy is underpinned by the following general principles: A comprehensive, all hazards, all agencies approach by achieving the right balance of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery, regardless of the nature of the hazard, working through established partnerships. Prepared communities who understand their role in an emergency. Consultative decision making. A transparent, systematic and consistent approach to emergency risk assessment and management. West Sussex County Council applies effective corporate governance and is committed to continuous improvement of policy, programmes, practices and service delivery to improve community safety. page 3

5 Introduction and Purpose 1. West Sussex County Council has the duty to provide various services to the communities of West Sussex. Many of these duties are set by legislation and other duties come from common law. Many have a direct impact on the health and quality of life of the citizens of West Sussex. 2. The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 places a duty on West Sussex County Council to ensure adequate resilience is in place to be able to deal with disruptive events. 3. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that West Sussex County Council: Has a corporate process in place that encompasses anticipation, assessment, prevention and preparation so we are ready to deal with rapid increased demands for services caused by emergencies and linked to the corporate risk management procedures. Responds to increased demands for service caused by emergencies efficiently and effectively. Has business continuity processes in place to enable vital services to be maintained in the face of a disruptive incident, including disruption to services during an emergency. Has in place business recovery plans and community recovery plans to ensure a rapid return to normal or a new normal. Scope of the Policy 4. This policy applies to all activities for which the Council has direct responsibility. We will also seek to promote this policy with all partners, stakeholders and contractors. In the case of School Governing bodies for example we will promote practices and procedures, which are consistent with this policy. The Council s Resilience Commitment 5. The Council accepts its responsibilities for the provision of services to the citizens of West Sussex and acknowledges that many of these services are critical to health and quality of life within West Sussex. 6. The Council is committed to ensuring critical services will continue to be delivered and that increased demand for services due to emergencies are met. 7. The Council will comply with the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, regulations and statutory guidance. 8. The Council will adopt and promote best practice for preparedness, response and resilience, including minimising the impact of emergencies on the Council and the communities of West Sussex. 9. The Council will apply the British Standard BS25999 for Business Continuity Management as its business continuity standard. 10. The Council will provide information, instruction, training and supervision for employees to help them understand their role in the resilience processes of the County Council and to allow them to contribute positively towards the preparedness and resilience of the organisation. 11. The Council is committed to the effective management of contracts and their performance to ensure preparedness and resilience standards in their business arrangements with and on behalf of the Council. page 4

6 12. The Council is committed to working closely with all staff to develop and implement preparedness and resilience measures that ensure the Council is able to deal with disruptive events. Communicating the Policy 13. Communicating this policy will be conducted through multiple channels. The policy will be available to staff and the communities of West Sussex via the Internet and Intranet. Responsibilities of County Council Officers and Elected Council Members Elected Members 14. The Cabinet will have collective responsibility for the effectiveness of the County Council s resilience policies across the whole of the Council s services and the whole of its area. 15 The Cabinet Member for Public Protection will have particular responsibility for the Policy and for ensuring the preparedness and resilience of the Council and compliance with relevant legislation, and will ensure that decisions taken when developing Council policies and services reflect the County Council s commitment to preparedness and resilience. The Cabinet Member will, in consultation with the relevant select committee: Receive an annual report on preparedness and resilience. Ensure that adequate resources are available to discharge the Council s preparedness and resilience commitments. Consider any need to revise the Policy in the light of preparedness and resilience trends and issues likely to affect the Council. Promote a positive preparedness and resilience culture within the Council. Chief Executive 16. The Chief Executive of West Sussex County Council has the overall responsibility for putting into effect the Resilience Policy and is accountable to the County Council for ensuring that the operations of the County Council comply with all legal obligations relating to Civil Contingencies. The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that all statutory requirements are adhered to, and for reviewing the effectiveness of this policy. The Chief Executive will: Require members of the Chief Executive s Board to account for effective emergency management and business continuity in their strategic groups. Provide an annual resilience report to the Cabinet Member. Promote a positive preparedness and resilience culture embracing and encouraging positive attitudes amongst all staff, through partnerships and in all areas affecting the community. Ensure appropriate priority is given to emergency management and business continuity in all County Council strategic planning. Ensure that resilience performance is reviewed annually and at other times when necessary. page 5

