Local Authorities, emergency services and other responders are required by law to form Local Resilience Forums (based on police force areas) to jointly plan for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) are multi agency partnerships made up of representatives from category 1 responders. The LRFs are supported by the category 2 responders and also work with the military and voluntary sectors. LRFs aim to plan and prepare for localised incidents and catastrophic emergencies. They work to identify potential risks and produce emergency plans to either prevent or mitigate the impact of any incident on their local communities.

However, developing the ability to help each other at a local level will assist if the emergency services are overloaded in the initial response. It could also lessen the impact of the emergency on the community.

The Dyfed Powys Local Resilience Forum covers the counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.  The Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police chairs the lead group. Reporting to the DPLRF is a variety of groups and sub groups established to undertake specific activities. Officers from the Local Authorities are represented on each of the groups. Local Resilience Forums are not a statutory body.

Risk Assessment – Community Risk Register Category 1 and 2 responders have produced a community risk register covering the area of Dyfed Powys. The register is a list of risks that may cause an emergency in the Dyfed Powys area. Inclusion of a risk in a community risk register doesn’t mean it will happen. It means it is recognised as a possibility and organisations have made arrangements to plan for response to the incident and reduce its impact. The Dyfed Powys risk assessments are reviewed annually, or as required if sooner, and takes account of both national guidance combined with local knowledge and expertise across our area. This information is then given to the LRF professional partners to assess, discuss and act upon to improve our capability to respond to any form of disruptive challenge.

The key risks include:

Pandemic Flu


Severe Weather

Loss of infrastructure


Animal disease

Industrial incidents

Transport incidents

Emergency Planning

Emergency planning is a comprehensive, multi-agency process to identify and assess relevant risks, to plan and prepare, to train and exercise, to mitigate the effects and respond effectively to incidents, when they happen. Emergency planning is undertaken at county, regional and national levels. Emergency response plans are produced at local resilience forum level and by each responder agencies to describe arrangements to respond to emergencies and/or specific risks as outlined in the community risk register. Officers are trained in the content of the plans and a series of exercises (multi agency and individual agency) are regularly organised to test the response. Following training, exercises and incidents, plans are reviewed based on debrief and lessons learnt to ensure the response to future emergencies is more effective.

Business continuity

Business continuity is about planning to mitigate the effects of a potential disruption to vital public services, so that they can continue to be delivered during an emergency. Category 1 responders have a legal duty to have business continuity arrangements in place for their organisation, sharing best practice. Whatever the incident, the local authority should strive as far as reasonable for “business as usual” in service delivery which is detailed in their Business Continuity Plan (BCP). This also involves ensuring that critical suppliers can still deliver in an emergency.

Warning & Informing

Arrangements are in place on a multi agency basis and within each organisation to warn, inform and advise the public before and during an emergency. Documents and links have been  placed  on  local  authority’s  websites  giving  information  to  the  public  about emergency planning and preparedness. During an incident, the local authority will work with relevant multi agency partners to ensure a common message is disseminated to the public and media on the response and its impact. Elected Members will have a role to play acting as a liaison between their communities and the council.

Community Resilience

In addition to formal statutory duties, there is an increasing recognition that responders (local authorities especially) need to draw on the resources and abilities of their communities as part of emergency preparedness and response. This is known as community resilience and can be defined as “communities and individuals harnessing resources and expertise to help themselves prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies, in a way that complements the work of the emergency responders”. Elected Members can play a key role in encouraging communities to become more resilient notably through the production of community emergency plans. By becoming more resilient, individuals and communities can supplement the work of local responders and reduce the impact of the emergency both in the short and long term.

Photo: Lewis Chatfield



Following a number of large scale emergencies, the government undertook a review of emergency planning in England and Wales. The outcome was the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which provides a consistent and resilient approach to emergency planning, response and recovery in the UK.

The Act placed new duties and responsibilities on organisations and is divided in two parts:

Part 1: relates to local arrangements and places statutory duties on those organisations that have responsibilities to respond to major emergencies affecting communities.

Part 2: covers emergency powers that can be used by central government.

The Act divides responders to an emergency into two categories, depending on the extent of their involvement in civil protection work and places a set of duties on each.

Category 1 Responders

These are the organisations at the core of an emergency response:

  • Local authorities
  • Police (including British Transport Police)
  • Fire and Rescue Service
  • Welsh Ambulance Service Trust
  • Health Boards, Public Health Wales
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • Maritime and Coastguard Agency

These ‘Category 1’ responders are subject to six duties:

  • Carry out a risk assessment and contribute to the development of a community risk register.
  • Plan for emergencies, including training and exercising. Ensure robust business continuity arrangements are in place to maintain service delivery.
  • Ensure arrangements are in place to warn & inform the public both before and during emergencies.
  • Co-operate with partner agencies to enhance coordination and efficiency.
  • Share information with partner agencies. In addition to these, local authorities have an additional statutory duty:
  • To promote business continuity to local businesses and the voluntary sector.

