County crisis team praised

PUBLISHED: 15:21 29 March 2007 | UPDATED: 10:15 31 May 2010

Ed Miliband MP, John Gilbert resources director, emergency planning officer June Thompson, Cllr John Jowers and MP Angela

Ed Miliband MP, John Gilbert resources director, emergency planning officer June Thompson, Cllr John Jowers and MP Angela

IMPRESSIVE emergency planning has earned Essex County Council a national accolade. Staff are celebrating after the authority was granted Beacon Status for the achievements and successes of its emergency planning unit, including its work in the aftermath

IMPRESSIVE emergency planning has earned

Essex County Council a national accolade.

Staff are celebrating after the authority was granted Beacon Status for the achievements and successes of its emergency planning unit, including its work in the aftermath of the London bombings in July 2005.

Cllr John Jowers said he was absolutely delighted to have had the hard work he and his colleagues had put in rewarded.

"This is a wonderful achievement by the whole team who have demonstrated excellence and innovation in emergency planning," he said.

"The team will now share the good practice in Essex with other emergency planners around the country."

In a bid to receive Beacon Status, members of the Essex emergency planning team showed a series of responses to hypothetical events and gave presentations to a panel of representatives from the Cabinet Office and organisers of the Beacon Scheme.

The quality of the team's presentations was one of several reasons that their Beacon Status bid was successful, including their work with communities and groups.

A council spokesman said: "Essex was highly commended for working in partnership with other local authorities, the emergency services, voluntary groups and other organisations, particularly in forming the Crisis Support Team."

The team, which provides support to families affected by disasters, was involved in working with people affected by the London bombings.

An assessment report into this operation and the emergency planning team's work with schools in Essex heaped praise on the work being done.

The report said one project raising flood awareness in schools through drama, music and poetry, was "exemplary and the team's desire to work with others is innovative and exciting".

Essex County Council was one of 48 authorities granted a Beacon Award from 170 entries.

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