7 Executive Directors 17. Executive Directors are responsible for ensuring adequate emergency management and business continuity arrangements are in place for their portfolios. Executive Directors will: Promote a positive preparedness and resilience culture. Ensure the resilience Policy procedures and guidance are followed within the services they are operationally responsible for. Ensure adequate resources are made available for fulfilling the Council s commitment to resilience. Ensure an appropriate response is made during emergencies or business continuity events. Directors 18. Directors are operationally responsible for the implementation of resilience processes within their portfolio of work.they need to ensure that the service units reporting to them are prepared to deal with rapid increase in demand for services resulting from an emergency and to deal with disruptive events that will impact on the performance of their unit. Directors will: Prepare, sign and keep revised a statement of their group s resilience policy, explaining the organisation and arrangements for ensuring the effectiveness of the Council s policy within their strategic group, or require the Heads of Units to do the same. Ensure that resilience responsibilities within their portfolio of work are properly assigned and fulfilled and that job descriptions reflect these assignments. Implement, according to the agreed plans and processes, response and recovery plans in the event of a disruption. Ensure resilience activities are reflected adequately in business plans. Head of Emergency Management 19. The Head of Emergency Management will: Advise and brief the Chief Executive s board and Senior Management Group to assure the achievement of the Council s commitment to preparedness and resilience. Maintain the County Council s Resilience Policy, and ensure that the most up-to-date version is available to all staff. Develop Corporate Resilience Documents including; The WSSC Emergency Preparedness Guide, which will detail the prevention and planning process. The WSCC Corporate Emergency Plan, which will detail the emergency response process. The WSCC Corporate Business Continuity Strategy and Plan, which will detail business continuity objectives and responses. The WSCC Recovery Plan, which will detail the recovery processes. Develop and manage the emergency preparedness process. Provide professional and specialist advice, support and guidance to Cabinet Members, Chief Executive s Board, Senior Management Group and other managers and supervisors. Ensure that the corporate training programme makes adequate provision for the development of emergency management and business continuity skills. Ensure that adequate arrangements are made for consultation with staff, including representatives and unions. Undertake performance measurement in emergency management and business continuity activities. Represent West Sussex County Council on Local resilience Forums and other inter-agency, regional and national activities. page 6

8 Be responsible for the activation of the corporate emergency plan (Major Civil Emergency Plan) and / or the County Council Corporate Business Continuity Plan. On behalf of the Chief Executive, coordinate the corporate response of West Sussex County Council to emergencies and threats to business continuity. Head of Operations/Strategy and Change & Heads of Units 20. Heads of Operations/Strategy are responsible for the provision of services tasked to their unit. They need to ensure that their service is prepared to deal with rapid increase in demand for services resulting from an emergency and to deal with disruptive events that will impact on the performance of their unit. This needs to be reflected in their performance management processes. Heads of Unit will: Promote a preparedness and resilience culture within their unit, encouraging activities that develop the resilience of the unit and requiring consideration of preparedness and resilience in the provision of their services. Ensure their unit s needs and obligations are reflected in its business plan. Adopt and implement corporate resilience guides, plans and procedures. Ensure emergency management and business continuity responsibilities within the unit are properly assigned and fulfilled and that job descriptions reflect these responsibilities. Ensure all staff in their unit are aware of current emergency management and business continuity issues that may impact on the unit. Ensure that instruction, training and supervision are provided for their staff appropriate to their role and responsibility. Ensure that staff who need training for the effective management of emergencies or business continuity events are released for the appropriate courses. Participate in Business Impact Analysis, Emergency Risk Analysis and performance review to assist in the development of an annual plan to address emergency management and business continuity issues, including resourcing. Activate emergency and business continuity plans they are responsible for. Support the Head of Emergency Management in the role of corporate coordinator in responding to emergencies or business continuity events. Support all Executive Directors and other Heads of Unit by providing competent advice and efficient and timely service where a unit s operational effectiveness is critical to the effective delivery of critical services. Managers and Supervisors 21. Managers and Supervisors will be responsible for the implementation of the Resilience Policies and programmes. They will: Promote a preparedness and resilience culture within their team, encouraging activities that develop the resilience of the team and requiring consideration of preparedness and resilience in the provision of their services. Activate emergency and business continuity plans they are responsible for. Individual Employees 22. Individual employees must: Be aware of the emergency and business continuity responsibilities of the County Council, their service group, unit and team. Understand their own role within an emergency and business continuity response. Promote a preparedness and resilient culture within their team. page 7

9 Consultation with Unions and Staff Representatives 23. The Council has a duty to consult with staff on any matters that affect health, safety and welfare at work. In areas where this policy and supporting corporate guides, plans, and procedures impact on health, safety and welfare there will be full consultation conducted within the normal service unit arrangements. Corporately, consultation will be carried out with recognised union or staff representatives. Putting Policy into Practice 24. An overall resilience action plan will be developed to coordinate resilience activity and ensure the implementation of this policy. It will be supported by appropriately resourced action plans developed and implemented by each unit within the County Council and coordinated within Directorate s and Business Unit s SMG. 25. The Corporate arrangements will be detailed in four primary documents; The WSSC Emergency Preparedness Guide, which will detail the prevention and planning process. The WSCC Corporate Emergency Plan, which will detail the emergency response process. The WSCC Corporate Business Continuity Strategy and Plan which will detail business continuity objectives and responses. The WSCC Recovery Plan, which will detail the recovery processes. 26. All of these documents will be living documents, amended to take into account internal and external changes that may affect their implementation. 27. An annual report will be made to the Chief Executive s Board detailing resilience activities. Specific reports and briefings will continue to be made when required. Reviewing the Policy 28. This Policy will be reviewed annually. It will be amended, if necessary, to take into account new legal requirements, non-statutory guidance from central government and revisions and implementation of relevant British Standards. page 8

10 Designed by WSCC Central Graphic Design Team WS024 May 2008

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