Category 2 responders

These are organisations which, although not ‘primary’ responders, could potentially have a significant role and be heavily involved in incidents that affect their sector. They are:

  • Utilities (water companies, gas and electricity distributors and telecommunications companies)
  • Transport (airport operators, railway operators, Network Rail, Highways Agency)
  • Harbour authorities
  • Health & Safety Executive

Category 2 responders have statutory duties to co-operate and share information with Category 1 responders in the planning and response to major emergencies. 


All major emergencies are dealt with by the Emergency Services, Local Authorities, Health Agencies, Utility Companies and Voluntary Agencies in a combined response.

There is no statutory responsibility for community groups such as town or parish councils to plan for, or respond to, emergencies in their locality. However it is good practice for communities to identify hazards and make simple plans on how they may assist the agencies should an emergency occur.

It is also to be recognised that Community Groups are not an emergency service. They will not be trained, equipped, empowered or resourced to carry out the functions of an emergency service.

The response should generally be confined to looking after the welfare of people in the community or helping to maintain the infrastructure.

There are numerous hazards and risks that can have an impact on a community, such as fire, severe weather, flooding, industrial accidents, transport accidents, flu pandemic etc.

Photo: Lewis Chatfield



Powys County Council (PCC) is a highly significant Category 1 Responder and has a key role to play in planning for, responding to and recovering from an emergency or major incident.

PCC’s response to an emergency is outlined in its Major Incident Plan.

The principles that define an emergency in terms of the Act can be summarised as:

  • where more than one of the council departments is involved in the response;
  • where significant resources are required to respond effectively;
  • where specific disruption to public service is incurred;
  • where a response over and above day-to-day working practices is required.

The principal concerns of the local authority in the early stages of an emergency include support for the emergency services, support and care for the local and wider community and co-ordination of the response by organisations other than the emergency responders, e.g. the voluntary sector. As time goes on, and the emphasis switches to recovery and the return to normality, the local authority will take the lead role in coordinating the multi-agency management of impacts on local people, the economy, environment and infrastructure.


Key functions

The key functions of the County Council during an incident are:

  • Provide support to the emergency services
  • Identifying vulnerable population and providing support
  • Transport of evacuees and temporary shelter via establishment of Rest Centres
  • Care & counselling & welfare support
  • Humanitarian Assistance Centres for long term incidents
  • Warning & Informing including setting up of a helpline
  • Provision of plant, materials, personnel, expertise
  • Road closures & signage
  • Buildings assessment, maintenance & demolition
  • Provision of temporary mortuary facilities
  • Provision of advice: Environmental, Health & Safety, food safety, dangerous buildings


Identifying vulnerable people

As part of the multi agency response to the incident, the local authority will identify known vulnerable people in the affected area. They will also rely on the community to assist in identifying vulnerable people, both existing and those made vulnerable by the incident. A multi agency approach will be adopted to support vulnerable people, existing and new, following an incident.


Role of the Council’s Emergency Planning Department

Powys County Council has an Emergency Planning Department, which is responsible for the co-ordination of the Council’s emergency response.

The Emergency Planning Department co-ordinates the planning and preparation, training and exercises for emergencies.  It will manage any minor emergencies, calling out relevant Council service areas, personnel, resources as appropriate.

The Emergency Planning Department works in close collaboration with the emergency services, health, other government agencies, neighbouring authorities, volunteer groups and others, to ensure the response to a major emergency is co-ordinated between all the agencies involved.

The Emergency Planning Department provides a 24-hour Duty Emergency Planning Officer (Duty EPO) who is the first point of contact for the emergency services whenever they require support.


Roles of specific local authority’s service areas

Each service area has its own sphere of activity expertise, that may or may not be called into operation should an emergency occur. These are outlined in more detail in the PCC Major Incident Plan.

Most directorates and services have dedicated “emergency liaison” officers who work with the Emergency Planning Dept to prepare for and respond to incidents. Departmental procedures for dealing with emergencies will be activated by each relevant service.

The Emergency Rest Centre

Whilst Social Services retain overall responsibility for the operation of an Emergency Rest Centre, this is predominantly an ‘in hours’ service area, with services delivered by a range of commissioned agencies. COVID19 and the need for Social Services to closely support the National Health Service, has placed this service area under extreme pressures and it is likely that the operation of any rest centre will increasingly be a blend of resources, including the voluntary sector at a local level. This is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.

In Llangattock, St Catwgs Church will be opened for temporary accommodation of evacuees. There is space there it set up a rest centre and kitchen facilities. Camp beds and blankets are available.

A friendly, vibrant, forward-thinking village in the South East corner of the county of Powys. We are surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Brecon Beacons National Park. 
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